Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Please Pray for our Sisters and Brothers in Arizona

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Beloved National Family,

As we gather in churches, families and fraternities this holy last Sunday of the Christmas Season, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, let us pray for our brothers and sisters in Arizona, for the souls of those who have been slain including Federal Judge John Roll, who had just been to daily Mass; nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green, born on September 11, 2001 and who had recently made her first Holy Communion; Gabe Zimmerman and three others; let us pray for U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and perhaps 17 others wounded, as well as all of us who are traumatized and depressed by this horrible act.

The sheriff of Pima County Arizona has been quoted in today's newspaper saying, "The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous, and unfortunately Arizona has become sort of the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry." Having recently participated in our National Chapter in Arizona with Sue Simeone and all the good people of her Region, including our NAFRA Peace Award winner Brother David Buer, OFM, I cannot believe the sheriff's words to be true, but let us all pray in solidarity with the good people of Arizona that Arizona and all of us in our beloved United States will be people of love and people of peace.

We can never give in to the forces of evil; rather, evil must be overcome by good through the grace of God, the sacrifice of God's Son and the working of the Holy Spirit. Let us never cease our prayers, never lose faith, never surrender hope, never run away from God's command to love. Let us all continue as good Franciscans to be instruments of God's Peace.

With love and peace, Tom Bello National Minister Secular Franciscan Order The United States of America

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Nominees for 2010 NAFRA Peace Award

Dear Readers,

It gives me great joy to share with you all of those nominated, with the actual nominations, for the 2010 NAFRA Peace Award.

Of course, all of them are winners. I hope that their lives will inspire you as they inspire me to be better Instruments of God's Peace.

Please pray for them that they may continue their great witness and that we may provide better witness as we all try to follow in the footsteps of Sts. Francis and Clare ever closer to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.

Peace and love,


National Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order
2010 Peace Award Nominations

  1. Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation, PCPA
  2. Rev. Scott Binet, M.D.
  3. Br. David Buer
  4. Bishop Ellis Chacour
  5. Captain Paul K. Chappell
  6. Sr. Ilia Delio, OSF, PHD.
  7. Franciscan Connection of St. Louis, Missouri
  8. Char Hipp SFO
  9. Immaculee Ilibagiza
  10. Deacon Mark Keely
  11. Gaylord A. Nelson
  12. Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, OFM, Cap.
  13. Jim O’Neill, SFO and Barbara O’Neill, SFO
  14. Alan Ouimet SFO
  15. Jeffrey Raymond Proulx, SFO (Deceased)
  16. Fr. Regis Scanlon OFM Cap.
  17. Fr. Paschal D. Siler, OFM Cap.
  18. Stephanie Sormane SFO
  19. Starcross Community of Annapolis, CA
  20. Fr. John Stowe
  21. Reta Tombaugh
  22. Ron Wakefield

2010 Peace Award Nominations
1.    Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation, PCPA
Dear Tom Bello, SFO,
I would like to make a personal nomination for giving a peace award to mother Angelica for her gift of EWTN.   EWTN has done a lot to give me PEACE in my mind, my heart, my home, and in my world.   I am eternally gratefully.
Mary Sheehan, SFO
St. Pius X Fraternity
Middleton, CT.

Dear Bro Tom:
In response to your request in the summer edition of TAU USA, the San Juan Capistrano Secular Franciscan Fraternity (#111) of the St. Francis Region (#52), met today and unanimously puts forward the following name for consideration of the 2010 NAFRA Peace Award:  Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation, PCPA - EWTN  Foundress.
We all shared that Mother has tirelessly built a Catholic and Franciscan global network out of virtually nothing but a mustard seed of thought.  The network has touched millions of lives and brought into our homes and hearts the depth of God's love for us and the Peace of Christ - centered and energized by the inspiration of Sts Francis and Clare.  We feel that Mother would be an outstanding candidate for consideration of this award and look forward to hearing of the formal nomination.

Bro Tom Cooney, SFO, Minister 

2.    Rev. Scott Binet, M.D.
Dear Tom,
My fraternity sister, Harriet Sporn, suggested the following nominee for the NAFRA Peace Award on behalf of our fraternity—

The Fraternity of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Hilton Head Island, SC, BSSF Region #61, would like to nominate Rev. Scott Binet, M.D. for the NAFRA Peace Award.

Fr. Scott is a member of the Order of St. Camillus, a worldwide group of over 1,100 priests and religious brothers dedicated to making Christ present to people in need, whether it be in Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Haiti, or other destinations around the world.  Fr. Scott has been and continues to serve the people in Haiti since the devastating earthquake there earlier this year.  By way of his total dedication to those in need, Fr. Scott brings Christ--and Christ's peace to all.

Peace and all good,
DorothyAnn Rowland, Minister

3.    Br. David Buer
NAFRA 2010 Peace Award Nomination for Brother David Buer, OFM

The Saint Thomas More Region Executive Council and the following local fraternities within this Region: Saint Anthony Fraternity, Saint Margaret of Cortona Fraternity, Pope John XXIII Fraternity, Saint Francis Fraternity, Our Lady of the Rosary Fraternity, Saint Clare of Assisi Fraternity, Peace Fraternity, Saint Andrew Kim Taegon Emerging Fraternity, Portiuncula Fraternity, and San Damiano Fraternity humbly nominate, Brother David Buer, OFM, Regional Spiritual Assistant and Saint Anthony Fraternity Spiritual Assistant for the 2010 NAFRA Peace Award.

Brother David lives the poverello life. He is humble, seeks only to help others, refrains from judging others, and praises God in all he does. He has made a life time of seeking out our poor and society’s forgotten men and women and serving them with dignity, kindness, and love. He clearly understands that by serving others will we find peace. He is a role model for not only Franciscans or Catholics but for all people. He evangelizes through the way he lives his life, using words if necessary. During the past year he has worked to open a cooling station allowing homeless men to spend some time inside a cool building during our blistering summers. This past winter he was instrumental in convincing members of other faiths and organizations to open a shelter for homeless men during the coldest nights of the year.

Most recently when Arizona passed a controversial law on immigration, Brother David steadfastly continued his humanitarian service to those who are crossing our southern deserts. He knows the law does not serve the poor and the helpless and he is tireless in his work to help them. He speaks to groups on the humanitarian efforts that are currently going on in Arizona but more importantly he lives it! There is no fanfare, nor boasting of what he has done for years to help the poor. He simply serves his fellow brothers and sisters with love and will continue to do so as others still argue the law. 

He has managed to carve out time in his exhausting schedule to facilitate a Franciscan Family Connections class for our Region to help fulfill the need for local spiritual assistants.  His nature is to be accepting and encouraging as the participants move through this course and eventually on to serve as spiritual assistants.

He truly deserves to be nominated for the NAFRA 2010 Peace Award. Brother David Buer, o.f.m., is from the Santa Barbara Province of Franciscan Friars, California. Two fraternities in the Saint Thomas More Region have provided some history of Br. David’s unwavering service to our marginalized and too often forgotten brothers and sisters.

  • By Saint Margaret of Cortona Fraternity of Secular Franciscans, Las Vegas, Nevada:
Brother David came to the Las Vegas, Nevada area in the late 1990’s. He quickly recognized that even though Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army provided overnight shelter and beds for the homeless in Las Vegas, there was a tremendous need for a daytime home for homeless men. In 1997 through challenging work and the awesome task of raising the funds, Brother David opened Poverello House in Las Vegas, near what is known as the Homeless Corridor, where many of the homeless live. It is a welcoming place where homeless men can receive two nutritious meals during their day’s stay. The homeless men are also given clothing, blankets, and personal hygiene items, when needed. Showers and laundry facilities are available and are regularly put to good use. The men also can take naps on the beds or watch television or play games for recreation. They can also sit and rest in the large enclosed yard. Poverello House was established to provide a place where homeless men could find a safe haven to rest and refresh themselves before they began searching for a bed for the night. Poverello House is open five days a week. In 2002, Brother David started a second Poverello House in nearby Henderson, Nevada. It also welcomes homeless women one day a week.

Brother David made sure that the homeless were and are respected.  He exhibits this through his caring, live-giving words he uses with all people, including those who may live on the streets. His humble approach to life is demonstrated by giving and serving our poor and marginalized brothers and sisters. Such as Saint Francis said, “Preach the Gospel, use words if necessary.”  Brother David preaches the Gospel by his actions.  He uses words when necessary, especially when it involves housing, services, or laws that affect the homeless.  He became known to the Las Vegas Mayor and the city council, when he would speak on behalf of the homeless, whenever it was necessary.   We, the Saint Margaret of Cortona Fraternity, would also go to the city council meetings with Brother David to face the mayor; to bring petitions opposing any closings of facilities or services for the homeless that the city was planning.  The wintertime was the worst for closing shelters.  Brother David was the first in line to fight for the rights of the homeless.  We would also stand in silent protest or walk with Brother David on the Las Vegas Strip.
Brother David has been an inspiration to the Saint Margaret of Cortona Fraternity of Secular Franciscans.  His Franciscan spirituality, respect and caring for the homeless (our present day lepers) and preaching the Gospel by living it, has changed our lives.  We have washed walls, cleaned toilets, painted and have taken turns cooking at Poverello House.  We still do. Brother David is a man of peace. He simply serves others with dignity and grace. He asks nothing for himself.

