A Newsletter for friends of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament of the Province of Saint Ann
by Mario Marzocchi SSS Pastor – Saint Joseph Parish, San Antonio, Texas
Every parish needs a “gathering-space” for a variety of reasons and occasions that take place in a parish. What I see as the important works of all parishes are the following: the New Evangelization urges us to invite, to dialogue, to teach, first of all we might say by hospitality (welcoming all visitors, we dare to say that Saint Joseph’s has more foreign visitors than any of our churches), then by Family Life Concerns and Faith Formation. This is the purpose of “building” a new Family Life Center at Saint Joseph (Downtown) in San Antonio! When our plans were first announced to Archbishop Gustavo, who knows the Blessed Sacrament Community very well, he was ecstatic about the project. Thus far it is three years in the making! Actual construction will begin soon,
Inside This Issue 2 Meet Our Missionaries 5 From Our Provincial 6 Mission at Saint Jude’s 8 Associates News 9 In Memoriam: Father
Joseph Roy SSS
12 Saint Ann’s Triduum 13 Father Frederico’s 25th
14 Ecumenical Corner 15 Vocation Views
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Province of St. Ann Newsletter
Looking Forward!...Continued from previous page
after the approval of the San Antonio Historic Council, for us to build. We don’t see any difficulties in obtaining their approval. Personally, when Father Norman Pelletier SSS, asked me to come to San Antonio with the clarion call “Mario, I need you!” ... my response to him was “now you ask me!” Meaning, I would have loved to have been here years and years ago! While pastor of Saint Paschal Baylon Parish over twenty years ago, I made a pilgrimage with our parishioners to Mexico City, to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Personally, my devotion to Our Lady has never waned! During that phone call, Guadalupe loomed large, and I said to myself, I’ll be “closer” to her! The new building will carry the name “Mother of the Americas” — the favorite title for Our Lady of Saint Pope John Paul II — who made his first voyage as Pope outside of Italy, to Our Lady of Guadalupe. He returned there years later as well. At present we are working on our 5th Annual Pilgrimage which we refer to as “a pilgrimage of respect life”, and always including the feast day in October of Saint Pope John Paul II which we celebrate with the Eucharist in the Basilica of Gaudalupe. Here in San Antonio, across Commerce Street in Hemisphere Park, there stands the Tower of the Americas! God willing, it will be complemented by the Chapel of the “Mother of the Americas”!
Meet Our SSS Missionaries Each summer, as been our custom, the Province of Saint Ann welcomes SSS religious from foreign countries and provinces to the USA. These religious preach in various Archdioceses/ Dioceses throughout the USA as a part of the Missionary Cooperative Program and solicit support for our missionary efforts in their home countries and provinces. This year we welcome four priests and introduce them to you, the readers of Bread Broken & Shared. We are blessed once again to welcome our SSS missionaries! Earnest Ravi Sebastin SSS — India Father Earnest was once again welcomed into our SSS community at Corpus Christi Parish in Houston, Texas for his mission appeals. This is a return visit for Father Earnest since he was in the USA for mission appeals during the summer of 2011. Father Ravi Earnest Sebastin SSS was born in Chennai, India where he was baptized and did his schooling. Father Earnest has an older brother and younger sister who live in Chennai. In addition he has six nephews and three nieces. From early childhood Father Ravi had a deep interest in entering the priesthood. His parents encouraged him in this choice of his vocation to priesthood. Father Earnest came to know of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament through his parish of Our Lady of Consolation in Chennai, when in 1986 Father Antony SSS visited the parish on a Vocation Sunday. It was through Father Antony that Earnest decided to join the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament in 1987 after which he obtained his B.A. in 1998 at the Jesuit’s Loyola College in Chennai. It was through his mother that he received the interest of serving the Lord, which was then subsequently nourished when he attended a boarding school run by a group of religious sisters called the Sisters of Saint Ann of Madavaram in Chennai. Father Ravi said that it was during his catechism classes that he was very much inspired by the life and history of the saints, especially Saint Continued on next page...
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Meet Our SSS Missionaries...Continued from previous page Theresa of the Child Jesus and Saint Stanislaus. Above all, he says, it was his personal desire and perseverance through the celebration of the Eucharist and prayer in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament and with the guidance of Our Lady, Mother of Jesus Christ, that he was led to his vocation of priesthood. Since his priestly ordination, Father Earnest has been involved in many ministries including parish ministry, social ministry with street children, prison ministry and missionary work. He served in four different dioceses in India, as an associate pastor and a pastor for nine years. During those years he had a wonderful experience in serving simple people (construction workers, daily wage earners, road pavers, and fishing folk). At present Father Sebastin serves at one of the SSS parish communities in India as pastor. Here he ministers primarily in a thickly-populated area with quarry workers and their children who are educated in high school. Another responsibility of Father Earnest was as provincial consultor where he was in charge of mission for the province of India. Father Sebastin says, “the one thing that I would like people to know about my native country is that India is an amalgamation of multi-linguistic, cultural, religious people – a hospitable place.” He said that what he liked most about being a priest is his ability to engage in the ministry among the people through the celebration of the Eucharist and of communal sacramental life.
