Brother Angelo Catania

Br. Angelo Catania, OFM Conv., died on Nov. 13, 2019, in Libertyville, Ill. He was born Carmen Joseph Catania on March 22, 1942, to Frank and Lillian Rosalia (Russo) Catania in Oak Park, Ill.
He was predeceased by his parents and is survived by his brothers, Guy and Frank, along with a number of cousins, nieces and nephews. He professed Simple Vows as a Conventual Franciscan on July 15, 1963, and Solemn Vows on July 15, 1966.
Most of his decades of Franciscan service were spent in southern Indiana at the Mount St. Francis Center for Spirituality, or in Carey, at the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation. Through those years he worked in several different areas: cook, administration, retreat center staff member and as part of the Shrine’s pilgrimage team. His last period of service was at Marytown, the National Shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe in Libertyville, Ill., greeting pilgrims around the Shrine and in the gift shop.
When he wasn’t greeting the buses at the Shrine in Carey, Brother Angelo was famous for his “park-bench ministry,” either moving from person to person, or sometimes simply staying in one place as the pilgrims came to greet him. He listened to their stories, sharing in their joy or consoling them in their sorrows.
“Brother Angelo will be remembered by thousands of pilgrims to Carey,” said Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv., of Lexington, Ky. “He was often the face of hospitality for the shrine: he relished greeting the pilgrims as they arrived on buses and sending them off with prayer as they departed. He was also known to have sung a verse of ‘That’s Amore,’ especially with Italian-American pilgrims.”
“Brother Angelo excelled at the ministry of presence,” said Friar Jim Kent, OFM Conv. “He had an ability to be truly with people and always tried to be aware of others’ needs. He had such a listening heart and understood the value of giving people his time. He left a lasting impression on people.”
Brother Angelo’s cousin Ronald Catanzaro said “He was a true son of St. Francis for more than 50 years. He was a great family member, always present in our lives. He’s going to be missed by all.”
A funeral mass was celebrated on Nov. 18 at Chapel at Marytown, Libertyville, Ill. There will be visitation in Carey on Wednesday, Nov. 20, from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Basilica of Our Lady of Consolation, followed by a funeral mass at 7 p.m. At Mount St. Francis, Ind., reception of the body will take place in the Chapel at 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 25, and vigil and remembrances will begin at 7 p.m. The funeral will be in the Chapel at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 26, with burial following at the Friars’ cemetery.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Province of Our Lady of Consolation, 103 St. Francis Boulevard, Mount St. Francis, Ind. 47146.
For more information and photographs from Brother Angelo’s years of service, please visit the Province website at www.franciscansusa.org.

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