Brother David has taken members of the Saint Margaret of Cortona Fraternity on walks through the Homeless Corridor in Las Vegas to meet personally the homeless, to put faces and humanity on the homeless.  Those type of experiences opened our eyes to see what the homeless have to go through in their everyday lives.  Walking the railroad tracks and seeing the tent cities gave us all a greater appreciation for the blessings that the Lord has given us and how much we need to give to our fellow brothers and sisters.
Brother David would sleep on the streets and spend vigil time for a number of days while fasting, taking in water only.  Many Secular Franciscans met him for prayers while he was fasting.  Secular Franciscans would also bring him communion while he would be on the streets.  On one of the vigils, Brother David was interviewed by a local television station.  A woman watching the newscast saw her brother in the background.  She had not seen him in years.  This is the Holy Spirit at work.
Brother David was also involved with Saint James the Apostle Catholic Church in Las Vegas. His Franciscan Community provided the Pastor for the parish, which serves primarily the African American community. Brother David was always available to help with the outreach programs. He was vital in securing and distributing food for the needy people who live around the parish.

Brother David is always in motion, seeking to help others. He never says “no” to anyone who needs help. He models Franciscan spirituality and how a Franciscan can lead a life of helping and serving others. He served as Spiritual Director of the Saint Margaret of Cortona Fraternity of Secular Franciscans. The Secular Franciscans learned a great deal from him by the way he lead his life of peace and joy in all he approached. It was a great loss for them when his order left Las Vegas and he was transferred to Arizona. The lessons he taught them about being Franciscan continue to be valuable and poignant in a city with so much neglect of their homeless populations.

  • By Saint Anthony Fraternity of Secular Franciscans, Tucson, Arizona:

Saint Anthony Fraternity's prayers were answered when Brother David became the Spiritual Assistant in 2005.  He wished us a Happy Liturgical Year as we began our Advent season in that year. He reminded us that we live in the world, but also that we have another clock as Catholics, as Franciscans - that the liturgical calendar alerts us to spiritual realities that feed our souls that edify our humanity.  He has since shown us by example that he lives that truth.

The first few months he was in and out of town - the friars of the Southwest region of Saint Barbara Province in the spring of 2004 elected him to serve on the Chapter Steering Committee which required meetings in the San Francisco Bay area about every six weeks.  That work culminated with the Provincial Chapter at Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside, CA in January of 2006.  At that time, he also continued to serve on the board of Poverello House in Las Vegas, the house of hospitality for the homeless.

He had hoped to have Father Walter Holly, OFM, as his mentor during those first months but our Lord called him home soon after Brother David accepted.  He said he was comforted on occasions when he walked over to the cemetery down the road from the Mission to visit his grave.  He knew he had another Franciscan friend in Heaven who was praying for us.

He urged us to reach out to Poor Clare Monasteries because it is important that the relationships with the other branches remain strong.  By praying with each other, we could educate each other in our Franciscan journey.  Since there were no Poor Clare monasteries near us at the time, this was accomplished at one of our meetings by the members writing a personal letter to the Poor Clares in Roswell, New Mexico.  Brother David sent the 15 letters in a manila envelope to them.  We received a little packet of materials including a letter from the Abbess with the name of the 21 Sisters and 1 Postulant there.  This ultimately led to 39 pilgrims in the Saint Thomas More Region to participate in a 500 mile bus trip to the Poor Clare Monastery in Roswell.  It was a pilgrimage to connect the Franciscan family of friars, Poor Clare Sisters and Secular Franciscans.  The pilgrimage included a tour of San Xavier Mission led by Dr. Bunny Fontana, Mass and supper at St. Joseph's Apache Mission in Mescalero, New Mexico a 12-hour day of prayer with the Poor Clares in Roswell, which included three conferences by Capuchin Father McCreary.  The bus was used for times of prayer, song and audio CDs on "Francis of Assisi, A New Way of Being Christian" narrated by Bill Short, OFM.  Brother David coordinated this trip.

Brother David visits the home-bound members of our Fraternity quite often.  He enjoys those visits and urges those members to write the stories of their Franciscan journeys.  These were published in the monthly newsletters.

July 3rd of 2006, Brother David opened the doors at Saint Francis Cooling Center for the homeless.  It was in the basement of an old building on Santa Cruz's property.  With the help of volunteers, the basement was fixed up to be usable.  Two air conditioners were installed along with a large kitchen sink.  The graffiti on the walls were cleaned up, a half dozen fans were brought and inexpensive tables and chairs were gotten from St. Vincent de Paul. Some cots were borrowed from the Interfaith Homeless committee. Funds from a diocesan grant were received. Two port-a-potties were donated and a new roof was installed when a monsoon storm tore the roofing off.  Thanks, to Father Bob Carney of St. Francis de Sales Church, two freezers were donated.  Reverend Bandon Wert at Southside Presbyterian worked two days to help get the basement ready to open.  They were open from noon to 4:45 pm, 6 days a week until August 9.  The Saint Francis Cooling Center averaged 30 guests a day.

In the winter of 2007, after Brother David’s attempt to get a shelter opened for the homeless failed, he instead rented a van and went out each evening providing hot soup, hot chocolate, bread, cookies and blankets to the homeless.  The food was generously provided by Caridad, a feeding program begun by Father Joe Baker at Holy Family Church.  From 6 - 9 pm, he and a helper patrolled some of the washes in the area, Santa Rita Park, the streets near the Convention Center, Santa Cruz Church, Millers Surplus, Ajo, and the Santa Cruz River, the main library and any place they found homeless camped.  They continued six nights a week through February.

He considers it a blessing to have worked almost thirty years with the homeless - the Open Door community in Atlanta, St. Francis Center in Denver, the Franciscan House of Mary and Joseph in Chicago, the Catholic Workers in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and elsewhere.  He is still amazed at how blessed the work is when the poor and homeless are treated with respect and dignity as we work to get their basic needs met.

Brother David recently opened a Poverello Hospitality House here in Tucson similar to the one in Las Vegas.  The homeless can come by appointment to spend a day in a home where they can take a shower, wash their clothes, get needed clothes and have a cooked meal.

When the homeless receive food, shelter, showers and hospitality, it is good.  But Saint Paul's challenging words remind us that without love, it is nothing.  We know this is true in other areas of our lives.  If we get into disputes, do we allow anger and righteousness with our position disrupt our fraternal relations?  With love and mutual respect, we can defend our deeply held beliefs without disrupting our relationships.  As we go about our daily work, do we get irritable with co-workers who we judge to not be carrying their weight?  Or do we recognize that Jesus calls us to 'forgive those who trespass against us? Brother David asks us.

He is very involved in the "No More Deaths" movement which works with humanitarian help to the migrants coming across the border. He regularly goes on patrol in the southern Arizona desert near the Mexican border in order to provide water, shelter from the sizzling sun, food and basic clothing items such as hats, sox and shoes. Poverty has no boundaries so Br. David courageously serves all he meets in the desert and stands up for the immigrants who are seeking a better life.

Brother David served Saint Thomas More Region as a "de facto" Regional Spiritual Assistant for many months before being officially installed as Regional Spiritual Assistant at the Pastoral and Fraternal Visitation of the Region in July of 2008.

Brother David wrote a 20-page report for the provincial on the Religious Brothers, Franciscan Saint Barbara Province, 1908-2008".  The book, "Gregor Janknecht and the Franciscans in Nineteenth Century United States and Europe" published by the Academy of American Franciscan History Berkeley, CA has in the Editor's Note inside:  Special thanks to Brother David Buer, OFM for facilitating this project.  Without his determination it would never have come to fruition. 

We are blessed to know Brother David as our Region’s Spiritual Assistant. He provides compassion and concern to all he meets. He offers ideas on how we as Secular Franciscans can reach out to other Franciscans and has planned activities to do so. At our Regional Council meetings, Executive Council meetings, workshops, days of retreat, and pilgrimages, Brother David peacefully speaks and walks the talk.

Peace and joy from Saint Thomas More Region:
Terry McCarthy, Sr., SFO, Minister, Saint Anthony Fraternity
Madge Lange, SFO, Minister, Saint Margaret of Cortona Fraternity
Rosie Roman, SFO, Minister, Pope John XXIII Fraternity
Linda Raimundo, SFO, Minister, Saint Francis of Assisi Fraternity
Robert Bundy, SFO, Minister, Our Lady of the Rosary Fraternity and Region Treasurer
Ron Muller, SFO, Minister, Saint Clare of Assisi Fraternity
Lynn O’Connor, SFO, Minister, Peace Fraternity
Kathleen Ott, SFO, Minister, San Damiano Fraternity
Michael Nam, SFO, Minister, Saint Andrew Taegon Emerging Fraternity
Clarita Caswell, SFO, Minister, PortiunculaFraternity
Carol Bundy, SFO, Region Formation Director
Paul Winter, SFO, Region Youth Councilor
Rosemarie LeClercq, SFO, JPIC Councilor
Pat Nikolaisen, SFO, Region Secretary
Bill Neu, SFO, Region Vice Minister
Susan Simeone, SFO Region Minister

Cc: Pat Nikolaisen, Region Secretary

4.    Bishop Elias Chacour

8604 Wandering Fox Trail # 408
Odenton, MD 211113
May 3, 2010

Dear Tom,
I have enclosed some information on Bishop Elias Chacour as my nominee for this year’s Franciscan Peace Prize.  I heard him speak several years ago at a peace conference, and have read his first book, “Blood Brother.”  He is a remarkable individual, and, I feel, very deserving of this prize.

