We lifted the text and pictures from the CFR eLetter that was sent this morning.
Posted: 28 Apr 2015 07:29 AM PDT
Today marks the 28th anniversary of the founding of our community, a most celebratory day. It is sadly though the first time we celebrate this day without Fr. Benedict Groeschel. His passing is still felt, especially on a day like today. Without him, our community would simply not exist. When he and 7 others left the Capuchins to found this community 28 years ago, little did they know that in a short time, the community would grow to over 120 members worldwide. Starting a new community is no picnic, as our founders have always said. It is full of blood, sweat, tears, trials, crosses, and yes, joy. Fr. Benedict and our other founders wanted to live in a radical way, carrying the charism and spirit of St. Francis into the poorest neighborhoods, and into the 21st Century.
It is difficult to say where we will all be in 28 more years, yet we can find inspiration in these 8 men’s’ example. They did not know what lay ahead of them when they moved to a war zone in the South Bronx in 1987. They could not see but a few days ahead of them. Yet they went all in on God’s Providence, and He provided in spades. Fr. Benedict often said when they began the Renewal: “We have to do something!” These are guiding words for us in our time and world. May their example inspire us to abandon our lives into the Hands of the Good Lord.
We will post links to the EWTN coverage of Thursday's Prayer Vigil and today's Mass of Christian Burial.
Father is interned at the Most Blessed Sacramanet Friary f the CFR's in Newark NJ. It was a convent for contemplative Domincan sisters, so Father Benedict will be in very good comapny!
We have borrowed these pictures from the CFR facebook page and the Benedict Groeschel Memorial page.
For many more pictures, go here to see several, and then hit the Photo link.
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.
And the Sisters of Life -
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.
Schedule of Services for Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR
Wednesday, October 8th – A wake will be held on from 12-9 PM at St. Adalbert’s
Church located at 420 E 156th Street, Bronx, NY 10455
Thursday, October 9th – A wake will be held at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart located at 89 Ridge Street in Newark, NJ 07104 from 4-7 PM.
A prayer vigil will be held from 7-9 PM.
Friday, October 10th – The funeral Mass will be held at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart located at 89 Ridge Street in Newark, NJ 07104, at 11 AM.
(The burial will be a private ceremony not open to the public at Most Blessed Sacrament Friary, Newark, NJ)
And here is Fr. Groeschel's Facebook memorial page
The top of the page quotes Fr. Groeschel:
“Saint Vincent de Paul said: If you love the poor, your life will be filled with sunlight, and you will not be frightened at the hour of death. I wish to witness that this is true.”
We received word this morning that Fr. Groeschel died last night. He was 81 and has been in ill-health for awhile.
It would be difficult to overestimate the impact he had in the NY area, the nation, and even the world.
A man who called us to personal conversion and a champion of the poor, the unborn, and the elderly.
A true son of St. Francis, Father Benedict died on the vigil of the Feast of St. Francis.
Information on the CFR website:
Here is their statement:
For Immediate Release
October 4, 2014
Contact: Br. Angelus Montgomery, CFR: 718-402-8255
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.
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This is EWTN's "Sunday Night Live" from February 20th. It is over fifty minutes long but well worth listening to, if you have any interest in the soon-to-be beatified John Paul, and current issues in the Catholic Church.
The link - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYGaXJIzlVw
Or watch/listen here:
Fr. Groeschel's fiftieth anniversary was last year. Here is a newly released video of the celebratory Mass, including excerpts from his homily, and comments from family members and colleagues.