The Order of Franciscan Penitents

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Franciscan Chapel
903 Old Hwy 63
Columbia, Missouri 65201

Saturday Mass: 5 p.m.
Tues. & Thurs. Mass: noon
Wed. Evening Prayer: 6 p.m.

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March 31 - April 15, 2024

Friar's Footnotes by Fr. John Prenger, OFP

Alleluia He is Risen! We pray you enjoy a holy and glorious Easter Season!

The web site will not be updated until the week of April 15. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Fr. John ofp



Padre’s Pontifications by Fr. Jim McNeely

March 2024

Grace and peace from the Priest-In-Residence! It’s been a year as of the 24th that you all have allowed me to serve the community by assisting Fr. John in priestly tasks. Truth is that this past year has been wonderful because of each of you. Your prayers and many acts of kindness and love fill me with joy and humility. Thanks for one of the best years of my whole life!

1.     We have an early Easter this year (March 31). I hope you will make attending Holy Week services a priority…they are the very best services of the year in my view because of the power of the holiday and the dramatic way the liturgy dramatizes it.

2.     The Columbia brood have studied Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together as part of our Lenten discipline. Those of you outside our area can read the book, which is a profound text on how to live together as Christ-followers. Many thanks to Jim Jantz, who has been simply spectacular in leading our discussions.

3.     As we look ahead as a community of faith (including those not in the Order), I want to ask two important questions that became the focus of my Lent:

a.     What does it mean to love Jesus deeply from the heart?
b.     How can I be more welcoming to others to be a part of us and/or the wider community of Christ followers?

4.     Money. I know too many clergy talk too much about this subject: too much guilt and haranguing. Truth is that neither Fr. John nor I take a salary from the community for our ministry because we don’t want to be a burden. You all pay my military retirement with your taxes, so you already contribute to my life. So why raise the subject? Because the Order is still on a cliff edge just paying for the basic expenses of the community. If you worship at another congregation, that group should be paid first. But if you are part of the Columbia community and participate in our sacramental life, we could use your support.

5.     Did you know that we now have a Monstrance for worshipping our Lord through the Blessed Sacrament?

6.     We are a sacramental community. This means that the idea of God’s grace coming to us through the rites and rituals of our faith is a critical part of our identity. I want to emphasize two important sacraments we need to embrace and use MORE. First, we need to be more aggressive about the Sacrament of the Sick. When you are ill or injured or facing a surgical procedure, please let me or Fr. John know. We want to make the Church’s ministry available to you. Second, we need to avail ourselves of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Yes, it’s become one of my favorite topics. There is nothing more healing than hearing God’s forgiveness for our faults and sins. Again, Fr. John and I stand ready to help you.

7.     Finally (for this month), July 29th we are having a social/outreach event for the community. We plan to attend the Kansas City Royals baseball game. No sermons, homilies, or “religious” stuff. We are just going to a game and inviting our friends to meet our community. Next month I will ask who is thinking about attending and getting some numbers out to you all, cost wise.

Dr. Jim McNeely+
Parent, Priest, Person