Archive for the ‘Current Event’ Category

Friars Elect New Community Officers

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

The friars held their General Chapter Tuesday, June 21, 2016.  A “General Chapter” is conducted every three years and one of the primary points of business is to elect friars to fill various positions in service of the community.  In the presence of the diocesan bishop’s representatives, Fr. Michael Deering and Fr. Bryan Jerabek, the following were elected to serve the community for the next three years:

· Fr. Mark Mary, Community Servant (Superior)
· Fr. Anthony, Community Vicar
· Fr. Miguel Marie, First Councilor
· Fr. Dominic Mary, Second Councilor
· Br. Leo Mary, Third Councilor

We are very grateful for all of the love, support and prayers that so many of you show for the friars.

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Fr. Paschal Attends Luncheon To Thank Government Agencies For Service During Mother Angelica’s Funeral

Monday, May 16th, 2016

On May 11th Father Paschal attended a banquet in appreciation for all the service personnel who planned and worked the funeral of Mother M Angelica. The luncheon was hosted by EWTN at Wallace State in Hanceville, AL. Over 200 civic leaders, emergency medical personnel, firefighters and policemen were involved the day of the funeral. Many thanks go out to them and all those who serve and protect us.

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EWTN Young Adult Hiking Day

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Fr. Leonard, Br. Leo, and a large group of young EWTN employees spent this past Saturday (May 7) enjoying the great outdoors on a 5 mile hike at nearby Oak Mountain State Park. Preceding the hike they gathered to begin the day with Holy Mass.

(Mass Photos courtesy of Lauren Franklin Photography, Hike Photos courtesy of Stephen Lunsford)

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Fr. John Paul at Birmingham Awakening Retreat

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

Fr. John Paul was recently at Birmingham Awakening, a dynamic three-day retreat for college students and young adults sponsored by the Catholic Diocese of Birmingham. Awakening was held Friday, April 10th through Sunday April 12th at Springville Camp and Conference Center in Odenville, Alabama.

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Remembering Mother Angelica

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

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(The following article is a copy of Fr. Joseph’s homily for Mother M. Angelica’s Mass of Christian Burial on April 1, 2016.)

You know that we had many plans at EWTN for when this day would come, but God was always full of surprises when it came to Mother Angelica. And so, for example, we had spent hours preparing booklets for the Solemn Vespers of the Dead, but during the Easter Octave, you are not permitted to pray the Office of the Dead, (the Lord wanted us to sing Alleluias instead) and so we had to quickly prepare different texts for our beautiful Easter Octave Vespers last evening. We also had to change the first Reading for the Mass today, because of the Easter Season. And our First Reading was taken from the Book of Revelation, a vision of John, where he sees something new – a new heaven – a new earth – a new Jerusalem, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

You cannot understand Mother Angelica without reference to the One she loved with the passion of the Bride: Jesus, the Eternal Word, who became man and dwelt among us.

1-IMG_0447Mother, speaking of her healing as a teenager said: When the Lord came in and healed me through the Little Flower, I had a whole different attitude. I knew there was a God; I knew that God knew me and loved me and was interested in me. I didn’t know that before. All I wanted to do after my healing was give myself to Jesus.

In one of her letters from that time she wrote: … before I was cured I was a lukewarm Catholic … now I love our Lord so that there are times when I think I will die. When I think of all that He has done for me and how little I have done for Him, I could cry.

I remember the love with which she would kiss the Cross on Good Friday. On the Last Good Friday of her life, I held that cross (Crucifix on coffin placed at Mother’s head) up to her lips to kiss for the last time.

You cannot understand Mother Angelica without reference to the One she loved with the 1-IMG_0462passion of the Bride: Jesus, the Eternal Word, who became man and dwelt among us.

What was it that prompted the transformation of a garage into a television studio? It was that the Divinity of Jesus must be upheld. He IS the Eternal Word, the Divine Son of God. He is the Bridegroom of the Church and thus hers – since contemplative women religious especially manifest the bridal nature of the Church. And as a faithful bride, she would defend the One she was wed to.

She sometimes joked about the fact that on the day of her Solemn Profession, the ceremony wasn’t very edifying. The bishop, I think was late, and when he put the ring on her finger espousing her to Christ, he only put it on half way. But there was something deeper going on inside of her. She knew Whom she loved and to Whom she was giving herself. And that was all that mattered. (We’re making up for that lack of ceremony then – today, dear Mother).

1-IMG_0470When I was in seminary, some people thought Mother went overboard in speaking out against a movie portraying Jesus being tempted on the Cross. I remember the comments made in one of my theology classes in Rome. But it was love for Jesus that impelled her and I think a larger question for each of us is, do we love Jesus enough to defend Him, even if we may be ridiculed for doing so?

