Saturday 19th August 2017

Home » saints » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes… St. Conrad Of Parzham

April 18, 2017 saints No Comments

By CAROLE BRESLIN

St. Francis Mary of Camporosso, St. Veronica Giuliani, St. Joseph of Leonessa, St. Leopold of Mandic, and St. Seraphin of Montegranaro are just a few of the 115 Capuchin men and women who have been declared saints or blesseds by the Catholic Church. There are so many that Pope St. John Paul II remarked, “They say you Capuchins are poor, but you are actually very, very rich. You have saints!”
St. Conrad of Parzham, a porter for the Capuchins, is numbered among these holy men and women.
St. Conrad’s parents were Bartholomew Birndorfer and Gertrude Niedermayer, who welcomed his arrival on December 22, 1818, naming him John. Even though they were peasant farmers in Bad Griesbach, Passau, Bavaria — a land largely populated by Luther’s followers — they remained faithful to the Catholic Church.
John, not particularly intelligent, left school at an early age and began working on his parents’ farm. He lost his mother when he was 14. He soon became known for his deep prayer life and holiness. His daily routine began with Mass and time spent in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. Like many saints, he also had a deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, making pilgrimages to the various Marian shrines in Bavaria.
When he was 31, after he had lost both parents, he embraced true poverty by surrendering all rights to his inheritance of the family farm and entering the Order of Capuchin Friars Minor as a lay brother; he took the name Conrad. The friary was located in the Marian Shrine of Altötting, about 40 miles southwest of his family farm.
Like Venerable Solanus Casey who served as porter for the Capuchin Friars Minor in Detroit, Mich., Conrad served in that position for the remaining 49 years of his life. And also like Casey, Conrad touched many souls and, by God’s grace, worked many miracles.
Brother Conrad surrendered completely to the will of God and never became upset with the many and constant demands of the people. He promptly and lovingly answered the door, welcoming all guests — being especially kind to those who had traveled great distances. As a true Capuchin — and a true German farmer — he always offered them healthy food and a stein of bracing beer.
He found beer very refreshing and enjoyed at least one serving per day. This scandalized some during his canonization process, causing extensive debate. Finally, the officials ordered that a barrel of the beer which Brother Conrad favored be brought to them. The beer could not be kept refrigerated during the train trip from Bavaria to Rome, so the beer became stale and lost its taste. When the officials sipped the ale, they exclaimed, “Ah! He drank this beer as a mortification.”
As porter, Brother Conrad opened wide the doors to the friary, his heart, and especially the pantry. He had a special love for the poor and their children, giving them food with a little bit of holy advice.
Despite the complaints some made about the monotony of the unchanging menu, Conrad remained cheerful and generous. He responded humorously, saying to one man, “Today we will serve bread and soup instead of soup and bread.” The irate beggar grabbed the offered bowl of soup and threw it in the brother’s face. With heroic patience, Brother Conrad wiped off his face and continued serving the other guests.
Even the children tested him. Seeking to entertain each other at the expense of others, they would play the usual pranks. What generation has not knocked on someone’s door and ran for cover? This they did to the porter many times. They also sent him on fruitless missions: Knowing that a particular priest had just left, they would ask Conrad to go fetch that priest. But Brother Conrad would only apologize for his failed mission and never rebuked the youths.
When those same children came back after school for food, Brother Conrad charitably welcomed them, making sure they said the short prayer that he had already taught them.
Such uncommon tolerance for those annoyances can only be practiced with divine assistance. Brother Conrad faithfully followed a daily routine that began between 3:30 and 4:00 a.m., when he filled in for an ailing sacristan. He would then open the church door at 4:30 before waking the priest who was to celebrate Mass in the Chapel of Graces. Then he would serve the priest at Mass, and was able to receive Holy Communion daily — something uncommon at that time.
He also attended a second Mass each morning followed by deep prayer and meditation. By 6:00 a.m., he began his shift at the door of the friary where he first set out the Mass Appointment Book, sacramentals, blessed seeds, and herbal medicines which he handed out to the faithful. In addition, he would set out the proper liturgical vestments for the next Mass, feed the visiting priests, and find the priests who were requested for a special blessing or Confession.
At 11:00 a.m. the poor came for soup and Brother Conrad would always add a meatball or two. When he entered the kitchen, the helpers would shout, “Cover the pots or he’ll take everything!” Brother Conrad calmly replied, “Whatever we give to the poor will be repaid generously.”
Sadly, a Guardian of the Fraternity believed that Brother Conrad’s feeding of the poor was inappropriate and sought to put an end to it. Since Brother Conrad had to answer the door, it was he to whom the disgruntled poor then voiced their anger. Again he accepted this abuse with quiet resignation as coming from the hand of God.
At noon Brother Conrad left for prayers and lunch. However, if someone came to the door, he leapt up without hesitation to see to the person’s request. He would then return to his lunch — now cold — without complaint.
From 12:30 to 2:00 P.M. was a rest period for the Capuchins, but Brother Conrad spent his time in prayer, walking in the garden, kneeling in the chapel, or shutting himself in the small closet under the stairs. There he would kneel down facing the tabernacle and meditate in the peace and quiet.
The afternoons were similar to the mornings, welcoming priests who came for Confession, comforting the sorrowful, and feeding children. When time permitted Conrad read Scripture passages or the Imitation of Christ. After dinner he would spend more time in adoration or make rosaries — sometimes dozing off to sleep.
Ultimately, his life was united with Christ to such an extent that he weighed every word he spoke, seeking to limit conversation. He regretted that he did not love Christ more and spent hours before the crucifix, reciting the stations of the cross daily. He described this devotion in a letter he wrote to a friend, “The Cross is my book. One look at the Cross teaches me what to do on any occasion.”
He spent all of his days serving Jesus by serving those who came to the door. The day he died, he told his brothers in Christ, “Now I must prepare for eternity.” He received the Sacrament of the Sick and died peacefully on April 21, 1894. His feast is now celebrated on April 21.

