St. Anthony Messenger

Editor’s Minute

This month marks the end of one era for St. Anthony Messenger. Our new, redesigned look will be unveiled next month, in the January 2018 edition. As you’ll see in January, in a piece that Father Pat and I are pulling together, this magazine has had a number of different styles over its many years. It seems fitting that we would launch this new look in the midst of our 125th anniversary year, doesn’t it?

This department, “Backstory, ” will be a casualty of the new design. Even if no one else does, I’ll miss it! There is a bigger change, too. I’m taking this redesign as an opportunity to withdraw from my role as editor in chief. I’ll remain a contributing editor for some months to come, to create content and assure a smooth transition, but, after 28 years here, it’s time for me to move on. Maybe back to ministry among the poor, as in my distant past? We’ll see.

Somewhere near the beginning of “Backstory, ” in June 2013, I wrote a column about Ambrose Sanning, OFM, the magazine’s founding editor. I mentioned that, like him, back in 1893, we always are asking: “What’s next? How do we meet the needs of God’s people today and lay the groundwork for tomorrow? ” Like Father Ambrose, we, too, seek miracles.

St. Anthony bring us to safe harbor. ” That’s my prayer for all of us.

So let’s seek them, of course, in prayer. I want to end this column with a reflection on one related to a piece of overlooked “Franciscana ” that I found a few months ago in a former coworker’s desk. What is it? I thought. It looks like a rosary, but the beads are all wrong.

I asked a FranciscanÑcolumnist Father Pat. “It’s a chaplet of St. Anthony of Padua! ” he said, as if I should have known. I quickly went to Google to learn more. I was directed to StAnthony.org, a website that I helped get started years ago for our related ministry, the national Shrine of St. Anthony. (How embarrassing, but I honestly think they added a page later.) The page “How to Pray the Chaplet ” explained the whole story, with Franciscan prayers and the rest. My, how we eventually find the things right in front of our noses!

“St. Anthony, guide of travelers, bring us to safe harbor. ” That’s my prayer for all of us. It’s paraphrased from the chaplet guide. (St. Nicholas, himself patron of mariners, would approve.) Merry Christmas!

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