Category Archives: College Campus News

A New Community Blooms in the Desert: Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit

On July 2, 2016, the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit, seven friars in all,  were established as a Public Association of the Faithful in the Diocese of Phoenix in a ceremony at St. Francis Mission on the Ak-Chin Indiana Reservation. Their primary mission is to serve the Native Americans in the diocese from their base at the Gila River Indian Community at St John the Baptist Mission. But they also provide campus ministry support at Grand Canyon University and other schools in the diocese as well as evangelization initiatives through prayers groups, missions and conferences.

“This truly is a momentous occasion. Just over a year ago a group of men felt called by God to form a new Franciscan charismatic community in the Diocese of Phoenix,” said Fr. David Sanfilippo, vicar for priests. “After prayerful discernment, the Church officially recognizes and affirms their decision as an authentic call from God.”

The friars were given an abandoned convent on the Gila River reservation where in the old mission a remnant of the faithful were praying that the Franciscan fathers would one day return. “Once we began offering the Holy Mass in the Mission Church that autumn,” they said, “the people came in crowds, smiling and applauding because, ‘the padres have returned!’ We were similarly greeted at the other nine mission churches that are entrusted by Bishop Olmsted to our care.”

The friars felt called by the Spirit to leave their prior community to begin a Franciscan missionary initiative in the desert. The priests and brothers follow the Rule and tradition of the Third Order Regular of Saint Francis of Penance. Not surprisingly, they are growing and attracting new members.

“My dear Friar Brothers — and my sons who have become very dear to my heart in the last 14 months — your religious vows today and your fidelity to them each day hereafter draws you into something revolutionary, something that Jesus uses to transform your lives and society.”   

—Bishop Thomas Olmsted

To contact them:

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Friary

5447 West Pecos Road

Laveen AZ, 85339


“The one who has Hope lives differently” says Pope Benedict XVI

Saint Paul in his epistle to the Hebrews writes that the Christian virtue of “Hope” is set before us as “an anchor of the soul, sure and firm.” (cf. Heb 6:19) The anchor of a ship is that substantial piece of equipment that when thrown down, grabs hold of the solid sea bed below.  The winds may blow and the waves crash about, but the anchor provides security and stability until the skies clear and the waves calm.

The community of religious brothers called the Brotherhood of Hope was founded in 1980 by Father Philip Merdinger.  With their motto as “Primum Deus, Deus Solum”, Latin for “God First, God alone”, this community  based in Boston, MA wears on their habit the Anchor.

With 18 young men in Brotherhood formation as of this writing, these serious, yet joyful men prepare to labor in the harvest of the Lord with a zeal for the “lost sheep”, particularly college students and young adults who are especially vulnerable to being lost in the storms of the increasingly secularized and hostile culture with its many allurements and distractions.

From the earliest days of the Church, the Anchor has served as a powerful symbol of Hope in Christ our Resurrected Savior and His promise of eternal salvation, with countless examples found on the epitaphs of the faithful departed within the catacombs in Rome.

The important work of the Brothers is that in their apostolate, in their fidelity to Christ and to the Church and their works of mercy, they inspire Hope and demonstrate the “freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Rom 8:21)

Thomas Aquinas College Expanding East!

Thomas Aquinas College (TAC) in Santa Paula, California, will soon have an East Coast campus. They have entered into a preliminary grant agreement with the National Christian Foundation (NCF) to accept its gift of a former secondary school campus in Northfield, Massachusetts.

A portion of the 217-acres, located 90 miles northwest of Boston, will be given to Thomas Aquinas College. The campus is comprised of 40 main buildings including dormitories, academic and administration buildings, a library, science hall, auditorium, music building, gymnasium and a chapel. The facility, previously home to Northfield Mount Hermon School, was founded in the 19th century as a preparatory high school by noted evangelist and bible scholar Dwight L. Moody. On part of the property, the Moody Center will continue to preserve his legacy. And, “has the opportunity to again re-establish the property as a preeminent location for teaching and training biblical scholars,” said Emmitt Mitchell of NCF.

Dr. Michael McLean, President of TAC said: “We have been considering, therefore, the possibility of a second campus. Given the tremendous challenges and costs involved, the question would have remained no more than academic—but for this extraordinary opportunity that the National Christian Foundation has offered us. Never did we imagine we could acquire a campus so fully developed and so beautiful.”

TAC is at full enrollment so this new opportunity gives more students access to their outstanding curriculum while maintaining an intimate community of learners. When fully realized, the campus will be able to support an enrollment of 350- 400 students.

