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Confraternity of Penitents Monthly Newsletter -- January 2014

Visitor's Vision

The Real Holy Family

We have just celebrated the Christmas season. And we have these lovely images of Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus in our mind. We have these beautiful Nativity sets under our Christmas trees, all glistening with lights and icicles and looking just delightful. We see the Holy one Family on pretty Christmas cards and we say, “Merry Christmas” and look at all the beautiful trees with their colorful lights and the packages all wrapped up with beautiful bows and ribbons and we think, “Isn’t that lovely? Isn’t Christmas just beautiful?”

But the real Christmas wasn’t all glitter and light and beautiful. How do you think the Blessed Mother felt when her neighbors discovered that she was pregnant without the benefit of marriage? Do you think they would’ve believed this story that an angel told her she would be the Mother of God? What about her parents? What might their reaction have been to this situation? And can you imagine how Joseph felt? Or what his friends said to him? Ahem. . . Joseph. Mmmmm.

Do you think it was an easy trek for Joseph and Mary across the desert to Bethlehem with Mary so close to giving birth that it happened right there as soon as they reached the city? But she had no nice hospital bed to sleep in and no sanitized hospital room to give birth to her child in. In fact, the Holy Family could not even find a room. They had to give birth to their son, to God’s Son, in a smelly stable. Have you ever been around oxen and donkeys? They don’t smell very good. And this new born baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes made by His mother, was not laid in a fancy crib or even in one lovingly made by His carpenter father, but rather in a manger out of which those smelly animals ate.

And then we think about the first visitors, the shepherds, the outcasts of society who are watching their sheep and who happened to be alert enough to hear the angels sing. They were curious enough to follow the instructions to go down and find the baby in the manger. Here Mary and Joseph have just experienced the intimate birth of their baby and now they have these rough and tumble, smelly shepherds pushing their way into the stable to see this child. These are not exactly your family and friends whom you would expect to come to congratulate you on the birth.

And then Joseph is awakened in a dream, a troubling dream that tells him to take the child and His mother and flee into Egypt because Herod will seek the baby to kill Him. So as Mary and Joseph and Jesus leave for Egypt, they hear behind them the cries of the mothers and children left behind in Bethlehem as the babies are being killed. Don’t you think they must have thought, why do all these children have to die and our son is spared? Who is this child that He should live while the others don’t?

No, the Holy Family did not have a Christmas card or Nativity Set Christmas. They had a very real experience of stress, trouble, misunderstanding, and tragedy. If God treated His own Son and His earthly parents this way, why do we get upset when we run into trouble ourselves? The Holy Family is a model for ourselves and our own families to take courage in tough times, to trust in the Lord’s guidance, and to know that God’s Will is being carried out in what appears to us to be a mess.

None of us knows what the new year will bring. But we know that God has brought in the new year. And that He will be in the new year. Let us take courage from the Holy Family and go forward and trust, listening to the voice of God in our hearts and following His lead.

God bless you,

Father Jacob Meyer

Visitor, Confraternity of Penitents

The Nativity by Antonio da Correggio

Monthly Letter to All Penitents

For this month's Monthly Letter, we can do no better this month than to present to you the letter from Bishop Rhoades to the Confraternity of Penitents, reproduced below. Let us pray for our Bishop so that God may continue to give him the necessary graces in his ministry.

Following Francis, Following Christ

The Power to Do Penance


This is how the Lord gave me, brother Francis, the power to do penance. When I was in sin the sight of lepers was too bitter for me. And the Lord himself led me among them, and I pitied and helped them. And when I left them I discovered that what had seemed bitter to m e was changed into sweetness in my soul and body. And shortly afterward I rose and left the world. (Saint Francis of Assisi, The Testament)


At the end of his life, St. Francis of Assisi testified in his final Testament that God gave him “the power to do penance” when he did the very thing that he had always rejected doing. That thing was going among the lepers, taking pity on them, and helping them.