The enclosed material will indicate the many reasons for my nomination, and the many accomplishments and awards already received.  This is a man who is dealing, on a daily basis, with the struggles and challenges of being a peacemaker.

Please let me know if you have any questions.  Peace.

Teri Egan, sfo 


Bishop Elias Chacour (also Ilyas Shakur), also known as Father Chacour and Abuna Chacour, is the first Palestinian bishop to be born, raised, and educated in the Palestinian Arab sector of Israel. Chacour rose to international prominence in Europe, North America, Australia, and the Middle East as a peacemaker, educator, and founder and president of Mar Elias University and its related educational institutions in Ibillin, a Palestinian Arab village located in the Galilee between Haifa and Nazareth. As a recipient of numerous international awards and three-time nominee of the Nobel Peace Prize, Chacour began to be recognized by Israeli leadership as a prominent educator and advocate for the underprivileged Arab sector of Israel. Chacour is the author of three books that highlight his life story, including his work to build the various schools and university that comprise the Mar Elias educational institutions. His writings also tell of his philosophy and theology of nonviolence and work to transform the impoverished Palestinian Arab communities of the central Galilee through education of the youth of the region. Moreover, his commitment to reconciliation and collaboration among the four major religious communities of the Holy Land (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Druze) continues to leave a legacy of peaceful coexistence, not only in the Galilee, but globally.


Chacour was born on 29 November 1939 in the village of Bir’am, in the upper Galilee of Palestine to a Palestinian Christian family of the Melkite Catholic Church, the Byzantine Eastern rite church in communion with Rome. When he was eight years old Chacour and his entire village were evicted by Israeli soldiers during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and became refugees in their own land. The Chacour family fled with most residents of Bir’am to Jish, a neighboring village in the Galilee. After two years of legal appeals to the government of Israel, the residents of Bir’am were allowed to return in order to celebrate Christmas in their original homes. But in September 1953, the Israeli military destroyed the village just before the refugees tried to return. As they reached the top of the hills overlooking their village, they could see the smoke rising from their former homes.
The Chacour family placed a premium on education and remained close to the church. By the age of eleven, Elias was convinced he wanted to become a priest. After completing his primary and secondary education in Haifa and Nazareth he was sent to Paris by the Melkite Church where he studied for the priesthood, graduating with a degree in theology and biblical studies from the Sorbonne University in 1965. A few months after completing the degree Chacour was ordained a priest in the Melkite Catholic Church and was promptly sent by his bishop to the village of Ibillin. It was envisioned as a temporary one-month transition, but has now become a lifetime assignment.
In 1968 Chacour received his master’s degree in Bible and Talmudic studies from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the first Palestinian Arab to receive such a degree in that department. Returning to Ibillin, he concentrated on the youth of Ibillin, establishing a youth center and summer camp in addition to his regular priestly duties at the church. However, Chacour noted that his ministry would need to be enlarged beyond that of a village priest. From his own youth, Chacour knew that most of the Arab villages did not have adequate schools, libraries, or playgrounds, and that a university education was beyond the reach of over 90 percent of the population. With over 50 percent of the Palestinian Arabs in the Galilee under sixteen years of age, Chacour decided to focus his educational mission on several Arab villages in central Galilee, such as Jish, Tarshiha, Mi’liya, Shefa Amr, and Isifya, in addition to Ibillin. Within three years he established kindergartens, public libraries, tutorial programs, and youth centers in the six villages. Additionally, each summer he organized regional youth camps that involved up to five thousand youth.
Chacour completed his Ph.D. in ecumenical theology at the University of Geneva (Switzerland) in 1971 and again returned to focus on his work in Ibillin and the neighboring Galilean towns. After several years of planning, fund-raising, construction, and appeals to the Israeli Ministry of Education for a building permit, Chacour opened the Mar Elias High School with eighty students in 1982, but without a building permit. Chacour’s persistence, combined with international pressure from his many friends in Europe and North America, eventually secured the permit and official status for the school. Enrollment has steadily grown to approximately fifteen hundred students, with the high school receiving numerous academic awards, including taking first place in the Hebrew language (10th and 11th grades) in the entire country of Israel in 2003.
In 1984 Chacour published his first book, Blood Brothers, which describes his personal journey from the time of his expulsion from Bir’am to the process of building Mar Elias High School. The volume has been translated into twenty-seven languages.
Chacour was elected in 2006 as the Melkite Catholic bishop of the Galilee. The Melkite Catholic community represents the largest body of Christians in the Holy Land with the majority living in the Galilee.


Chacour was nurtured in the Christian faith and by his devout parents, simple peasants who were active in the Melkite Catholic Church. From an early age Elias learned the centrality of peace, justice, reconciliation, and a strong sense of sumud (Arabic: steadfastness), for his people, as was modeled and taught by Jesus of Nazareth in the Sermon on the Mount, from whom Chacour drew inspiration and vision. The tragedies that befell his people and his family’s ordeal in losing their home and possessions in 1948 became the seeds for his eventual commitment to serve the underprivileged Palestinian Arab youth of Galilee through the educational institutions and programs he established throughout his career.

Name: Elias Chacour (Ilyas Shakur)
Birth: 1939, Bir’am, mandatory Palestine
Nationality: Palestinian; citizen of Israel
Education: B.A., Sorbonne University (Paris), 1965; M.A., Hebrew University (Jerusalem), 1968; Ph.D., University of Geneva (Switzerland), 1971



·         1965: Ordained to the priesthood in the Melkite Catholic Church; parish priest in Ibillin, Galilee
·         1982: Founds Mar Elias High School in Ibillin
·         1995: Founds Mar Elias Technological College in Ibillin
·         1997: Founds Mar Elias Teachers’ Resource Center in Ibillin
·         1998: Founds Mariam Bawardi Elementary School in Ibillin
·         2003: Mar Elias College becomes Mar Elias University
·         2006: Elected Melkite Catholic bishop of Galilee


Since the late 1970s and each successive decade, Chacour has traveled the globe spreading his message of peace and reconciliation while also appealing for support for the Mar Elias schools. His growing notoriety in religious and peace circles brought a steady stream of international visitors to Ibillin, many to spend several weeks in a volunteer service capacity, others for a short visit to see Abuna Chacour and the high school. Churches and peace organizations throughout Europe, North America, Australia, and India have hosted Chacour where he has been welcomed as a popular lecturer, as evidenced in the many awards and citations. He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize on three occasions: 1988, 1989, and 1994. Also in 1994, Chacour received the prestigious World Methodist Peace Award. Among the previous recipients were former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, Egypt’s Anwar Sadat, and Nelson Mandela of South Africa.
In 1999 Chacour received two honors in France as he was awarded the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur by the president of France, and later in the same year the Marcel Rudloff Peace and Tolerance Award in Strasbourg. This was followed in 2001 by the Niwano Peace Award from Japan, which came with a cash prize that helped build the Niwano Peace Auditorium on the Mar Elias campus. The auditorium opened in 2004 with a seating capacity of fifteen hundred the largest in the Galilee.
Beginning in 1995, Chacour’s vision for additional institutions of higher learning began to be fulfilled with the opening of Mar Elias Technological College in October 1995. The college was fully accredited by the Israeli Ministry of Education and authorized to offer degrees in education and computer technology. In 1997 the Mar Elias Resource Center opened, offering both training and resources for educators throughout Galilee, also the first for the Arab population. In the fall of 1998 another school was added to the growing Mar Elias group as the Mariam Bawardi Elementary School opened with the first-grade class. Each year a grade has been added with the full six grades now in full operation.
The next stage of the vision was realized in October 2003 as the college became Mar Elias University, the first Arab Christian university in Israel. Mar Elias offers three degree programs with U.S. accreditation as a branch of the University of Indianapolis. The university continues to serve the four religions of the Holy Land: Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Druze, and its faculty also represents the four religions. The university received accreditation from the Israeli Ministry of Education’s Committee on Higher Education, with authorization to grant degrees in computer science, communications and marketing, and environmental science and chemistry.
In April 2002 Chacour authored his third book, J’ai foi en nous , published by Hommes de Parole, Paris. The international awards continued, such as the prestigious Peacemaker in Action Award in August 2002 from the Tannenbaum Center for Inter-religious Understanding in New York City. In December 2002 he was awarded the Dante Alighieri Peace and Human Rights Award in Rome. In 2003 Chacour was appointed by the Vatican as consultant to the Holy See Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, and later received the Prix Meditérranée pour la Paix from the Accademia del Mediterraneo, Naples, Italy. On 20 May 2003 he was voted Man of the Year by the Lions Club of Israel.
The next building on the Mar Elias campus was a long-term dream of Chacour, realized in the fall of 2005 with the opening of the Church of the Sermon on the Mount. The majestic sanctuary is a testimony to peace, reconciliation, and the inclusion of all religions and people. The church quickly became the center of the burgeoning campus of the Mar Elias Educational Institutions. Later in 2005 Chacour received the coveted Americas First Freedom Award in Richmond, Virginia.