Most Rev.  Mitchell T. Rozanski, Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield plans to do whatever he can to help  Thomas Aquinas form “faithful witnesses to Christ in our Catholic faith.”  Dr. McLean was greatly encouraged by this pledge of assistance and said: “We look forward to working with him to provide even more young people the intellectual, moral, and spiritual formation they need to serve the Church and our country well.”

At Thomas Aquinas College, students acquire a broad and fully integrated liberal education. The College offers one, four-year, classical curriculum that spans the major arts and sciences. Instead of reading textbooks, students read the original works of the greatest thinkers in Western civilization — the Great Books — in all the major disciplines: mathematics, natural science, literature, philosophy, and theology.

Northeast Catholic College – Record Enrollment!

ne collegeThe IRL has many Affiliate communities of the religious persuasion but only  few select colleges are listed on our web page!

One noteworthy establishment of higher education is Northeast Catholic College, formerly known as The College of Saint Mary Magdalen. This Fall they welcomed the largest student body in the college’s 42-year history. It is a small college but the Class of 2019 is twice the size of ne 2last year’s class. They also retained 100% of the freshman from last year and the overall retention rate is 95%. Students who go there obviously love it!

The college occupies 135 beautiful acres on Mt. Kearsarge in Warner, New Hampshire. It was established as a residential, Catholic liberal arts college and seeks—through the rigorous study and discussion of primary texts and through its vibrantly Catholic student life—to call their students to the life-long pursuit of intellectual and moral virtue, following Christ who is the source of all virtue.

Four documents form the core of their identity and self-understanding as a college:

  • Pope Saint John Paul II’s Encyclical Fides et ratio
  • Pope Saint John Paul II’s Apostolic Constitute Ex corde ecclesiae
  • Pope Benedict XVI’s “Address to Catholic Educators” (2008)
  • Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman’s Idea of a University

Their theologians seek the  Mandatum from the bishop so parents seeking to ensure that their children receive the fullness of the Faith at a Catholic university should consider Northeast Catholic college where the truth is presented in all its beautiful clarity.

In the spring of 2016, the college will welcome Cardinal Raymond Burke who will lead sung Morning Prayer, offer several conferences for the students and members of the community, and celebrate Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral in Manchester, New Hampshire.

They also have a program in Norcia, Italy, in association with the Benedictines who reside there at the birthplace of Sts. Benedict and Scholastica. The community in Norcia was founded by Fr. Cassian Folsom, O.S.B., and is an IRL Affiliate.

Dr. George Harne, President of the college said: “As our collegiate community continues to grow, we will advance our mission to renew the Church we love and the society we seek to serve.”

We invite you to visit us.  Join us in class.  Join us at Mass. Come see how God is blessing us as we seek to follow Him in fidelity.


An Army of Spiritual Mentors

samaritan womenOne of the biggest requirements for men and women discerning religious life is a good spiritual director. But often, the parish priest is too busy, the diocese is focused on priestly vocations and others potentially available are not a good fit or equipped to provide good spiritual mentoring.

Therefore, it is with great joy and interest, that we promote this wonderful program called “Catholic Spiritual Mentorship: Forming You to Form Others in the Interior Life.”

Offered by the Apostles of the Interior Life in collaboration with the Holy Family School of Faith, Catholic Spiritual Mentorship is a two-year course of study combining eight distance learning courses with four one-week intensive sessions offered in-residence at Savior Pastoral Center in Kansas City, Kansas.

According to their brochure:

  • The program is designed to form Spiritual Mentors to serve as guide and companion to others on their journey to holiness. We are looking for Catholics who have a desire to develop a deep prayer and sacramental life, a desire to increase their knowledge of the Catholic faith, a desire to grow in the virtues and a desire to help others do the same.
  • While many people in the program are from the greater Kansas City area, we have had participants from 15 different states and dioceses across the United States. This diverse group includes many lay people, permanent deacons,and religious sisters.

They are currently accepting applications for their next session. If you would like more information, please call (913) 310-0014 or email:

The Apostles of the Interior Life were founded in 1990 by Fr. Salvatore Scorza who, as a young seminarian, envisioned a community of young consecrated people with philosophical and theological backgrounds that would seek out their brothers and sisters and guide them to meet God.

Their four pillars are: Prayer (four hours daily including the Mass, Adoration and the Divine Office); Community life; Intellectual formation (at least 5 years of study); and Apostolate (missionary, especially on college campuses, formation of spiritual mentors, retreats, etc).