When she was on Larry King Live show, to talk about the movie debating the head of the Motion Picture Association of America, who was Catholic, at one point she said, “Look sweetheart …” (and if you ever heard those words, you knew you were in trouble) … “Look sweetheart, you are first of all a Child of God.”

You cannot understand Mother Angelica without reference to the One she loved with the passion of the Bride: Jesus, the Eternal Word, who became man and dwelt among us.

1-IMG_3031She wanted each one of us to love Jesus more. And she has helped us all and so many throughout the years and throughout the world to do that. Often, I will ask people who tell me they watch EWTN, what are their favorite programs. Usually Mother’s programs are on top of the list.

Jesus, in the Gospel today, said that He is the living bread – that came down – from heaven – and that just as He has life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on Him will have life because of Him. That is the secret of Mother Angelica’s legacy, it is HIS legacy – yes, the One she loved, but the One who loved her even more – with the passion of a Bridegroom. She had life and was able to give life, because He gave life to her. She was fed, not with dead wheat, but with a living bread from Heaven. EVERY DAY! She was united to Him in a Holy Communion EVERY DAY! Her legacy is a legacy of HIS work in her. To Him be praised forever! For He has reached out with His mercy to the world through her and the works He brought about through her.

1-IMG_0964A second point I would like to make today is the Scripture passage which is engraved on Mother’s tomb. It is also the passage to which the bible on Mother’s coffin is opened (Placed at Mother’s heart). It is one of her favorite passages that she often quoted in speaking about the call to holiness being attainable for everyone, not just for a select few. No one was born a Saint – but working daily on it, the grace of God will bring them there: The Scripture passage is taken from 2 Cor 3:18:

And we, with our unveiled faces reflecting like mirrors the brightness of the Lord, all grow brighter and brighter as we are turned into the image that we reflect; This is the work of the Lord Who is Spirit.

Yes, We are all called to be Saints. Don’t miss the opportunity.

1-IMG_0743You know, I think everyone here today wants to be a saint – and that many of those with us through the media want to be saints, too. Mother helped us to believe that it is attainable. That even if we were impetuous like St. Peter, or gruff like St. Jerome, with a past like St. Mary Magdalene or tempted like St. Francis, we could advance and grow with our particular temperament, weaknesses, strengths and circumstances. Yes, Mother said, the biographers of the Saints should spend 40 years in Purgatory because they made holiness seem impossible to attain. Hers was a practical spirituality for the man in the pew.

I believe that deep down we all want holiness, because it is the only thing that is really satisfying in life. The Saints are those who reached their potential, and even beyond, because of the grace of God at work in them, transforming them as they grow brighter and brighter through the work of the Spirit.

Finally, the last item on Mother’s coffin are the roses at her feet, representative of her spiritual daughters loving devotion.

1-IMG_1197I especially want to offer thanks to Sr. Gabriel, Sr. Regina and Sr. Michael for showing us the value of life in your sacrificial love in caring for Mother over the years she required so much care. St. Francis spoke of the primacy of our example. And you have all taught me and so many others by your example that to love is to serve. I also want to thank especially Mother’s many care-givers over the years for the same loving example.

You know, I have thought and worked for some time on what I would say when this day came, and I have shared some of that with you today. But last night, when I read what someone who truly knew Mother wrote, I felt like St. Bonaventure who, after reading St. Thomas’ texts for the new Feast of Corpus Christi, quietly tore up his own. After all, how could my reflections compare with those of one who spent nearly 65 years of Religious Life with her? With one who entered the monastery 7 years after Mother did in Ohio, became part of the new adventure to Alabama, learned from her and cared for her in the last years of Mother’s life.

1-IMG_1220Sr. Mary Michael, the Mother Vicar of the Community here in Hanceville wrote this about Mother Angelica:

Being a spiritual daughter of Mother Angelica was a unique, privileged experience. Mother had a wealth of spiritual knowledge, experience and commonsense, plus an exceptional gift for seeing the root of a problem and being able to give sound, practical advice on what to do. She could correct and sometimes had to use what she called her “yelling theology” if we were in a bad state of mind and were not listening. She used it on me once and later explained to me that she had to do it to get me to listen, sort of like throwing cold water at someone to get them to wake up. She never crushed you and often after such corrections you might feel the warmth of a hand on your shoulder and knew she was standing behind you – her way of letting you know you were loved and, so to speak, still in her “good graces” because I think there were a lot of people both lay and religious who felt Mother Angelica was not upset with you that you were also in God’s good graces.

