Franciscan Alumni Association 5000 Colerain Ave. Cincinnati, Ohio 45223
Board Notesby Dennis Kirby
Each year an important part of the annual FAA Chapter is the FAA business meeting. This meeting summarizes the past year and takes a look at the upcoming year. The Albuquerque, N.M. Chapter meeting was called to order by President Dennis Kirby after dinner on Saturday evening.
It is our tradition at this meeting for each Alumnus to introduce himself (and family attendees), state what years he was associated with the Franciscans, and what has been his life since formation. The continuing impact of the time spent with the Franciscans in formation permeates many lives still. Many alumni shared with us how those ideals impact in their daily lives each day. Many surprises were on the faces of the alumni when someone introduces himself. "That is so and so? I canít believe it. I would never have recognized him."
The second order of business was to thank the Albuquerque Preparations Committee for their magnificent work in preparing and presenting the 1999 Chapter. The planning and activities were heartily appreciated and recognized. Fr. Paul Juniet, Al Lovato, Fr. Antonio Trujillo, J.D. Moya, Ted Gomez, Richard Inge, Raul Martinez, Tony Viera and Fr. Gilbert Schneider were all recognized.
Those who have contributed their time, talent and treasure to the FAA during the past year were also recognized and thanked. These activities are the life-blood of our organization. Included in this recognition were reports from each of the present Board members. The Board members present were Treasurer Phil Zepeda, Secretary Steve Findley, Charlie Bullington (newsletter), Jim Beyer( past president), Mike Niklas (web master), Dave Imhoff (database), Eric Sullivan, and President Dennis Kirby. These men were recognized for their dedication and commitment to the FAA.
Steve Findley, 1999 Nominations Chairman, presented the following slate of Board Trustees for two year terms: standing for re-election were Dave Imhoff, Phil Zepeda, Mike Niklas, Eric Sullivan and John Weikle. New trustees are Ron Fein and Bill Pellman. Since there were no nominations from the floor, a unanimous vote was cast for these Trustees. There was discussion about western USA representation on the Board. Anyone interested can contact any Board member.
Dennis reviewed the past year of the FAA. The 1998 Chapter was held at St. Leonardís. Special thanks were extended to Fr. Pat McCloskey for his FAA leadership. The Chapter has now been held at St. Francis, St. Anthonyís, Oldenburg, St. Leonardís, and Albuquerque. Other highlights:
Provincial Gilbert Schneider and Fr. Jack Clark Robinson shared with the alumni the history and current members and activities of Our Lady of Guadalupe Province, whose headquarters are located in Albuquerque.
Dennis requested input to the Board from any and all alumni. Your thoughts are always welcome.The meeting concluded and the alumni adjourned to the patio (overlooking the city) for the FAA Awards Ceremony. See the article below for more on this reunion.
Albuquerque Reunion a Success!
During the last week of June '99, many current and former members of OLG and SJB provinces assembled in Albuquerque, NM. The landscape around Albuquerque was beautiful. Attendance at the FAA reunion in Albuquerque was the best at any reunion held to date. Approximately 58 alumni attended along with about 41 family members. An analysis of the attendance by state showed that 24 came from New Mexico, 8 from Ohio, 6 from Michigan and lesser amounts from 11 other states. The class of '74 topped attendance with 8 alumni, followed by 6 for '69 and '55, 5 for '70 and less for 20 other class years.
Fr. Paul Juniet was instrumental in orchestrating the reunion and in assisting with people needing transportation. On the first day Fr. Paul arranged for Lester Morris ('45) to take another alumnus and his wife to Acoma. Lester was pleasantly surprised when he discovered that the travelers were Jim Steinmetz and his wife from California. Jim was a classmate of his and they had not seen each other since high school.