When he was a young man before his conversion, Francis thought of himself whenever he saw a leper. He thought about how horrified he was by that person’s physical condition which, at that time, was thought to reflect their moral and spiritual condition. The lepers, in other words, were morally and spiritually disfigured in horrible ways and that interior disfigurement was modeled in the exterior deformity. But after God led Francis among the lepers, however that happened, Francis saw the leper and not himself. Now he could see a hurting individual who may have had no moral or spiritual corruption but who was the victim of a terrible illness that caused not only disfigurement but also isolation from and rejection by society. Instead of putting himself on the outside of the leper staring at the leper, Francis was able to put himself inside the leper and see the world from within as the leper experienced it. And this ability could not help but give him a heart that was tuned to pain and suffering and that wanted to alleviate it.


When Francis saw all the suffering and pain which the lepers endured, from their illness and from others, he took courage that he, an able-bodied young man, could certainly stand some physical hardship and a great deal of ridicule in order to follow the Lord. This was the power to do penance.


Do we ever consider that the way we bear with difficult times and difficult people can be an inspiration to others? Do we ever consider that we our very witness, even without our saying anything, may so touch the soul of someone else that they, too, will turn to God and believe? It is certain that the lepers among whom Francis walked and to whom he ministered had no idea of the role which they, in their nameless obscurity, were playing in the life of this great saint-to-be. In the same way, we never know how an encounter with us will influence someone else.


A priest who works with Catholic college students tells the story. A young student whom he called Peter was walking on the college campus one day when he saw the most depressed looking young man sitting on a bench. Peter felt sorry for this young man but did not know what he could do for him so he began to pray for the man. As he walked by, Peter heard an interior voice say to him, “Tell that young man that I love him, that Jesus loves him.” Peter knew that this was the voice of the Holy Spirit, but he began to wrestle with the Spirit. “I don’t know that man. How can I go up to him and tell him that Jesus loves him? He might even punch me! I have no idea how he will respond if I just go and talk to him.” With these and similar arguments, he tried to get out of the task at hand. But as he kept walking, the Holy Spirit again accosted Peter with these interior words, “You are my disciple to that man. Go and tell him that Jesus loves him.” The voice was so insistent that Peter gave him. At first he sat on the side of the bench farthest away from the young man and then gradually sidled closer to him. When he was within what seemed like a comfortable distance from the fellow, Peter said to him, “I don’t know you, and you don’t know me. But I do know who my Master is, and He, my God, told me to tell you that Jesus loves you.” When the young man heard this, he began to weep for joy.


We are all disciples for Christ, to bring the message of Christ to the world. That discipleship may take us among people we would rather avoid or into situations that might make us the object of ridicule. Somehow Francis was led among the lepers, probably at the prompting of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit prompts us to witness to God’s love, then we are called become disciples at that moment. What will be our response?


--Madeline Pecora Nugent (Life Pledged and Privately Vowed CFP Member)

Letter from One Who Serves the CFP


Professor Joseph Ratzinger, in his Introduction to Christianity, asserts that in the book of Exodus (Ex 3:13-15) God revealed his names to Moses at the burning bush as Yahweh (I AM).  However, he then goes on to ask if this is really a name and if God is really rebuffing Moses:  Yet a careful reading shows that the thorn bush scene expounds this name in such a way that as a name it seems to be absolutely cancelled out; in any case it moves out of the series of appellations of divinities to which it as first seems to belong.  Let us listen once again carefully.  Moses says: “The children of Israel, to whom you send me, will ask, ‘Who is the God who sends you?  What is he called?’  What shall I say to them?”  We are next told that God replied:  “I AM WHO I AM”.  The words could also be translated, “I am what I am.”  This really looks like a rebuff; it seems much more like a refusal to give a name than an announcement of a name.   In the whole scene there is a sense of displeasure at such importunity:  I am just who I am.   The idea that here no name is really given and that the question is rejected acquires additional probability when a comparison is made with the two passages what could be adduced as the best parallels to our text:  Judges 13:18 and Genesis 32:30.  In Judges 13:18 a certain Manoah asks the God who meets him for his name.  The answer he is given is:  “Why do you ask my name, seeing it is a secret?” (Another possible translation is “seeing it is wonderful”.)

