Regis Schlick, OFMCap.,
84 years of age,
as slim and tiny as his years were long and stout,
has left a major gap
in gatherings at St. Augustine Friary.
He came to us just seven years ago,
retired from active ministry,
though he found enough ways to serve,
that he appeared to hold an assignment.
As small as he managed to remain,
his raucous cough betrayed his location,
that and his loud and exuberant greetings
Regis remembered classmates from seminary days,
and the class before and after,
defending data and anecdotes
until he would concede,
I guess I’m wrong on that one,
but in a tone that proved him right.
He mastered the facts of Capuchin lore
and talked as though the friars of history
were lifelong friends
and peers who shared experience with him.
Friar Regis proved as intimate
with past Capuchins as present,
and he made friends
with anyone who visited the friary;
the visitors never forgot Regis.
He formed a PR team all by himself,
and one who hung onto friends.
The places where he ministered were sacred ground,
especially Puerto Rico,
his homeland for 31 years,
and next only to West Virginia
for being close to heaven.
During the final illness
a confrere of Island ministry
would visit for a chat every day
with his buddy Father Regis.
In preaching, Regis took his manuscript to the pulpit,
with the result that he did not deviate
from the message and style of the textbooks.
All this he delivered emphatically, with gusto,
which made one wonder how good it would have been
without the paper.
Our confrere had eternal interests,
and what he learned in theology was one of them,
almost as strong as his love for West Virginia,
the Paradise of Puerto Rico,
and all his friends.
He made each of us important,
and then, as small as he was,
one could not forget friar Regis.
April 12, 2016
Bonaventure Stefun, OFM Cap.