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SAG - Easter

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Celebrating Easter 2022

I hope this letter finds you well.

We had some very sad news three days ago. One of the young men who wanted to join the Franciscan Order died in his sleep while visiting his cousin in Massachusetts. He was only thirty years old! It was a shock to all of us. He always spoke about how much he wanted to wear the Franciscan Friars’ cord around his waist after taking our vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience.

But I guess God had other plans for him. His name was Jerry. Please remember him in your prayers. The Friar who had to preach at his funeral came to me and asked me about preaching at the funeral of such a young a person. 

“Why did this happen to someone who only wanted the life of the Friar and to help people in so many ways?” “Why do bad things happen to good people?” “His family’s life will never be the same again.” These are the very difficult questions that many of us have asked and been asked over and over, either because of death, a tragedy or an illness that afflicts someone we know and love or have been told about by others.

Why, why, why do these things happen? I don’t think we can answer these questions for one another, especially for someone who is in the throes of grief or tragedy. Sometimes, the emotion is so raw and horrific that it is just too difficult. How can you explain a child’s death to their mother? It’s not possible. It’s too unnatural. But we can look to this week coming up – this period we call Holy Week, and the time afterwards. Holy Week is a time for reflecting on the suffering of Jesus, the pain of His Mother Mary, and the confusion and turmoil surrounding his Apostles and friends.

Jesus knows what pain is like, he felt it as his flesh was pierced and beaten. Mary knows the searing pain of a mother losing her child to death. The Apostles know what it is to feel alone and totally confused by the events in their lives, now riddled with disappointment, anger and grief.

We can look to these Gospel people and find hope in their lives and in their dealing with all the questions of pain, suffering, loss, anger, frustration, disappointment and death. Yet within all their suffering and loss – they found Jesus waiting for them, holding out hope and new life to them. Maybe not instantly or as fast as they wanted. But He was always there for them, as He is always there for us.

Have hope in Jesus, and He will comfort you, guide you, and bring you abundant love. I know, I have felt it myself.

We buried Jerry today, the young man who wanted to be a Friar, to wear the Franciscan cord, to help change this world for the better.

Jerry never got the chance to be a Franciscan Friar here on earth, but I can assure you of this – he was buried today with the Franciscan cord in his folded hands. When he was received by St. Peter, I am sure he held up his Friar cord and St. Peter said, “Welcome son, into the heavenly kingdom! We have a lot of your Franciscan brothers here waiting for you.”

PLEASE, JOURNEY WITH US, the Franciscan Friars, as we go with Jesus through His Passion, Death and Resurrection this Holy Week.

During this coronavirus pandemic, it may still be difficult to attend Church for Mass and Holy Week services. We are here for you at St. Anthony’s Guild. Join us in prayer and worship during this holiest time of the year. 

Aside from our enclosed Holy Week Novena of Prayers Brochure, you can also view our Friar’s Meditation online at LentWithTheFriars.org. Here, a Franciscan Friar will pray with you and for you during Holy Week. Together we can make this journey with Jesus and be with Him during this most Holy Week of the year. 

We have also included our new booklet with the Stations of the Resurrection to be said after Easter. Fr. Michael Carnevale, OFM will be with you all of Lent for the Stations of the Cross every Friday, and for the Stations of the Resurrection on Fridays after Easter. 

Please join us for both at StAnthonysGuild.org/resurrection, www.FranciscanTV.us/resurrection.

Please also remember that God’s poor hold a special place during this sacred Lenten season, and that one of the three Lenten pillars, in addition to prayer and fasting, is giving to charity. We urgently need your help to continue to care for the poor who come to our doors every dayof the year. Literally, thousands of children, women and men who need our help for the necessity of food come to our doors!

We need your help to help them, especially when we are praying together with our Suffering Lord! Holy Week is a time for giving, just as Jesus gave His life for us. Please join with the Friars as we journey through Holy Week together by walking with Christ, sharing what we have with His poor, and rejoicing in the Resurrection that is coming! As always, we are praying for you and your intentions twice each day, caring for the poor in your name, and wishing the many blessings of Easter that God and St. Anthony send your way. Happy Easter!

Fr. David Convertino, OFM

Fr. David Convertino, OFM

Executive Director,
St. Anthony's Guild

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