Who was Fr. Stephen Eckert? (with Fr. Blaine Burkey) - Capuchin Franciscans
Video from Capuchin Franciscans
"Who are we? The Capuchin Province of St. Conrad was established in 1977 serving the people of Colorado, Kansas, Texas and the foreign missions in Papua, New Guinea. The province’s eight stateside friaries are located in Denver, Blackforest, and Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Lawrence, Kansas and San Antonio, Texas. Usually found in the poorer sections of towns and cities, the Capuchins have a special charism for working among the poor and marginalized and taking assignments that others refuse. “When times were at their worst and help was sorely needed, in places that were abandoned and where no one else would go, there you will find the Capuchin.” ~ Pope Pius XI What is a Capuchin Franciscan? In the 16th century, a group of Franciscans were inspired to live the Franciscan lifestyle in a more radical manner, returning to the original emphasis on prayer and poverty. These men broke away from the Franciscans and began a reform movement which stressed the priority of contemplative prayer and a more rigorous austerity. Wearing habits with large hoods, they soon garnered the name cappucio, the Italian word for “hood.” The Capuchins received approval of their way of life and were recognized as an official, independent branch of the Franciscans in 1525 in the papal bull Religionis Zellus. Produced by the Capuchin Province of St. Conrad." from video introduction
Capuchin Priest Who Fought Racism on Way to Canonization
"Born in Canada, Fr. Stephen Eckert joined the Capuchin order, was ordained in 1896 and sent to New York for his first assignment. While there he fell in love with African Americans and felt a desire to minister to their spiritual needs, something that was rarely heard of in America at the time.
This calling was further cemented after a visit to the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in Philadelphia, a religious community founded by St. Katherine Drexel, who served various African American communities. He was convinced that God was calling him to this apostolate and wrote to his superior in 1903.
“I humbly ask you for the privilege of devoting my life to missionary work alone, in conformity with God’s holy will. I must point out that since last year I have been thinking of going south to work with the Blacks; so if you think that this might redound to the greater glory of God, I would be glad to do so…”
His dream wasn’t fulfilled until he was appointed pastor at St. Benedict the Moor Parish in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The parish was in the heart of an African American community and his pastoral approach was entirely unique.." from the article: Capuchin priest who fought racism on way to canonization