This was actually a pre-meeting for the full scale Bishops Synod on the Family in October, 2015.
The document he is talking about is here - mid-synod relatio - & takes a little over 20 minutes to read. Someone who wanted to politicize it or promote a certain aganda could certainly pull out lines to support whatever their position might be.
A Pro-life stalwart - Rich died Saturday after about a four month illness. He was 81. His wake is Tuesday 6-9PM at Holy Name of Mary Church in Croton-on-Hudson, NY, and funeral Wednesday at 10AM, Holy Name of Mary. Rich was active in many, many ministries at Holy Name.
What a great person. To quote Sister Lucy Marie of the Sisters of Life - "Such a great hero interceding for us – such a dear and kind man." She got it exactly right.
Rich's obituary is here - In Memory of Richard L. Fuerst June 17, 1933 - October 11, 2014 , and contains an extensive photo gallery if you'd care to peruse it. Rich had eight children. He lost the youngest - Theresa - to a car accident in 1997. Theresa had gotten motivated to involve herself in the Right to Life movement by her attendance at the great youth rally in Denver, with John Paul II, in 1993. Rich told several people that what motivated him to get heavily involved as an activist was the loss of Theresa.
This picture of Rich in May 2011 captures him perfectly.
And here he is at the March for Life in Washington, in January,2009. He's with Sr. Lucy.
Wonderful man. A big loss for our community. He led a great life, and he'll have a better heaven.
Reminder: Tomorrow's funeral Mass for Fr. will be televised on EWTN.
These pictures were taken by LifeNet between Noontime and 1:30 p.m. yesterday at St. Adalbert's Church near St. Crispin's Friary on E. 156th Street in the Bronx. This was the original friary where Father Benedict began his CFR congregation in 1987.
In the basement, along with refreshments, videographers asked attendees for personal comments about Father Groeschel. The friars will eventually produce a video using the comments.
Father died on October 3rd, vigil of the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.
A contingent from the Sisters of Life, arriving.
The Black Madonna, above the altar.
Some of the sisters from Father's CFR community. There are 31 sisters and 115 priests and brothers.
Sr. Claire leading the rosary. She has been a Franciscan CFR for 16 years. See the sketch of Fr. Benedict to the left!
Sisters from Mother Teresa's Missionary of Charity congregation - Father had a close relationship with their community. And three members of the Franciscans of the Primitive Observance (FPO). On the right is Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR.
EWTN will air Father's funeral Mass at 11 a.m. ET, Friday, Oct. 10, and the Vigil Mass at 7 p.m. ET, Thursday, Oct. 9. Find it at www.ewtn.com/channelfinder. Also, on Oct. 12th Sunday Night Prime will be a special show honoring Fr. Benedict not to be missed!
From Chris: we received it Saturday morning, a few hours after Fr. died.
Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel, C.F.R., died yesterday on the same day as St. Francis of Assisi, after praying a rosary. He was a renowned retreat director, author, lecturer, teacher, counselor and guide to many, perhaps the most well-known priest in the United States. It was my privilege to call him co-founder of Good Counsel helping homeless mothers and babies, my spiritual director and friend.
Fr. Benedict and I met during the winter of 1980 while I was at a mission helping homeless and runaway kids in Times Square. He came during the most difficult day I was there, gave a homily filled with practical as well as spiritual insights which began a long personal collaboration in helping the poor and helping those who help others.
Considering the plight of homeless mothers and babies, whom I saw coming off the streets into this mid-town Manhattan shelter, I asked Fr. Benedict, “Why didn’t someone do something to help homeless mothers go back to school, find a job (and as he would often say) ‘take that next good step in life.’ “ His final response was that he would help me if I wanted to start a home for mothers and babies.
Good Counsel homes is operating nearly 30 years now helping mothers return to school and find jobs. Fr. Benedict helped me every step of the way, was the founding chairman of the Board, was a personal and professional guide as we worked with difficult situations and he was a major reason Good Counsel was able to open our Daystar home for special needs mothers who are not only homeless, but have a mental health diagnosis and/or an addiction.
For a while I worked with him at the home he began for young men, St. Francis Home in Brooklyn. I’ve seen him calm the anger and rage of young men. He was sympathetic and inspiring to them as well as to Good Counsel’s young women.
While traveling with him on pilgrimages in Italy, France, Ireland and England, he was often met by people who were familiar with his writing, his tapes or appearances on EWTN, the international television network. He always was himself, kind, friendly, helpful.
Many times I’d meet with him late at night because he was counseling priests up until midnight.
