Friday, May 19, 2017


Podcast from Br. Gabriel and Fr. Luke. Just back from a great retreat, we discuss the question of identity. Who am I? Listen to learn more!



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Monday, May 8, 2017

Why Lourdes is Famous

Lourdes is famous for many reasons, most of which is that everyone who comes receives graces of healing and graces of gratitude.  I was privileged the other day to visit the baths with my group.  As a priest I was moving about praying with all those preparing to enter the baths.  I met an elderly man who had a number of ailments. He could barely walk, had dementia, but loved to talk.  For some reason he had no one to help him get into the room to wait his turn for the baths so I went in with him. As i was waiting with him he mentioned to me that when he got to heaven he was going to give the Blessed Virgin a big hug and a kiss.  And I asked him "What is she going to do?" he said that she would give him a big hug and a kiss in return.  The faith of this failing man was tremendous.  

While we waited, Charles spotted a man waiting his turn to enter the baths.  Charles saw on his leg a number of terrible looking sores, and prayed at the top of his lungs: "Lord Jesus, heal his sores!'  This simple prayer made me realize that suffering makes one empathetic, compassionate towards others.  No matter how bad you may be suffering, there are always others who have a worse situation.  What one realizes here in Lourdes is that suffering is allowed by God, but the good He brings is to bring us together so that we suffer together, share one another's sufferings as we walk towards heaven.  

A member of my group was healed here as a child of terminal leukemia and has been returning every year since then to serve the sick.  A mother with a very ill child said she smelled roses as her baby was placed in the water of the baths. Those and other peoples' stories are quite dramatic .  But there are hidden miracles here, miracles of the heart, where many find God, find peace, find acceptance of His Will in their lives.  And even amidst their sufferings, so many leave Lourdes eternally grateful for their lives and faith.  I am so very grateful for God putting Charles in my path the other day.  God be praised.  Our Lady of Lourdes, Pray for us.

+ Fr. Anthony Baetzold, CFR

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Down Wind

A deer’s sense of smell is at least 500 times greater than humans, and they can smell you up to a half mile away. Hence the sale of deer urine to squirt on boots, sent-blocking sprays, and laundry detergents, etc. I was reminded of all this because this past weekend I was on hermitage at an old farm house in the country where we make retreats…and there were tons of deer! 

As I sat on the front porch in the evening silently watching the suns shadow travel across the creek and green fields towards the wooded hillside in the distance, I heard the familiar sound of deer coming down the hill behind the house. On my right side two beautiful doe trotted out into plain view only twenty yards from where I sat on the porch, I just watched them as they ate cloves in the fields and wished that I had at least the single-shot crack-barrel 20 gauge shotgun my Dad made us start hunting with to learn to make the first shot count. The deer never noticed me and kept on their way. Then on my left a herd of at least a dozen deer descended the hill and entered the open roughly forty yards away. No sooner, however, did they walk past the house than all their heads popped up with noses raised – then they sprinted in the opposite direction. They never saw me, but they were down wind and smelt me, which led me back to the Gospel I was praying with before the glorious distraction of fourteen deer. 
I was reading through the various Resurrection accounts we have been hearing at Mass these days of Easter, and I was baffled by the recurring theme of intimate friends and disciples meeting Jesus face to face after the Resurrection and not knowing who he was! The Resurrected Christ somehow was not recognizable as he was in the overpowering manner of the Transfiguration or the miraculous manifestations of His power found in the Gospels. St. Paul tells us that the ability to see the unveiled face of Jesus is a work of the Holy Spirit. (2 Cor 3:18). The Church Fathers also spoke about how the Revelation of Christ was a work of the Holy Spirit, that is to say, without the Holy Spirit at work in us we cannot recognize Christ in His divinity. Throughout the Resurrection accounts we hear of a moment of revelation that comes to the disciples, whether upon hearing one’s name, the showing of Christ’s wounds, a miracle of fish, or in the Breaking of the Bread. The resurrected Christ is present before they realize it, and it is the Spirit of Christ that manifests this hidden presence to us. 

St. Francis was on to this very fact when he wrote to his brothers that “because God is a spirit, therefore it is only by the spirit He can be seen.” He went on to connect the disciples faith in the divinity of Christ while on earth with the gift of faith we have through the Spirit to recognize Jesus Real Presence in the Eucharist, or as the Gospel say, the “Breaking of the Bread.” This Easter season the Church proclaims boldly that the Lord is indeed risen. He is in our midst - in our everyday lives, our families, our work, nature, beauty, suffering, and most especially the Eucharist. He is here! The question is whether we are standing in the wind of the Holy Spirit who reveals to us His Presence, or are we up-wind eating grass unaware that “It is the Lord” who is before us. Come Holy Spirit and give us eyes to see the Risen One who dwells among us, especially in the “Breaking of the Bread”!

