The Capuchin Province of Mid-America has three “Josephs.” There is Joseph Patrick, Joseph Mary, and then there is “Joseph.” Just plain “Joseph.” But Joseph
McGlynn is anything but plain. We always referred to him as “opifex” (worker). Joseph the worker. His feast day is May 1, and this certainly fits Brother Joseph.
Joseph has a huge Irish smile, as Fr. Bennett Colucci, remarked in his tribute to Brother Joseph at our Capuchin Assembly celebration of jubilarians. He’s the kind of guy who makes a humble but dramatic entry into any gathering with the words, Here I am, you lucky people.” It’s Joe’s way of saying, “Wake up, you guys, and give thanks to the Lord, for He has given us a new day.” It’s Joe’s morning greeting when he barges into the dining room at breakfast.
Joseph is what most of us would call “an unconditional brother.” He knows what it means to be a brother. For a good number of years, Joseph worked in the province’s formation programs, forming others into brothers, Capuchin brothers, some of whom would be ordained.
All the friars as well as those who make retreats at the Capuchin Center for the Spiritual Life in Victoria know well that Joseph is also an accomplished and excellent cook. He can cook with Capuchin simplicity. He can do gourmet meals. Whatever he puts on the table tastes exquisite.
He is also a well-read conversationalist. He loves a good political argument where
he can defend his conservative politicians who are “obviously” right. How could any sane person deny Toynbee’s historical interpretations, or Reaganomics? He also is an avid reader of novels.
When friars are feeling down, there is no need to resort to anti-depressants. It’s known that a visit to the kitchen for a friendly chat while Joe is baking a scrumptious desert or fixing a marvelous Italian meal will bring contentment and a sense of peace.
For a number of years, Joseph was the Campus Minister (Chaplain) for the Native Americans at the Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, KS. Joseph truly loved these people. He was sensitive and sensitized to their customs and rituals. He used his cooking talents to entice and evangelize. The meal that was celebrated (and cooked) by Joseph after every Sunday mass drew more students than the cafeteria on campus. He knew how to cook Native American dishes from various tribes and nations, but always and only “after” the Eucharist.
Joseph celebrates fifty years of professed life as a Capuchin Franciscan. From Cumberland, MD, to Victoria, KS, with many stops in between on the journey, Joseph has excelled as one of the most loved brothers.
We congratulate you, Joseph, and wish you well in your years ahead. Joseph’s family is planning a celebration for him in Philadelphia on August 27. His brother, Monsignor Dan McGlynn, along with his family, will make Joseph’s Irish eyes glow and his face turn red. Joseph is not one for being the center of attention. But, Joseph, you deserve it. You are truly a brother – a Capuchin brother.