The Franciscan University of Steubenville
praying on campus before the
Tomb of the Unborn Child
Saint Francis of Assisi
The Portiuncula, located in Jerusalem, Ohio, in the Diocese of Steubenville, is home to the Franciscan Lay Apostolate. We are humbly committed to imitating the Gospel life of Christ, and observing the Sacraments. Placing ourselves under strict and holy obedience to Bishop Jeffrey Monforton of Steubenville, the Magisterium, and Father Timothy Davison, we follow the Medieval Penitential First Rule of the Third Order of St. Francis, dated 1221 A.D.
Father Forrest is a redemptorist priest who was ordained in New York in 1954 by Cardinal Spellman. For the first 23 years of his priesthood, he worked among the poor of the Caribbean. In 1978 he was elected director of the International Office for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. He served in this capacity for six years, first in Brussels and then in Rome.
Father Forrest has traveled to, and spoken in, 104 different countries and his articles and books have been translated into a number of languages. He has met and spoken with Pope John Paul II many times and on numerous occasions has attended breakfast, lunch and supper meetings with the Holy Father.
Father Forrest has organized two Worldwide Retreats for Priests, one in 1984 and the other in 1990. At present, he is the International Director of Evangelization 2000, a Catholic effort to promote Church renewal through prayer, proclamation of the Word and the formation of a more evangelistically activated people of God. He resides in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
"Only say the word Lord, and I shall be healed"
We are a
Franciscan Prayer Ministry
located in Jerusalem, Ohio.
Through prayer and Adoration before our Eucharistic Lord, we seek His awesome power, grace, and mercy, to bring His divine healing and peace into your life.
Simply e-mail your Prayer Requests to:
We encourage you to participate in our
Healing Services and Retreats
Thank you for visiting.
Pax Et Bonum!
SINGAPORE – A donation of 5 million Euros (S$10.76 million) was made today by Mavis Khoo, Chairman of the Goodwood Group of Hotels, to Franciscans International, a non-governmental organization at the United Nations, uniting the voices of Franciscan brothers and sisters from around the world. The donation was made through the Franciscan Friars in Singapore.
Ms Khoo donated the fund in the name of her philanthropic mother, the late Rose Marie Khoo, who had a deep commitment to charitable work and concern for the under-privileged during her lifetime.
The donation comes at a time when the Franciscan Friars commemorates its 50th year of presence in Singapore.
This 5 million Euros donation will take the form of an endowment fund, aimed at furthering the charitable works of Franciscans International.
It will be distributed across Franciscans International’s worldwide organizations in Bangkok, Geneva and New York. The donation will help about 1.2 million Franciscans worldwide in its work for the poor.
The Franciscans International is a non-governmental organization with General Consultative status at the U.N. that serves the global community by bringing spiritual, ethical and Franciscan values. An endowment fund is a permanent fund that exists in perpetuity or for a defined period, and the earnings and interest from the fund is used to carry out the works of Franciscans International around the world. The nature of the donation allows for it to have a much greater impact over a long period.
The charity is supported by the freewill offerings of Franciscan communities and partners, and champions causes related to justice, peace, care of creation and the promotion of human rights.
Father John-Paul Tan, Parish Priest at the Franciscan-run Church of St. Mary of the Angels, said, "This timely donation will be instrumental in furthering the Franciscan ideal of ‘loving concern for the poor, care of creation, peacemaking and addressing the causes of poverty’. It will help alleviate the situation of the poor and marginalized, and further, provide impetus towards driving the social causes of peace and justice, which is in accord with the Franciscan vision of global fraternity."
"This is an invaluable contribution in the memory of Mrs Rose Marie Khoo as it will go the distance to help the under-privileged in the society. We also appreciate this gesture by Mavis Khoo for extending her valuable support and unwavering belief in the Franciscan spirit of serving the poor and needy," added Father John-Paul Tan.
In further acknowledging the donation, Father John Celichowski, OFM Cap, President of Franciscans International, reiterated: "We are deeply touched by the philanthropic contribution made in the name of Mrs Rose Marie Khoo. We like to extend heartfelt thanks on behalf of all at Franciscans International for the generous donation and commitment towards helping the community. This will help us carry forward our vision to provide help to the less-fortunate in the society."
This donation comes as a result of Ms Mavis Khoo’s long association with the charitable works of the church and the growing relationship between her and the organization. Ms Mavis Khoo commented, "I believe that the fund will go towards helping the underprivileged, needy and vulnerable. I hope to continue with the legacy of my late philanthropic mother, who was committed to charitable work during her lifetime. In keeping with my mother’s commitment to donate funds for activities related to worthy causes, I wish to continue her legacy by distribution of funds centred on areas of great personal interest and passion.
This valuable donation marks the continued commitment of individuals who champion social causes with their philanthropic mindset and capability, and thus, help contribute meaningfully for the betterment of the society.
FRANCISCANS INTERNATIONAL (FI) is a non-governmental organization with General Consultative status at the United Nations, uniting the voices of Franciscan brothers and sisters from around the world. It operates under the sponsorship of the Conference of the Franciscan Family and serves all Franciscans and the global community by bringing spiritual, ethical, and Franciscan values to the United Nations and international organizations.