Chacour is the first Palestinian Arab bishop in the Melkite Church to be born, raised, educated, consecrated, and a citizen of Israel. The new bishop was quick to point out that he will retain his duties as the president of the Mar Elias Educational Institutions, where he envisions an expanded campus with a student enrollment of five thousand students from the entirety of Israel, continuing his commitment to an inclusive student body of Muslim, Jewish, Christian, and Druze students and faculty. Having started in 1982 with eighty-two students in a building without a permit or electricity, the Mar Elias Educational Institutions now serve over four thousand students. It continues to be the only private campus in the history of Galilee where all of the religions of the region study together with the vision of creating a common future built on respect and justice for all. No other primary, secondary, or higher education institution in Israel can make that claim.
As an educator and man of peace, Bishop Elias Chacour has pioneered an educational model of interreligious education among the Christian, Druze, Muslim, and Jewish youth of the Galilee. His capacity to dream large and solicit funding from multiple international bodies have enabled him to build a significant system of institutions within the Mar Elias complex. The true legacy of his work are the thousands of young lives that have received not only an education and vocational training skills, but a respect for each others’ religions and cultures, and a model for successfully negotiating their differences through nonviolent conflict transformation.
Some Additional Items on Bishop Chacour
*Recipient of the prestigious Methodist World Peace Award (1994) [Past recipients include President jimmy Carter and former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat]

* Some honorary doctorates: St. Michael’s College (1989) Texas Wesleyan (1997) Duke University (2000) and Indianapolis and Emory Universities (2001)

* “ From my perspective as a believer and a diplomat, I take hope and comfort in knowing that amid all the hatred, destruction and death, Father Chacour continues his patient work, softening one heart at a time. He demonstrates how, through humility before the Word of God and the never-ending struggle to reconcile faith with the unhappy realities of this world, one courageous man has illuminated the truth he learned [and that we could all bear to learn]from another Man of Galilee: ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.’
Blessed, indeed, is the peacemaker.”    
James A Baker III, U.S. Secretary of State,  1989-1992

5.    Captain Paul K. Chappell. 
Our Lady of Mercy Fraternity nominates Captain Paul K. Chappell for the 2010 NAFRA Peace Award.  Captain Chappell left his military career after serving seven years, including a tour in Baghdad, to spend his life committed to “Waging Peace.”  Paul is committed to educating and inspiring people to rethink their old ways of looking at war and peace. 

A young man in his late twenties, Captain Chappell has taken a position with the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation as Director of its Peace Leadership Program.  He is developing this free program to empower college students with the leadership skills that are vital for waging peacePaul points out that the military is very successful in recruiting and training, and the peace movement must do the same.  He has based his peace training on the training he experienced at West Point.  While he is particularly committed to reaching young people, his programming and writings are, of course, valuable to people of all ages. 
His two books, Will War Ever End?: A Soldier’s Vision of Peace for the 21st Century and The End of War: How Waging Peace Can Save Humanity, Our Planet, and Our Future (May 2010) challenge readers about war and peace, and about violence and non-violence in ways that could profoundly change the way people think.  His logic and insight are especially powerful coming from the perspective of a West Point graduate and soldier.  He is working on his third book, PEACEFUL REVOLUTION: How to Create the Future that Humanity Needs to Survive.
With relentless energy, Paul travels throughout the country speaking to colleges, high schools, veterans groups, churches and activist organizations.  He dispels the myth that “we need war to end war” and encourages others to become leaders in waging peace.  He not only inspires but gives the tools for peacemaking leadership. 

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, said of Captain Chappell’s latest book:  “… has given us a crucial look at war and peace from the unique perspective of a soldier, and his new ideas show us why world peace is both necessary and possible in the 21st century. The End of War can help people everywhere understand why war must end, and how together we can end it."

Submitted by:
Jim Hanna for Our Lady of Mercy Fraternity
7494 Thackery Rd.
Springfield, OH 45502
(937) 788-2257

6.    Sr. Ilia Delio, OSF, PHD.

Hi Tom, I had been praying about the peace award and I would like to nominate Sr. Ilia Delio, OSF, PHD.  Through her writings, teachings as well as her international ministry, I feel that she has done so much to foster peace, justice and the care for creation around the world. 

I feel she should be commended for the work she is doing.  It seems like everywhere I look I see something written about her, or a lecture she will be giving, and I even saw her on television. She is respected, loved and revered around the world.

I found this about her this evening:

Sr. Ilia Delio, OSF, Ph.D.
Sister Ilia Delio is a Franciscan sister who holds doctorates in Pharmacology from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and in Historical Theology from Fordham University. She lectures internationally in Franciscan theology/spirituality with a particular focus on integrating Franciscan theology and contemporary questions.

Sr. Delio has written Simply Bonaventure (2001), Franciscan Prayer (2004), The Humility of God (2005), and Christ in Evolution (2008).  She also is a contributing author to Care for Creation:  A Franciscan Spirituality of the Earth (2009).  She served as Chair and Professor in the Department of Spirituality Studies at the Washington Theological Union, where she also was Director of Franciscan Studies.  She is a member of the Commission for the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition that is sponsored by the English Speaking Conference of Friars Minor.  She currently serves as a Research Analyst for the Franciscan Action Network and is a Senior Research Fellow in the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University.

Thanks Tom, and God Bless You for the Work you are doing to serve the Lord and the Franciscan Family.

Peace and Love, Mary Simmons, sfo
Md. Pa. Del. Regional Councilor

7.    Franciscan Connection of St. Louis, Missouri
The St. Clare Regional Fraternity is eager to nominate the Franciscan Connection of St. Louis, Missouri for the 2010 NAFRA Peace Award.
The Franciscan Connection is an outreach program begun and staffed by OFM priests and/or brothers of the Sacred Heart Province since 1991.  During its almost two decades of outreach and service to the poor and marginalized of south St. Louis City, the friars have provided for the care and needs of those in the area around St. Anthony of Padua Church, the provincial headquarters-a neighborhood very much in transition, were refugees and ethnic minorities have replaced the once traditionally white population, where small stores and businesses have closed and buildings been boarded up and where a sense of urban decay has crept in.  The Franciscan Connection began to provide emergency help to single mothers, to under-employed dads, and to the frail elderly of the community.  A little financial assistance on a high utility bill, for example, could often save a home bound senior citizen from another night without electricity or heat; a backpack of school supplies and a voucher for new shoes could ready a young child for their first day in the classroom; bus tickets could provide the means to a job interview or getting to that doctor appointment; or a Christmas basket could brighten a family's whole holiday.  The home repair ministry directly helps widows and other low-income families make their homes more safe, secure and healthy places in which to live.  In addition, the friars offer one-on-one support to those who come to their door, addressing the needs of the inner spirit while leading them on to other area resources and encouraging them in their pursuit to become self-sufficient.  Each year, over 500 families in need benefit from direct emergency assistance, home repairs and other support.  Countless others receive helpful information and referrals.

While the friars in service at the Connection perform their ministry, they in turn inspire countless lay volunteers, from young teens to retired seniors, to join them through use of their time, talent and treasure in the service of God's children.  Through the friars’ organization and direction, the Connection involves hundreds of people in carrying out the ministry the Connection seeks to provide.  Volunteers come from throughout the area as well as other states to assist in one day, one week or longer projects.  They have sought and received grants, as well as materials and specialized work crews from various companies and foundations.  And it is through witnessing these friars preach the gospel through their action and love, that many of us have been led to a deeper appreciation of the Franciscan charism and the love of neighbor that is spoken of in the Gospel.  As Secular Franciscans, many of us have been able to assist these dedicated friars in their work and participate in the spread of God's kingdom on earth.

In order for you to witness more fully the extent of the service provided by the Franciscan Connection, we encourage you to view their website www.franciscanconnection.org

Because of the peace joy, dignity and love these friars spread to their area of south St. Louis City and the lessons they share with volunteers and donors, the St. Clare Regional Fraternity nominates the Franciscan Connection and all its former and current friar staff members for this year's NAFRA Peace Award.

Sherry Stevenson, SFO 

Sherry added in a later email:  We have previously submitted the Franciscan Connection as our regional fraternity 2010 Peace Award nominee.  In last week's archdiocesan newspaper, a beautiful article appeared showing how the Connection changes and adjusts to the needs of the community as well as the changes in personnel, but still gives totally to the people of God.
We thought you would like to read the article concerning these dedicated men who staff the Connection.  We encourage you to visit www.stlouisreview.org for the article on The Franciscan Connection and Brother Donald.

Thank you for your consideration of this most worthy group.
Peace and All-Good
Sherry Stevenson, SFO
Regional Minister
St. Clare Region

8.    Char Hipp SFO
Greetings Tom, I was given a verbal nomination for the Peace Award - in return I informed them that there must be a write up.  They are in the process of doing so. The name of the person is Char Hipp, sfo.  She is the infirmarian of the St Joseph Fraternity in Appleton WI.

She is a past Minister of the same fraternity.  For the past 20 some years she as written, visited, talked on the phone, kept tract, and so very much more of all the active and inactive members of this fraternity.

At one time this St Joseph Fraternity had over 100 members.  She has dedicated herself to the care of these folks - seeing that they are kept informed of the activity of the fraternity as well as seeing to their personal and spiritual needs in relation to the fraternity.
All of this while raising a family of I believe 12 or more children - grandchildren and great grandchildren that I can't even begin to say.  She also nursed her husband in his final days.  I believe they were married over 50 years.  She is a model of a blessed individual, wife, mother, grandmother and to top it off a active member of her parish but at the heart of it all a Secular Franciscan who truly has lived the Gospels.

I hope this is not too late to enter her into the nomination process for the Peace Award.
I am sure more will come regarding her.