Al Lovato generously welcomed everyone on Thursday with an outdoor banquet at his beautiful adobe home. Fathers Berard Doerger, Antonio Trujillo, and Paul Juniet were in attendance and reminisced with other alumni before and during the meal. Shortly after the cobbler and ice cream dessert, Richard Inge's accordion and Ted Gomez's guitar accompanied Fr. Paul on a Broadway medley. The music continued into the night and ended with the Ultima, of course. Asked how you know when to sing the Ultima, someone commented that it is begun by someone who is tired, because when the song is finished the party's over and you can go home.
On Friday, we met for lunch at a nice diner in Albuquerque and then headed west on I-40 to tour Acoma, "Sky City," the oldest continuously inhabited village in North America. Acoma is on a flat mesa that rises over 350 feet above the desert floor. Water is scarce and life is hard there, but the people have survived and held onto one of the most spectacular backyard views in the world. Fr. Antonio Trujillo ('78) is pastor of their Catholic church.
Next, we celebrated Mass down the road at Laguna Pueblo, where Fr. Antonio is also the pastor. The church was built on a burial ground, which is a very holy place, and the floor is hardened mud similar to adobe. The floor is mud so that there is nothing between the church and the holy earth. Parishioners wet down the mud and smooth out the floor about once a year (when it becomes dusty). Fr. Antonio's homily was a beautiful blend of Gospel, nostalgia, Franciscan formation, native culture, and humor. He had us in stitches with comments like, "when I went to the junior seminary in Ohio and visited other students' homes, it was like stepping onto the set of the Brady Bunch." Another highlight of the afternoon Mass was Matt Jaramillo's song, "Francis", which was sung during Preparation. The refrain, "go and repair my church, for it is falling down" speaks to us on many levels, just as it did to St. Francis.
After Mass, we enjoyed a banquet consisting of local specialties (tamales in corn husks, meats, fruits, spicy soup, blue corn muffins) prepared and served by the puebloís high school students who are raising funds for a group trip to Rome, Italy. In addition to "free will" offerings by the attendees, the Franciscan Alumni Association contributed $300 to help the students in their worthy endeavor. It was a day of fascinating sights, inspirational stories, delicious food, and boundless hospitality.
Saturday was free time until 5:30 p.m. Some people toured Los Alamos, Sandia Peak, or other sites. At 5:30, we began with supper at the Madonna Center, a facility for retreats and conferences. It's on a big hill just west of the Rio Grande and a little north of I-40. The view of the river, city and mountains was breathtaking, especially at night.
After supper, there were group photos and then the evening activities started with the "Franciscan Alumni Chapter Meeting." We all got to know each other a little better as each member took a couple of minutes to say who they are, where they're from, perhaps a joke, etc. Then out to the veranda for a remembrance service under the stars. After singing the Ultima, the Franciscan Alumni Association annual awards were presented to Ted Gomez and Fr. Meldon Hickey.
Then, in true Franciscan spirit, the party began with food, drinks, and a magic show. The magic show by Paul Henderson had everyone captivated. We had no idea there were so many unique rope tricks! Many oohs and aahs were heard following the magic egg act. The evening ended with an unscheduled, late night sing-along. Tom Romero's authentic rendition of La Bamba was hilariously entertaining. Then Raul Martinez led us through a medley of church songs from Fr. Aubert's mimeographed hymnal of the '70s, a rare trip down memory lane.
Sunday Mass was celebrated in the chapel of the Franciscan Provincial House in the southwest corner of Albuquerque. Fr. Gil Schneider and Fr. Berard Doerger presided. Ted Gomez, Richard Inge, Raul Martinez, Matt Jaramillo, Mike Niklas and three of Ted's friends played music. Gregg Martinez sang the Lord's Prayer after communion. Fr. Gil began the homily and invited others to share their thoughts. Fr. Berard ended his comments with a Latin phrase that translates to this: "after 3 days, fish and friends start to smell." You don't have to read between the lines to know that it was about time for most of us to return home. After lunch, tours, and more stories, came the inevitable good-byes and "see you later"s. A good time was had by all as evidenced by smiling faces, late night troubadours, lively conversation, and participation at events.