A name is not given.  In Genesis 32:30, it is Jacob who, after his nocturnal struggle with the stranger, asks his name and receives only the discouraging answer, “Why is it that you ask my name?”  Both passages are linguistically and in general construction very closely related to our text, so that it is hardly disputable that there is an affinity in the thought.  Here again we have the gesture of repulse.  The God with whom Moses deals in the burning bush cannot give his name in the same way as the gods round about, who are individual gods alongside other similar gods and therefore need a name.  The God of the burning bush will not put himself on a level with them. 

Professor Ratzinger says that this explains why some Jews down to this day do not pronounce the name Yahweh and why the Greek Bible simply uses the word “Lord”.   Yet latter prophets did have a positive understanding of God (Yahweh).  Professor Ratzinger writes:  “All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field…  The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever” (Is 40:6-8). 

The reference to this text indicates a connection that hitherto has probably been given too little attention.  To the Deutero-Isaiah it was a fundamental part of his message that the things of this world pass away; that men, however forcefully they behave, are in the end like flowers, which bloom one day and are cut off and withering away the next, while in the midst of this gigantic display of transience the God of Israel “is”-----not “becomes”.  Amid all the becoming and passing away he “is”.  But this “is” of God, who abides above all the inconstancy of becoming as the constant one, is not proclaimed as something unconnected with anything else.  On the contrary, God is at the same time he who grants himself; he is there for us, and from his own firm standing he gives us firmness in our infirmity.  The God who “is” is at the same time he who is with us; he is not just God in himself; rather, he is our god, the “God of our fathers”.  We can see that the God of the burning bush cannot be named the way other gods can be named and yet he is still “our” God and not just some abstract philosophical concept.

Next, Professor takes up the attitude of later Judaism toward Yahweh, especially in the last chapters of the book of Isaiah.  This text was written after the Jews were deported to Babylon and were now permitted to return to the land of Israel.  It should be remembered that after several previous defeats, the walls of Jerusalem were breached by the Babylonian army in June-July 587 B.C.   The temple in Jerusalem, built by King Solomon several centuries earlier, was destroyed and most of the Jewish people were deported to Babylon.  This was a very humiliating defeat.  We can read in the book of Jeremiah how the leaders in Jerusalem, before this final defeat, had an exaggerated confidence that Yahweh would never let them be defeated by the pagan Babylonians.   Yet, after this defeat, the Jews did not abandon Yahweh and find a God who would protect them from their enemies.  Professor Ratzinger comments on what the author of Isaiah says about Yahweh: The brief, enigmatic phrase “I am” thus becomes the axis of the prophet’s proclamation, expressing his struggle against the gods, his struggle against Israel’s despair, and his message of hope and certainty.   In the face of the worthless pantheon of Babylon and its fallen potentates, the might of Yahweh rises simply, needing no commentary, in the expression “I am”, which describes its absolute superiority to all the godly and ungodly powers of this world.  The name Yahweh, whose meaning is brought home in such a fashion, thus moves a step farther toward the idea of him who “is” in the midst of the ruins of appearance, which has no endurance.

We can see that the name of God and who God is was revealed to Moses in the burning bush.  However, for Christians, the burning bush was not the ultimate revelation of the name of God.  Professor Ratzinger tells us how Jesus Christ is presented as the new “burning bush” in the 17th chapter of St. John’s Gospel:   The significance of this process becomes fully visible when one also realizes that John takes up again, in a much more striking way than any New Testament author before him, the heart of the burning bush story: the idea of the name of God.  The notion that God names himself, that it becomes possible to call on him by name, moves, together with “I am”, into the center of his testimony.  In John, Christ is compared with Moses in this respect, too; John depicts him as the one in whom the story of the burning bush first attains its true meaning.  All chapter 17---the so-called “high priestly prayer”, perhaps the heart of the whole Gospel---centers around the idea of “Jesus as the revealer of the name of God” and thus assumes the position of New Testament counterpart to the story of the burning bush.  The theme of God’s name recurs like a leitmotiv in verses 6, 11, 12, and 26.   Let us take only the two main verses: “I have manifested your name to the men whom you gave me out of the world” (v.6 [emphasis added]).   “I made known to them your name, and I will make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them” (v. 26 [emphasis added]).  Christ himself, so to speak, appears as the burning bush from which the name of God issues to mankind.  But since in the view of the fourth Gospel Jesus unites in himself, applies to himself, the “I am” of Exodus 3 and Isaiah 43, it becomes clear at the same time that he himself is the name, that is the “invocability” of God.  The idea of the name here enters a decisive new phase.  The name is, no longer merely a word, but a person:  Jesus himself.  Christology, or belief in Jesus, is raised to the level of an exposition of the name of God and of what it signifies.