During the past five years of priestly ministry, Father Emil has ministered as co-pastor both at Saint Philip Neri Church in Colombo and Holy Rosary Shrine in Bandirippuwa, Lunuwila. He has also been an assistant formator at the Blessed Sacrament Aspirancy Program in Colombo. In 2013, Father Emil was secured a diploma in psychology and counseling at the Aquinas University College of Higher Studies in Colombo. This summer he has been chosen by the Province of Christ the Bread of Life, the Blessed Sacrament Congregation in Sri Lanka, to participate in the mission appeals organized by the Blessed Sacrament Congregation in the United States. Ferdinand Sorsano Tomo SSS Philippines
Emil Rodrigo SSS — Sri Lanka Representing the small island country of Sri Lanka and our Province of Christ the Bread of Life there, is Father Emil Rodrigo. He was stationed in our community of Saint Jean Baptiste in New York City and had mission appeals along the East Coast. Father Emil was born in1977and comes from Bopitiya, which is not very far from Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka. He received his elementary and secondary studies in his home town. Having felt the call of God to the priestly vocation, he entered the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament in 1999 and passed through his aspirancy, postulancy and novitiate respectively. Having successfully completed a diploma in philosophy at the National Seminary of Our Lady of Sri Lanka in 2005, he graduated in theology with a bachelor degree from the same seminary which is affiliated to the Pontifical Urban University of Rome. After completing his philosophical and theological studies, he was ordained a Blessed Sacrament priest in June 2010.
Father Ferdinand Sorsano Tomo, a religious priest of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, finished his Bachelor’s degree in business at the University of Iloilo in 1996 before joining the Congregation. Father Tomo worked with DOLE Philippines for three years before eventually venturing Continued on next page...
Province of St. Ann Newsletter
Meet Our SSS Missionaries...Continued from previous page into religious life. He was an active volunteer in his home parish during his college days, a youth animator, choir member and a member of the speakers bureau for the charismatic renewal movement in his diocese. Father Ferdinand entered the postulancy of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament in 2001 and finished his novitiate formation in 2004. That same year he made his first profession of vows in the Congregation.
“These religious preach in various Archdioceses/Dioceses through the U.S.A. ... and solicit support for our missionary efforts in their home countries and provinces.” Father Tomo started his academic formation in June 2004, studying philosophy in preparation for theological studies and finished his Master’s Degree in Pastoral Ministry in 2010. He was part of the International Preparation for Perpetual Profession in France and Sri Lanka in 2010 and subsequently was ordained a priest in March 2011 in Santa Cruz Church in Manila. His first assignment was in the SSS parish in Tacloban as associate pastor, his primary task being to organize basic ecclesial communities in the parish. He was also involved in youth ministry and vocation animation. He then returned to Manila, and was entrusted with the campus ministry as a chaplain. Later in 2013 the Congregation entrusted him to be its director of the National Office of Vocations. At the present time, when he returns from his summer of mission appeals in the USA, Father Ferdinand is preparing himself to take on a greater task in a much larger SSS parish in Mindanao in the South of the Philippines as associate pastor. Mario Jose Parlingayan SSS — Philippines Father Mario Jose Jamito Parlingayan is known to family and friends as “Kenny Joe” and is the son of Mauro, a fisherman, and Leodigaria, a housewife, living in Pagadian, Zamboanga Del Sur. He was born in 1968, the fifth of ten children. Throughout his elementary and high school years, Mario’s prime dream was to become a doctor. However, early on the manifestations to become a priest were apparent. As a child, Father Mario said that priests celebrating Mass in his school and parish always fascinated him. Pretending to celebrate Mass like
them became one of his fantasies at playtime with his friends as the faithful. As a youth, he also got involved in church activities as an altar server at the cathedral. After college in 1991, the calling to become a priest persisted. On the one hand, the desire to help his family financially prompted him to wait to enter the seminary. During this time, Mario worked as a medical representative, a volunteer catechist, a youth coordinator and a member of some non-government organizations. In 1998, Mario joined the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament as postulant and began his ten year formation journey in religious life. In May of 2010 his dream finally came true. With much inspiration from the Congregation’s founder, Saint Peter Julian Eymard and his fellow members, he was ordained a priest. On that gracefilled day, Father Mario said that he prayed to remain a faithful priest. He says that he continues to be inspired as he administers the sacraments for the faithful, as well as in counseling sessions and youth ministry in Santa Cruz Church in Manila. In 2009, Father Mario was assigned to be the local treasurer of Santa Cruz community in Manila. Two years later, the same duty was entrusted to him for the two parishes in Cagayan de Oro. As he continues serving God as the newly-installed pastor of Nuestra Señora Virgen Del Rosario, he asks God that he might continue to be showered with His grace and mercy to keep him alive – loving and faithful to his call as God’s chosen priest forever.
