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Confraternity of Penitents Newsletter      August 2023


Mark your calendars and plan to attend! Bring your own towels, wash cloth, body wash, and water bottle. Other linens and all meals provided. ​This will be a joint retreat with the Third Order Franciscans who are living the Leonine Franciscan Rule of 1883.


$200 plus $25 worth of food and/or paper goods or $25 additional payment. Commuter rates available.


Each attending group will have joint sessions of common prayers and retreat talks. Each group will meet individually in break out sessions for their own groups. Meals will be as follows: Lunch--eat with members of your group. Dinner--mingle with whoever you wish. Retreat includes a six-hour silent hermitage experience. $50 deposit required to hold your place. 60 rooms available. Make deposit on this link on line or send to Confraternity of Penitents, 1702 Lumbard Street, Fort Wayne IN 46803. Spouses, friends, family members welcome.



In response to the Eucharistic Revival called for by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, our Spiritual Guardian Fr. Joseph Tuscan recommended that we share, in several issues of the newsletter, Saint Francis’ words on the Eucharist. This reflection continues this series.


All excerpts are from Francis of Assisi: Early Documents—The Saint (Volume 1) (FA-ED, vol. 1). Edited by Regis Armstrong, OFM Cap, JA Wayne Hellmann, OFM Conv, William J. Short, OFM. New York: New City Press, 1999.


Excerpt from: The First Letter to the Custodians FA:ED, vol. 1, 56-57: … With all that is in me and more I beg you that, when it is fitting and you judge it expedient, you humbly beg the clergy to revere above all else the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and His holy names and the written words that sanctify His Body. They should hold as precious the chalices, corporals, appointments of the altar, and everything that pertains to the sacrifice. If the most holy Body of the Lord is very poorly reserved in any place, let It be placed and locked up in a previous place according to the command of the Church. Let It be carried about with great reverence and administered to others with discernment. Let the names and written words of the Lord, whenever they are found in dirty places, be also gathered up and kept in a becoming place. In every sermon you give, remind people about penance and that no one can be saved unless he receives the most holy Body and Blood of the Lord. When It is sacrificed on the altar by a priest and carried anywhere, let all peoples praise, glorify and honor on bended knee the Lord God living and true. …

Except from the Second Letter to the Custodians (1220). FA;ED, vol. 1, 60.. . . Know that there are certain very lofty and sublime things in the sight of God that people sometimes think of as worthless and contemptible; there are others that are esteemed and remarkable to people that God considers extremely worthless and contemptible.

In the sight of our Lord God, I beg you, as much as I can, to give to bishops and other members of the clergy those letters treating of the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord; and to keep in mind what we have recommended to you about these things. . . .

Excerpt from: A Letter to the Rulers of the Peoples (1220) FA:ED, vol. 1, page 58: … Therefore I strongly advise you, my Lords, to put aside all care and preoccupation and receive the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ with fervor in holy remembrance of Him.

Excerpt from: A Prayer Inspired by the Our Father FA:ED, vol. 1, page 159 

Give us this day [Mt 6:11]: in remembrance, understanding, and reverence of that love which [our Lord Jesus Christ] had for us and of those things that He said and did and suffered for us. our daily Bread [Mt 6:11]: Your own beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.


A few points immediately are evident:

  1. Francis pleads for respect for the Eucharist and all that pertains to it including the written words of consecration and Christ’s own words.

  2. His reverence extends to capitalizing It when It refers to the Blessed Sacrament.

  3. In Francis’ day, laxity and even slovenliness regarding sacred things were common.

  4. Francis expects brave faith from his custodians, who were friars who administered their provinces through visits and letters to their various friaries. Francis asks the custodians to make his exhortations known to other church authorities (bishops, other members of the clergy) who are leaders of the Christian faithful.

  5. Francis also exhorts secular leaders to lay aside their temporal concerns and take time to receive the Eucharist with reverence.

  6. Reverence is so important because, although the world considers the Eucharist “worthless and contemptible,” It is “the most holy Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.” The Eucharist is Jesus. It reminds us of God’s Son and of the love He had for us and of His sufferings that redeemed and saved us. The Eucharist is the means by which God unites Himself bodily to our flesh.


After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”

The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath. The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.”He answered them, “He who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your bed and walk.’”

Then they asked him, “Who is the Man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.