Thank you Tom - you inspire me to strive for more!
Peace and All Joy,
Ken sfo

9.    Immaculee Ilibagiza
Cecilia Telles, SFO
4221 Santa Rita Street
El Paso, Texas 79902

June 25, 2010
Dear Mr. Bello,
Peace and greetings to you and God willing all is well with you.
I am submitting a nomination for the NAFRA Peace Award. The name of the person I am nominating is Immaculee Ilibagiza.

·         She is a Rwandan genocide survivor who survived in a bathroom with 7 other women for 91 days while surrounded by killers hunting for them.
·         Author of 3 books-a portion of the proceeds of her books go to the Left to Tell foundation which helps the children of Africa build better lives.
·         Her books contain inspiring stories about survival, prayer, faith and above all forgiveness.
·         She is establishing a Foundation to help survivors heal from the pain and evil of genocide and war.
·         Forgiveness, faith, and prayer and the rosary are the messages that she hopes to spread through her speaking engagements, seminars, books, CD’s and television appearances.
·         The beauty of her messages is that they all inspire a wonderful peace that comes through the power of forgiveness, faith, prayers and the rosary.

I am submitting this nomination on behalf of my fraternity. Saint Patrick Fraternity of El Paso, Texas. Our Minister is Adelina Frisbee and I am the Formation Director of our Fraternity.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Cecilia Telles

10.     Deacon Mark Keely
I nominate Deacon Mark Keely sfo of the Little Portion Fraternity in Tahlequah, Oklahoma; for the 2010 NAFRA Peace Award.

Deacon Mark Keely is my minister.  He has always conducted our full fraternity meetings with a spirit of peace.  He has a calm character and is a gentle and soft spoken man.  He does not let emotions rule his intuition and intellect.  Deacon Mark is a faithful servant of God who is dedicated to prayer by his assisting at Mass, leading the Liturgy of the Hours, and letting the Holy Spirit guide our monthly and bi-monthly meetings.  Deacon Mark lives the gospel passage, "I am the way, the truth, and the life."  He promotes peace by constantly referring to the gospels and the SFO rule and constitutions. Deacon Mark gives a clear message of who Christ is by his example of calm and humble leadership.   
Sincerely with all P & G,
Stephen Lafferty sfo (Little Portion of Tahlequah, OK.)

Minister Mark Keeley is indeed a prayerful, dedicated, humble, and holy person. I heard a parishioner make the comment that Mark is a holy man. He is well respected by all and he strives every day to live a Franciscan life. He influences by example and good works. He can always be counted upon to assist anyone who needs his help. He blesses, and prays for people every day.
We are blessed to have him as our minister.

Mary SFO

11.     Gaylord A. Nelson
Hello, Tom.
One of the members of St. Francis of Assisi Fraternity in St. Clare Region gave me a nomination for the Peace Award. The gentleman’s name is GAYLORD A. NELSON. Mr. Nelson is a former Wisconsin governor, senator and founder of Earth Day.

Thank you,
Mary Wainscott, SFO
Minister, St. Francis of Assisi Fraternity

Here is the nomination:

Dear Mary,
            I am sending this man’s name Gaylord A. Nelson to be put on the list for the Peace Award. It takes a lot of people to focus on how precious the Earth is and here is one man that brought the attention to National Level and established Earth Day to raise attention to the care and restoration of our environment.
            Thank you.

                                                            Sincerely in Our Lady of Guadalupe
                                                            and St. Francis of Assisi,
                                                            Cindy Siple RN, SFO

Editor’s Note: This nominee sent a picture from the newspaper of Gaylord Nelson which I was unable to include.  The caption for the picture read: “Gaylord A. Nelson, a former Wisconsin governor, senator and founder of Earth Day, stands in a prairie of blooming wildflowers at Governor Nelson State Park in Waunakee, Wis., in 2001.

12. Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, OFM, Cap.

Nomination for the NAFRA Bearers of Peace Award
Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, OFM, Cap.
 “A nominee should have made significant efforts in the generally defined area of Peace:”

Cardinal O’Malley OFM, Cap. has made significant efforts in the area of Peace by being a force for healing in the priestly sexual abuse scandal in the Archdiocese of Boston, Dioceses of Fall River, MA and Palm Beach, Florida.  He is continuing his efforts to bring healing and peace to Ireland since he has been appointed by the Pope in this recent endeavor.
His ways of healing and peace were to personally reach out and to get to know the victims, he set up systems within the church to offer pastoral care for the victims of abuse and to speedily resolve the legal disputes. He arranged for the victims to meet with the Pope personally in New York and confidentially shared his knowledge of the extent of the victims.  Victims were heard and their concerns were taken seriously. The local archdiocese became more transparent in dealing with the abuse and its victims and thus became a source of healing and peace.
            Please see the attached biography for more information.
 Nominated by: St. Francis Fraternity, Andover Massachusetts
(St. Elizabeth of Hungary Region)
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the Fraternity Council,
Francine Gikow, sfo
Phone: 978-749-0880
Address: 41 Sagamore Drive
Andover, MA 01810

Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, OFM, Cap
Cardinal of the Boston Archdiocese

Patrick O’Malley was born in Lakewood Ohio on June 29, 1944. He was received into the Capuchin Franciscans on July 14, 1965 and took the name “Sean” in honor of St. John the Apostle. He was ordained a priest in 1970. He holds a Masters degree in religious education and a P.H.D from Catholic University in Spanish and Portuguese literature.  In 1973, he ministered to the Latinos in the Washington D.C. area and in 1978 he was appointed episcopal vicar for the Portuguese, Hispanic and Haitian communities.
            In 1984, he became coadjutor Bishop of the Virgin Islands and became Bishop there in 1985.  Later in New England, he became Bishop of Fall River, MA during the priest sex abuse scandals of Fr. James Porter and also in Palm Beach Florida where he also tried to settle the scandals of priestly sexual abuse.
In 2003, the Pope made Sean Patrick O’Malley, Archbishop of the Boston Archdiocese where he also inherited a huge priest sex abuse scandal from Cardinal Bernard Law who eventually resigned.  In 2006 he became a Cardinal.
            When Sean Patrick O’Malley became Cardinal in Boston, he breathed new life into a church wounded by priest sexual abuse. He actively reached out to the survivors in a pastoral manner and directed the diocese’s lawyers and insurance companies to quickly settle with the victims.  He enacted a zero tolerance policy of sexual abuse and instituted one of the first comprehensive sexual abuse policies in the Roman Catholic Church. He also led a delegation of abuse victims who met with the Pope in New York so that their voices could be heard. He has done much for the healing of priest sex abuse in the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Boston.
            The Archdiocese of Boston is a much more open and transparent Church since Cardinal O’Malley came. He is the only Cardinal to have a personal blog (cardinalseansblog.org) and has had podcasts as well, during the holidays.  Now he has been asked by the Pope to assist the Church in Ireland in their own sex abuse crisis.
Cardinal O’Malley is and has been a force for healing in the church during the priest sexual abuse crisis and is an agent for peace among those who have been victimized in the church (both directly and indirectly).

*Biographical background taken from the on-line encyclopedia, Wikipedia

13. Jim O’Neill, SFO and Barbara O’Neill, SFO 
Blessed John XXIII Fraternity, nominates Jim O’Neill, SFO and Barbara O’Neill, SFO  for the St. Francis Peace Award.
One cannot think of either Jim or Barbara without considering the other. They truly exemplify the meaning of the term “helpmates”.  However, each one has worked individually for peace within the Order and within the worldly political arena.  Jim was instrumental in negotiating and bringing to resolution the formation of our Region from the previous Provincial model.  For many years, Barbara and Jim served as the SFO presence, indeed the Franciscan presence, as non- governmental observers at the United Nations.  Finally, Barbara’s leadership for our Region has been that of sharing her wisdom to lead each fraternity to enflesh our Rule with peaceful solutions to the very real, everyday, nitty-gritty problems that ensue with fraternal life.  Both Jim and Barbara have always been accessible to lend a Franciscan “ear” when called upon.  Living in a peaceful manner themselves, encouraging others both in the Order and those not in the Order to make peaceful decisions, and by their presence in their respectful leadership roles they express in their lives what we each hope to live in ours.
Thank you for considering Jim and Barbara for this year’s Peace Award.

Respectfully submitted,
Jean A. D’Onofrio,SFO
Minister Bl.John XXIII SFO Fraternity
St. James, New York
June 9,2010

14. Alan Ouimet SFO

St. Conrad's Fraternity, Annapolis, MD nominates:
Alan J. Ouimet, SFO
Founder of Franciscan Family Apostolate (FFA) and continues to operate it today.
Website:  http://www.openhearts.org/sponsor/index.html
93 Country Way
Madison CT  06443 
Following is from the website:The FFA was founded in 1971 by Alan Ouimet, SFO. For the first 8 years, Alan worked with a parish priest in India whom he contacted through a mutual friend. The organization came to the attention of the, then, Msgr. Peter Chenaparampil who was forming a Bishop's Relief Fund in the Alleppey Diocese. It was at that time that Msgr. Peter asked the Canossian sisters to provide a member of their community to oversee the program in India, a post which they continue to fill today. When Msgr. Peter was elevated to Bishop of the diocese, the FFA moved forward with him. Today, Bishop Stephen Athipozhiyil continues to give his support to the activities of the FFA to relieve the distress of the poor in his diocese. 
The Franciscan Family Apostolate presently assists over 1300 destitute families in the district of Alleppey, Kerala, South India with monthly food subsidies, housing, medical attention and self-development programs.