1-IMG_1301Yes, Mother Angelica’s life has blessed us all and your presence here is a testimony to that. On a Live Show one time, she said to someone who felt motherless, that she would be their mother. Those of us who were privileged to know her, truly felt that to her, we were a beloved son or a beloved daughter.

Sr. Michael continued, “Instilling a family spirit in the Community was very important in making us all feel united and loved and caring for each other. Mother cared deeply about the ordinary person and wanted to make the gospels appealing to them and reach to the masses with the Word of God, hence the TV Network, another story in itself.

On a personal, individual level Mother counseled many people, both Catholic and non-Catholic. Many of these were professional people and the problems woulc be quite varied, from family problems to spiritual, and she obviously gave great advice as these people remained friends for life.”

1-IMG_1322Of how Mother overcame problems, Sr. Michael wrote:

Problems and challenges did not discourage Mother. They were opportunites to look for a solution. No pity parties allowed. If one door closes go through another, follow the leading of Our Lord and be on with it. What seemed to be setbacks often turned out to be an opening to something bigger and better. When we could no longer roast peanuts because buyers wanted kickbacks (Mother said she was not going to lose her soul over a peanut) we closed that phase of our life and went on to copying spiritual tapes, a far better work. When Mother was no longer able to tape her TV programs at a local TV Station she went on to found her own Television Network. Mother was not afraid to do what seemed ridiculous and God certainly performed miracles for her. Her only fear was not to do God’s will.

1-IMG_1337Life without Mother will never be the same – there will always be a hole in our hearts.

Sister M. Michael

But for all of us, let us be consoled by listening to some of the words of Stanislaw Cardinal Dziwisz, Pope St. John Paul’s personal secretary for 40 years, who sent a letter of condolence to the nuns and those who collaborated with her. He wrote:

I received the sad information regarding Mother Angelica the Foundress of EWTN, whom the Lord called to the heaven on Easter Sunday March 27, 2016. It is only fitting that the Lord chose this day to call home one of his humble servants.

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I met her personally, when she was visiting the Holy Father John Paul II in Vatican and I have to give witness, that she was a wonderful women dedicated to Jesus and to the Church. She devoted her life to ministry, converting untold numbers of people to the Church. She left an indelible mark on the Catholic Church and the world as a whole. She will be always remembered for her personal sermons and she will live on forever in the hearts of all those that her sermons have touched through her gift to the world, the Eternal Word Television Network.

Mother Angelica was a great Apostle of Jesus and gave a wonderful witness to the Love of God in The Eternal Word Television Network. I am convinced She is enjoying eternal life with our Lord in Heaven.

Stanislaw Cardinal Dziwisz

Eternal Rest grant unto her, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen.

 

 

Mother Angelica’s Letter to the Friars (June 13, 1991)

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

MFVA_Mother-HandsIn his Infinite Goodness, the Eternal Father has granted you the grace and opportunity to imitate his Divine Son in bringing back the stray sheep and in serving them in every spiritual need, by direction, teaching, retreats, radio, television and the printed word. Through the power of the Spirit, prayer and the contemplation of the Scriptures you will find the necessary grace and gifts to fulfill your mission of ever looking for the stray sheep, whose needs you will lovingly fulfill with great solicitude. You will look after the faithful sheep in the fold, who will be most dear to your hearts because, through the power of the Spirit, you will mold them into the image of Jesus. You will direct their souls as  the Spirit leads them to that degree of holiness destined for them from all eternity, ever keeping in mind the statement: What gain, then, is it for a man to have won the whole world and to have lost or ruined his very self (Luke 9:25)?

Prayer, contemplation, virtue and  high morals must be more than just a direction for others to pursue. These qualities must be deeply rooted in your own hearts for you cannot give what you do not possess. The adoration of the Holy Eucharist and devotion to Our Lady, St. Francis and St. Louis De Montfort are very special trademarks of this Community. It is necessary, therefore, to seek always humility of heart, knowing that although we labor, God alone bears the fruit. Because of your deep awareness of the vast difference between creature and Creator and how His mercy drew you from nothingness into the bosom of the Father, you must have indefatigable zeal that His Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven.

It is every brother’s goal to reach that transformation of the soul into Jesus as described so beautifully in 2 Cor. 3:18, And we, with our unveiled faces reflecting like mirrors the brightness of the Lord, all grow brighter and brighter as we are turned into the image that we reflect; this is the work of the Lord Who is Spirit. Knowing that in this valley of tears we are in need of friends in heaven and on earth to encourage us on our way, let the Holy Angels, these first defenders of truth, be your special companions on your journey home. May their love encourage you, their power protect you and their zeal be a source of edification when your will falters and your faith weakens.

