Bala, Bro. Juniper O.F.M.
Brother Juniper (Damian) Bala, O.F.M., a member of the Franciscan Friars of the Assumption B.V.M. Province, died Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at St. Mary's Home in Manitowoc. The son of John and Josephine (Kuta) Bala was born September 3, 1932, in Chicago, IL, where he attended Good Shepherd Grade School and St. Rita High School.
Upon graduation from St. Rita's, Damian came to Assumption B.V.M. Friary in Pulaski and was invested with the tertiary habit on December 8, 1950. On August 14, 1954, he received the habit of the First Order and was given the religious name of Juniper. In the hands of Fr. Isidore Cwiklinski, OFM, Minister Provincial, Brother Juniper made his solemn profession on August 15, 1958 at St. Francis Friary, Burlington.
From 1950 through 1962, Brother Juniper worked in the tailor shops of several friaries. In 1962, he began his ministry in the kitchens of the province, where he was known for his creative culinary skills. His gift for baking was well known among the friars and benefactors of the Province and, for several years, he used his skills to make elaborate wedding cakes.
With his health fading rapidly and the beginning of the loss of his eyesight, Brother Juniper moved to St. Mary's Home in Manitowoc, in 2008. He was known to serenade his guests and visitors with selections from opera and religious hymns. He produced a book of prayers in 2012.
Friends and family are invited to gather at Assumption B.V.M. Church, 119 E. Pulaski St., Pulaski, at 10:00 a.m. Monday, July 21st. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. Interment will take place at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 22nd, at St. Adalbert Cemetery, 6800 N. Milwaukee Ave., Niles, Illinois.
Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette on July 18, 2014