I have been a bit busy the past few weeks and I missed this when it happened, but Fr. Benedict Groeschel, one of the seven men who initiated the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal and a popular author and EWTN mainstay, recently celebrated his 50th anniversary of priestly service.
From the CFR’s recent newsletter:
It was the summer of 1959, Dwight D. Eisenhower was in the third year of his second term as President of the United States. The jovial Pope, John XXIII, reigned as Supreme Pontiff. The Second Vatican Council was announced as a mere year-long gathering of bishops expecting to discuss some minor changes to the liturgy. Seminaries and Religious Houses of Studies were bursting with vocations. The Catholic Church appeared triumphant to many.
It was in this era of prospective change that a young, slender, red-bearded Capuchin cleric approached the high altar of Sacred Heart Church, Yonkers, New York. He knelt before the Most Rev. James H. Griffiths, Titular Bishop of Gaza, Auxiliary Bishop of New York, to be ordained a Roman Catholic priest in the Order of Friars Minor, Capuchins. His name to his confreres was Brother Benedict Joseph; to his intimates, “BJ”; to his family, Peter; but to those who know the full story, Robert. (You will need to ask a family member to get the full story.) The day was June 20, 1959, when Fr. Benedict Groeschel began his ministry of selfless service to those most in need as a priest of Jesus Christ.
Anyone who has been touched by Fr. Benedict’s preaching, his books, or the work of the CFR’s (and we are legion) should be sure to send a prayer of thanksgiving to God for his faithful servant Fr. Benedict.
St. Francis and St. Benedict, pray for us!