Here, Professor Ratzinger is again showing for us the true relationship between the Old Testament and the New Testament.   Many have been taught that the Old Testament presents the “God of Vengeance” or the “God of Law” while the New Testament presents the “God of Love and Mercy”.   No, the New Testament does not negate, deny, or contradict the Old Testament.  Professor Ratzinger tells us that the burning bush narrative of Exodus 3 and the high priestly prayer of John 17 show that the New Testament, and especially Jesus Christ, fulfills the Old Testament.

James Nugent, Life Pledged Member

No Greater Love

Lingering Thoughts from Christmas


On this day, in the city of Bethlehem, was born a Savior. . . This day, a day of gifts, a time of love and family, but not only that.  A time of renewal, a time of hope realized, a time of gloriousness, a time of peace, and a time of joy.  God incarnate of the Virgin Mary has entered the world.  As a babe, raised as all children are, entirely God and also entirely man.  Humble enough to allow humanity to raise Him, awesome enough to have created humanity itself.  A hater of sin, but a lover of the sinner; man limited by the bonds of humanity, but God unlimited by divinity.  


As we think about what Christmas means to each of us, never forget that it's because of Him that we have hope.  It is because of Him that we have faith.  It is because of Him that we have love.  It is because of Him that we are.  Celebrate the season all year long.  Remember Jesus, remember what He has done for us, and remember that without Him there is nothing that can become of us that is truly good.


Don't forget one important element for His arrival, the fiat, the "Do until me as you will" that Mary uttered at the coming of the angel.  For it was through woman (Mary), that the Man entered the world.  It was the yes of Mary in cooperation with the will of God that permitted the Holy Spirit to work through her.  Thank you, Mary and Jesus, for together you bring perfection of what is good to the world.  Mary, perfect in humanity, but only perfect in humanity because of the awesome power of God to preserve her, His blessed mother, from the bonds of sin.  Jesus, perfect in humanity and divinity, but only brought to the world in His fullness of power and glory by a humble girl who chose to respond perfectly to God's will.


Have faith, hope, and love because you know that God is with you.  He loves you, and He desires you to choose His will each and everyday.  Go to Him, talk to Him, love Him, and cherish Him just as you would your family and friends at Christmas season for it is He who created family in the Blessed Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  May the inspiration of Christmas remain with you all year.


In Him,

Shawn Rideout, Associate Novice 1

Reflections on the Rule


12. All are daily to say the seven canonical Hours, that is: Matins[1], Prime[2], Terce[3], Sext[4], None[5], Vespers[6], and Compline[7]. The clerics are to say them after the manner of the clergy. Those who know the Psalter are to say the Deus in nomine tuo (Psalm 54) and the Beati Immaculati (Psalm 119) up to the Legem pone (Verse 33) for Prime, and the other psalms of the Hours, with the Glory Be to the Father; but when they do not attend church, they are to say for Matins the psalms the Church says or any eighteen psalms; or at least to say the Our Father as do the unlettered at any of the Hours. The others say twelve Our Fathers for Matins and for every one of the other Hours seven Our Fathers with the Glory Be to the Father after each one. And those who know the Creed and the Miserere mei Deus (Ps. 51) should say it at Prime and Compline. If they do not say that at the Hours indicated, they shall say three Our Fathers.


