Capuchin Franciscan Father Solanus Casey to be beatified this weekend

Photo Courtesy of the Capuchin Franciscan Order of St. Joseph in Detroit via Catholic News Agency

Venerable Father Solanus Casey, OFM Cap. will be beatified on Saturday, Nov. 18 at Ford Field in Detroit. The stadium holds 60,000 people

Born in Wisconsin in 1870, the sixth of sixteen children to Irish immigrants, Fr. Solanus, known as Bernard then, led a life of powerful simplicity. He struggled in minor seminary and was eventually encouraged to become a priest through a religious order.

He still struggled, but in 1907 was ordained by the Capuchin’s Detroit province a “sacerdos simplex” – a priest who can say Mass, but not publically preach or hear confessions.

It didn’t matter because he was very close to the sick and was highly sought-after throughout his life, in part because of the many physical healings attributed to his blessings and intercession. He was also a co-founder of Detroit’s Capuchin Soup Kitchen in 1929.

For 21 years he was porter at St. Bonaventure Monastery in Detroit.

Fr. Casey died of a skin affliction in 1957 at the age of 87.

For the National Catholic Reporter (Nov. 16, 2017) summary,click here.

For the Catholic News Agency (Nov. 8, 2017) report, click here.

For the NCR (Nov. 13, 2017) summary of Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Vatican nuncio to the US’s remarks on Fr. Solanus and Blessed Fr. Stanley Rother, click here.

Transitions  – A Pastor’s Life – Part 2, by Father Dennis Lewandowski

In this week’s e-letter we are posting part 2 of Fr. Dennis Lewandowski’s essay on priests’ transitions. Part 1 appeared in NFPC This Week, #728, 10/1-10/7/2017. For the entire essay in PDF, click here.

Father Clete Kiley conducts special blessing in response to hotel workers’ request

Fr. Clete Kiley. Photo courtesy of the Archdiocese of Chicago

In the Oct. 26, 2017 edition of the Chicago Sun-Times, columnist Michael Sneed writes about the special blessing conducted recently by Fr. Clete Kiley of the area in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas where a sniper shot and killed 58 people and injured nearly 500 more at a nearby concert on Oct. 5.

Fr. Kiley, director for Immigration Policy for Unite Here and founder of the Priest-Labor Initiative, spoke of his experience, stating, in part that he felt surrounded by the mystery of evil. He went on to say: “Then, I noticed the absolutely most stunning hotel room view you could imagine. I found there was no way to hold any of this together rationally. I kept saying this is just evil, raw evil.

“So I blessed the water according to the Roman ritual and then began to bless my companion and me, and then each and every corner of the suite.

“I blessed each bullet and room going back down the hall. I used the prayer for the blessing of a house and extended the prayer with an invocation to the Holy Spirit to descend in this place with light, joy, peace, hope and life.”

The special blessing was requested by the leadership of the Culinary Worker’s Union, many of whose members were traumatized by the carnage.

For Michael Sneed’s entire column, click here.

Episcopal appointments – 

Bishop Joseph M. Siegel. Photo courtesy of the Diocese of Joliet


Pope Francis has named Joliet, Illinois Auxiliary Bishop Joseph M. Siegel as Bishop of Evansville, Indiana. He succeeds Archbishop Charles Thompson who was appointed Archbishop of Indianapolis in June.

Bishop Siegel, 54, a native of Lockport Township, IL was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Joliet in 1988. He attended St. Meinrad Seminary where he completed his college education.  He was then sent to the North American College in Rome (1984-1988), attending the Gregorian and Angelicum Universities. In 1988 he earned a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, IL

He served a wide variety pastoral and administrative assignments including member and chairman of the Presbyteral Council and the Diocesan Board of Consultors. He also served as director of Continuing Formation for Priests, a member of the Diocesan Vocation Board, the Priest Personnel Board and Dean of Eastern Will County.

In 2009 Pope Benedict named Fr. Siegel auxiliary bishop of Joliet.

He serves on the Bishops’ Respect Life Advisory Board, as is a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre.