New Website Address and More Pictures
The website address for the Franciscan Alumni Association has changed. We now have a domain name. It's http://www.franciscan-alumni.org
The domain account is more meaningful than the old faa.simplenet.com name and it provides improved support. It also disassociates us from the Simplenet Company and the other FAA (fliers, not friars ). Many photos have been added to the website. You can even see a couple of very cool color images of SFS at the bottom of the main page. Most of the images are now in "thumbnail" format so you can click on them to see bigger, more detailed pictures. Please send more photographs, tapes, or movies of your Franciscan formation years or more recent times. Reunion photos would be especially nice to include.
Send them to Mike Niklas, 8055 Mill Road, Troy, OH 45373. All will be returned.
The email address directory continues to grow. Several addresses are being added or updated each month. If you know of any we don't have, please let us know by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
If you donít have an Internet connection, we recommend that you stop at a library and ask the librarian to show you how to look up our website. Most libraries now have computers with free Internet connections. All you have to do is step up to the computer and type www.franciscan-alumni.org
Franciscan Alumni Reunion 2000
The Franciscan Alumni Association hosts a reunion each year for anyone involved in any part of Franciscan formation (Provinces of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. John the Baptist). Even if you attended one of the schools or formation houses for a year, or part of a year, you are welcome to participate and rekindle old acquaintances or meet "brothers" with whom you share a common bond.
Details are being worked out for next summer's reunion, June 23-25, in the Detroit-Windsor area. Detroit is the big-city home of Duns Scotus and the Tigers. Windsor, historic Canadian city across the river (via Ambassador Bridge or tunnel), has many attractions and a new casino. The focus is on Fun, Food, and Franciscans. If you attended this year's reunion in the southwest, you know what a great time this is, and we hope to see you next year. If you didn't because of the distance or your schedule or the cost of airfare, here's your chance. It will begin and end with parties. In-between are interesting restaurants, old friends, sightseeing, new friends, remembrance service, awards, Mass, and entertainment. Maybe a river cruise, too. Mark your calendar and talk to your classmates! Everybody's invited, including friends and family.
Another CD??? Another music CD is in the works. It will have a few more Glee Club recordings from the 60s plus several from the 70s. As with the first music CD, various alumni will be featured on recent recordings. A couple of the songs were recorded in Albuquerque during the June reunion.
If you have something to add to the new CD or if you know of someone who does (like Mike Shultheis, Ray Long, Dave Engleman, Louis Canter, Vince McCoy, Frank (Randal) Vanden Eynden, Tom Lueders, or ?) please reply. The new CD, "Ultima II," will be available in early 2000. Samples from the CD will be on the website soon.
* Bob Weakley and Norbert Bertram looked on proudly last May as a new parish hall and center at St. Mary's of Lourdes (outside Metamora, Illinois) were dedicated.
* Mark Soehner had a close call in the freight elevator at St. Aloysius Church last May. He was stuck between floors when a fire broke out in the shaft beneath him.
* Jack Wintz has become editor in chief of St. Anthony Messenger magazine, which was recently honored by the Society of Professional Journalists as the best magazine in Ohio. Pat McCloskey is associate editor.
* Charlie Smiech spent eight weeks last summer preaching
retreats for friars and sisters in Pakistan.
* Jeremy Harrington received a Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree from St. Bonaventure University last May.
* Former provincial John Bok is on sabbatical in the Middle East. He goes to the Franciscan School of Theology (Berkeley, CA) in January and the Franciscan Institute in June.
* Alex Kratz was ordained a priest at St. Clement Church (St. Bernard) on November 6th and will begin his priestly ministry at St. Michael Church in Southfield, Michigan.
* Bill Reichel's luggage began smoking at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport (we're not making this up!) and the bomb squad came to inspect.
