I hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving with family and friends. I had Thanksgiving dinner at the Knights of Columbus Dinner. I was so impressed with all the hard work that made the afternoon so good for so many. I was especially moved by all of the young volunteers who presented themselves in such a “grown up” manner, making sure everyone was served, maybe had seconds and cleared the tables when guests were finished. They made their parent proud. Thanks and kudos go to the Knights for making this such a heart warming community event.

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After some technical difficulties, I can now assume the position of the “captain” of this ship. We are having our first major snowstorm. School has been closed, the office staff was told to stay home, and the ecumenical service cancelled for tonight. So as I hunker down for the duration, perhaps I can figure out this new means of communication. Check out the blog for further entries.

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Franciscan Father Benedict Joseph Groeschel


Father Benedict Groeschel (1933-2014)
NEW YORK — Franciscan Father Benedict Joseph Groeschel, well-known preacher and a founder of the Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal <http://franciscanfriars.com/> , died on Friday at age 81, after an extended illness.

“We are deeply saddened by the death of Father Benedict. He was an example to us all,” said Father John Paul Ouellette, community servant of the Friars of the Renewal, in a statement.

“His fidelity and service to the Church and commitment to our Franciscan way of life will have a tremendous impact for generations to come.”

Father Groeschel was a founder, author, teacher, preacher and retreat master. He hosted and appeared on EWTN’s television shows for nearly three decades. He was ordained a priest in 1959 for the Detroit Capuchin province. He held a master’s degree in counseling and a doctoral degree in psychology.

In 1987, Father Groeschel and seven other Capuchin friars founded the Community of Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (CFR) in New York City. He was director of Trinity Retreat House in Larchmont, N.Y., and also taught pastoral psychology for many years at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie, N.Y.

He founded St. Francis House and Good Counsel Homes and served as chaplain at Children’s Village in Dobbs Ferry for 14 years.

Father Groeschel is survived by his sister, Marjule Drury, several nieces and nephews, as well as 115 brothers and priests and 31 sisters of the Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.

In a statement from Priests for Life, Father Frank Pavone, national director, said, “I have known and been profoundly influenced by three priests in my life. … One of them is my longtime friend, professor and mentor Father Benedict Groeschel.”

Father Groeschel’s death came as his community celebrated the vigil of the feast of St. Francis, founder of the Franciscans, whose feast day is Oct. 4. Details for his wake and funeral will be forthcoming <http://franciscanfriars.com/father-benedict/> .

“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,” said the Community of the Friars of the Renewal in a statement. “Our CFR family and everyone who knew him received an enormous amount from Father 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 Father Benedict, for his family and community, and also in thanksgiving for the legacy of renewal within the Church and Franciscan family that Father Benedict championed.”

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