October 09, 2014

Email To a Friend

PHOTO BY jeffreybruno.photoshelter.com



Beatification was 'overwhelming'


Among 2,000 worshipers who attended the Oct. 4 beatification of Sr. Miriam Teresa Demjanovich, SC, were a Franciscan relative and the man whose miraculous healing made this day possible.

Friar Ed Demyanovich, a cousin who has followed Teresa’s cause since he was a youngster, marched in a procession so packed with dignitaries it took almost 20 minutes to get them all seated at Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J. Next to Ed, carrying a relic – a lock of Teresa’s hair – was 58-year-old Michael Mencer, whose parents prayed for a miracle decades ago when he lost his vision. Thanks to the intercession of Teresa, “My eyesight returned within 30 days,” Michael told Ed.

“I never really talked to him until I met him that day,” says Ed, a board member of the Sr. Miriam Teresa League. Michael, 13 at the time of the miracle, was oblivious to its implications. “I didn’t think anything about it,” he said. “All I know is I was blind, and one morning I woke up and had my eyesight back. I got up and took off on my bicycle. My parents said, ‘We prayed to Sr. Miriam to get your eyesight back,’ and it didn’t even click with me.” Since then Michael, who now lives in Nebraska, has had 20-20 vision.

Ed was both excited and worried about his own prominent role in the first beatification Mass held in the United States. Before the procession, “People kept interrupting us,” he says. “They wanted to touch Michael and talk to him.” Ed was also swarmed by photographers and “a lot of nuns who wanted pictures. There were so many TV cameras. I don’t know how they knew about me.  Everything I did, they took pictures. Even when  I received Communion. It was too much. It was overwhelming.”

Pomp and circumstance

He drove to Newark from Easton, Pa., with his cousin Barbara, his sisters, Ruth and Cindy, and Provincial Minister Jeff Scheeler. “We got there an hour and 45 minutes early and the church was already half-packed.” Forty minutes before Mass, “They closed the church doors, so a lot of people who had tickets could not get in,” including one of Ed’s bosses at the Ace Hardware store where he works. (Not to worry; Ed still has a job.)

A painting of New Jersey native Teresa Demjanovich was unveiled at the beatification.

Ed with sisters Cindy Webb and Ruth Jarvis.

Ed Demyanovich, right, with Michael Mencer.

Loading the page...

“I was in the fifth pew, sitting with Michael and the Sisters of Charity who were promoting her beatification. I told the sisters, ‘Congratulations for having a Blessed in your community,’ and they said, ‘Well, you are really blessed because you are part of the Demyanovich family and you are a religious.’”

The 2½ -hour Mass was led by Angelo Cardinal Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark welcomed the Demyanovich and Mencer families and hundreds of Sisters of Charity from across the country.  “There were two rites,” Ed says, one in honor of Teresa’s roots in the Byzantine Church. The Gospel was intoned in Slovak, the language of her parents. “The Bishop from Paterson [Arthur J. Serratelli] gave a wonderful homily on Teresa’s virtues.”

Left, Ed with some of Teresa’s writings; below, the relic Michael carried was a lock of Teresa’s hair.


PHOTO BY http://jeffreybruno.photoshelter.com

A day to remember

For Ed, the emotional high point came during prayers to the saints when the words, “and also pray to Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich,” were added. “Having her included in the Mass with all the saints – that brought the tears,” he says.

 To one side of the altar sat an oil portrait of young Teresa, venerated for her holiness and her insightful writings on religious life. A Sister of Charity for only two years, she died of complications from appendicitis at the age of 26.

 Ed rates the beatification high on his list of life experiences. “It was a big eye-opener that I have a relative I know is in heaven,” he says. “It just kind of blew my mind.”

(Video of The Beatification Mass for Sr. Miriam Teresa Demjanovich is posted online at http://www.catholictv.com/shows/americas-catholic-television-network/beatification-sr-miriam-teresa-demjanovich.)

Provincial Ministers John Hardin of California, Marc Le Goanvec of Eastern Canada, Dennis Vavreck of Western Canada (our host), and Michael Copps of England at Banff National Park.Greetings from Mt. St. Francis Retreat House in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada, where the 91st meeting of the English Speaking Conference is being held, hosted by Christ the King Province. As always, it is good to be with the other Provincials and hear what is happening in other Provinces. General Minister Michael Perry joined us for a day and updated us on happenings in the Order and the upcoming General Chapter. Michael Copps of Immaculate Conception Province of England updated us on their Chapter to be held in November when they will likely become a Custody dependent on the Province of Ireland. Marc Le Goanvec of St. Joseph Province in Montreal and Dennis Vavrek (our host) told us of an upcoming meeting where possible restructuring of the Canadian Provinces will be discussed.