[1] Office of Readings

[2] Early Morning Prayer

[3] Midmorning Prayer

[4] Midday Prayer

[5] Midafternoon Prayer

[6] Evening Prayer

[7] Night Prayer

CONSTITUTIONS (continued from last month)


12o. To complete the daily prayer schedule, the penitent must then choose, with the guidance of a spiritual director, one of the following five options:


The Office of Readings (formerly called Matins) was once said around midnight but may now be prayed at any time during the day. The little hours of Terce (Midmorning Prayer-about 9 a.m.), Sext (Midday Prayer-about noon), and None (Midafternoon Prayer-about 3 p.m.) are prayed at approximately the hours described. Penitents may combine some of these prayers and say them at alternate hours if their personal schedules require it. For example, the Office of Readings and Morning Prayer may both be said at dawn if need requires. Midmorning, Midday, and Midafternoon Prayer may be combined at noon and Evening Prayer and Night Prayer combined prior to bedtime. Clerics are to recite the Hours after the manner of the clergy. 


If possible the fifteen decades should be broken up so that the Rosary is prayed, in part, throughout the day to approximately correspond to the times of the minor hours.


This may be broken up into two 30 minute segments or four 15 minute segments. An ideal place to pray would be before the Blessed Sacrament.


Those who do not know how to read, who have no Bible or breviary, or who cannot read on a particular day, may say, for the Office of Readings, twelve Our Father's, twelve Hail Mary's, and twelve Glory Be's; for every other one of the hours, seven Our Father's, seven Hail Mary's, and seven Glory Be's. 


Those parenting small children or otherwise suffering continuous distractions or time constraints may, with the permission of their spiritual directors, substitute short pious ejaculations for the minor hours. These may be as simple as mentally lifting one's mind to God. Penitents should, however, endeavor to pray Morning, Evening, and Night Prayer unless dispensed from doing so by their spiritual directors. At the minimum, those who choose Option Five must review their prayer schedule at the first meeting of each year with their spiritual directors so that adjustments may be made.


[1] Any fifteen decades may be chosen.


While the preferred prayer option is to pray, as the original penitents did, the full Liturgy of the Hours, penitents may elect other ways to fill the prayer requirement of the CFP Rule. Fulfillment of this requirement should have the penitent praying about 90 minutes a day excluding time spent at Holy Mass.


The prayer options are those traditionally used by Religious Orders. These include the Rosary, meditation and mental prayer, and praying a certain number of Our Father’s, Hail Mary’s, and Glory Be’s. If need be, the penitent can use one or more options in a single day. However, this should not be the habit. Penitents are to choose one way to complete their prayer requirement and then stick with it unless they and their spiritual directors conclude that the option needs to be changed. This said, there are some days when all that a penitent can do is to raise his or her mind to God and then to hurry on to the next pressing need.


Penitents may wish to try one prayer option to see how that is working for them. And if it seems in adequate, they are free to try a different option, with the approval of the spiritual director. The bottom line is that God wants to get our attention, and the way we give Him that attention is by spending time with Him in prayer.

Affiliate Action

While Affiliates are not required to spend any certain amount of time in prayer per day, other than praying the Affiliate’s prayer for the Confraternity of Penitents, each Affiliate should strongly consider spending a certain time with God each day in prayer. Affiliates may wish to take some hints from the Rule and Constitutions of the Confraternity of Penitents regarding prayer, or they may have special novenas or vocal prayers that they like to pray. Prayer is to be communion with God, and if we want to become all whom God intended us to be, then we need to spend time with Him and listen to His voice. Spending time with God and listening to His voice is what prayer is all about.


Promised Land


For my father Joseph Matose III


We all owe ourselves

One definite purpose

One that awakes

And alone can usurp us—


A dream that shoots out

Like the tip of your nose

One that will honestly

Alight and propose—


Just as I conceive

In the back of my mind

A dream that will inspire

All humankind—


The dream among others

Is unequivocally this

Give all that you can

To those who should have


And cross over the bridge

With your rod and your staff

And onward and onward over the river

And praise the Lord

Who will stand and deliver!