+ + +

(Carole Breslin home-schooled her four daughters and served as treasurer of the Michigan Catholic Home Educators for eight years. For over ten years, she was national coordinator for the Marian Catechists, founded by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ.)

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Calls for prayer amid ‘abhorrent’ violence in Charlottesville

Washington D.C., Aug 12, 2017 / 03:46 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The head of the U.S. bishops conference called for prayers after one person was killed and over a dozen injured during a white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia. “The abhorrent…Continue Reading

Knights of Columbus ‘modernize’ Fourth Degree uniforms

St. Louis, Mo., Aug 3, 2017 / 02:56 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The classic ceremonial hats and capes of Fourth Degree members of the Knights of Columbus that you may have seen at Mass or at parish events will now be…Continue Reading

Priest stabbed during Mass at Mexico City cathedral dies in hospital

Mexico City, Mexico, Aug 3, 2017 / 04:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Father José Miguel Machorro, who was stabbed in the neck and torso mid-May at the conclusion of Mass at the cathedral of Mexico City, died while at hospital on…Continue Reading

Abortionist praised by Pope speaks at Catholic church, pro-life protesters kicked out

BIELLA, Italy, July 28, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Despite vocal opposition, a notorious Italian abortionist was allowed to speak at a Catholic parish on Wednesday, while pro-life critics were locked out, silenced or kicked out. Despite her abortion advocacy, Emma Bonino was praised by Pope Francis in…Continue Reading

Gard family announces that Charlie has died

London, England, Jul 28, 2017 / 11:51 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A spokesperson for the parents of terminally ill British infant Charlie Gard has reported that their “beautiful little boy” has died. He had been taken into hospice care on July…Continue Reading

John McCain Burns Mitch McConnell Sides with Democrats

In a move that’s no surprise to anyone, John McCain voted against the embarrassingly named “Skinny Repeal”, voted against his party (or is it his party?) and voted to keep Obamacare going as is. Smarter people than me say that…Continue Reading