+ Br. Malachy Napier, CFR
Yonkers, NY
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Monday, May 1, 2017

How Jesus Brings It All Together

Podcast from Fr. Luke Mary Fletcher, CFR. The risen Jesus offered the first bible study while on the road to Emmaus. Finally it all makes sense, it all fits together. Jesus wants to teach us the meaning of our own lives. Finally it all makes sense, it all fits together. Listen to learn more!!


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Friday, April 28, 2017

Our 30 Year Anniversary Today

On this Easter Friday the Friars celebrate the 30th Anniversary of our founding. Time has flown and gray beards have grown. It is a special day we give thanks to all of our 8 founders for heeding the Spirit’s call back in 1987 to begin a new foundation in the South Bronx. We also remember the passing of Fr. Benedict and Fr. Robert, both of them legends for all who knew them. Both of them are greatly missed and loved and are surely looking down and praying for all of us before the Father. 

Today is also the feast day of three great Saints: St. Giana, St. Peter Chanal and St. Louis de Montfort. All three represent an important aspect of our CFR charism. St. Giana gave her life for her unborn child in refusing treatment for cancer. She is a great patron for the Pro Life cause to which we are deeply dedicated. St. Peter Chanal was the great missionary to the South Pacific islands where he offered up his life for Christ in martyrdom. This great Saint inspires us to heed Pope Francis’ mandate to become a missionary Church. And finally St. Louis de Montfort is the Saint St. John Paul 2 loved so much for teaching him how to come to Jesus through His Holy Mother Mary. It is She, specifically Our Lady of Guadalupe, who has looked down upon our little community since its beginning and made her maternal love and protection known in numerous ways and occasions. We lovingly proclaim to her as St John Paul 2 did: Totus Tuus. We entrust everything to you Blessed Mother and are all Yours.

+ Fr. Anthony Baetzold, CFR
General Vicar

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Coffee of the Cross

Check out this great new project!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Bronx Block Party

Monday, April 10, 2017

Humble on a Donkey

Podcast from Fr. Juniper Adams, CFR. A beautiful Palm Sunday homily on the humility of Jesus Christ. Listen to learn more!!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Monday, April 3, 2017

What will you lay on?

Wednesday afternoon I left from Yonkers for our shelter in the Bronx as normal; it was the first time the blue sky had broken the grey sheet of clouds and the temperature was up into the low 60s. Needless to say, my windows were down and I was loving life driving down the road toward the highway. As I approached the on-ramp my blissful thoughts about the beauty of the day were interrupted by a rhythmic sound that was vaguely familiar…a flat tire! I pulled over before I was on the highway and began to change the tire when a car stopped and a middle-aged Hispanic man, named Marcos, got out and approached asking if I needed any help. He was kind enough to assist in the switch that was pulled off with a record time that may qualify us for one of the pit teams of the Daytona 500.  I thanked him and because I was close to home decided to go switch out the car with another one and deal with the bad tire later.

No sooner did I begin to drive than my ear, now a bit attentive to every creak the car was making, heard the same rhythmic sound coming from the same side…the “spare” was almost entirely flat! This drive was going from beautiful to frustrating real quick. Given all the factors, I concluded that driving slowly back to the friary (roughly a half mile or so) was my best option, and I would avoid paying for towing. As I plodded along with hazards blinking at a whopping 5mph, I was deeply conscious of the inconvenience my presence was on the road, but I figure folks would understand given the evident distress of my situation. In the midst of navigating the potholes from recent snow plows, my ears were stuck with the sustained noise of the woman behind me laying on her horn. “Who in the heck is this woman, and doesn’t she see my hazards and flat spare?! Who does that?,” I fumed inside.

It’s oh so easy in life, isn’t it, to see the splinter in another’s eye and pick up stones…at least mentally. The Lord led me, however, to see that my own response to the weakness and brokenness in the lives of others is often to lay on the horn, not to stop ask if they need help. With the brother who drives me crazy at moments in living community life, or the person who is just having a bad day and says or acts in a way that is difficult for me. How many of us, when we see the brokenness of a spouse, child, parent, co-worker, or stranger on the street respond with judgment, impatience, or a sarcastic comment? When the worst comes out of others, do we seek to know what lies underneath their caustic veneer? Do I patiently bear those moments and bring mercy into the world as Marcos, or do I see only an inconvenience and burden in the weakness of the other? Let’s take the gift of this time of Lent to ask for the grace to draw near to others in their suffering and allow the stripes we may feel from their brokenness to be a source of healing for them. What will you “lay on” this Lent, the horn or love?

