100th Birthday of Fr. Basil Heiser

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Rome, January 4, 2009-01-05 - The Basilica of the Twelve Holy Apostoles hosted the solemn celebration of the 100th birthday of Friar Basil Heiser, previous Minister General of our Order from 1960 to 1972, and presently a cherished member of the community of the General Curia.

Friar Basil, in top physical form, presided at the Eucharistic Celebration, at the beginning of which he expressed his gratitude to all who came together for the celebration, but above all the Lord for all the blessings bestowed upon him these past 100 years of life.

Also taking part in the Eucharist were His Eminence James Francis Cardinal Stafford, His Eminence Giovanni Cardinal Re, Archbishop Gianfranco Agostino Gardin, Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, the Minister General, Friar Marco Tasca, most of the General Definitory, several Ministers Provincial and many Friars, particularly a number from North America who had come to celebrate with Friar Basil.

During the homily, the Minister General referred to several passages of the circular letter which he had written to the entire Order for this occasion. He accented particularly the name, which means “king” in the Greek, and which underscores the gentlemanly conduct, noble spirit and the wisdom with which Friar Basil has guided the Order through the many responsibilities given him by Divine Providence, and how he has accepted them all with true humility and genuine modesty.

Following the traditional photo session and greetings, which many wanted to personally express to Friar Basil, many of those invited enjoyed a formal dinner in the Sala dell’Immacolata of the Friary.