--Joseph Matose IV, CFP Affiliate

Virtues Portrayed in the San Damiano Crucifix



St. Francis of Assisi prayed before the Crucifix of San Damiano and from it took inspiration on how to follow the Lord. One of the great virtues portrayed in this crucifix is serenity. Every being on the crucifix, who is in tune with the Lord’s will, appears serene. The only ones who seem agitated are the two small figures on either side of the cross. These seem to represent those who do not believe in Christ and who do not accept his sacrifice. But all the other figures are joyful, wondering, and serene. Christ himself is serene on the cross. While he is in a position of agony, his facial features do not indicate any agony. Rather they indicate acceptance and peace.


Francis could not have undertaken the difficult path that he chose if he did not have the serenity of the Holy Spirit in his soul. Only when we are completely at peace can we do God’s sometimes difficult Will. If we can spend time praying before the San Damiano crucifix and meditating on it, the serenity portrayed there will necessarily seep into our souls.

Saint of the Month

Servant of God Giuseppe Girotti, OP (1905-1945)


Servant of God Giuseppe Girotti was born in Alba, Italy, on July 19, 1905. His family was humble but was highly esteemed by the community for their hard work and compassion. At the age of 13, Giuseppe entered the Dominican seminary at Chieri to pursue his dream of becoming a priest. He was ordained a priest on August 3, 1930.


Giuseppe was a brilliant young man with a cheerful disposition and a ready sense of humor. Educated in Jerusalem, he was dedicated to teaching theology at the Dominican seminary in Turin, Italy. A prolific writer, he published a complete commentary on the Wisdom Books and the prophet Isaiah. Although he was a man of culture, he very much loved to minister to the poor and the humble, especially the elderly poor who lived in a home near his convent.


For some reason, he was deprived of his teaching and moved to another community in Turin. Nevertheless, he continued his Biblical studies and increased his ministry to the poor. When war broke out, he continued to aid the poor and sided with the persecuted Jewish people. Because of his ministry to them, he was arrested and placed in a prisoners’ camp outside of Monaco. Here he was able to advance weekly in the virtues of humility, simplicity, poverty, charity to others, and self-sacrifice. He drew strength and vigor from the Eucharist and from the celebration of Holy Mass which he offered to the prisoners in this concentration camp. On April 1, 1945, Giuseppe Girotti was martyred for his faith and his charity to those innocent ones whom the state considered to be enemies.


Giuseppe Girotti, pray for us.

Quote from Scripture

We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. (I John 3:16)


Life is a precious and good thing. And yet Jesus laid down His life so that we might have eternal life. This very act shows us how much He loves us. It also shows us how we must love one another. We must be willing to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of the other. That is the measure of love. That is the test of love. That is love.


Too often we think of sacrifice in the sense of martyrdom. But every day we have the opportunity to lay down our wills for the sake of someone else. Parents of small children have, perhaps, more opportunities to do this in a day than other people do, but each of us can find a way, or a way will find us, to lay down our lives for others. This might mean letting someone else have our seat on a crowded bus, or not taking the last cookie so that someone else can have it, or volunteering to clean or do laundry when all that you want to do is sit down and rest. In fact, it would probably be a very good spiritual exercise to purposely lay down our lives for someone at least once each day. If we could do this in union with Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, God’s grace would flow into us, and it would increase our faith and love.

Quote from a Saint

"All that I do is only for love." --Servant of God Giuseppe Girotti

Imagine if we could say, “All that I do it only for love.” When Giuseppe Girotti said this, did he intend the word love to be capitalized? In other words was he using the word in the same way that St. John the Evangelist did when he wrote that “God is Love, and he who lives in love lives in God and God lives in him.” (1 John 4:16)? What if everything we did was for God who is Love? What difference would that make in how we act? Perhaps Giuseppe Girotti measured his actions against the standard of God Whose name is Love. Because he was a holy man, it seems that this must be so.