Reflection: My favorite sentence in the life of Christ is “Dost thou want to get well?” I can relate to Jesus in wanting to heal those who hurt. That is why I have spent the last 45 years as a nurse’s aide and nurse. I wanted those in my care to get well and go home. Sometimes my patients died or had to live where I was working. All of them wanted to get well, the same as the invalid who was cured at the miraculous Pool of Bethesda. An Angel troubled the water, and whoever got there first was healed. This poor invalid had no one to help him. Jesus healed him on the Sabbath day. Sometimes I must work on Sundays because my patients need 24/7 care. Of course there are always the critics who look down on my profession as being nasty. They criticize me like the Pharisees did Jesus. The critics don’t see the joy of a premature infant finally going home to a family or a car accident victim walking out of the hospital. A healer heals even on the Sabbath. I work nights, weekends and holidays. I work overtime and pick up extra days. No amount of money can make a healer care. Christ is with us because he loves and cares for us and is still asking “Dost thou want to get well? – Sandi Wilde, CfP Postulant


When the Rule of 1221 was given to St. Francis of Assisi by Cardinal Hugolino, it required lay followers of St. Francis to observe two Lents a year. The first is the Lent we all know, running from Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday. The second was the Fast of St. Martin. Both of those fasts were commonly observed throughout the medieval Catholic world.

Two years later St. Francis introduced another “little Lent,” St. Michael’s Lent. It’s never been an official season of the Church, but it became extremely popular among devout Catholics who bid summer farewell and stepped into the harvest season with fasting and prayer.

We certainly have a lot to fast for and a lot to pray for. It seems the world is in turmoil, our country is being run by lowlifes, and in many respects the church needs repair. St. Francis’ solution to similar conditions in his time was to pray and fast; it is said he fasted up to 5 times a year.

St. Michael’s Lent begins immediately after the Feast of the Assumption has ended, August 16, until the Feast of St. Michael, September 25. As usual, the Fast is not observed on solemnities and Sunday.

Observing St. Michael’s Lent is very Franciscan. St. Bonaventure tells us in his biography (written 1260-1266) that Francis “was brought after many and varied toils unto a high mountain apart, that is called Mount Alverna. When, according unto his wont he began to keep a Lent there, fasting, in honor of St. Michael Archangel, he was filled unto overflowing, and as never before, with the sweetness of heavenly contemplation.”

St. Francis received his stigmata during this fast. St. Michael’s Fast was spread by Franciscans through the 18th Century. After that it received less attention, which is why many Catholics don’t know about it today. But recent years have seen a revival.

Because St. Francis did not introduce St. Michael’s Fast until 1223, it is not in our Rule of 1221, and no member of CfP is obliged to observe it But, just because we don’t have to do something doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do something.

So, if you’re a Novice 3, or an Associate who has completed formation, or a pledged or life-pledged member, prayerfully consider observing St. Michaels Fast from August 16 to September 29. – Joel Whitaker, CfP

40-Day Devotion to St. Michael The Archangel -- August 15 to September 29

​To prepare it is necessary to:
* Light a candle before an image or print of St. Michael the Archangel
* Complete a penance for 40 days;
* Start by making the sign of the cross;
Pray these prayers every day: Start by praying the Saint Michael the Archangel, prayer!

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by power of God, cast into Hell Satan and all evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen

Then: Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us! (x3)
Lord have mercy on us.
(Christ have mercy on us.)
Lord have mercy on us.
Christ hear us. (Christ graciously hear us.)
God the Father of heaven, (have mercy on us.)
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, (have mercy on us.) God the Holy Ghost, (have mercy on us.) Holy Trinity one God, (have mercy on us.) Holy Mary Queen of Angels (pray for us).
St Michael (pray for us)
St Michael filled with the wisdom of God, (pray for us)
St Michael, perfect adorer of the Incarnate Word, (pray for us)
St Michael crowned with honor and glory, (pray for us)
St Michael most powerful Prince of the armies of the Lord, (pray for us)
St Michael standard-bearer of the Most Holy Trinity, (pray for us)
St Michael victor over Satan, (pray for us)
St Michael guardian of Paradise, (pray for us)
St Michael guide and comforter of the people of Israel, (pray for us)
St Michael splendor and fortress of the Church Militant, (pray for us)
St Michael, honor and joy of the Church Triumphant, (pray for us)
St Michael light of angels, (pray for us)
St Michael bulwark of orthodox believers, (pray for us)
St Michael strength of those who fight under the standard of the Cross, (pray for us)
St Michael light and confidence of souls at the hour of death, (pray for us)
St Michael our most sure aid, (pray for us)
St Michael our help in all adversities, (pray for us)
St Michael Herald of the Everlasting Sentence, (pray for us)
St Michael Consoler of souls detained in the flames of Purgatory, (pray for us). Thou whom the Lord has charged to receive souls after death, (pray for us)
St Michael our Prince, (pray for us)
St Michael our Advocate, (pray for us) Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, (spare us, O Lord.)
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, (graciously hear us O Lord.)
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, (have mercy on us.)
Christ hear us. (Christ graciously hear us.)
V: Pray for us, O glorious St Michael, Prince of the Church of Jesus Christ.
R. (That we may be made worthy of His promises.) Sanctify us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, with Thy holy blessing, and grant us, by the intercession of St. Michael, that wisdom which teaches us to lay up treasures in Heaven by exchanging the goods of this world for those of eternity, Thou Who livest and reignest, world without end (Amen.)
Say one Our Father in honor of each of the following leading Angels: St Michael, St Gabriel, St Raphael and our Guardian Angel.
O glorious prince St Michael, chief and commander of the heavenly hosts, guardian of souls, vanquisher of rebel spirits, servant in the house of the Divine King and our admirable conductor, you who shine with excellence and superhuman virtue deliver us from all evil, who turn to you with confidence and enable us by your gracious protection to serve God more and more faithfully every day.