They are present on the following US college campuses: the University of Illinois in Champaign, IL; the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS; the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI; and Texas A&M University in College Station, TX.  In 2009 a Provincial House was established in the Archdiocese of Kansas City, KS. In 2012, the first five brothers were ordained to the Priesthood.

Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, KS, says: “My dream … is to be able to awaken in the hearts of many a yearning for holiness. If we are able to succeed in this area, we will need an army of spiritual mentors who will be trained to help guide and assist others in developing a rich life of prayer.”

The icon for the Apostles of the Interior Life is of Jesus greeting the Samaritan women at the well. May these spiritual mentors draw many to the well of living water, to Jesus Christ.

Juventutem Sweeps the Country!

Harvard Juventutem
Harvard Juventutem

A new student movement is sweeping the country like wildfire through a dry pasture! Called Juventutem, it now has eleven chapters in places such as New York, New Jersey, Kentucky, Miami, Chicago, DC and New Hampshire. The first chapter in the USA was only established in 2012 but look how quickly it has spread!

Click here to read the impact it has had on students at Harvard!

Juventutem is comprised of young Catholics who pursue a life of holiness by attending the Traditional Latin Mass and by embracing other timeless traditions of the Faith.  The International Juventutem Federation was founded on the Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians on May 24, 2006 in Berne, Switzerland, though a delegation attended World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany in 2005.

The name ‘Juventutem’ itself is the Latin word for youth and it appears in the opening lines of the traditional Mass (Introibo ad altare Dei. Ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam. “I will go in to the altar of God; to God, the joy of youth.”). The phrase comes from Psalm 43:4.

The US chapters are affiliates of the Fœderatio Internationalis Juventutem (FIJ), whose members work for the sanctification of youth – both at World Youth Days as well as in the local dioceses and parishes. Recalling St. John  Bosco’s dream of the the “three whitenesses”, the members of Juventutem profess a great love for the Holy Eucharist, the Blessed Virgin and the Holy Father.

The commitments of each individual who joins Juventutem are:

  1. to pray the psalm Judica me (Psalm 42:1-3) or some other prayer each day for the sanctification of youth
  2. to visit a church and adore Our Lord, once a week (can be before or after Sunday Mass)
  3. to attend the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) at least once a year
  4. to go to confession at least once a year
  5. to participate in at least one Juventutem event per year
  6. to annually support the International Juventutem Federation head office with prayer and funds

Said one Harvard student, “I have no idea who chose to begin Juventutem here. I do know that Harvard is a great place to find fiery, idealistic young people willing to put their lives into this outlandishly awe-inspiring Mass.”

For more information, visit their website. Also, for those interested in attending mass in  the Extraordinary Form, the IRL will be celebrating the TLM mass during its National Meeting (April 25-27, 2014). See our website for details!



Canadian Disciples to Radically Change the World!

cco canadaLast week in Canada, a wonderful conference for young people called Rise Up was held in Ottawa. Sponsored by the Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO), a Canadian university student movement founded 25 years ago as a small Bible study group at the University of Saskatchewan, it attracted 900 men and women during the Christmas/New Year’s break. Incredible!

The line up of speakers was impressive and included Archbishop Gérald Lacroix, ISPX; Archbishop Paul-André Durocher; Fr. Raymond de Souza, well-known Vatican commentator; Audrey Assad, singer; Sr. Helene Burns, fsp; Sr. Cecilia Rose, SV; Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT.

Timely and needed presentations included: Contraception, Same-Sex Attraction, Emotional Virtue, Modern Atheism, Discernment, Discipleship and more. There was also fun! including a banquet and dance to celebrate the New Year.

The purpose of the CCO movement is to motivate and inspire leaders for the renewal of the world! “By focusing on university students, CCO desires to see not only that young people come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, but also for them to radically affect our world.” They are seeking to provide answers to the plagues that beset young people in the modern world: atheism, hedonism, humanism and scientism.

The movement now serves hundreds of students on eleven campuses through a wide array of programs and outreaches. CCO continues to expand with the growing Rise Up Conference, an increasing number of staff, and a growing number of mission opportunities (both domestic and international). Their ministry is mainly one-on-one for this is the personal way to show the love of Christ to the world.

Read the story of Fr. Nick Meisl, ordained in December, who as an Engineering Physics major who had drifted away from the Faith, got involved in a CCO Discovery Study and began re-examine his life including asking the question: Is Jesus who He says He is?

Visit their website or Facebook for more information!