St. Conrads has been sponsoring a family for more than 10 years.  Our first family became self-sufficient.  We are now supporting a second family.

Joan Faltot
Secretary, St. Conrad's Fraternity
Annapolis, MD
- - - - - - - - - -

Dear Tom,
The following person is nominated as a recipient of the NAFRA Peace Award: Alan Ouimet.  He has been an SFO since 1967.

Alan is Founder and President of the Franciscan Family Apostolate which cares for the destitute in India. (You can view the Franciscan Family Website.) He is the founding director of Heart2Heart USA, Inc. which cares for HIV/AIDS children in Kenya.  Alan is also the founding director of the Connecticut Urban Education Fund which cares for at-risk children in New Haven, CT.

Joan Geiger, Minister, in the name of the Tau Cross Region, makes this nomination.

- - - - - - - - - -

Tom, Jan, Ken, & Stephanie,
 On behalf of Father Solanus Casey Region as its minister, I would like to nominate Alan Ouimet, Founder and President of Franciscan Family Apostolate to be the recipient of the NAFRA 2010 Peace Award. Alan Ouimet is a Secular Franciscan who lives in Madison, CT and is a member of St. Pius X Fraternity in Middletown, CT. He was professed in 1968. The Franciscan Family Apostolate is a ministry that enables a person to support a poor family in India. Please visit http://www.openhearts.org  to learn more about the Franciscan Family Apostolate. The Franciscan Family Apostolate was founded in 1971 or somewhere around there. Please feel free to contact me if any of you have any questions. My phone number is (860) 828-0878. Thank-you for your consideration.

Pax et Bonum,

Sally Haddad, SFO
Minister of Father Solanus Casey Region

15. Jeffrey Raymond Proulx, SFO (Deceased)
Nominee: Jeffrey Raymond Proulx, SFO (Deceased)

Nominated by: Fraternity of Mary, Queen of Peace, St. Paul, MN. Queen of Peace Region (written by Mary Marshall, SFO)

Down’s syndrome never proved to be an obstacle for the late Jeffrey Proulx, SFO, as he lived fully his Franciscan vocation. Jeff, who professed into our fraternity on September 14, 1977, was the personification of peace.

Because Jeff was our fraternity's official "greeter", no "stranger" ever visited our fraternity. With an extended hand and
"Hi! I'm Jeff. Welcome!” a new friend instantly materialized. Jeff demonstrated infinite patience with his fraternity siblings and was willing to perform any act of service asked of him-from assisting at Mass to bringing a cup of coffee to a sister with a walker.

Jeff possessed a deep sensitivity to the feelings of others feelings and had a remarkable ability to empathize with a suffering brother or sister. Through shared tears, a clasped hand, or perhaps an embrace, Jeff was able to cross that unseen barrier to truly become one in spirit with another soul. That perpetual optimism and calm strength that resided in Jeff seemed to transfer to those in need. From Jeff's soul it could truly be said that "peace is flowing like a river".

Jeff's life in the world included a career as a kitchen worker at a large corporation, a Special Olympian, and a Boy Scout. At his wake, an entire room was needed to display all his medals, ribbons, and wards. Several rooms were needed to seat his countless friends, who testified to having known the same man of peace as our fraternity had. (In fact Jeff was such a peacemaker that he managed to be both a Vikings and a Packers fan, and he had the wardrobe to prove it!).

On September 12, 2009, Jeff's physical heart failed, and he died. But the Franciscan heart of Jeffrey Raymond Proulx, SFO, is alive and well and will live on forever at the Fraternity of Mary, Queen of Peace.

P.S. Less than six months after Jeff's death, his older brother, the internationally renowned liturgical composer Richard Proulx, followed him to eternity. One can only imagine the canticle of peace the two must be singing together.

Submitted by
Michael Young, sfo

16.    Fr. Regis Scanlon OFM Cap.
June 18, 2010

The Penitents of St. Francis, a fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order, wishes to nominate our Spiritual Assistant Father Regis Scanlon, OFM Cap. for the Peace Award.

For over ten years Father Scanlon has labored and served thousands of prisoners in Colorado jails. Many of the prisoners were Mexican nationals. Father Scanlon never inquired as to their immigration status. The only “papers” he cared about were the Gospel and the sacraments. Having gone to Mexico to learn Spanish he offered mass and the sacraments in Spanish. All of this he did with one vocal cord, the other paralyzed. His compassion often spoke louder than his voice and many Mexicans returned to the practice of the faith. Only a serious heart condition forced his retirement from prison ministry. In fact from his sickbed he had to be ordered under obedience to leave prison ministry, so reluctant was he to leave his flock orphaned without an immediate successor. Fr. Scanlon left prison ministry in April 2010.

Secondly, Father Scanlon, after personal appeal by Mother Teresa of Calcutta, now Blessed Teresa, offered countless retreats and workshops to the multi-cultural community of the Missionaries of Charity, both in Mexico and the United States. Once again Father Scanlon displayed his compassion and priestly zeal “sin fronteras” [without borders]. The only boundary he cared about was Christ’s love. He also provided priestly service to AIDS victims served by the Missionaries of Charity in Denver.

Finally, Father Scanlon was instrumental in establishing a home for women released from prison. Many of these women had gone from abusive e homes to austere jails.  After their release, there was no place they could return to except the streets and a life that would soon return them to jail. Father Scanlon established a transition home where the women would receive the love and support they needed to rebuild their lives. Once again Father Scanlon helped heal their violent past with the peace of Christ.
For all these reason, we believe that Father Scanlon OFM Cap. should be recognized with a Peace Award.

Larry Brooks SFO
Minister, Penitents of St. Francis
(with the approval of the Council of the fraternity)

1367 S. Gaylord St.
Denver, Colorado 80210

17. Fr. Paschal D. Siler, OFM Cap.
Nominee:  Father Paschal D. Siler, O.F.M. Cap.

Father Paschal is the pastor of St. Labre Mission to the Northern Cheyenne people in Montana.  He has ministered to the Cheyenne people for nearly three decades.  Despite being past retirement age (he will turn 77 in August) and coping with diabetes, Father Paschal drives many miles to serve three widespread parishes on the reservation, due to a lack of priests.  This includes his regular 240-mile round trip to visit the sick in the hospital.  During the severe Montana winters, these drives are hazardous.

In February students at the St. Labre Indian School honored Father Paschal for his long and continued commitment to them and to the Cheyenne Native Americans.  He is a well-loved pastor to a community too often afflicted by broken families, addictions, unemployment and poverty.

Throughout his life Father Paschal has followed in Christ's footsteps, emulating St. Francis, by freely pouring out his own life in love and service to those on the margins of American society.  Father Paschal offers his flock the only true peace, the "peace which passes understanding", the "peace which the world cannot give."

We first met Father Paschal in the early 1980s in Saudi Arabia where he was an undercover priest.  (Many Americans do not know that the practice of any religion other than Islam is forbidden in that country.)  Father Paschal brought the sacraments to the Catholics at the American Embassy.  At great personal risk, he also celebrated clandestine Masses for the larger expat Catholic community in Saudi Arabia.  His ministry was a great source of comfort and strength to Catholics far from home.  Finally he was arrested celebrating Mass with Filipino dockworkers, held in a warehouse at the seaport of Jeddah.  He was jailed, initially denied access to American consular officers, treated disrespectfully, and deported weeks later.

In earlier years Father Paschal served in his order's soup kitchen in Milwaukee, providing for the homeless and destitute in that city.  From 1966 to 1974 he was the Vice Postulator for the cause of canonization of Venerable Solanus Casey, a member of the same order.

We heartily recommend to the committee Father Paschal D. Siler for the 2010 Peace Award.  He is a model to all, and particularly to all Franciscans, of someone who daily lays down his life for God's people.  Old age, disease and weather do not deter this priest!

Submitted by Brian and Susan Majewski, SFO (Holy Family Fraternity, Manassas, VA)

Address:  9369 Dahlia Ct., Manassas, VA 201110
Phone: (703) 895-8018

18.     Stephanie Sormane SFO
Dear Ken and Peace Award Committee,
The St Bernardine of Siena Fraternity would like to nominate Stephanie Sormane.  Stephanie has worked for peace and justice for many years.  She does this quietly without making a fuss about her accomplishments.  As a member of FAN, Stephanie has devoted herself to promoting FAN amount the SFO fraternities.  She actively educates Franciscans about issues that have to do with peace and justice.  She is passionately committed not only promoting FAN, but also making the connections with issues of peace and justice and our Franciscan Tradition.

Stephanie is also the PJIC Councilor for the Mother Cabrini SFO Region and helps to create awareness and educates members of the Region that challenge our understanding of what it means to live justly in the world.

The integrity of her life is a clear witness to peace.

Thanks for your consideration.
Mary Beth Murray
      Minister, St Bernardine of Siena Fraternity

19. Starcross Community of Annapolis, CA

Starcross is a small autonomous community of lay people trying to live quiet lives in the monastic tradition and offering encouragement and affirmation to gentle folk on all spiritual paths. The members are Br. Toby McCarroll, Sr. Julie DeRossi and Sr. Marti . Their home is in the coastal hills of Sonoma County, California. Here are some excerpts from their website that talk about their  work. The most well-known is their work with orphans of AIDS victims and children with AIDS.