 At the October meeting we also review accountability reports from the many groups that support our life, e.g., the Secretaries of Formation, the directors of the JPIC offices, the Mission Directors, the Development Directors, etc. It helps us stay on board and get the big picture. Speaking of the big picture, on Wednesday we had our free day exploring Lake Louise in Banff National Park of the Canadian Rockies. Absolutely magnificent views of God’s creation!

— Fr. Jeff Scheeler, OFMEmail To a Friend




  • A friar who was abducted Sunday in northwest Syria along with 20 other Christians was released this morning, according to the Custody of the Holy Land. Syrian Fr. Hanna Jallouf was seized Sunday by rebels linked to Al-Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda’s Syria branch. “He is under House Arrest at the Convent of Knayeh (Qunayeh),” the Custody reports. Agenzia Fides online says the priest was kidnapped “after his recent visit to the Islamic Court, where he had gone to report harassment and abuse suffered in recent weeks from the convent” by Islamic rebels who took control of the territory but had allowed Fr. Jallouf’s church and convent to remain open. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Custos of Franciscans in the Holy Land, said the priest and his parishioners were unjustly accused of collaborating with the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Fr. Hanna Jallouf, OFM

Email To a Friend

  • Friars celebrating the Transitus in Easton, Pa., marked another milestone, the 75th anniversary of Miles Pfalzer’s profession as a friar. Jeff Scheeler, on hand to accompany Ed Demyanovich to the beatification of his cousin in Newark, snapped this photo. His years as a friar have taken Miles from Louisiana to the Philippines, from Missouri to Louisiana and Ohio, from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to his current assignment at St. Francis Retreat House.
  • Tomorrow would have been the 100th birthday of the late Florence Langenderfer, mother of friars Carl and Max. Her family hasn’t forgotten. Today her children and their families gathered at Hocking Hills State Park in Central Ohio to “hike, talk, reminisce, eat and drink and celebrate Mass, all in memory of Mom, complete with a birthday cake and 100 candles on the 10th,” Carl writes. “Mary and Weber are coming from Missoula, Rita and her girls Meagen and Hayley from Seattle and San Francisco, Bob and his family from Florence, Ky., and Max from Jamaica.ᅠ Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we can get outside; otherwise we’ll be spending a lot of time playing cards or board games!ᅠPlease keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we go about our first family reunion without Mom.”
  • Two weeks after putting the word out about the need for an industrial dishwasher, the folks at Sophia’s Kitchen in Peoria have raised more than $20,000 – their original goal. “It’s just wonderful

Miles Pfalzer, 75 years after his first profession.

  • to have that kind of support from the Peoria community. It shows me that people really do care about those who are unfortunate and in need,” said Kitchen Manager Claire Crone in a report aired Tuesday on Peoria’s Channel 31. The kitchen launched an aggressive online campaign for funds for a mechanical dishwasher after its chief dishwasher was sidelined by hip replacement surgery. Read more at http://www.centralillinoisproud.com/story/d/story/soup-kitchen-scrubs-up-20000/11664/JOGI4w480UilbpqD_lRo8w. Sophia’s, adjacent to St. Joseph Parish, feeds 500 guests each day.

Let’s decrease electronic waste

Discarded electronics now account for 5 percent of the municipal solid waste stream worldwide and about 70 percent of the hazardous heavy metals (including lead, chromium, cadmium, and mercury) in U.S. landfills. E-waste is now the fastest growing component of the municipal solid waste stream because people are upgrading their mobile phones, computers, televisions, audio equipment and printers more frequently than ever before. Mobile phones and computers are causing the biggest problem because they are replaced most often. You can rein in this e-waste by: repairing or upgrading current technology rather than buying new; buying one device that takes the place of two or more (like a printer with copier and scanner); donating working electronics to a school, church, or non-profit; recycling electronics in municipal or commercial recycling programs; returning electronics to the manufacturer or store “take-back” program. Recycling one million laptops saves the energy equivalent of the electricity used by more than 3,500 U.S. homes in a year. For every million cell phones we recycle, 35,000 lbs. of copper, 772 lbs. of silver, 75 lbs. of gold, and 33 lbs. of palladium can be recovered. For recycling locations in your community go to www.greenergadgets.org, or www.epa.gov.

– Donna Graham, OSF

Email To a Friend