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Franciscans Spread Good News in Asia View Comments
By Jack Wintz, O.F.M.

Father Matthew Purayidom, O.F.M.Conv., stands before the lovely Franciscan Retreat Center, operated by the Conventual friars in Karukutty, Kerala, in southern India.

AN OCTOBER 18-28, 2010, seminar on the Franciscan mission charism gathered 57 Franciscans from 14 countries in Karukutty, Kerala, India. This “Comprehensive Course” included presentations ranging from “The History of the Franciscan Movement” to “Encounter With Muslims.” During breaks, I interviewed separately the six Franciscans introduced below. But before introducing readers to them, I would like to recognize another Franciscan, Father Andreas Müller, O.F.M. Father Andreas, who lives in Würzburg, Germany, has been a key force behind the course. For many years, his program has helped numerous Franciscans around the world better understand the charisms or values that enrich their lives as missionaries.
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Jack Wintz, O.F.M., is senior editor of this publication and editor of Catholic Update. He is also author of Friar Jack’s E-spirations, a free e-newsletter accessible at http://www.FriarJack.org.

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Daniel Brottier: Daniel spent most of his life in the trenches—one way or another. 
<p>Born in France in 1876, Daniel was ordained in 1899 and began a teaching career. That didn’t satisfy him long. He wanted to use his zeal for the gospel far beyond the classroom. He joined the missionary Congregation of the Holy Spirit, which sent him to Senegal, West Africa. After eight years there, his health was suffering. He was forced to return to France, where he helped raise funds for the construction of a new cathedral in Senegal. </p><p>At the outbreak of World War I Daniel became a volunteer chaplain and spent four years at the front. He did not shrink from his duties. Indeed, he risked his life time and again in ministering to the suffering and dying. It was miraculous that he did not suffer a single wound during his 52 months in the heart of battle. </p><p>After the war he was invited to help establish a project for orphaned and abandoned children in a Paris suburb. He spent the final 13 years of his life there. He died in 1936 and was beatified by Pope John Paul II in Paris only 48 years later.</p> American Catholic Blog The simplest thing to do is to receive and accept that fact of our humanity gratefully and gracefully. We make mistakes. We forget. We get tired. But it is the Spirit who is leading us through this desert and the Spirit who remains with us there.


 
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