+ Br. Malachy Joseph Napier, CFR
Yonkers, NY

Friday, March 31, 2017

Tea Talk With Patsy


Podcast from Fr. Luke Fletcher and Patsy Schlaegel. A conversation over tea in the kitchen at Saint Leopold Friary in Yonkers. Patsy has been a lay associate with our friars in Albuquerque, NM, since the beginning. Listen to learn more!


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A Map to Hidden Treasure

Podcast from Fr. Luke Mary Fletcher, CFR. How natural it is for the human heart to search for a hidden treasure. Everyone loves a pirate story, now we know why. Listen to learn more!



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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Living in the Light

Podcast from Fr. Luke Mary Fletcher, CFR. Some hilarious stories about lessons learned along the way. How I received my new name. Listen to learn more!


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Friday, March 24, 2017

A Disciple’s prayer

Heavenly Father, I come before You this day as your son/daughter. I desire to know You with my mind, to love You with my heart, to experience Your presence in those I meet today, and bring your love to those most in need.

Guide me this day, that I may be a beacon of light for others. Purify me, that I may be free from all self centered motivations and from anything that would prevent your light from shining through me. I am Yours to form and use according to Your will.

My God, I believe in You, hope in You and love You above all else. Keep me always faithful to you and never let me be apart from you.

Mary, I ask you as my Mother, to intercede for me and bring me closer to the heart of Jesus. Teach me, Mary how to pray, serve and sacrifice so as to reveal the mercy of your Son more deeply in our broken world. Help me to follow His will and pray for me, that like you, I would trust without knowing, believe without seeing and love without seeking a reward.

I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

(Prayer composed by Fr. Jeremiah Myriam Shryock, CFR, for the Associates of Shepherds Café, Dallas, TX)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Father Brother Robert rest in peace

+ Fr. Robert Stanion, CFR
April 1, 1947 - March 23, 2009
One of our founders, may he rest in peace and pray for us!!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Podcast from Fr. Luke Fletcher and Br. Malachy Napier, CFR. The encounter of Christ with the woman at the well reminds us that we go down to seek the grace of God in humility. Listen to learn more!!


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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Father Andrew Apostoli

from our friend Anthony Scillia:

Congratulations to Father Andrew Apostoli, CFR, on his Silver Jubilee!! Fifty years ago today, Father was ordained to the Holy Priesthood of Jesus Christ by future Saint Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. I've been blessed to spend some time with Father lately. He is a truly holy & pious man. Ad Multos Annos, Father Andrew.

Monday, March 13, 2017

When God Speaks


Podcast from Fr. Luke Mary Fletcher, CFR. The Transfiguration prepared them for the Crucifixion. Jesus' life was not taken from him, rather he offered it freely in love for us. Listen to learn what this means for the trials and crosses in our lives.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

2nd Sunday of Lent


Podcast from Fr. Jeremiah, CFR. In the Transfiguration Jesus reveals to us His glory, that He is not just a carpenter, a prophet or a holy man, but that He is God. But also the Transfiguration is meant to prepare the disciples for the events of Holy Week, where God allows himself to be handed over, mocked, spit upon and crucified. Hence, it is during Jesus' passion and death where we the heart of God is fully revealed to us.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Divine Desire

O Heavenly Father,
look on us, your children.

Through the discipline of Lent

help us to grow in our desire for you.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Lenten Paradox

Lord, May our generosity today bring joy to those in need, in helping them may we find you. #Lent

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Hand of God at Work

God's Fatherly providence works within our free will:
I'm visiting family in Indiana. I randomly chose a place for breakfast with a friend, turns out our waitress is preparing for baptism and entry into the Church. Her sister recently joined the Church in New York City where I live!

+ Fr. Luke Mary Fletcher, CFR

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

True Love on Valentines Day

#ValentinesDay  #StValentinesDay 
Catholic definition of #LOVE: ❤️
always connected to what is true and good,
🎵 more than a feeling 🎵

#ValentinesDay  #StValentinesDay
Catholic definition of #LOVE: ❤️
always connected to what is true and good,
🎵 more than a feeling 🎵

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Abandoned by God (is it possible?)

Podcast from Fr. Jeremiah, CFR. The feeling of being abandoned by God is perhaps one of the most common human experiences. However, we must ask, is it true? Is it possible for God to abandon us? What God invites us to in those moments of darkness is not to despair but to mature faith. God allows us to experience these difficult moments so our faith can rest on nothing but God alone. Hence, the moments of darkness in our life can actually become our greatest blessings, provided we reach beyond what we can feel in faith to the Living God who can never abandon us.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Heart of Homelessness

podcast from Br. John Mary, CFR. A moving story from the streets of New York City.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

How to be Happy

Podcast from Fr. Luke Mary Fletcher, CFR. How to be happy and why it is most important! Listen to learn more!