did you know
Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter is re-enacted during Las Posadas (Spanish for “lodgings”) Dec. 16-24.

Nightly processions are popular in our parishes in Galveston, Texas, and Bloomington, Ill.

friar facts
Minister General
The elected general superior over all Franciscans worldwide. He resides in Rome, Italy.
My favorite liturgical season, Advent offers time to reflect on the great mystery of the Incarnation and to continue to prepare for Christ’s coming again.

Advent is truly a time for pondering, watching, waiting, hoping; a season of looking forward with prayerful expectation – a time of Advent-ure with our Lord.

This Advent has an additional dynamic for me. I invite you to share it with me.

The seven OFM provinces have agreed to take a Place at the Table. By so doing, as friars in the United States, we look forward to our Advent of preparation, renewal and re-structuring our Franciscan life and how the friars will serve the Church in the U.S. This will be an advent-ure!

Through a discernment process held recently in Chicago, three friars were selected to design, offer suggestions, and manage the process for renewed Franciscan life and ministry. Fr. Bill Beaudin (Holy Name Province), Fr. Richard McManus (Santa Barbara Province) and I are the three friars. It will be our humble privilege and responsibility to help the 1,140 OFM friars in the U.S. to take an Advent step of expectation and prayerful joy as we face our future with hope. It will be a time of Grace, Gratitude, and Growth. Bill, Richard, and I have already begun meeting together.

Advent:  a time of longing, hoping, and expecting; a time of remembering and looking forward.  I pray our Advent will go past a liturgical time frame. As we enter the Advent-ure of renewal and dedicated ministry to the people of God, I suggest and invite us to use the following prayer:

• For our Franciscan community – may we support each other in our spiritual growth and trust in each other when we are insecure or in need

May our Advent and Advent-ure be filled with the blessings of God.

--Fr. Page Polk, OFM
Provincial Councilor

Inspired by the life of St. Francis
The 170 friars of St. John the Baptist Province (SJB) are members of the Order of Friars Minor, a Franciscan brotherhood inspired by the 13th-century example of St. Francis of Assisi. We serve the Catholic Church as brothers and priests, devoting our lives to the search for God in a communal life of poverty, prayer, and service to others.
Globally, the Order is divided into geographic areas known as "provinces." Most of the Friars from SJB province, which has its headquarters in Cincinnati, live and work in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Texas and Jamaica. Others serve in New Mexico, Arizona, Missouri and Washington, D.C. Individual friars presently minister around the world in Kenya, Japan and the Philippines.
We serve as parish and campus ministers; as hospital, military and prison chaplains; as counselors; as educators and administrators in high schools, colleges and our formation program; as preachers and retreat directors in evangelization efforts; as directors of anti-poverty programs; as skilled craftsmen and in support services; as writers and communicators; and as missionaries—all ways of spreading the Good News.