AIDS + Starcross
Children with HIV/AIDS
From February 1986 to the present the AIDS pandemic has been a part of our life at Starcross. It's a story of people, mostly children, and of dreams. It started one night a few weeks after David, our adopted son, was born. A TV news program showed a picture of a toddler in a walker tethered to a doorknob in an empty hospital hallway. He was one of a growing number of children with HIV/AIDS warehoused in hospitals. They were called "Boarder Babies." Many were afraid to provide them with a normal home. The United States had no national public health policy on AIDS. Agencies were cautious. It was assumed the children would not live long. We looked at happy David and back to the
TV. It was wrong. These kids deserved to experience life no matter how short that might be. We had a big house but we were worried about handling medical issues from our rural location. Dr. Marshall Kubota, the remarkable physician responding to the people living with AIDS in our county, told us "At this time we have no medical answers. What these children need is love." So it started.

There were a lot of friends; doctors, nurses, social workers, lawyers, judges, journalists, and neighbors. But there was also a lot of fear in those early years. We were denounced in public meetings. The county dump would not take our garbage. Store clerks would not touch our money. A volunteer fireman would not respond to a call for help. Some social welfare and educational agencies responded to us with panic and hostility. Fortunately other officials did not. To us, we were simply offering to provide a home for a few children made homeless because they carried a deadly virus.

The negative reaction surprised us. It was painful and very time consuming. In time it passed - but there were new challenges. For reasons we could not understand we caught the attention of the international, national and regional media. An ABC-TV producer tried to explain that "in a sea of despair because of AIDS you represent something hopeful." As the story spread, so did the calls from people impacted from the pandemic. Mothers without family and with AIDS who did not have long to live were trying to make responsible plans for their children. We could only take a few children. Sister Marti became a one-person hub for putting people in need together with those opening their hearts and homes. Other well-meaning people wanted us to become an agency for Children with AIDS. We just wanted to be a few people responding to a need by providing a home and love for children as individual children, each with a right to be cared for lovingly.

It was hard for us to have a normal home life. Some well-known people moved forward to provide us with protection so that we could simply focus on the children. Several authors visited and became close friends: Dr. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, On Death and Dying; Randy Shilts, And the Band Played On; Paul Monette, Borrowed Time. But what was a normal day for us in those early years between 1986 - 1996?  Sister Julie wrote: "Caring for desperately ill children brought out incredibly intense emotions. The deaths were more devastating than we could have imagined. There were sleepless nights followed by days of fighting bureaucracy. But we took utter delight in the world of the babies - reveling in each of their little victories." It was a bit hectic. We had 4 toddlers learning to walk. We were milking cows and trying to keep our Christmas tree farm going. Whenever there was a conflict the needs of the children came before the needs of the farm, and so money was an issue as well.  Some of the children died. That was very hard. But they had lived well. Others came. Some died and some lived. Two who tested positive were found clear of HIV when the tests became more sophisticated. We had adopted them and they are very much a part of our family now as healthy teens.
Children with AIDS are no longer a major problem in the United States. Medicine has found strategies to greatly reduce the transmission of the HIV virus from mother to child. It is now down to 1% transmission. Adults and children can now live with HIV/AIDS much longer with antiretroviral medication and proper care.

In December 1989 the communist regime was violently overthrown in Romania. Immediately, unbelievable stories came out. At least 120,000 abandoned children were living in sub-human conditions, most of them had AIDS because of the practice of reusing needles for injections. Shortly afterwards, Toby went over accompanied by veteran journalists Robin Weiner (a producer), Alex & Franci Bruckner (camera and sound.) None of them were prepared for the horror they discovered and started communicating to the world. Four segments on Prime Time Live filming Brother Toby’s activities revealed that these children were left to die from starvation and neglect. Each TV presentation averaged 17 million viewers. This helped turn the spotlight on the situation. On January 17, 1991 we were able to open our House of Hope, "CASA SPERANTA", in Constanta. Until 1994, Starcross directed the daily operations at Casa Speranta.

Work in Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the world's highest HIV/AIDS infection rates. Without access to medications, large numbers of adults die quickly. Children would ordinarily have gone to live with aunts and uncles - but soon those too are dead. In some areas whole generations are missing. Only elderly grandparents and children were left. There is barely enough to keep a child alive and no money for education.  We were asked by an ordinary person, who found our name in a book, to found a program in Uganda. We needed to provide not only food, medicine, and education for a child but to do it until they were well launched in life. Hope was what we were cultivating. It took awhile for a child to believe again in "a bright future" as they put it. We gathered co-workers from our group of AIDS orphan sponsors and formed Starcross Kin Worldwide (SKW), a separate non-profit corporation with a board of directors. Brother Toby and then Sister Julie served as the CEO. Many children come to SKW malnourished, suffering from repeated bouts of malaria. Some are disabled by anxiety and sever emotional trauma. A few have HIV/AIDS. If there is a viable family, we support the family. When the last adult dies the child comes to our House of Hope in Kampala.

For a copy of their newsletter please look here: http://www.starcross.org/pdfs/sharings10summer.pdf

20.     Fr. John Stowe
2010 NAFRA Peace Award Nominee, Father John Stowe
Mary Immaculate Fraternity
El Paso, Texas

Father John Stowe joined the Franciscans at age 19. He was the youngest one in the candidacy program-the first step in the formation, or entry process. “I was reluctant to tell most of my friends, but nobody was surprised, everybody was supportive,” says Father John.

Father John Stowe was ordained to the priesthood on September 16, 1995 and became an associate pastor at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish. Later Father Stowe was named pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Bishop Armando X. Ochoa named Father Stowe moderator of the curia and vicar general on December 24, 2002. While moderator of the curia, Father Stowe served as administrator of Our Lady of the Valley Parish July 1, 2005 through November 2, 2009. He has been elected vicar provincial of Our Lady of Consolation Province of the Friars Minor Conventual. During the past 15 years, Father Stowe has been active in projects to foster interfaith dialogue and understanding and has taught courses at Tepeyac Institute at the Diocese of El Paso, Texas.

As Father John accepts this new ministry to the friars of Conventual Franciscan province Carey, Ohio, he says he does so with great affection and gratitude for having been sent first to El Paso. He served two parishes in Ysleta, the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, providing sacramental ministry to Sierra Blanca and Dell City and other places on an ad hoc basis, he worked with the bishop and other diocesan ministries, including conferring the sacrament of confirmation upon thousands of young people, participating in the formation of permanent deacons, sharing his love for the Church’s history through Tepeyac courses, advocating for justice and for genuine participatory democracy through EPISO, and helping to bring living wage job training to El Paso through Project Arriba, promoting justice for immigrants and the reform of broken and unfair immigration laws, spiritual advisor for two fraternities of Secular Franciscans, sharing and exchanging pulpits with Rabbi Back of Temple Mount Sinai, discussing our Christian faith with members of the Islamic Center, and other privileged sites of ministry too numerous to count.

Through intensive investigations on sensitive matters for the Church, which were assigned to him as Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia in the Diocese of El Paso (Texas), he was instrumental in bringing about peace and justice in areas such as Liberia, the Honduras, Ecuador, and Africa.

The following are comments from those that have been privileged to know Fr. John and share in his spirituality and love of God:

Sister Nancy Hansen of the School Sisters of St. Francis offers the following statement on Father John: “Friar John Stowe has been instrumental in building bridges between religions. He has brought people of the Jewish and Islam traditions to encourage understanding. He worked alongside of Rabbi Bach and others to teach about these religions at Tepeyac, the Diocesan School of El Paso.”

The minister of Mary Immaculate Fraternity, Ysela Sanchez states: “I have admired Fr. John since I attended a Franciscan Spirituality conference which he led at Tepeyac Institute in 1997. I have found him to be tireless in his work for the Lord, and as a Franciscan Friar. Not only does he work for Peace on a large scale with the Diocese, internationally and locally, but he takes the time to educate. For example, he worked that we could have the Transitus of St. Francis, a yearly re-enactment of the final hours of St. Francis, the Blessing of animals, and many Franciscan events such as the Stations of the Cross, and the Christmas crèche. His humility is exemplary and he inspires by example.”

From our Formation Director, Rose Cano: “Fr. John has always been a great advocate for justice and peace both locally and internationally. He is inspiration to our fraternity and to me for us to follow. He walks the talk as a Franciscan.”

The Secretary of Mary Immaculate Fraternity, Gigi Gregory states: “I have always respected Fr. John’s spirituality and his dedication to educate us in our journey as Franciscans. We were in the process of understanding the ‘Catechism of the Catholic Church’ through his guidance and untiring teachings. He kept us informed of different events that we could attend that would inspire us to reach for peace and social justice in our area. He, with God’s help, will continue to encourage other people in their journey to God.”

Secular Franciscan and member of Mary Immaculate Fraternity, Mary Ellen Vega says: “My life as a Catholic has been enriched with the knowledge that my priest (Father John) is also my friend and brother. We are truly a family with God as the head. This is what I have learned from my brother, Father John Stowe; we are totally complete as a people because we are all totally saved by God’s love for us.”

Secular Franciscan and Mary Immaculate Fraternity, Oscar Casarez gives this statement: “What comes to mind when I reflect on Fr. John is of a simple servant who is full of the Wisdom of God and a perfect example of St. Francis of Assisi in today’s world.”

