On Wednesday, December 13th, The Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal announced the passing of Father Andrew Apostoli, a great friend of Good Counsel.
“It is with a profound joy mixed with sadness that we announce the passing of our dear founder and spiritual father. Father Andrew Joseph Apostoli, CFR, peacefully breathed his last at 9:26 AM, on Wednesday, December 13, 2017. He was surrounded by the love and prayers of his brothers.”
Christopher Bell, President of Good Counsel, shared his feelings about Father Andrew…
“Father Andrew Apostoli died today. May he rest in the Lord’s eternal embrace forever. He is a tremendous servant of God, close friend of Father Benedict Groeschel, and a humble promoter of the cause for Archbishop Fulton Sheen. May his reward be great among the teachers of the faith.
Father Andrew and I first met while he was serving at Trinity Retreat House, where Father Benedict worked with priests and offered much spiritual direction. Father Andrew was extremely humble, caring, gentle, and approachable. He was kind to everyone he met. He very happily helped Father Benedict in every way he could, no matter how big or little the task.
As the promoter of the cause for Archbishop Fulton Sheen, he was extremely enthusiastic and ever hopeful. He was ordained by Archbishop Sheen and extremely happy about that fact. I think he also saw in it part of the call to promote the cause of this first and great Catholic TV evangelist for sainthood. As the cause has run into some complications between competing archdioceses, both wanting to see the archbishop promoted as an example of heroic virtue, Father Andrew said the next miracle that Archbishop Sheen must perform is to reconcile thecompeting interests.
It was a great challenge for both Fathers Benedict and Andrew to decide to leave their respective Capuchin communities to form a new and stricter community dedicated to prayer and service in the spirit of Saint Francis. Together, they were the elders among the eight men who banded together to form The Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. While both Fathers Benedict and Andrew would not claim to be “the” founders of the community — they would quickly say “there are 8 of us” — given their older and mature status they were looked upon and revered for their courage and determination. It was a determination of deep faith and tremendous love for the Lord Jesus Christ to serve Him in a way that was pleasing.
Early on several women wished also to follow in the footsteps of the humble friars like Saint Clair who followed Saint Francis. Father Benedict told me that Father Andrew had a special grace as he was helping to form what has become the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal. Mother Lucille is their general superior. Father Andrew died on the Feast of Saint Lucy, Mother Lucille’s feast day.
After Father Benedict died, Father Andrew said to me, “let me help in any way I can with the mission of Good Counsel.” He added, “that is what Father Benedict would want.” He would attend every Good Counsel event he could, and he would repeat, “it is what Father Benedict would want.”
Father Andrew’s words of consolation to those in trouble and his spiritual insights were always encouraging. He authored a book, Fatima for Today: The Urgent Marian Message of Hope on and when I was speaking to him about having done the 5 First Saturdays which our Blessed Mother recommended he said to me, “You should do it every 1st Saturday. It can be repeated. It is extremely beneficial.” That makes me think there can be little doubt that our Blessed Mother was there at the hour of his death and bringing him home to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
For details and information on Father Andrew’s wake and funeral, please visit the Friars website at www.franciscanfriars.com.