By Br. Nick Blattner, OFM Cap.
Solanus would ask those who received favors from God to pay it forward by supporting the Missions. That tradition continues today.
For almost a century, the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph has engaged in missionary activity, sending our friars to minister in remote locations. Friars have preached, taught and provided basic human and spiritual needs in far-flung places, including India, Central America and the Pacific Islands. Closer to home, our Capuchin friars continue to minister at our “domestic mission” among the Crow and Northern Cheyenne people in Montana. Today our friars serve as teachers and spiritual ministers to the people living on the Crow and Northern Cheyenne reservations.
Critical support for this ministry comes through the Seraphic Mass Association, which as of January has a new name, the Solanus Mission Association, honoring our holy Capuchin brother, Blessed Solanus Casey.
Following an exhaustive practical and theological review of the Seraphic Mass Association, we have refocused the institution to more closely align with the spirituality of Blessed Solanus, who would ask those to whom he ministered to consider making a donation to the Seraphic Mass Association as a way of inviting others to collaborate in our missionary work. Our Capuchin brother Ed Foley wrote a white paper titled Some Theological Frameworks for Mission (2022) that provided greater clarity and focus for the rechristened Solanus Mission Association.
Unique to the Solanus Mission Association is enrollments. An enrollment means that the donor who requested enrollment is remembered in Masses and prayers of the Capuchins throughout the province and are spiritually linked together with us, making them active participants in our mission and ministry.
So what happens to these prayer intentions? Each friary throughout the Province has a prayer box in their chapel which holds the names of those enrolled in the Association. During daily community prayer and daily Mass at our friaries , the friars collectively pray for those enrolled and their intentions. In addition, friars will personally pray with the names during their communal and individual meditation time.