Catholic men’s conference in crosshairs of left-wing activists

Christine Niles, a Vietnamese immigrant who helps run a parachurch organization in Michigan that promotes Roman Catholic teaching, expected to spend this week preparing theological materials and getting ready for the group’s annual conference for men. Instead, Niles, who is…Continue Reading

Bishops to Trump: Don’t abandon young people to deportation

Washington D.C., Jul 20, 2017 / 06:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Undocumented young people brought to the U.S. by their parents contribute to American society and deserve continued protections from the Trump administration, said the U.S. Catholic bishops this week. “These…Continue Reading

Facing outrage – Facebook unblocks Catholic pages

Dozens of Catholic Facebook pages have been blocked, according to several Catholic news organizations. UPDATE: Facebook has unblocked more than 20 Catholic-interest pages – blaming the issue on a technical glitch. “All Pages have now been restored,” a Facebook spokesperson…Continue Reading

Bishops stress hospitality for Camino de Santiago hosts

Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Jul 14, 2017 / 04:38 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The bishops of Spain and France have published a new letter emphasizing the importance of hospitality for people who host pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, offering guidelines…Continue Reading

Cardinal Sarah wants ‘liturgical reconciliation’ between old and new forms of Mass

Sarah says phrase ‘reform of the reform’ should no longer be used but wants ordinary version of Mass to be more like the extraordinary form The Cardinal leading the Vatican’s divine worship office has called for a truce in the…Continue Reading

Video game store promotes graphic animated porn to 35 million child users

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 10, 2017 (NCOSE) – A mainstream online video game store, with an estimated 35 million users under the age of 18, is facilitating gamified sexual coercion and animated pornography featuring genitalia, ejaculation, to users of all ages. This…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Today . . .

Cardinal Sarah: ‘We are called today to witness, which means martyrdom’

August 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — This evening, we offer the sacrifice of the Mass for the repose of the souls of all of the volunteers of the Puy-du-Fou who have died since the beginnings of this beautiful work, 40 years ago. Every night, all of you who are gathered here, awaken the memory of this place through your work. The castle of the Puy-du-Fou, with its hurting ruins, abandoned by man, seems to rise like a cry…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood CEO Claims President Trump Has “Both Barrels Aimed at Women” on Abortion

The CEO of America’s largest abortion business slammed President Donald Trump again this week for his pro-life policies. Cecile Richards, who makes nearly $1 million a year running the “non-profit” Planned Parenthood, claimed Trump is out to get women because he supports cutting off taxpayer funding to abortion groups. “The actions we’re seeing and what we’ve seen out of this administration from day one have had both barrels aimed at women,” Richards told Politico.

Australian bishops oppose forcing priests to reveal details of confession

Vatican City, Aug 14, 2017 / 07:20 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The bishops of Australia have indicated that they will resist the Royal Commission’s proposal that priests be legally obligated to disclose details of sexual abuse revealed in the confessional, facing criminal charges if they don’t. “Confession in the Catholic Church is a spiritual encounter with God through the priest,” Archbishop Denis J Hart of Melbourne said in an Aug. 14 statement.

A bishop’s plea: Don’t forget victims of war and cholera in Yemen

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Aug 11, 2017 / 04:42 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A deadly cholera outbreak in Yemen could continue indefinitely without an end to the civil war, says a bishop in the region who has pleaded for the faithful to pray and for an end to arms sales to the parties. “As I believe in the power of prayer, I can only ask the faithful around the world, to keep in mind the…Continue Reading

President Donald Trump Cuts Planned Parenthood-Run Sex-Ed Programs, May Prepare for Abstinence Funding

President Donald Trump recently cut funding to a questionable teen pregnancy prevention program that has given millions of dollars to the abortion business Planned Parenthood. The Hill reports pro-abortion President Barack Obama created the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program in 2010 to teach vulnerable populations of students about preventing pregnancy. Participants in the program recently learned that their grant funding will end next year, two years sooner than expected, according to the report. Trump’s administration notified…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Dissonance, The New Normal