He’d often sleep only four hours a night. When he once complained to Mother Teresa of Calcutta, whom he was appointed as liaison by the then Cardinal of New York, Terrance Cooke, that he was always tired. He related that Mother asked him, “How long do you sleep?” He responded, “Four hours.” She replied, “That’s the problem.” “What?” he asked. “You sleep too much.” Fr. Benedict enjoyed that kind of humor.
Fr. Benedict often said he was looking forward to going to “Purgatory, because it was like Jersey City” where he grew up.
Many people believe Fr. Benedict to be a saint. While he was not perfect, his preaching and work with the poor touched millions of lives. When he was going to speak to priests on a retreat in Florida on January 11, 2004, he was hit by a car and nearly died. Thousands of people wrote how he had personally changed their lives. Many were converted or strengthened in their faith. Some remained in their faith but listened to him because of his incredible spiritual insights and practical wisdom.
He will not be forgotten and of his 40 plus books all still in print, I believe many will be read for centuries to come.
STATEMENT ON THE DEATH OF FATHER BENEDICT J. GROESCHEL
The Catholic Church and the Franciscan family lost a giant today. This moment is one that finds the Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (CFR) with mixed emotions, as we are deeply saddened by the loss of Fr. Benedict but also relieved that God has set him free from the physical and mental suffering he has experienced over the past decade.
The world knew Father Benedict as a priest, teacher, evangelist, retreat master, and a steadfast defender of and advocate for the Catholic Church that he loved so much. The members of his religious family saw all these things in him, too. But even more, we were also blessed to know him as a father who cared for each of us, a father who was always accessible when we needed him and always glad to see us when we came to visit.
The words of a fellow Franciscan, Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, describing St. Francis, characterize Fr. Benedict well, “His intuition of a universal brotherhood, extending to every creature, accompanied by his choice of minority, turn him and his followers into the brothers of every person, the enemies of none, and the companions of the least ones.”
Fr. Benedict was a brother and a father to everyone he encountered. In a world often overwhelmed with darkness, he was a man filled with hope, a hope that he shared with both the rich and poor alike. His love for others and deep desire to serve, sent him among poor families who were in need of assistance, young people trying to find their way, bishops faced with challenging decisions, priests and religious in need of an encouraging word, and the stranger who was far from God. Fr. Benedict was at home in every circumstance and every encounter. “The providence of God,” he would say, “was the mystery of God reaching out at every moment and revealing his love and presence to us all.”
It is not an exaggeration to say that Fr. Benedict was selfless. Those who knew him well understood that it was simply his nature to be so. He poured himself out for others no matter what the cost—and sometimes the cost to him was very great. To have known him was to have been helped by him and even loved by him. Our CFR Family and everyone who knew him received an enormous amount from Fr. Benedict—probably more than we were ever able to give back. It was not simply his wealth of wisdom and knowledge from which many benefited. It was his profound faith and equally profound love, two gifts that he never failed to share generously.
Join with us in praying for the repose of the soul of Fr. Benedict, for his family and Community, and also in thanksgiving for the legacy of renewal within the Church and Franciscan family that Fr. Benedict championed.
FATHER BENEDICT J. GROESCHEL, DEVOTED RELIGIOUS AND PRIEST, DIES AT 81
Groeschel Moved Many With His Sincere Faith, Towering Intellect, Passionate Preaching, and Commitment to the Poor
Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel, beloved priest and preacher, died on October 3, 2014, the vigil of the Feast of St. Francis, after complications with an ongoing illness. He was 81.
Fr. Benedict was a founder of the Community of Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (CFR), a reform community started in 1987 by eight Capuchin Friars based in New York City. A priest and psychologist, he was director of Trinity Retreat House in Larchmont, New York, and also taught Pastoral Psychology for many years at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie. Fr. Benedict was a popular writer, preacher, retreat master, and evangelist on Catholic television. His greatest joy was serving the poor and underprivileged. Founder of St. Francis House and Good Counsel Homes, he also served as chaplain at Children’s Village in Dobbs Ferry for 14 years. Always deeply concerned with the welfare of others, he tirelessly provided food, clothing, and assistance to people in need—people he always considered his friends.
Father Benedict is survived by his sister, Marjule Drury, several nieces and nephews, 115 CFR brothers and priests, and 31sisters who were inspired by his authentic witness to religious life and devotion to Jesus and His Church.
Wrote Fr. John Paul Ouellette, Community Servant, Franciscan Friars of the Renewal: “We are deeply saddened by the death of Fr. Benedict. He was an example to us all. His fidelity and service to the Church and commitment to our Franciscan way of life will have a tremendous impact for generations to come.”
Details for the wake and funeral will be forth coming.