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By Fr. Robert M. Hutmacher, OFM

Once upon a time in 1975 I was in Clinical Pastoral Education at Mercy Hospital on Chicago’s lakefront.  This year of ministry training was required for ordination and for some reason I chose to learn what it takes to serve people in a hospital setting.  One of the many requirements back then was to witness surgery so we knew what people went through. I chose open heart, an amputation and childbirth. They were all challenging to see but I learned a great deal about the mysteries within this body of ours. It was another avenue to God.

Then there was the saga of Muhammed Jazebi.  A graduate student at Western in Macomb, Muhammed came here from Tehran, Iran.  He was sent for cardiac surgery at Mercy for a heart valve replacement.  He was also the first Muslim I’d ever had a chance to befriend, along with fellow students from Tehran who rallied around him.  There was a long delay before surgery because in 1975 the valves used for replacement came from pigs, and that caused a religious dilemma.  Would pork tissue in a Muslim make him forever unclean?  There are precepts in the Quran that prohibit eating pork and so we had to wait weeks before word came to permit Muhammed to receive the pig valve.  (Remember, this was before texting and email.)  During those long, empty weeks we all became friends.  I was introduced to the warmth of Islamic hospitality; we shared prayer in their apartment, in the hospital chapel and in  Muhammed’s room.  I even learned to write my name in Farsi.

Read the entire article, RESURRECTION (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

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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