The Order of Franciscan Penitents

Visit our New Chapel:

Franciscan Chapel
903 Old Hwy 63
Columbia, Missouri 65201

Saturday Mass: 5 p.m.
Tues. & Thurs. Mass: noon
Wed. Evening Prayer: 6 p.m.

CEC News Feed

Visit us on Facebook

Watch Chapel Services on YouTube

May 19-26, 2024

Friar's Footnotes by Fr. John Prenger, OFP

Hello to each of you.  

Our celebration of the life of our beloved friend, Louis Van Drie, which took place this past Saturday went very well.  As Louie would have wanted, the Lord Jesus Christ was lifted high and I believe the family and friends were encouraged by the Liturgy and the visiting we did.  And it was very good that we celebrated his life and passing from us on the feast of Pentecost.  

Sondra McDermott updates us on the health struggles of her husband Richard.  He is still in rehab and feeling much better.  He came in with a blood glucose of 700, and it is now 180, but still needs to get better.  The focus now is on getting him leg strength and better mobility.  She says he is in good spirits and is thankful for all the prayer support.  She and Suzanne informed me that we have an inquirer in our Franciscan community at the Cathedral.

Our scriptures for Trinity Sunday are Isaiah 6: 1-5; Psalm 29; Romans 8: 12-17; and John 3: 7-16.  The Isaiah reading is about his overwhelming encounter with the living God in the Temple.  The Romans account speaks of our knowing the living God by the Spirit of God, which makes us sons (and daughters) allowing us to call God, Abba, thereby making us joint heirs with Christ. (Very Trinitarian to me!)  And the gospel is from the meeting of Jesus with Nicodemus, where we hear 'God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life'.

(NOW HERE'S THE PROBLEM FOR THIS WEEK:  Fr. Jim and Fr. John  are NOT available to preside at our Saturday Eucharist. SO PLEASE MAKE NOTE:   NO 5 PM EUCHARIST AT THE CHAPEL ON MAY 25.)

Chapel Schedule
Noon Eucharist Tuesday May 21, Fr. John presiding
Noon Eucharist Thursday May 23, Fr. Jim presiding

"The day will come when after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love.  And on that day for the second time in the history of the world,man will have discovered fire."  Fr. Teilhard de Chardin SJ  (This seemed appropriate as we have just celebrated Pentecost)

"If you want to identify me, ask not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, and ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for.  Between these two answers you can determine the identity of any person.  The better the answer he has, the more of a person he is."  Thomas Merton.

"Remember that only one thing is necessary to save your soul.  We must become holy and , through our good works, help others who are waiting for our help to become holy too."  St. Mary Mazzarello Founder of the Salesian Sisters.

That does it.. Have a blessed Memorial Weekend.  Love to all,

Fr. John ofp



Padre’s Pontifications by Fr. Jim McNeely

March 2024

Grace and peace from the Priest-In-Residence! It’s been a year as of the 24th that you all have allowed me to serve the community by assisting Fr. John in priestly tasks. Truth is that this past year has been wonderful because of each of you. Your prayers and many acts of kindness and love fill me with joy and humility. Thanks for one of the best years of my whole life!

1.     We have an early Easter this year (March 31). I hope you will make attending Holy Week services a priority…they are the very best services of the year in my view because of the power of the holiday and the dramatic way the liturgy dramatizes it.

2.     The Columbia brood have studied Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together as part of our Lenten discipline. Those of you outside our area can read the book, which is a profound text on how to live together as Christ-followers. Many thanks to Jim Jantz, who has been simply spectacular in leading our discussions.

3.     As we look ahead as a community of faith (including those not in the Order), I want to ask two important questions that became the focus of my Lent:

a.     What does it mean to love Jesus deeply from the heart?
b.     How can I be more welcoming to others to be a part of us and/or the wider community of Christ followers?

4.     Money. I know too many clergy talk too much about this subject: too much guilt and haranguing. Truth is that neither Fr. John nor I take a salary from the community for our ministry because we don’t want to be a burden. You all pay my military retirement with your taxes, so you already contribute to my life. So why raise the subject? Because the Order is still on a cliff edge just paying for the basic expenses of the community. If you worship at another congregation, that group should be paid first. But if you are part of the Columbia community and participate in our sacramental life, we could use your support.

5.     Did you know that we now have a Monstrance for worshipping our Lord through the Blessed Sacrament?

6.     We are a sacramental community. This means that the idea of God’s grace coming to us through the rites and rituals of our faith is a critical part of our identity. I want to emphasize two important sacraments we need to embrace and use MORE. First, we need to be more aggressive about the Sacrament of the Sick. When you are ill or injured or facing a surgical procedure, please let me or Fr. John know. We want to make the Church’s ministry available to you. Second, we need to avail ourselves of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Yes, it’s become one of my favorite topics. There is nothing more healing than hearing God’s forgiveness for our faults and sins. Again, Fr. John and I stand ready to help you.

7.     Finally (for this month), July 29th we are having a social/outreach event for the community. We plan to attend the Kansas City Royals baseball game. No sermons, homilies, or “religious” stuff. We are just going to a game and inviting our friends to meet our community. Next month I will ask who is thinking about attending and getting some numbers out to you all, cost wise.

Dr. Jim McNeely+
Parent, Priest, Person