August 2021 Friar Suppliers Newsletter
“Let us serve the Lord in holiness all the days of our lives.”
This is a test! If you know the answer, give Charlie a call @ 631-682-4298 and tell him.
Question: What is happening on Sunday, September 12th?
If you don’t know, that means you didn’t read the July Newsletter. The answer will be at the end of this letter.
The CFR’s have a new book out called “A work of God” Images of Renewal, by the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. It a beautiful work of art and history of the CFR’s I thought I would quote to you the first two pages of the beginning history of the CFR’s for all of you who are Friar Suppliers. Some of this you may know and some of it may be interesting to you.
“Beginnings; Where the Holy Spirit has led us.”
“Eight Capuchin friars made a new beginning. It was a time of uncertainty, confusion, and turmoil for the Church in the United States. Catholic faith, life and identity had eroded. Religious life was in crisis and in danger of extinction. Inspired by the courageous leadership of Pope John Paul II and the luminous example of St Mother teresa of Calcutta, these men left the security of a centuries-old religious order, moved by the desire to recover the original freshness of the gospel as lived by St, Francis of Assisi and the early Capuchin reformers and saints.”
“At the instigation and under the navigation of Fr. Benedict Joseph Groeschel, on April 28, 1987, these eight friars launched the little boat that became the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.”
“The friars were welcomed into the Archdiocese of New york by Cardinal John O’Connor and given the former St. Adalbert Parish on 156th St in the South Bronx as their first home.”
“The first friars dove in, to transform St. Adalbert’s rectory into St Crispin’s Friary. The daily rhythm of prayer, work, and community life was put in place.”
“By the end of the first year, the form of the friars’ apostolates of hands-on care of the poor and evangelization began to take a definite shape. On December 23, 1987, Padre Pio Shelter opened its doors in the former St. Adalbert’s Convent to 16 homeless guests. Padre Pio later became the springboard for the renovation of the abandoned building nest to St. Crispin’s into St. Anthony Residence (later shelter) in 1993. Informal outreach to the youth and families of the neighborhood eventually blossomed into the St. Francis Youth Center (opened in 1992 in the old school building). To Fr Benedict and Fr. Andrew Apostoli’s already well-known preaching ministries (which included programs on EWTN and books) and Fr. Stan Fortuna’s preaching and music, the early friars’ evangelization efforts would expand through participation in YOUTH2000 retreats and similar events in the U.S. and around the world. This eventually led to Catholic Underground and other creative, Eucharistic centered and culture-engaging forms of evangelization. To these ministries, the friars also added pro-life witness in the form of prayer vigils, sidewalk counseling, rescues, and post-abortion healing.”
As a side note, I remember at that time the Friars made such a huge impression on us and many others. They were something new and refreshing in a dying Catholic culture. Although only a few of them, they seemed to be everywhere.
“Early on, laypeople who had met the friars dared to venture into the South Bronx to participate in their life and ministry. They were organized by Fr. Bob Lombardo (director of Padre Pio and founder of St. Anthony’s) into CFR Associates. Others collaborated by donating meals for the shelter and food for the friars. The Dominican Nuns in Hunt’s Point prayed for them by name, and “prayer families” spiritually adopted individual friars and evolved into “Friar Suppliers”. That’s when “Friar Suppliers” was born to supply the Friars with their food so that they didn’t have to beg and would have more time for prayer, work, and evangelization. Friar Suppliers to this day does the begging for the Friars and the sisters.
The CFR sisters were started by Fr. Andrew Apostoli and Mother Lucille Cutrone early on as well. It took them a while to gain steam as an order but like the friars, they now continue to grow in flourishing vocations and Friar Suppliers help them with their needs as well.
Today, there are over 140 friars and 60 Sisters serving in New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, California, Honduras, Nicaragua, England and Ireland. Friar Suppliers loving take care of the needs of all the Friars and Sisters in the New York area. There are 530 families currently on our mailing list who contribute to Friar Suppliers and/or our Haiti Mission.
We gratefully thank all of our Friar Suppliers who so generously have given of their resources over the years till this present day. Friar Suppliers are proud to be behind the work of these heroic men and women who have given their lives to serving the Catholic church.
Ok, For all those who don’t know the answer to the question at the beginning of this letter, I will gladly remind and invite all of you again to our annual Friar Supplier Picnic, on Sunday, September 12th starting at 1pm at Bethpage State Park, Bluebird Pavilion, right near the parking lot. All Friars, Sisters, Friar Suppliers family and friends are invited to attend. Sorry no rain date. Bring food for your families and extra to share with the Friars and Sisters and everyone. We will provide the grills, water, lemonade, iced tea, paper goods, sternos.
Bring a comfortable picnic chair if you don’t want to sit on a picnic bench all day. Any questions??? Please call Charlie: 631-682-4298. Be there! Or be square!! Just kidding.
Love and prayers to you all. Thank you so much.
Joan & Charlie Moran