The Catholic World Loses a Hero, Gains a Saint
by Jayson M. Brunelle
Fr. Benedict Joseph Groeschel, C.F.R., priest, friar, psychologist, retreat master, talk-show host and founder of countless charitable organizations, including his own Catholic order of Franciscans – the Capuchin Friars of the Renewal – providentially passed into his eternal reward on October 3rd at 11:00 PM, the vigil of the Feast of St. Francis. He was 81.
Having taken his name from St. Benedict Joseph Labre – patron of the mentally ill and the homeless – Fr. Benedict spent his life giving to and caring for this same cohort – “the true treasures of the Church” – the little, the marginalized, the impoverished, the abandoned, the voiceless, the weak, the vulnerable. In order to most effectively carry out this life of ceaseless prayer for and service to the poor, in a radical imitation of Christ, he was inspired to renew the Capuchin Franciscan Order, of which he had been a member, thereby founding the Capuchin Franciscans of the Renewal (CFR’s). He preached the perennial truths of the Gospel of Christ Jesus with all the eloquence of a poet, the wisdom of a sage, the knowledge of a scholar, the faith of a child and the love of a saint. We may have lost a dear friend and Spiritual Father, but we have undoubtedly gained a powerful intercessor. Fr. Benedict, may your soul be irradiated with the divine light, life and love of God for all eternity.
May his soul, and those of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.