Father Groeschel Laid to Rest in Newark

The body of the Capuchin friar, who died Oct. 3 at the age of 81, was placed in the crypt of the Most Blessed Sacrament Friary after his funeral Mass.

Franciscan Father Benedict Groeschel, 1933-2014
Franciscan Father Benedict Groeschel, 1933-2014 (photo: http://newarkfriary.org)

NEWARK, N.J. — Family and friends of the gray-habited friar Father Benedict Groeschel bid farewell to him Oct. 12, as he was laid to rest in the crypt of the Most Blessed Sacrament Friary after his funeral Mass at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J.

The priest, who was an author, former EWTN host and one of the founders of the Community of Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, passed away at 11pm on Oct. 3, at the age of 81.

Father Groeschel was one of eight Capuchin friars in New York City who helped found the Franciscan Friars, which is committed to poverty and evangelization.

Known for his love of the poor, he founded the St. Francis House for the homeless and Good Counsel Homes for pregnant women in crisis. He also directed Trinity Retreat house in Larchmont, N.Y., and taught at Dunwoodie Seminary, also in New York.

In an Oct. 14 column for CNA, Alice von Hildebrand, author and wife of the late philosopher Diedrich von Hildebrand, wrote a tribute to her friend, saying that although this man who was a spiritual father to many is gone, he has not left us as “orphans.”

“In this context, I am exclusively referring to the very many books that he has written and which, now that he is gone, continue to transmit his message and faith, hope and charity,” she wrote of Father Groeschel’s book Arise From Darkness.

“Not only is this book a personal testimony of the way God leads some of his particularly beloved children, but it is a powerful medicine for all of us who, as soon as we encounter darkness in our spiritual life, lose hope of reaching the top of the mountain,” von Hildebrand wrote.

She went on to detail the suffering and trials found in the lives of the saints such as Padre Pio, Catherine of Siena and Bernadette, to name a few.

In his book, Father Groeschel gives insights into what many might see as a “baffling topic”: the extreme suffering of those who love God.

Von Hildebrand wrote that the priest explains in his book that “… it is precisely when we feel abandoned by God or are the victim of crying injustices – that is, when the road is in total darkness – that he invites us to see human events in the light of eternity.”

In this light, suffering takes on new meaning: It is not a punishment, but another way that God can work in our lives.

President Donald Trump during his speech at a "Thank You" Tour rally held at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa.

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President Donald Trump during his speech at a "Thank You" Tour rally held at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa.

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