About Friar Rick

Director, FrancisCorps

Reboot Day 2

Ok this was not the most pleasant of days. I was hungry and tired. Didn’t even try my morning walk.
I’m sick of this juice already. My mother called to warn me about all the sugar I was drinking especially from the beets. Hmmm. True enough. Anyways, I almost lost it last night when one of the friars was cooking Dahl. The fragrance filled the house. Tonight our friary cook, whose cooking seems to improve with every day if this fast, made a amazing looking meat loaf and rice balls.
Anyways. I held fast. Tomorrow is supposed to bring energy. We will see.
Vamos a ver!

Reboot Day 1

So it’s been an interesting first day of the reboot. At breakfast and lunch the three of us made out own concoctions. I had a real funky mix in the am and then something with two beets and very RED!
For the evening meal we worked together to prepare our drinks. Besides the health benefits that may or may not come from this experience, the most fun is laughing with friars about it all.

Juice Fast

Last night at the friary we watched the film “Sick, Fat and Nearly dead”. It’s about a guy who decides to eat just fruit and vegetable juice for 60 days in order to “reboot” his body.

Well three of us decided to give it a try. We had our farewell to meat tonight (wings!) and then got our juicer ready and bought a huge load of vegetables. We tested a recipe of apples, carrots, celery and ginger. It tasted really good.

Tomorrow we start doing this for 4 or 5 days. Wish us luck!!!!

A sublime and ridiculous weekend

I’m here in suburban Maryland, just outside DC at our friary. FrancisCorps was just participating at post-graduate recruiting fairs at Loyola University, Maryland and The Catholic University of America. Last night got to visit with a high school classmate who lives in DC with her two wonderful daughters. It has been like over 20 years since we saw one another. It was good to see again how strong wise and faith-filled a woman Cathleen is. I am thankful that in her and my high school friend Mary I have two of the most principled and decent human beings. They are both women of great integrity. I realise now how much they helped shape who I am today, as a person and as a friar-priest. Thanks guys.

So…. from the sublime to the ridiculous. Right now I am in a quiet annex to the friary. It’s a lovely cottage. I have nothing to do that is scheduled. I could be tempted to go and explore parts of DC that I haven’t seen but I find it even more alluring to be somewhat quiet and home bound. I want to get to stuff I haven’t had time for since I started FrancisCorps; stuff like writing a post on my blog, writing some articles, doing laundry or getting my car washed.

So where do you get your car washed in Silver Spring? Google will know! Yesterday I found a place called Mobii The Auto Spa. It had a great website offering all kinds of services. I called up talked to Iani Perez and made an appointment for this morning.

My GPS got me there and I was kind of confused. It looked like a regular garage, except for a friendly guy who greeted me. It was Iani. At first I was a little disappointed. This didn’t look like an auto “spa”. But then I was quite amused. This young guy got me to come to his shop with marketing. His website is what made him stand out from the other car washes. Pretty smart. He told me The Deluxe Car Wash ($25) would take about 30 minutes. It’s a hand wash plus cleaning and vacuuming of the interior and trunk.

I went across the street to a deli for some breakfast and came back to a clean a shiny car. As Iani was finishing up and dressing the tires and fixing some minor scratches he found, he explained his dream for “the Auto Spa”. His father owns a body shop near by and he’s been working for three years to build up the business. The guy has a dream, ambition, great customer service, a good car wash product and a well executed marketing plan.

If you’re in DC and need a car wash — go and visit Iani.


First Canadian Conventual Franciscan Priest in 21 Years!

Friar Reto Davatz, OFM Conv. was ordained a priest today at St Raphael’s Church by Bishop Douglas Crosby the Bishop of Hamilton. Bishop Cosby ordained Reto at the request of the community represented by the Minister Provincial, Friar Justin Biase.

Bishop Crosby presided the ordination with grace and simplicity reminding Reto that the presbyteral stole is not so much a sign of authority as a symbol of the lost sheep he must carry around his neck in the manner of the Good Shepherd.

Reto is originally from Montréal, Québec and served as a guide for pilgrims at St. Joseph Oratory. Reto met the friars while studying philosophy at the Dominican College in Ottawa where he got his masters degree.

Reto has continued his formation as a friar in Washington DC and San Antonio Texas. He made his Solemn Vows as a friar a couple of years ago in Toronto at The Franciscan Church of St Bonaventure. He served as Deacon at St. Raphael and will continue as Associate Pastor.

The last friar of the OFM Conv. to be ordained was yours truly in 1990.








Future Pope on his way!

During the Eucharistic Congress of Quebec in 2008 I wrote a post about a bishop from the Philippines who set the congress on fire with his speech. That was Bishop Luis Tagle. The post was called: Meet the Future Pope. Well today, in what I think is a remarkable move, Pope Benedict has appointed the young bishop as Archbishop of Manila. This is huge! He will now surely become a cardinal and who knows… pope one day. You heard it here first :)

Watch the catechesis he gave at the Eucharistic Congress.

