Christmas in the Summer

by Fr. Antony Tinker, FHS  |  06/25/2017  |  

Dear Friends and Family,

We celebrated a ‘Summer Christmas’ party when I worked for the Catholic Pro-Life Committee in Dallas. It blessed our summer interns and took care of mothers in need during the summer months. The Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit will forever look at June 2017 as a Summer Christmas party due to the many gifts and blessings the Lord bestowed upon us.

On June 3, 2017 at 10am at All Saints Parish in Mesa, then Deacon Athanasius, was ordained to the priesthood - the first priestly ordination for our newly established community. Bishop Olmsted called him to be a father to this broken world through his love and witness. That same evening, the Vigil of Pentecost and the Titular Feast of our community, Fr. Athanasius celebrated his first Mass at St. John the Baptist on the Gila River Indian Reservation. The church was overflowing with people standing outside throughout the two-hour celebration.

On June 24th, 2017 the feast of St. John the Baptist, Br. Peter Teresa took his final vows with the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit. With that, the seventh founder entered a lifelong commitment to live the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in this way of life. Bishop Olmsted celebrated the Mass and spoke of the great examples of St. Peter and St. Teresa who Br. Peter Teresa is imitating in the commitment he made.

The blessings continue as we expect two men to join us on August 11, 2017 increasing our numbers to twelve (A 40% growth in our first two years). Also in August, we will experience a joyful sorrow as Fr. Athanasius and Br. Peter Teresa head to Detroit to open the second friary of our community. Fr. Athanasius will study for a Licentiate in Pastoral Theology and Br. Peter Teresa will finish the final two years of his seminary studies for the priesthood. Additionally, Holy Spirit Parish & Newman Center at GCU enters its first full school year as an official Newman Center, our two newly begun youth groups are flourishing on the reservation, and our monthly healing Masses pack the church as people experience God’s love and healing.

With these many blessings, the needs of our community are quickly outpacing our financial capacity. In August 2018, we will have four men studying for the priesthood. This is an expense of $120,000 just for schooling. Only four of our friars are in full-time ministry. We need your help to ensure we have priests for the future. We are humbly writing to request that you help give the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit a “Christmas in the Summer”. We receive your offerings as a gift from the Lord. Please say a prayer for us when you make a donation that the financial seed you plant in our community will reap an abundant harvest for the Lord.

Please use the self-addressed envelope to send a check or give through our new online-giving portal. You can now set up a recurring payment through your bank-account or credit/debit card and/or more easily make a one-time donation.

Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Fr. Antony Tinker, FHS