Secular Franciscans and members of Mary Immaculate Fraternity, Hector and Letty Ramirez say: “The very first time we heard Father John give one of his lectures to our fraternity, we were mesmerized; he made everything seem so simple; it’s easy to follow Christ, it’s all in us…no more excuses…and for this, we will always be thankful that our Lord put him in our paths.”

From one of our newest professed members, Cissy Castro: “…Father John Stowe studies God’s Word and Catholic Church’s teachings fervently. He applies what he has learned carefully serving God’s people whole-heartedly. Father John Stowe is a very good example of: Living a life from Gospel to life and life to Gospel. He tells us to ask ourselves, ‘What God wants us to do in each situation?’…he encouraged us to promote peace and justice and to seek first God’s kingdom. …To reach out and go beyond our comfortable zones. He also encouraged us to study the Gospel well, study our faith well, study human history well to keep up with current events and to apply our faith to current events of the world.”

Past Regional Counselor and long time member of Mary Immaculate Fraternity, Viola Marquez: “Father John’s Franciscan Spirit of authentic love, joy, and peace witnesses to people who encounter him no matter where he goes. The charisms of the Holy Spirit are most definitely at work in him as his humble life radiates the meaning of gospel living. His example continues to draw countless many to do as he does to follow our Lord Jesus. His encouraging words of wisdom and understanding have taught us to take care of the poor and marginal and to be a voice for the voiceless in a peaceful loving way. As busy as he is with the demands of his priesthood, he always finds the time to visit and minister to anyone who calls on him with such tenderness and care, a true reflection of a shepherd. As a spiritual director, Fr. John’s gift of listening and discerning God’s movement in my life has deepened my relationship with God as I know it has with many others. God has gifted Fr. John in a mighty special way whose life in return is a gift to us. We are so blessed!”

Therefore, it is with great pride and honor, that the Mary Immaculate Fraternity in El Paso, Texas, offers the nomination of Father John Stowe for the 2010 NAFRA Peace Award.

Ysela Sanchez, Minister
Mary Immaculate Fraternity of El Paso, Texas
10400 Shannon Place, El Paso, Texas 79925
PH. No.: 915-598-4158

21.    Reta Tombaugh
Dear Tom,
The Santa Maria de las Montanas Region of the Secular Franciscan Order would like to nominate Reta Tombaugh for this year's Peace Award.  Reta has spent the last ten years working with women (and their children) in crisis because of unplanned pregnancies, emotional and physical abuse. Healing the scars from physical battering is often less painful than the scars from years of emotional abuse and her program is structured to address the barriers of emotional instability, lack of education, and unplanned pregnancies.  Women work, go to school, or get vocational training while pregnant.  Once the child is born they prepare to transition to greater independence by working through various stages of the program.  Parenting classes, mental health, trauma and sometimes substance abuse treatment are integral.  All women are invited to discover their spiritual self.  Prayer, and the healing from violence that comes through prayer, is part of their daily routine.  A chapel is available 24 hours a day.  Reta is not only a strong practicing Catholic but a member of the Secular Order since 1996.  The organization, Maternity of Mary, functions through charitable giving from donors throughout the local community.  Reta represents the best of what "in the trenches working for peace through non violence" means.  We can look to her example for practical solutions, peaceful solutions, to some of the most violent barriers women and children face today.

Thank you for the opportunity to present this nomination for the National Peace Award.

Peace from the Santa Maria de las Montanas Region of the Secular Franciscan Order.

Dolores J. Walker, SFO
Regional Formation Director

22.     Ron Wakefield
Secular Franciscan Order
St. Francis Region
Office of the Minister
8121 Barrington Dr.
La Mirada, CA 90638

June 25, 2010    

Deacon Tom Bello, SFO
Minister, National Fraternity       
1710 Chesterbrook Vale Ct.
McLean, VA 22101-3244

Dear Tom and the members of the Peace Award Committee: 
I am writing to nominate, on behalf of St. Francis Region, Ron Wakefield for the annual Peace Award given by NAFRA.

Ron is a professed member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Fraternity that meets in Whittier, CA, and is a member of their council.  He is an outstanding clarinetist, and was a studio musician for many years.  He gave up that very lucrative work when he felt the Lord was calling him to work with children, and he took a job as a junior high school band director in an area with a heavy Hispanic population and gang problems. 

What he has done with the band is hardly less than miraculous.  But even more impressive is the work he has done - with his band - with disadvantaged children.  He started by taking some of his band members to give a concert for the mothers and children staying at the Catholic Worker home in Santa Ana, CA.   When several of the children “wished” they could play an instrument, Ron started taking some of his band members down there to teach the children.  He provided the instruments for the children - often bearing the cost out of his own pocket - and supervised the student teaching being done.  He took six of those students with his band to New York City to give a concert at Carnegie Hall!

Since then he has expanded his “kids helping kids” program to hospitals, homeless shelters, and agencies for abused and neglected kids.  In August of 2010 he led kids on a concert tour in China, where they performed and taught music lessons at orphanages.  His former students have started similar programs in Baltimore, Harlem, Brooklyn, and Philadelphia. 

He was invited to speak earlier this summer at a conference in England on Spirituality in Music Education.  After everyone had spoken, he was asked to speak more and tell the educators in more detail just how he had managed to do what he has done.  As a result of that conference, it appears the program is spreading all over western Europe.  Since returning, he has been asked to speak at the University of Arizona and help the educators there to start a similar program.

I am enclosing Ron’s resume, which tells worlds more about him and what he has accomplished, along with a brochure describing the program*, and a copy of a news article that appeared this year.  Many Franciscans in this Region have been involved in helping raise funds for this program, and many have heard his band or small groups from it.  I spent the first half of my life as a concert pianist and can say, from a professional perspective, that I have never heard a junior high band that sounds like this one.  His band is the only junior high school band ever invited to march in the Tournament of Roses Parade, and they have done that twice.  They have performed in Carnegie Hall four times. 

This past year, Ron did not even conduct the concerts, including the one in Carnegie Hall.  He had student conductors do the entire program.  Some of the conductors were from his band, and others were former members who were now in high school or college.  A large number of disadvantaged children from the various shelters here in CA and from the centers on the east coast, went to New York with the band and performed with it there, including a young girl from Haiti who had lost her leg in the earthquake.

Another most amazing aspect of Ron’s work is that in every concert he has managed to program religious music - either “classics” recognized by all, or religious tunes incorporated into music specially arranged for the band.  The band members appear on stage with the boys in tuxedos and the girls in long, formal black gowns.  They are well groomed, and very well mannered when meeting the audience at receptions after concerts.  It is difficult to believe they are 12 - 14 year olds.

What Ron has done and is doing with these children - both the ones in his school band and the ones living in various shelters and hospitals - has changed their lives.  With experiences like they’ve had, they have been totally removed from the potential status of failure, or gang, or worthless.  They are and will be part of the peace efforts that are needed to change this world, instead of part of the problem.  Ron himself is the most humble person you could ever imagine, very soft-spoken, and totally dedicated to doing God’s work. 

Our Region urges you to give strong consideration to Ron Wakefield to receive the Peace Award for 2010.

Peace and God Bless.

Sylvia L. Paoli, SFO                                                            
                        Minister, St. Francis Region                                        
* Editor’s note: We apologize that were unable to format the brochure in a way to include it in this document.


Clarinetist/Conductor Ron Wakefield has performed extensively around the world including in Canada, Mexico, Europe, and China. His interest in contemporary music yielded more than 100 new musical works written for and dedicated to him.  He has performed with many Southern California Orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  He has also performed with Mexico's Orquesta Sinfonica de Xalapa, and has recorded for Lorimar and Columbia Pictures.  In 1985 he starred in the West Coast tour of the Broadway show "The Lady and the Clarinet".    While the Los Angeles Times called Mr. Wakefield "...a splendid soloist..." , the Bern Post (Switzerland) described him as "...subtle and expressive..."

His North Park Middle School Band from Pico Rivera, California is the only middle school band to ever march in the world famous Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade (1997 and 2005), and they have performed in Carnegie Hall four times.  The band also performs frequently for homeless shelters, children's hospitals, senior centers, and other social agencies.

In recent years Mr. Wakefield has become most interested in providing musical outreach opportunities for disadvantaged children.  In his "kids helping kids" program he leads his students to teach music lessons to children in hospitals, homeless shelters, and agencies for abused and neglected kids.  In August, 2010 he led kids on tour to China where they performed and taught music lessons at orphanages.  Mr. Wakefield has founded music outreach programs on the East Coast in Baltimore, Harlem, Brooklyn, and Philadelphia. 

Mr. Wakefield and the North Park Middle School Band recently returned from the East Coast where they performed in a children's hospital and in Carnegie Hall, bringing together children from all of the outreach programs from coast to coast.  Also included in the performance was a young girl from Haiti, who lost her lower left leg in the January, 2010 earthquake.

Mr. Wakefield speaks frequently at educational conferences on the subject of Social Justice in Education.  He has been a guest speaker at USC, UCLA, and will speak in England this summer at a conference on Spirituality in Music Education.

One of his future plans involves bringing disadvantaged children from his East Coast outreach project to California to perform at Disneyland. 

In his "younger" years, Mr. Wakefield enjoyed climbing mountains.  To his credit are the world famous peaks of Mt. Rainier, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mexico's Pico de Orizaba, and Switzerland's Matterhorn.

Mr. Wakefield received his musical training at USC and is a professed member of the Secular Franciscan Order.