FrancisCorps beginnings

So, I haven’t really fallen off the face of the earth, no worries. It’s just been kind of busy with the transition saying goodbye to my friars, friends, co-workers and parishioners in Toronto and then saying hello to my new home and ministry in Syracuse, New York. There’s lots to say for sure.

At the moment I’m in Costa Rica with our new volunteers who will begin their volunteer work on Monday. I return home tomorrow. I promise to write more. In the meantime I want to share a video that was sent to me by Carolyn, one of the Costa Rica volunteers. We were at the Cathedral in San José today and looking a beautiful window of the story of the woman at the well, mentioned that it was one of my favourite Gospel passages. Carolyn then mentioned this rap that I’ve attached.  This “spoken word” captures everything that I like about that passage in the scripture.

If I can live this in my ministry I will be a very happy man, and blessed friar and a good priest.

Lady Gaga remix

While working on my homily for Pentecost Sunday I came across this video. Don’t ask. It’s a take on Lady Gaga’s Born this way, which I happen to like as a song. Anyways… this is really a fun video… and I’m posting it half seriously… ’cause it is the truth,… but also with a grain a salt. Just enjoy it for what it is :)

A Trad’s response to my post

My nephew’s wife recently responded to my last post that included a section about the ExtraOrdinary Form of the Mass. I think she makes some valid and interesting points, and since I don’t allow for comments on my blog I’ve decided to repost her post. Visit her blog.

double standards in the church

 As you may or may not know, there was a document recently released by the Vatican which clarifies certain points of the Motu Proprio Pope Benedict XVI wrote a few years ago – the letter which liberated the celebration of the Latin Mass from the clutches of bishops, basically.

Fr. Z’s commentary on this new document

The original Motu Proprio

So yesterday I read a blog entry by a priest which comments, in part, on this new document. This priest happens to be my husband’s uncle, but expresses what I’ve heard elsewhere as well. It upset me. The priest doesn’t take comments on his entries, so I ranted to Tony, who encouraged me to blog about it.

So first let me say that I am replying simply to this way of thinking. I am discussing how it made me feel. I do not claim to know how this priest would actually deal with these situations in real life.

But getting right to it – the problems I have are the double-standard and the dismissive tone.

By double-standard I mean that the pro-NO crowd tend to be extremely nitpicky when it comes to “letting” people hear a TLM. In his own words: “It seems that basically anyone, anywhere can walk into any church with any priest and expect to be allowed to celebrate this form of the mass. The only condition is that they can’t be associated with any persons or groups that challenge the legitimacy or validity of the normative or ‘ordinary’ form of the Mass as most of us know it. In my mind, that would exclude a lot of people, including some cantankerous cantors, who I know are all about mocking the Mass and the way we celebrate the Eucharist in our parishes.”

In other words, if you think the NO is objectively inferior – less clear, less beautiful, less edifying, less correctly Catholic in its approach and spirituality, than is the TLM, not only are you wrong, but you lose the right to hear a TLM. You may only hear a TLM, in effect, if your preference is purely, professedly aesthetic. You might believe wholeheartedly in the Creed, the Catechism, you might tithe to the penny, pray, have a generous and prudent number of kids, lead Bible study, fast twice a week, and love God and neighbour, but if you fail on this point, too bad; you’re not Catholic enough to be accepted.

So, a thought experiment: A group of 30 Filipinos, mostly in their 20s through 40s, approaches a pastor to request a separate Mass in Tegalog. All of them either fornicate or contracept, save two of them. Do you think the pastor will object on these grounds? No. Will they be questioned in detail about their beliefs and practices in the hopes of finding something off, on the grounds of which the pastor can deny them their preference? No.

So why are trads being persecuted? Article 19 says “The faithful who ask for the celebration of the forma extraordinaria must not in any way support or belong to groups which show themselves to be against the validity or legitimacy of the Holy Mass or the Sacraments celebrated in the forma ordinaria or against the Roman Pontiff as Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church” – not quite the same as this blogger’s paraphrase.

I guess I’m an outlaw to his mind. Gosh, I even has SSPX wedding missalettes! I financially supported the SSPX! The scandal! What a bad Catholic I obviously am!

Sarcasm aside – what bothers me is that I think those of us who have reservations about the NO, and who prefer the TLM, act in good faith – for love of the Catholic Faith. What we do, we do for love of our Faith. Can the same be said of the hypothetical fornicating Filopinos? Do they fornicate out of love for the Faith? Well, I’d have trouble buying that, personally. Does that mean they ought to be denied a Mass in their language? No. We’re all on the same road together, all sinners, all wrong and blind in some way, probably.

I know this priest can be incredibly gentle and inclusive with people who are not quite full-on in their practice of the faith – in this entry, for example – so really – why the double-standard? Where is the gentleness and inclusivity for Trads?

The other thing that bothered me was, as I mentioned, the dismissive tone. “Much ado about nothing”? Are the concerns of every minority so unimportant to you? This issue is very, VERY important to a particular group of people, minority though it may be.

St. Piux X, pray for us.