* Dennis Kirby retired from State Farm Insurance last July and went to Paris in September with his wife, Burt. They are open to a return trip! Dennis finds himself plenty busy doing all the things he had put on his "to-do" list for retirement, plus his Church and community involvements.
* George Hellmann took a three-week course at St. Meinrads and then a two-week trip to Alaska last summer. He's always learning!
* Chris Schneider recruited five other train enthusiasts to work for six months, creating a 10 foot display at St. Joseph Home in Sharonville, Ohio. Two trains, a miniature zoo, farm animals, people of all races and physical conditions form a display which can be operated by any of the 48 children and young adults who live there. Pushing one oversized button activates this very successful display!
* Time Warner Cable recently donated $1,000 to the Paul Harris Foundation in Shreveport, LA in honor of Giovanni Reid's work in that city.
* FAA members in the Dayton, Cincinnati and Detroit area -- perhaps elsewhere also -- gathered for Transitus prayers on October 3rd.
* Nick Lohkamp led two week long Franciscan renewal programs at Friarhurst in August for lay co-workers of SJB friars. Participants came from Alamagordo, NM, Shreveport, LA and many points in between.
* David Kobak made his solemn profession August 8th and should be the first friar ordained in the new millennium.
Briefs from SJB and OLG
* Thirty seven members of St. John the Baptist Province and 18 friars of Our Lady of Guadalupe Province (and three candidates) joined another 106 friars from Sacred Heart Province (St. Louis, MO), Assumption Province (Pulaski, WI) and the Vice-Province of the Most Holy Savior (Pittsburgh, PA) -- plus one friar from the Croatian custody in Chicago -- for a two-day meeting in late September. Minister General Giacomo Bini and General Councilor Sean Collins helped them to reflect on the Order's five priorities for 1997-2003 (Spirit of Prayer and Devotion; Community of Life in Fraternity; Life in Ministry, Poverty and Solidarity; Evangelization and Mission; and Initial and Ongoing Formation).
* After the provincial councils of these five entities met for another day and a half on common business, they met for an additional day on their own provincial business.
* Nils Francis Thompson works in Rome as the OFM General Spiritual Assistant for the Secular Franciscan Order.
* Dismas Bonner of the Sacred Heart Province has been appointed General Visitor for Our Lady of Guadalupe Province, which will have its Chapter April 30 - May 5, 2000. He will lead a retreat for all its friars on January 10-14.
* "Mercy-Franciscan at Winton Woods" reads the sign at 10290 Mill Road. The main building's $6 million renovation began in August and will yield 68 one-bedroom apartments and 5 two-bedroom apartments. The renovation is funded in part by a federal tax credit program; prospective residents will go through an application process. The new owners (Mercy - Franciscan Health Care Corporation) hope to have 600 residents in various types of housing on the 100-acre property within ten years.
* The SJB provincial chapter last May elected new leadership: Fred Link (provincial minister), Jeff Scheeler (vicar) and Tom Richstatter, Frank Jasper, Greg Friedman, Jim Bok, Mark Ligett and Roger Bosse (councilors).
* The same chapter voted to commit the province to a new mission in the Diocese of Montego Bay (Jamaica), to further develop a twinning relationship with the Vice-Province of St. John the Baptist (Pakistan), to continue the process begun by the Conversations on Racism in 1995 and to set up a fund for the next three years to pay for lay employees of the friars to participate in Franciscan renewal programs in Assisi.
* Members of the provincial staff offices gather in the friars' chapel at 1615 Vine Street every Monday before lunch to pray for the intentions of SJB benefactors.
* For the past 47 years, Bernardin Schneider and his collaborators at the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum in Tokyo having been translating the Bible into Japanese, producing a high quality literary edition with scholarly footnotes. Only the Books of Isaiah and Jeremiah remain, and they might be finished by January 1, 2001!
* Minister General Giacomo Bini and General Councilor Sean Collins will visit Our Lady of Guadalupe Province on December 5 - 9.