I ask that Mary, Help of Christians, ever be your guide as you strive to bring the stray sheep back home  and encourage the faithful ones ever onward to the heights of holiness. In order for you to be imbued with the Spirit of St. Francis it is well for you to read his Rule. Though it is not binding and the words seem strange, remember, we also have Saracens in our age — those who wish to destroy the faith by teaching error of every kind. Look for the Spirit of this humble and holy man and your own Constitutions will become alive with that spirit.

Mother Angelica Enters Eternal Life

Monday, March 28th, 2016

The Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word are deeply saddened by the death of our foundress, Mother Mary Angelica, PCPA. Mother was an inspiration for all of us in her contemplative life of adoration before the Most Blessed Sacrament and in the deep, personal relationship that she had with the Lord. Her friendly manner, pleasant wit, vision and enthusiastic zeal for evangelization so animated her mission at EWTN and inspired all who had the privilege of getting to know her in person or through the Network. In founding our community Mother Angelica imbued our manner of life with her own profound love for the Real Presence, devotion to Our Lady and the spirituality of St. Francis. She shared with us her special charism of evangelization through the modern means of social communication, most especially through service to the apostolate of EWTN. The friars will always treasure the unique relationship we had with Mother Angelica and the way of life that she inspired for us.

Eternal rest, grant unto Mother Angelica O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon her.
May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Amen.

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Friars Celebrate Paschal Mysteries with Adoration & Devotion

Monday, March 28th, 2016

The Friars commemorate and celebrate the life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ devoutly and zealously.

This year’s celebration of the triduum began in solemn fashion with Holy Thursday celebrations in Irondale and Hanceville, Alabama. For the Mass of the Lord’s Supper Fr. Anthony was the main celebrant at the EWTN Chapel and Fr. Paschal at the Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament.

On Good Friday, Stations of the Cross devotions were held at both places. At 3:00 PM, the Celebration of the Passion of the Lord was celebrated by Fr. Miguel at the Shrine and Fr. Patrick at EWTN.

Fr. Joseph was the main celebrant for the Easter Vigil in Hanceville and Fr. Miguel was the celebrant there on Easter morning. In Irondale Fr. Leonard celebrated the Easter Vigil and Fr. Anthony celebrated on Easter Morning.

The Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word wish you and your family a happy and holy Easter Season.

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Friars to Host Vocation Retreats this Spring/Summer

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

Ever wondered what it would be like to serve at the largest Catholic media outlet in the world, as a Franciscan Brother or a Priest?

If you are discerning a vocation to the consecrated life, here is your chance to discover the life of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word. Our Come and See Discernment Retreats will take place May 19-22 & July 14-17.

If you are interested in attending either of these and are between the ages of 18 – 35, please fill out the inquiry form on our website:

www.franciscanmissionaries.com/vocations/vocations-inquiry

Please tell any family members, friends, or fellow parishioners that may be interested! Please print out or share online the attached flyer.

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Fr. John Paul installed by Pope Francis as Missionary of Mercy

Monday, February 15th, 2016

During Ash Wednesday Holy Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, Fr. John Paul along with hundreds of other priest from around the world selected by their Bishop, were installed by Pope Francis as a Missionaries of Mercy. These Missionaries of Mercy are priests who, during the Jubilee of Mercy, will be given the faculties to pardon sins in cases otherwise reserved to the Holy See including:

1.) Desecration of the Holy Eucharist
2.) Abortion
3.) Physical violence against the Holy Father
4.) Bishop who consecrates another bishop without a mandate from the Holy Father
5.) Absolving an accomplice of the Sixth Commandment (adultery)
6.) Violating the seal of confession

According to the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, the Missionaries are to be:

1.) a living sign of the Father’s welcome to all those in search of his forgiveness;
2.) facilitators for all, with no one excluded, of a truly human encounter, a source of liberation, rich with responsibility for overcoming obstacles and taking up the new life of Baptism again;
3.) guided by the words, “For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all;
4.) inspiring preachers of Mercy;
5.) heralds of the joy of forgiveness;
6.) welcoming, loving, and compassionate Confessors, who are most especially attentive to the difficult situations of each person.

Pope Francis expressed his keen desire for the relics of St. Padre Pio and St. Leopold Mandic to be exposed during the Feb. 10 Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica. The Holy Father addressed the Missionaries of Mercy directly, telling them that their mandate is to be a sign and instrument of God’s forgiveness.

Congratulations Fr. John Paul!

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