His installation is scheduled for Dec. 15.

For the USCCB News Release, click here.

For the Catholic News Agency report, click here.

For The Herald – Dubois County – (Oct. 18, 2013) report, click here.

Bishop-elect Enrique Delgado. Photo courtesy of the Archdiocese of Miami


On Oct. 12, Pope Francis named Father Enrique Delgado as auxiliary bishop of Miami.

Bishop-elect Delgado, 62, a native of Lima, Peru was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Miami in 1996.

He earned a master’s degree in economics with a concentration in finance and accounting from the University of Lima in Peru. He worked for several years managing a company before immigrating to the United States. In addition, he finished his doctoral studies in practical theology on December 19, 2015 from St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Bishop-elect Delgado served in a variety of pastoral assignments including pastor of   St. Katharine Drexel Church, Weston, Florida, 2014-present.

For the USCCB News Release, click here.

Bishop-elect Thanh Thai Nguyen. Photo courtesy of the Diocese of Orange


On Oct. 6, Pope Francis named Father Thanh Thai Nguyen as auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Orange, California. Father Nguyen is a priest of the Diocese of St. Augustine where he currently serves as pastor of St. Joseph Church in Jacksonville, Florida.

Bishop-elect Nguyen, 64, is a native of Nha Trang, Vietnam. In 1979, he escaped Vietnam by boat with his family and spent 10 months in a refugee camp in the Philippines before arriving in the United States in 1980.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts and a master of divinity degree from Weston School of Theology, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Father Nguyen entered the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette in 1984 and served as a priest of that congregation for eight years. He was ordained a priest on May 11, 1991. He was incardinated in the Diocese of St. Augustine, June 29, 1999.

For the USCCB News Release, click here.

For the Diocese of Orange report, click here.


Rockford priest receives award from Loras College

Fr. David Beauvais. Photo courtesy of Yeshua Catholic International Leadership Institute

On October 7, Father David Beauvais, a priest of the Diocese of Rockford, received the Loras College Distinguished Alumni Humanitarian Award. The award was presented during the school’s homecoming celebration. He graduated from Loras in 1958, where he earned a BA in History and Philosophy.

Fr. Beauvais, a native of Mundelein, IL, was ordained in 1962 after completing studies at St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, MD. He served in a wide variety of pastoral and administrative positions,

Father Beauvais was on the board of the Catholic Foundation of the Diocese of Rockford for over two decades, a member of the Priests’ Senate, a member the Council of the Administration & Executive Committee at Boylan Central Catholic High School, and a member of the board of the diocese’s Priest Wellness Committee.

He is a member of the board of the Yeshua Catholic International Leadership Institute based in Durand, IL.

For The Catholic Leader report, click here.

Bismarck priest named rector of The St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity

Msgr. Thomas Richter. Photo courtesy of The Catholic Spirit.

Monsignor Thomas Richter, a priest of the Diocese of Bismarck and currently Rector of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Bismarck, has been appointed 15th rector of The St. Paul Seminary effective June 1, 2018. In preparation for his new ministry, Msgr. Richter will assume responsibilities of vice-rector on Jan. 1, 2018.

He succeeds Monsignor Aloysius R. Callaghan, J.C.D., who is completing his second six-year term at the end of the current academic year.

A native of North Dakota, Msgr. Richter was ordained to the priesthood in 1996 after receiving his theological formation at the Pontifical North American College and the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, both in Rome.

Prior to becoming the Rector of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, Monsignor Richter served as Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Bismarck. Outside of the diocese, he served on the Executive Board of the National Conference of Diocesan Vocations Directors and as a faculty member and spiritual director of the Institute for Priestly Formation.

For a report from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, click here.

For The Catholic Spirit (Oct. 2, 2017) report, click here.

Transition-a Pastor’s Life, by Father Dennis Lewandowski

Father Dennis Lewandowski, a priest of the Diocese of Joliet reflects on life transitions, especially as it affects priests and those who they minister to. This is the first of a two-part article. For the entire essay in PDF, click here.

