Tuesday, December 4, 2012

To the Childlike

Lectio Divina

... you have revealed them to the childlike.

Luke 10:21


About caught up with the Catholic periodicals. Mumford awaits.

For your edification, I present the December issue of The Caperone.


This morning, continuing our class sessions on the history of the Franciscan movement. The small groups made their presentations. My presentation on Saint Colette went well enough.

The main significance of her life for the Franciscan movement, the Church, and the world of her age are as follows: Colette ushered in a return to the primitive strict observance of poverty for the Second Order, the women Franciscans known as the Poor Clares, and inspired communities of French Franciscan friars to do likewise; she helped preserve the fragile unity of the Franciscan family amidst internal tensions over how to practice evangelical fraternity and poverty; her spiritual reforms drove forward efforts for unity within the Catholic Church, then divided over who was the pope and rightful leader of the Church in the West; and she succeeded in mediating between the noble families warring for supremacy in France. Colette was a pioneer leader among women religious, founding and reforming convents of Franciscan women (and men!) at a time when women religious never left their enclosure. She made careful use of the privileges granted to her by Church and state, weighing them according to their promotion of Franciscan values. In the long-standing debate over the priority of poverty or fraternity-sorority in Franciscan life, Colette definitely led with poverty. True poverty would guarantee holy sisterhood-brotherhood and achieve for the Church peace and unity in Christ.

This afternoon, moving right along with the January issue of the newsletter. We are a monthly, but there is always something to do in every phase of the production cycle.

Now, for a walk in the brisk air.


Chilly but comfortable.


As promised, a biography of Bro. Zachary Grant, a Capuchin priest of the province of New York and New England who died last week.

Fr. Zachary Grant--21 June 1930-28 November 2012

The Capuchin Franciscan Friars of the Province of St. Mary mourn the death of their brother, Father Zachary Grant who passed away on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at Cabrini Nursing Home in Dobbs Ferry, New York at the age of 82.

John Grant, the only son of John and Bridget McKiernan-Grant was born on 21 June 1930 in the Bronx, New York. His father John who was born in County Kilkenny, Ireland in 1902, worked for the New York Subway System as a mechanic until his retirement. His mother Bridget McKiernan was born in Manchester, England in 1899 and nurtured her family as a mother and housewife.

John was baptized at the Church of St. Anselm on 09 July 1930. John was raised in the Bronx along with his four sisters Mary, Leticia, Anne and Cecilia until his family relocated to Brooklyn in 1943. He attended St. Benedict School in the Bronx [1936-43]; St. Teresa School, Brooklyn, NY [1943-44] and St. Mary’s Seminary High School in Garrison, New York from 1944-48. During the summer months of his high school years he worked for Guaranty Trust Company in Manhattan, NY in the company’s lunch kitchen. On 31 August 1948 he was invested by Fr. Elmer a Bloomer at the Capuchin novitiate of St. Felix in Huntington, IN, receiving the religious name Zachary where he also pronounced his first vows on 01 September 1949.

Zachary pronounced perpetually vows into the hands of delegated Fr. Christian Schembre and witnessed by Melchior Moakler and Eymard McKinnon at Mary Immaculate Friary on 01 September 1953. Fr. Zachary was ordained to the priesthood along with his classmates Lee Friel, Jeremiah Cassidy, and Dacian Dee by His Excellency Philip J. Furlong, Auxiliary Bishop of the U.S. Military Vicariate on 23 June 1956 at Sacred Heart Church in Yonkers, NY

Zachary ministered as a parochial assistant at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in the lower east side of Manhattan from 1957-1962 and was later appointed pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows and guardian of the friar community from 1967-1970.

Zachary began his philosophy studies in 1949 to 1953 and continued with his theology studies from 1953-1957 at Mary Immaculate Friary in Garrison, NY.

In 1952, the Province of St. Joseph split and the Province of St. Mary was born. It was a time of great change and much movement. Solemnly professed friars who opted to remain as members of the Province of St. Joseph, Western philosophy students along with teachers, directors, and lay brothers were bused to St. Anthony Friary in Marathon, WI. Eastern theology students along with their directors, teachers, lay brothers and those friars who wished to be part of the new Province of St. Mary returned East to Mary Immaculate Friary.

Eager to address the need for Spanish-speaking ministers, Zachary began his study of Spanish in 1965 and would minister as a parochial assistant at Our Lady Queen of Angels in Harlem [1965-67] where he would later be appointed pastor and guardian from 1984-1987. He was a missionary to Honduras, Central America from 1981-1984 and served in the Spanish-speaking parochial community of Our Lady of Montserrat in Stamford, CT from 1990-1993.

Over the years, Zachary ministered at St. Francis Chapel, serving the spiritual needs of the transient workers in downtown Springfield, MA as a chapel assistant from 1964-1965; 1988-1990; 1996-1998; and later served as Chapel Rector from 1998-2000.

Zachary dedicated many years of his religious life in the service of the Secular Franciscan Order beginning with his appointment as Provincial Director of the then Third Order of St. Francis in 1979 with residence at Sacred Heart Friary, Yonkers, NY. He was instrumental in the spiritual development and renewal of the Secular Franciscan community and author of the Rule & Catechism of the SFO. He later served as a spiritual assistant to many Secular Franciscan fraternities throughout the Province until 1993.

From 1979-1981 Fr. Zachary served as guardian of the friar community of St. Lawrence in Abington, MA where he continued his work with our Secular Franciscan fraternities.

In addition to his Secular Franciscan texts, Zachary authored Paths to Renewal, 1998; Until the Trumpet Sounds, 1998; and The Necrology, 2008.

Over the years, noting Zachary’s example and dedication to our Capuchin Franciscan way of life, he was asked by several provincial administrations to assist in the religious formation of our youngest friars. He was assistant novice master at St. Lawrence Friary in Milton, MA from 1962-64; resided with the postulant program community of St. Michael, Brooklyn, NY as a staff member from 1993-1998; and member of the novitiate staff of St. Conrad Friary, Allison Park, PA from 2005-2007.

Always enthusiastic and willing to serve the needs of the poor and disenfranchised, at the age of 70, Zachary began his study of Portuguese and ministered with the Cape Verdean community in the Archdiocese of Boston while residing in St. Benedict the Moor in Roxbury, MA. [2000-2005]

In 2009, Zachary joined the senior friar community of St. Clare in Yonkers, New York and later, because of failing health, in 2011, began his residency at Cabrini Nursing Home in Dobbs Ferry, NY.

Zachary was survived by two sisters Leticia [Lettie] Grant-Cole of Hendersonville, NC and Anne Grant-Walsh of Farmingdale, New York and their extended families.

A wake service was held at St. Clare Friary-110 Shonnard Place-Yonkers, NY on Monday, 03 December 2012 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. and 7:00-9:00 p.m. The Funeral Mass was celebrated at Sacred Heart Church-110 Shonnard Place-Yonkers, NY on Tuesday 04 December 2012 at 10:00 a.m.

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