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A Franciscan at heart

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Monday, May 18, 2009

CATHEDRAL DEANERY — Wearing a brown Roger Bacon High School cardigan, Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk fit right in with the brown-robed friars of the St. John the Baptist Province when he became affiliated with the Franciscans during a recent ceremony. The affiliation was a ceremonial gesture to recognize the archbishop’s steadfast support of the friars and their ministries through the years.

After the archbishop was officially affiliated with the friars he was presented with a plaque. (Courtesy photo)

Approximately 50 friars and Poor Clares gathered for the prayer service at St. Francis Seraph Church. Franciscan Father Jeff Scheeler, provincial ministry presided. He began the ceremony with an explanation of the friars’ and province’s joint anniversary, 800 and 150 years respectively. He also mentioned the impact local church leaders have had on the friars’ history, noting that Archbishop John Baptist Purcell recruited them from Austria and intervened they were called home so they could instead remain in the archdiocese.

“It has been our privilege to work with you,” Father Scheeler told the archbishop. “You have been a friend, a brother,” with an admitted “soft spot” for the friars…”Tonight we simply to wish to say ‘thank you.’ We are happy to call you Friar Daniel. We are grateful to call you our brother.”

Coming forward to receive his certificate and a statue of St. John the Baptist, Archbishop Pilarczyk expressed his gratitude and affection for the friars. “When I think of Franciscans, I think of a smile,” he said. “Keep smiling, brothers. The Lord is with us.”

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