Pray for us, O glorious St Michael Prince of the Church of Jesus Christ, that we may be made worthy of His promises.


Almighty and Everlasting God, Who by a prodigy of goodness and a merciful desire for the salvation of all men, has appointed the most glorious Archangel St Michael Prince of Your Church, make us worthy, we ask You, to be delivered from all our enemies that none of them may harass us at the hour of death but that we may be conducted by him into Your Presence. This we ask through the merits of Jesus Christ Our Lord.

Oh, most Noble Prince of the Angelic Hierarchies, valorous warrior of Almighty God, and zealous lover of His glory, terror of the rebellious angels and love and delight of all the just ones, my beloved Archangel Saint Michael, desiring to be numbered among your devoted servants I today offer and consecrate myself to you and place myself my family and all I possess under your most powerful protection.

I entreat you not to look at how little I as your servant have to offer being only a wretched sinner but to gaze rather with favorable eye at the heartfelt affection with which this offering is made and remember that if, from this day onward, I am under your patronage you must during all my life assist me and procure for me the pardon of my many grievous offenses and sins, the grace to love with all my heart my God, my dear Savior Jesus and my Sweet Mother Mary, and obtain for me all the help necessary to arrive to my crown of glory.

Defend me always from my spiritual enemies particularly in the last moments of my life. Come then, oh Glorious Prince, and succor me in my last struggle and with your powerful weapon. Cast far from me into the infernal abysses that prevaricator and proud angel that one day you prostrated in the celestial battle.

Saint Michael defend us in our daily battle so that we may not perish in the last Judgement. Amen. 


Brother Josefino Aguirre, CfP, writes from the Philippines:

Dear CfP Community, These are my Presbyteral Studies Graduation photos on June 24, 2023. I'm so happy to share that finally I finish the Theological/ Priestly Studies.



 Bob Shutt, CfP, a professional dry wall installer, installs drywall at Guadalupe Men’s Vita Dei House, 2801 New Haven Avenue, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Since the first inspections have passed for the restoration of Guadalupe House, the finish work can begin, starting with Bob’s expert work.

Meanwhile, two men plus the house administrator are living in a private home currently serving as Guadalupe Vita Dei House while a fourth man is temporarily staying in another CfP location while he assists with property management and seeks a more permanent residence.

Meanwhile, Annunciation Women’s Vita Dei House will have, by August 11, three women residents plus the house administer.

Residents of both houses plus the CfP Volunteer Coordinators meet daily at 5 pm for Evening Prayer in a detached chapel at Annunciation House. The public is invited to attend.

In June, St. Vincent Parish Carpenter Sons volunteered to erect a handicapped accessible ramp at Annunciation Women’s Vita Dei House. Volunteers spent three Tuesdays in the construction. The CfP provided their lunch!

In other news, the Confraternity has been conducting two on line Zoom meetings monthly with talks by priests, religious, and laity. Those who sign up for the CfP email list are informed on line of these meetings. Presentations have included history and nuances of the Divine Office, a discussion on the clothing section of the CfP Rule and Constitutions, and how to charitably interact with those who have left the Church.

The Confraternity currently has 45 living pledged members, 27 others who have completed formation, 74 members in various stages of formation, 77 affiliates, and about 30 inquirers.

Mary Mother of Priests Chapel in the being-restored Guadalupe House now has 120 priestly sponsorships. The latest sponsorship is for a priest who just retired after serving over 40 years in the priesthood. The $180 sponsorship donation goes toward the restoration of this chapel and house. Online sponsorship is available through or contact us by mail or phone.

Coming up in Fort Wayne IN: CfP Day of Recollection—September 16; Blessing of CfP Spiritual Healing Chapel—September 23. If interested in coming, contact us and we will put you up overnight!



  • The problem with political jokes is that they sometimes get elected.

  • Wishing you a “Happy Whatever Doesn’t Offend You.”

  • Decaf coffee is depresso.

  • Only dead fish go with the flow.

  • A book hit my head, and I have only my shelf to blame.

  • Do people in Australia call the rest of the world “Up-Over”?

  • I’m not bossy. I just know what you should be doing.

  • Resolutions: In one year and out the other.



The Confraternity of Penitents Holy Angels Gift Shop thanks talented CfP crafters who make articles for us to market via the Cfp Holy Angels Gift Shop. Here are two such items.


Wooden wall cross by Paul Leps (Novice 1) and St. Clare Chaplet by Ben Rinaldo (Novice 3, formation complete).


Paul takes over for Larry Dusek, CfP, and Ben for Sue Brady, CfP, both of whom can no longer continue.

These and many more items available at


Thanks to all!

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