Salina Bishop Weisenburger to succeed Bishop Kicanas in Tucson

Bishop Edward Weisenburger. Photo courtesy of the Diocese of Tucson

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson and appointed Bishop Edward Weisenburger of Salina, KS to succeed him.

The changes were announced on Oct. 3 by Monsignor Walter Erbi, charge d’affaires at the Vatican’s nunciature in Washington, DC.

Bishop Weisenburger, 56, a native of Alton, IL, was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City on December 19, 1987. He later earned his pontifical J.C.L. degree from the University of St. Paul in Ottawa, Canada (1992). Upon returning to the archdiocese, he was appointed vice-chancellor and adjutant judicial vicar.

He has held a wide variety of pastoral ad administrative assignments including Promoter of Justice for the cause of canonization of Stanley Francis Rother, Servant of God. He served as pastor of Holy Trinity parish in Okarche, Oklahoma (1995-2002) and as pastor of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help (2002-2012). On February 6, 2012, he was appointed Bishop of Salina by Pope Benedict XVI and was ordained on May 1, 2012.

Bishop Kicanas, 76, was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1967. He served in various capacities in the seminary system of the Archdiocese of Chicago for 25 years. In 1984, he was appointed Rector of Mundelein Seminary and held seminary postings that included rector, principal, and dean of formation at the former Quigley Seminary South.

He was named coadjutor bishop of Tucson on October 30, 2001, and was installed on January 15, 2002. He became the seventh Bishop of Tucson on March 7, 2003.

For the USCCB News Release, click here.

For the Catholic News Service (Oct. 3, 2017) report, click here.


Father Leo Tibesar, social justice activist, dead at 74

Fr. Leo Tibesar. Photo courtesy of the Star-Tribune

Father Leo J. Tibesar, a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and longtime pastor of St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Minneapolis died on Aug. 31. He was 74.

According to The Catholic Spirit, the archdiocesan newspaper, Fr. Leo was pastor at St. Frances Cabrini from 1994 until his retirement in 2011. He also served as Chaplain at Fairview Riverside and University of Minnesota Hospitals from 1987 to 2012.

Fr. Leo was ordained in a ordination class of 18 seminarians in 1968. His classmate, Fr. Stephen Adrian, who gave the homily at Fr. Leo’s funeral on Sept. 11, said, “Leo was the kind of guy who would take a public stand on things.”

Father Adrian remembered his friend as a pro-life advocate and early supporter of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, an advocate for farm workers and activist against the Vietnam War, and for his ministry to LGBT Catholics.

During the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s Fr. Leo was involved with Services to Persons with AIDS (SPA) and the direct services component of the Minnesota AIDS Project (MAP). He also helped organize the interdenominational response to the epidemic.

He also took on a leadership role with the National Catholic AIDS Network until it ceased operation in 2007.

During the 2006 NFPC Annual Convention in Minneapolis, Fr. Leo acted as Parliamentarian as the organization discussed by-law changes that were eventually enacted in 2008.

May Fr. Leo’s soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, Rest in Peace!

For The Catholic Spirit (Sept. 14, 2017) report, click here.

For the Star-Tribune obituary, click here.


Father Stanley Rother – reflections from those who knew him

Fr. Stanley Rother. Photo courtesy of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City

A story on the Catholic News Agency (Sept. 13, 2013) website tells of the family history and recollections of Father Stanley Rother by two close relatives. Fr. Rother will be beatified on Sept. 23 in Oklahoma City.

One of the storytellers is Sister Marita, Fr. Rother’s sister and the other, Father Don Wolf, his second cousin.

Fr. Rother was martyred on July 28, 1981 in Guatemala.  It is the story about an unlikely priest, from an unlikely place, to take on an unlikely task, and die an unlikely death, now on an unlikely path to become a canonized saint.

Sr. Marita is a religious sister of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. Fr. Don is a priest of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and pastor of St. Eugene Parish in Oklahoma City. He is past-president of NFPC (1997-2000).

For the entire CNA report, click here.