Happy Birthday to:

Mary Ann W 1/1

Karen S 1/2

Jason H 1/2

Charlotte C 1/6

Mathew R 1/7

Sarah M 1/10

Teresa K 1/8

Linda R 1/15

Roger B 1/16

Karen J 1/16

Cynthia K 1/17

Anna-Lena S 1/17

Praxides C 1/18

Diane L 1/20

Nathaniel H 1/21

Wayne W 1/22

Elly G 1/23

DeAnne R 1/24

David M 1/25

Patricia M 1/25

Antoinette P 1/25

Megan A 1/28

Annita VMH 1/29

Kathryn W 1/30


Some thoughts about Politics

If God wanted us to vote, He would’ve given us candidates. – Jay Leno


The problem with political jokes is they get elected. – Henry Cate, VII


We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. – Aesop


If we got 1/10 of what was promised to us in these State of the Union speeches, there wouldn’t be any inducement to go to heaven. – Will Rogers


Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river. – Nikita Khrushchev


When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President: I’m beginning to believe it. –Clarence Darrow


Why pay money to have your family tree traced? Go into politics and your opponents will do it for you. –Anonymous


Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel.. –John Quinton


I offer my opponents a bargain: if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them. – Adlai Stevenson


A politician is the fellow will lay down your life for his country. – Tex Guinan


Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks. – Doug Larson

Confraternity Photo Album

Introducing our new Confraternity of Penitents Visitor, Father Jacob Meyer.

The Confraternity of Penitents Visitor, Father Jacob Meyer, was appointed by Bishop Kevin Rhoades to be the Church representative from the Confraternity of Penitents directly to the Bishop. Father Jacob is also Parochial Vicar at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana, teaches at both Bishop Dwenger High School and St. Charles Borromeo Elementary and Middle School, and is chaplain to the Knights of Columbus. A fan of both Franciscan and Dominican spirituality, Father Jacob is a joyful, sociable, and much loved servant of Christ. The Confraternity is most blessed in having him as our Visitor.

Father Jacob Meyer, Visitor, Confraternity of Penitents

Wonderful members of the Confraternity of Penitents,

It was with great joy that I heard from Bishop Kevin Rhoades that I had been appointed to be the Visitor to your community! Know that you are all in my prayers every morning as I pray the Holy Rosary.

I must admit, I have never considered myself to be all that ‘Franciscan’, in fact most of my friends (who are almost ALL Franciscan) make fun of me for my Dominican leanings. However, I have found that to be changing as more and more the Lord calls me into the Franciscan charism. This process began for me through the San Damiano cross. It was a favorite of my saintly mother and always hung in our home. I would pray before this cross and was struck by its beauty. As a priest I give a San Damiano cross to every couple whom I have the honor of witnessing their marriage. I place it on the altar throughout the Mass and give it to them at the end of the Mass, reminding them to place it somewhere in their home where they will see it every day. It is to be a reminder of the life to which they (and indeed we all) are called, the life of cross, laying down their life DAILY for the sake of their beloved. Before this cross St. Francis received his call from God, “Rebuild my Church!” It is at the same time both the source and means to accomplish the summons, for while it is from this cross that Francis received those blessed words, it is also a sign of the only way in which the Church could be rebuilt, which is the laying down of our lives for love of Christ.

This love did then rebuild the Church and continues to this day. May our lives of penance be lives of love!

Thank you all for your prayers (especially the Holy Mass offered by the Confraternity for myself and the Bishop) and know that I have offered the Holy Sacrifice for you all on the Feast of the Holy Innocents.

Pax et Bonum and may our Holy Father Francis intercede for you all before the throne of God.

Father Jacob Meyer, Visitor

Confraternity of Penitents

Featured Items CFP Holy Angels Gift Shop

On January 22, 1973, the United States Supreme Court legalized abortion for all nine months of pregnancy. The CFP Holy Angels Gift Shop has many prolife prayers and other items. Please view the Gift Shop's Prolife Link for examples. The following are three of the many items available to help you in your witness for life.

Pro Life Prayer Asking St. Francis' Intercession - 50c each plus postage

Conception Is Life Pro Life Scripture Bracelet - 5.95 plus postage

Conception Is Life Rosary - 8.95 each plus postage

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