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Journey Into God with St. Bonaventure
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Assisi in World War II
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We met as students in Rome in 1987 at the Capuchin Franciscan Institute in the
Antonianum. We discovered a mutual interest in the works of St. Bonaventure and initiated our study with his Itinerarium Mentis in Deum (Journey into God) by developing a retreat experience centered on this masterpiece.
Shortly after beginning our work with the Journey retreats, we entered into a dialogue on solitude as experienced and lived by St. Francis. This led to our first publication venture when we organized translations of articles that evolved into the anthology,
 Franciscan Solitude, to encourage a broader dialogue on solitude within the Franciscan family. It was the first of a long line of publications.

Interest in the topic of Franciscan solitude had grown, and we decided to risk a pilgrimage to the Franciscan places of solitude in Italy frequented by St. Francis. So in summer of 2000, under the auspices of Franciscan Pilgrimage Programs, we conducted a pilgrimage to thirteen of these holy sanctuaries.
Later on, in the year 2010, we took two groups of pilgrims to southern Bavaria to visit sanctuaries connected with the Capuchin, Saint Konrad of Parzham, to the Austrian church dedicated to Secular Franciscan, Blessed Franz Jägerstätter, to the most popular sanctuary in Germany dedicated to Mary
the Capuchin chapel at Altötting, and finally to the renowned Passion Play at Oberammergau.

When Laurent Gallant OFM and André were preparing St. Francis' Office of the Passion for publication as a prayerbook, Laurent was interested in the possibility of the office to be chanted. So Josef was commissioned to compose the music for the office. And with a generous grant from Secular Franciscan, Paul Perkins, we produced our first CD—The Geste of the Great King

Not too long after we published this first CD, André had dreamed of taking parts of the writings of Saints Francis and Clare and put them into repetitive chants for people to both remember the writings and meditate on them through music. Josef had already visited Taizé with his family, and with the translations of Murray Bodo OFM and Frances Teresa Downing OSC in hand, he composed twenty-six mantras in a double CD—Love Holding Love


Jona, André, Bernadette, and Josef

Bernadette and Josef

Elia, Josef, Jona, Bernadette, and Chiara

May 2016: André receives his second honorary doctorate, here at St. Bonaventure University, New York, with Sister Margaret Carney, President of the University.

Nov 7, 2013,
Honorary Doctorate for André

André R.Cirino, OFM
Siena Friary, 25 Laurel Ave, Mt. Vernon, New York 10552-1018

Josef Raischl, OFS
Egerer Str. 17A, 85221 Dachau/ Germany
email: raischl@web.de

André Cirino, OFM:  I am a friar minor of the Province of the Immaculate Conception, New York.  My academic background includes: BA, Immaculate Conception College 1963; MA West Virginia University, Counseling, 1968; STM, Woodstock Jesuit School of Theology, 1975. My ministerial experience includes parish work, Franciscan formation, education, publication and spiritual assistant for the Secular Franciscans of the Little Portion Fraternity. I have also worked at the Little Portion Retreat House for the poor in Bronx, New York. Since 1984 I have conducted pilgrimages to Italy, Prague, England, Mallorca, France, Germany and the California Missions. I lectured at the Franciscan International Study Centre, Canterbury, England.

Josef Raischl, OFS: I was born in Bavaria, Germany. As a married Secular Franciscan I live with my wife Bernadette and our three children - Jona, Elia, Chiara -  in Dachau, near Munich. I am director of St. Christopher’s Hospice in Munich (www.chv.org ). My graduate studies encompass both philosophy and theology from the Catholic University of Eichstätt and the Franciscan International Study Centre, Canterbury, England, as well as an MA in Social Work in Munich. I did my post-graduate studies in Franciscan Spirituality in Rome at the Capuchin Franciscan Institute at the Pontifical University Antonianum.

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