did you know

March 3 is the 60th anniversary of the death of St. Katharine Drexel, SBS.

It was she who encouraged SJB friars to serve among the Navajo people and African Americans.

friar facts
Third Order Franciscan
The Secular Franciscan Order founded by St. Francis for lay people who wished to follow his teachings. Today it also refers to the sisters and brothers who decided to live under vows as Third Order Regular Franciscans.
I remember visiting my cousins in Italy in their little countryside village outside Verona.  As I entered the tiny piazza, I chanced upon a small group of villagers who were friendly and welcoming. One middle-aged man who had visited the United States told me, “I could never live there. It’s too fast-paced.” At first I wasn’t sure I agreed, but that comment made me think.

We Americans live life at different “speeds,” but we do struggle to slow down. We struggle with silence. We live, arguably, in the loudest and most active society in human history. Lent is a time to slow down and to listen to the Lord. We need silence filled with God lest our good deeds become mere philanthropy or noble social work. The joy of listening to God speak to us in the silence of quiet prayer (through spiritual insights and inspirations) can free us even amidst a heavy work schedule and fast-paced life. We can start hearing God even in the noisy din of society. How are we giving priority to prayer? “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:11).

St. Francis taught his brothers to “not extinguish the Spirit of holy prayer and devotion to which all other things of our earthly existence must contribute.” He taught “what we must desire above all things: to have the Spirit of the Lord and His holy manner of working.” Our life with God is the first priority of our Franciscan life. When we make it our first priority, other things fall in place (Matthew 6:33). Lent is a time to sink deeper roots into our life with God. I think this is good spiritual advice for all Christians and not just for the friars.

--Fr. Alex Kratz, 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.