3 Visiting Postulants

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Brandon Greene, Bobby Mahas, Chuch Mattingly (Franciscan Kitchen Director), & Louis Lugo

Our three OLC postulants Brandon, Bobby, and Louis finished their Midwest visit to many of the friars’ ministry apostolates.  This is an effort to solidify relationships to the province of Our Lady of Consolation and all the engaging ministries of the friars. We did not cover all the diverse ministries in the Kentuckiana area however we did visit the following: St Anthony Clarksville’s school mass and classroom visits, Eddie and Laura Bauer and their multifaceted Media outreach, Archives & Mission Appeals with Friar Dennis, Retreat Ministry with Friar Bob Baxter, Development Office with Ladonna Mitchell, Provincial Office with Friar Jim, Audubon Hospital and St Martin de Porres parish with Friar Conrad, Tribunal Office and Provincial Secretary Office with Friar Nick, St Mary Navilleton with Friar Pius, St Mary New Albany with Friar Tom M, St Mary Lanesville with Friar Bob S., Ashram House at Holy Family Parish including the friars Campus Ministry at Bellarmine University, and Franciscan Kitchen in downtown Louisville.  It has been an enriching look into all the great ministry of the friars over the January break and the postulants reflected it has been a worthwhile visit and engaging fraternity with all the friars. Thanks for the many friars who took time out of a busy schedule to make this happen.

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Jerry, Dennis, & Friar John clean 491 trays today!

Please continue to pray for our Postulants as they report back to Kenmore House of Postulancy on January 23rd.

The Gift of St Leonard’s

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Happy Birthday Friar!!!

On the Feast Day of St Leonard of Port Maurice, November 26th, 2016 this friar received the most wonderful birthday invitation.  Not only was this Feast Day my 50th birthday, but I also had the unique privilege to celebrate mass with the children of St Leonard’s School and celebrate the 60th anniversary of the parish & school with Rev. B.J. Breen, St Leonard’s pastor.   We introduced the vocation story of St Leonard who was born on December 20th, 1676 and was an excellent student.  Given his academic brilliance and fine communications skills his life was on a trajectory toward a medical career as a physician.  He lived in Rome with his Uncle Agostino and attended the Jesuit Roman College.  When the Divine Physician led him to a higher calling to seek the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience as a Franciscan friar, his uncle disowned him.  I like to say he continued to work in the medical field, only he healed the soul as well as the body when he stood in for the person of Christ, the Divine Physician.  St Leonard was known as an excellent preacher, professor, and retreat master.  When he led a parish mission it often lasted for 15 to 18 days with a week of confessions afterwards.  Now that is one faithfully committed missionary as well as a long-winded preacher!!!

For the Feast of All the Franciscan Saints, which occurs every year on November 29th,

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we played a Franciscan Saints game with some of the upper classes participating.  Mrs. Janice Berry kindly led me throughout the school and introduced me to staff and teachers, and opened doors and opportunities to me that I’m truly in her debt.  I would have been lost without her selfless dedication and hospitality.  It was such a wonderful way to share our common love for all things Franciscan and be surrounded by so many open hearts living the Franciscan dream.  One of the eager students of St Leonard’s shared with me when asked, “what is a vocation?” His reply was, “what God calls you to BE”.  I am amazed at the wisdom that comes forth from the mouth of babes!! Thanks for a wonderful day to celebrate a benchmark birthday and a joyful Feast Day of St Leonard along with the eager prospect to return and share more of our common Franciscan heritage!

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Our Lady of Consolation pray for us…

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August 14th, 2016 I witnessed a sea of candles held by pilgrims processing with the statue of Our Lady of Consolation. Thousands of people poured light over the country roads and campsites of Carey village, OH all along the half mile walk from Shrine Park to the Basilica.  The rains held off for an outdoor mass at Shrine Park, celebrated by the Bishop of Toledo Daniel Thomas and the Bishop of Lexington, KY John Stowe, OFM Conv with several Friars, Knights of Columbus, and seminarians participating.   The statue of Our Lady of Consolation is adorned with hand­made, priceless garments sewn by tailors and artisans.  Filipinos, Chaldeans, Albanians, Hispanics, Italians, Poles, Slovaks, Lebanese, and more have all donated these priceless garments.

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We have hundreds of these custom dresses locked up and on display at Our Lady of Consolation lower church, some have platinum threads, others are golden, some with jewels embedded in the fabric.  These dresses are valued beyond money and reflect one’s gratitude to the Blessed Mother. This tradition to dress the Blessed Mother in handmade dresses comes from Luxembourg and intends to gift only the best of the best to Mary in appreciation for the graces received from answered prayers.  Mary has been busy delivering graces in Carey, OH for over 140 years.  So many have received miracles that there are not enough days in the year for Mary to wear all the dresses. It all began with the first miracle in Carey and since that marvelous day the miracles have multiplied.

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On May 24, 1875, the statue of Our Lady of Consolation was carried in procession from the church of St. Nicholas in Frenchtown to the church in Carey. It was during this procession that the first sign of the special intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary was revealed. As the procession marched, a severe storm raged in the entire area. Though the faithful could see the rain pouring down on all sides of them for the entire seven ­mile walk, not a drop touched the statue of Our Lady of Consolation nor anyone in the procession. This memorable church, the place of so many favors granted through Mary, remains today not only as a relic of the past, but as a place of prayer and worship. Members of Our Lady of Consolation parish gather there for early morning Mass, and many groups celebrate the goodness of God with special programs and devotions within its walls.

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Fr Jim Sichko catches a “selfie” with Our Lady of Consolation, he has the most amazing friends!!!