By LAWRENCE P. GRAYSON Almost daily, the media report on instances of radical dissension in America. People are split on numerous political, social, and religious issues, show no inclination to compromise, and increasingly rely on obstruction to pursue their positions. The result is discord, confusion, outrage, greater polarization, and violence. In the absence of national…Continue Reading

Religion Is Not Simple

By JOHN YOUNG Some people claim that true religion is very simple, and that if we delve into difficult theological questions we will lose that simplicity. Jesus said we must become as little children if we are to enter God’s Kingdom; He didn’t say we must become theologians. Frank Sheed’s response to the claim that…Continue Reading

Rose Of Lima, A First For The Americas

By RAY CAVANAUGH The first saint born in the Americas, Rose of Lima practiced both charity and asceticism with extreme intensity until her death at age 31. She is now the patroness of South America, and churches across the world bear her name. This August 24 marks the 400th anniversary of her death. The future…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Wonder And Joy At The Great Goodness Of God

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, by Kevin Vost (Sophia Institute Press, Manchester, NH, 2016), 207 pp.; paperback, $18.95. Available from www.SophiaInstitute.com or 1-800-888-9344. While Christians live a moral life founded on the natural law, the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, the love of neighbor and the love of God, the imitation…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Retelling The Story Of Fatima

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Fatima, the First Hundred Years: The Complete Story from Visionaries to Saints, by Barry R. Pearlman (Angelico Press, 2017); 278 pages, $14.95 paperback. Available from Amazon.com. Fatima, the First Hundred Years: The Complete Story from Visionaries to Saints, is an updated version of the author’s previous work, Fatima: A Heart for…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Celebration Of The Sacrament Of Penance

By DON FIER The doctrine of indulgences, as we have seen over the past two weeks, is an important part of the life of the Church. Although the Catholic understanding of indulgences has been clouded by abuses, most notably in the 16th century when Martin Luther posted his Ninety-Five Theses, its roots go back to the beginning of the Church…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. You have expressed your disagreement in the past with the practice of omitting “hard sayings” from the Mass readings or giving the option of using the “shorter version” of a reading, which usually means leaving out a strong passage. I noticed that this happened with the Gospel for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Is this what you had…Continue Reading

God’s Inscrutable And Unsearchable Ways

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-First Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 22:19-23 Romans 11:33-36 Matt. 16:13-20 In the second reading today, St. Paul marvels at the depth of the riches, the wisdom, and the knowledge of God. He proclaims that God’s judgments are inscrutable and His ways are unsearchable. Of course, in our humanness, we often seem to…Continue Reading

Canon Lawyer… Notes Clergy Confusion About Preaching On Contraception, Related Issues

By DEXTER DUGGAN Part 1 PHOENIX — A member of the leadership team of the Diocese of Phoenix explored contraception and related issues in an interview with The Wanderer after he preached on the topics during July 22-23 weekend Masses at one of the large diocesan parishes, St. Thomas the Apostle, in a residential area of Phoenix. Fr. Chris Fraser,…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Marian Pilgrimage Leads To The Eucharistic Lord

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK I share with you this week the extraordinary journey I took to two places I have visited before, but which number among the very few that one can visit again and again without fear of exhausting their spiritual riches. Can you name a rock star who draws a crowd every night of the week without…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Karl Leisner

By CAROLE BRESLIN There was a priest, Blessed Karl Leisner, who heard his call to the priesthood during a Schoenstatt Retreat. The Apostolic Movement of Schoenstatt is an apostolate of the Roman Catholic Church, a Marian movement founded in Germany in 1914 by a Pallottine priest, Fr. Joseph Kentenich (1885-1968). Members of the Schoenstatt were formed for a renewal in…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Alphonsa Of The Immaculate Conception

By CAROLE BRESLIN There are many different churches that are in full communion with Rome. One of these is in India: the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in Kerala, India — once called the St. Thomas (the Apostle) Christians. From this tiny group of Catholics have come a growing number of holy men and women recognized by Rome. So far, there are…Continue Reading