everyday heroes

When Br. Jerry Beetz, OFM, asked the people of St. John the Baptist Church in Harrison, Ohio (his home parish), to become a sister parish to Holy Cross Church in Jackson, Ky., they responded by showing up to help. Keenly aware of the needs of the people of Jackson, Jerry arranges jobs for parishioners which include painting, repairs, yard work, replacing carpet, etc. But their winter road trip is different.

For the past 12 years, the needs of some of the families of Jackson have been hung on the Giving Tree at SJB. The Monday before Christmas, a group of volunteers loads those gifts, cookies and other treats and perishables for the food pantry into trucks for the winter road trip to Kentucky.  The group has built strong relationships with members of the community … those in need and those in the community who open their homes and hearts to the group each year.  They visit nursing homes, and families that would otherwise not have gifts. They sing and pray together and just enjoy the company of one another.

Thank you, St. John the Baptist volunteers, for making such a difference in the lives of our friends in Jackson, Ky. You are our everyday heroes.

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Br. John Bok, OFM

Happy New Year! Welcome and thank you for visiting the Ministry & Mission page. I am Fr. John Bok, Co-Director along with Colleen Cushard of the Friar Works/ Franciscan Ministry & Mission office. This office generates charitable gifts to support our ministries and missions so that we are better able to spread the Good News of Jesus to others.

In 2014, we were excited to be able to respond to requests from our friars to help feed hungry children and adults. With your help, many homeless were helped with temporary housing. We were able to say yes to educating and providing transportation and uniforms to children in Jamaica that would never have been able to go to school.  

Our young men discerning life as a Franciscan continued to move forward and our retired and sick friars received the care and concern that was desperately needed.

Thank you for your part in spreading the Good News of Jesus to others.  Thank you for being a partner in our ministry & mission.  We are very grateful. 

Fr. John Bok, OFM
Friar Works/Franciscan Ministry & Mission

Friars' Work
Shunning the spotlight

Fr. Warren Zeisler, OFM, has never been comfortable in the spotlight.  Instead, he goes about doing things very quietly.  He is generous with his time, volunteering to help out whenever and wherever he is needed.  His positive attitude and sense of humor make him a delight to be around.

Warren taught school for 24 years, first at St Francis Seminary and then Roger Bacon High School in Cincinnati.  He also served at the VA Medical Center as hospital chaplain for 25 years.  In April of 2014, at the age of 90 and after serving for the last 15 years as Chaplain at the retirement home for the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, Warren decided it was probably time to share these duties with others in his friary.  He could not give it up completely.  He continues to serve at Notre Dame once a week.

Recently he was starting to have a lot of trouble getting around. It prevented him from working in the garden and trimming the bushes on the grounds.  So in August 2014 he had a hip replacement. Thanks to the good care he received and a lot of prayers, he has made a great recovery.  “He’s amazing”, says Fr. John Bok.  “He is back to working on the grounds every day.  He is as determined and self-sufficient as ever. He is such a great role model on how to age well.”
Thank you, Fr. Warren.