* The former St. Francis Seminary/Center, along with its gazebo and Lourdes Shrine, have been added to the National Register of Historic Places.
* Ground was broken in June for an expansion of St. Anthony Messenger Press's offices and warehouse space. In 2000, St. Anthony Village, a new non-profit corporation, will start renovating 28 apartments in six buildings in the Republic-Green-Race-Liberty block. The apartments will range from 1 - 4 bedroom flats to 2 - 4 bedroom townhouses. Residents who stay there five years will build up "renter equity." At the end of ten years, they will have $10,000 in equity, which can be used as downpayment on a house, for educational expenses and other social service supports.
* The renovation of the kitchen, refectory, recreation room, reading room and all first floor public areas of St. Clement Friary is complete. A letter from Valens Waldschmidt back in 1996 helped get the ball rolling. As of September 11, the church steeple is lit at night, courtesy of a bequest from an aunt of Friars Al and Howard Hudepohl.
* Roger Bacon High School is the first Cincinnati area high school to build a Habitat for Humanity home, working with Ohio Casualty Corporation and Winton Savings and Loan. The house is in Mount Auburn on Winkler St. (two blocks behind Vine St. Elementary School south of Corryville)
* St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Bellbrook, OH is helping an Albanian refugee couple get re - established in this country.
* Our Lady of Guadalupe Province has begun a lay volunteer program; Bruce Michalek coordinates it.
Treasurerís Two Cents
by Phil Zepeda
During this season of Thanksgiving, we are ever mindful of all the people who have touched our lives in positive ways and whom we perhaps have not adequately thanked. We as an association would like not to be unappreciative, forgetful or simply clueless about voicing our thanks. So many of you have done so much. THANK YOU!
First, let me say that the FAA would not be anything without the time, talent, energies, and financial resources of your faithful board of directors. These few, whom you have elected, meet quarterly to make things happen, report what happens in our newsletter and on our fabulous website and do their best to be organized so we all donít wonder whatís happening.
From a financial standpoint, we can be thankful that we are still operating in the black with $2,738.70 in our various accounts. We somehow are able to scratch by from year to year as a result of the unsolicited giving of our membership and the watchful stewardship of our board. THANKS AGAIN!
We have never made a big thing about singling out members who really extend themselves with more than nominal giving; but perhaps some individuals really should be pushed to the forefront. If you would just take a moment to drop in on our website www.franciscan-alumni.org, Iíd ask that you give a special thanks to Mike Niklas, who pretty much single-handedly made that magnificent site happen (with lots of help from his daughters). THANKS, MIKE!
Please also leave a note of thanks to Al Lovato who hosted our FAA Chapter soiree in Albuquerque; J. D. Moya, Charlie Martinez, Fr. Paul Juniet, Fr. Antonio Trujillo and all the others who made our chapter simply maaarvelous! MUCHAS GRACIAS!
We would also like to thank some of YOU who so generously helped us financially. Some who have given at a level of $100 or above: Br. Mike Schebecki, Michael Thieneman, Barry Bray, Jerry Kaelin, Fr. Paul Juniet & the Guadalupe Province who so graciously opened their home/hearth to the FAA for our "best ever" chapter. THANKS!
So rather than cajole you this time with my mendicant ways of asking for more donations, please indulge me and just accept my wholehearted sentiment for our great association:
THANK YOU ALL!
Addresses Needed for Next Reunionby Dave Imhoff
In order to help clean up the alumni database and get accurate mailings to classes hitting a 5-year milestone in 2000, weíd like to ask all readers to help us locate the following people for the years from 1940 to 1965 listed on the next page. If you know of a good address for any of the people listed, please forward the address to Dave Imhoff. Daveís email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and his mailing address is 5436 Lea Hill Drive, Huntington WV 25705. Alternately, you can call Dave at (304) 733-4735. Names are listed by high school graduation year.