It closely follows the tradition of Saint Francis and Saint Clare, striving to put Franciscan ideals into practice at the international level. FI is guided by the saints’ loving concern for the poor, care of creation, and peacemaking. As the poorest people are being exploited in systemic ways, and global peace is increasingly threatened, Franciscan commitment is needed more urgently than ever, FI said.
Franciscans around the world run schools, hospitals, Justice and Peace offices, shelters, and specialise in many services for the poor. Their programmes at FI bring grassroots Franciscans to the United Nations forums in New York and Geneva, influencing international human rights standards and bringing witness to human rights violations.
FI is supported by the freewill offerings of Franciscan communities and their partners. A large part of its funding comes from individuals who support Franciscan work for human rights, care for creation, and peacemaking. FI’s advocacy programmes are designed in response to Franciscan needs worldwide. n
SINGAPORE – "I was very surprised," said Father John-Paul Tan, in response to a question on the donation. "To me, it is providential," he added.
He explained that it came about when he was sharing with Mavis Khoo his work with Franciscans International and how he had been tasked to look for funding. "I was sharing about the idea of a foundation as a structural way of ensuring long term dependable funding so that planning and programmes will not be affected by uncertainties," he said.
Ms Khoo then asked for more information about the foundation and offered to assist in setting it up.
Ms Khoo, a parishioner of St. Mary of the Angels, and her family have been friends of Father John-Paul and the friars for many years. Her mother Rose was also a Catholic.
The new Franciscans International – Rose Marie Khoo Foundation expresses in some ways Ms Khoo’s friendship with the Franciscan world and is significant because this in turn will help their work with the poor around the world, said Father John-Paul.
The first recorded reference to the TAU is from Ezekiel 9:4, "Go through the city of Jerusalem and put a TAU on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it." The TAU is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet and looks very much like the letter "T".
At the Fourth Lateran Council, on November 11, 1215, Pope Innocent made reference to the TAU and quoted the above verse in reference to the profaning of the Holy Places by the Saracens. It is widely accepted that St. Francis was present at the Fourth Lateran Council and that he heard the words of Pope Innocent III when he said, "The TAU has exactly the same form as the Cross on which our Lord was crucified on Calvary, and only those will be marked with this sign and will obtain mercy who have mortified their flesh and conformed their life to that of the Crucified Savior. From then on, the TAU became Francis' own coat of arms.
Francis used the TAU in his writings, painted in on the walls and doors of the places where he stayed, and used it as his only signature on his writings.
St. Bonaventure said, "This TAU symbol had all the veneration and all the devotion of the saint: he spoke of it often in order to recommend it, and he traced it on himself before beginning each of his actions."
Thomas of Celano, another Franciscan historian writes, "Francis preferred the Tau above all other symbols: he utilized it as his only signature for his letters, and he painted the image of it on the walls of all the places in which he stayed."
In the famous blessing of Brother Leo, Francis wrote on parchment, "May the Lord bless you and keep you! May the Lord show His face to you and be merciful to you! May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace! God bless you Brother Leo!" Francis sketched a head (of Brother Leo) and then drew the TAU over this portrait.
Where did the TAU come from and what does it mean? (Rhymes with "How") Simply and basically, the TAU represents the Cross. It is also the last letter of the Hebrew Alphabet. However, the two major influences on Francis concerning the TAU were the Antonians and the Fourth Lateran Council.
St. Francis borrowed the TAU and what it meant to him from the Antonians. They were a religious community of men founded in 1095 whose sole function was to care for lepers. They were disbanded as an Order by the Church in the 1500's because leprosy was no longer a problem and many of the religious orders had fallen into Theological problems. On their habit was painted a great TAU cross. Francis was very familiar with these men because they staffed the leper house in Assisi and the hospital of St. Blase in Rome where Francis went to stay. This is now the church of San Francisco A Ripa.
Every time you see St. Anthony, "the Abbot or Hermit" in art, he is portrayed with the TAU.
St. Francis was exposed to the TAU through the direct influence of the Antonians, but the greatest influence of all that made the TAU so dear to Francis, whereby it became his signature, was the Fourth Lateran Council.
Pope Innocent III opened the Council on November 11, 1215, with these words: "I have desired with great desire to eat this Passover with you." (Luke 22-15.) Innocent announced that for him, for the Church, and for every Catholic at the time, the symbol they were to take as the sign of their Passover was the TAU Cross.
He incorporated into his homily the statement from Ezekiel (9:4) that the elect, the chosen, those who are concerned will be marked with the sign of the TAU. He explained that this Passover is a three-fold Passover.
Every Catholic must be involved in this triple Passover: A Corporal Passover, a Spiritual Passover and an Eternal Passover.
These became some of the most precious themes of Francis' preaching. He must have taken them so deeply to heart that when Pope Innocent III ended his homily with "BE CHAMPIONS OF THE TAU", Francis evidently took that as a personal statement and made the TAU his own symbol: a symbol for his order, his signature, painted it everywhere, and had great devotion to it for the rest of his life.T