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By Fr. Robert M. Hutmacher, OFM

My classmates and I were invested with the Franciscan habit on August 12, 1968.  At that time it was the Feast of Clare of Assisi, as it is to this day in Assisi because San Rufino, patron of Assisi, is celebrated on August 11.  Now the Roman calendar has Clare’s Feast on August 11. It was extremely hot in Teutopolis, IL, but I was happy. Believe it or not, I knew in sixth grade that I wanted to wear brown and now I was. Yes, sixth grade.  Hot wool, but I was 19 and in brown!

I grew up in St. Francis Solano parish in Quincy, IL and every newly ordained class came to our parish for their first year of priestly ministry.  They were all young, they were all happy and I wanted their happiness.  The seminary system in 1962 (different world, very different Church) meant we could choose to go to the high school seminary in Oak Brook, two years of college in Quincy followed by the year of novitiate in Teutopolis and back to Quincy to finish college.  Four years of theology at CTU in Chicago preceded ordination to priesthood.

I have two photographs from that day we were invested.  We were invested with the habits of dead friars back then and mine was so old it was reddish brown and as thick as a horse blanket, hotter than a skillet in the Outback of Australia. But I was so happy!  There was one significant moment in the ceremony when Fr. Germain put the habit over my head.  Somehow it got tangled and I was stuck in darkness for a few seconds.  I remember realizing I’d entered a different world and I wasn’t in complete control.  I believe I’m still not in control after 50 golden years.

Read the entire article, FIFTY YEARS WITH CLARE AND FRANCIS (download pdf)


The Nature Suite by Fr. Bob


The Nature Suite’s sixteen movements are uplifting, joyful, tender and rooted in the realities of natural beauty all around us.  My years as a Franciscan have given me a deep sensitivity to human nature and to the splendors of life in its fullness.  I am grateful that I am a musician and have such a splendid manner to express the richness of life as I perceive it.

This collection has been a joy to produce with my friends, Orchestra da Camera di Perugia.   Each movement captures one place or element or creature in a particular style.  My background as a child of the Midwest U.S is apparent in the sounds captured in The Nature Suite. I believe this collection came from personal creativity and divine inspiration.  Without words the listener can experience what I have in the marvels of creation


Listen and buy it today. Available at:CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon and 95+ outlets for digital download and streaming worldwide.


The Franciscan Legionnaire Articles by Fr. Bob

A Culture of Lies (July 2018)

The Sacred Heart of Jesus (June 2018)

The Power of Music (May 2018)

Resurrection (April 2018)

LENT (March 2018)

Immigration (February 2018)

Live with Hope in an Imperfect World (January 2018)

Assisi Treasure (September 2017)

The Basilica of St. Clare (August 2017)

Chiesa Nuova (July 2017)

San Damiano (June 2017)

The Salutation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (May 2017)

This is Lent  (March 2017)

What Shall We Do? (January 2017)

Dreams of Peace (December 2016) 

Dreams (November 2016)

Embrace the Differences (September 2016)

It's Time to Talk Honestly (August 2016)

Church, State, and Election Year (July 2016)

New, New, New (January 2016)

A Composer's Conversion (February 2016)

Acknowledge God Above All Else (March 2016)

Archived Franciscan Legionnaire Articles












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