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From Our Provincial Superior... Americas’ Pope by Anthony Schueller SSS
Since the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio to the papacy two-and-a-half years ago, people around the world have been speaking of the “Francis effect,” a positive bump in the way that Catholics and non-Catholics alike view the Church. The Holy Father’s honesty and humility, his Gospel-based approach to issues of mission and spirituality, and his willingness to take on entrenched institutions and practices have endeared him to many and raised concerns among others. On a practical level, a 2014 study by Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) examined the pope’s impact on American Catholics’ religious affiliation and retention rates, noting a jump of seven percent from two years earlier. The Amplified General Council meeting of the Congregation last April recognized the graced moment in which we are living as members of the Eymardian Family, in the convergence of the 150th anniversary of Saint Peter Julian’s Gift of Self in March 1865 and the ministry of Pope Francis. While in Rome, we had the privilege of attending a papal audience in Saint Peter’s Square during which Father General presented the Holy Father with the first copy of “Absque Sui Proprio”: Eymard and the “Vow of Personality.”
Bread Broken & Shared Newsletter is published five times a year by the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, Province of Saint Ann, for family, friends and benefactors. Contact information: Phone: (440) 442-6311 Fax: (440) 442-4752 Editor: Thomas A. Wiese, SSS Design: Kay Vincent Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.blessedsacrament.com Photographs in this issue courtesy of: Saint Joseph Church, San Antonio, TX; Jim Brown; Michael Rice for Saint Ann’s Shrine; File Photos Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament 5384 Wilson Mills Road Cleveland, Ohio 44143
Religious Communities in Illinois, Florida, New York, Ohio, Texas
Twice this year, Pope Francis has come “home” to the Americas. In July, he visited three of the hemisphere’s poorest nations (Ecuador, Bolivia, and Paraguay), celebrated the Eucharist with millions, spoke forcefully of respecting the rights and the dignity of the poor in an increasingly globalized economy, and prayed with prisoners, the young and the old, and those on the margins of church and society. And now he has come to the U.S. for an apostolic visit under the simple banner “Love is Our Mission.” Anticipating the trip, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said: “The presence of Pope Francis at the World Meeting of
Families in our country will be a joyful moment for millions of Catholics and people of good will. Our great hope has been that the Holy Father would visit us . . . to inspire our families in their mission of love.” Public appearances, Masses, speeches before a joint session of Congress in Washington, DC, and the United Nations’ General Assembly in New York City, and dozens of other activities, private and political ? all of these against the backdrop of the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. There is deep significance in the timing and context of the visit, and in the fact that his plane departed Cuba before landing in the United States. (Nothing the pope does is lacking in significance!) Is he not reminding us, just a couple months shy of the Marian feasts of the Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Guadalupe, that, yes, we are one family – in this hemisphere, in the Church, and in humanity spread across the globe? Mary, the Mother of the Americas, bids us welcome him “home”!
Province of St. Ann Newsletter
Prayer for Vocations Loving God and Father, your servant Saint Peter Julian Eymard was captivated by your Son’s love revealed to us in the Eucharist and he greatly desired to manifest this love to his contemporaries. He established a new form of religious life which is nourished by the Eucharist: celebrated, contemplated and enriched with ministries of all kinds. Through his intercession, call forth many young people who will labor in your Church as priests, deacons, brothers or sisters. Give us the grace to become like the bread of the Eucharist which is broken for the life of the world. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
For more on vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life, please contact Father Anthony Marshall, SSS – Vocation Director: (440) 442-7243 www.blessedsacrament.com/ vocation Like us on Facebook! facebook.com/sssvocations @sssvocations
Mission at Saint Jude’s Highlights the Eucharist From The Dialog (Diocese of Wilmington, Delaware) We reprint here in our newsletter, with permission, an article that appeared in The Dialog, the diocesan newspaper for Wilmington, Delaware. Father Anthony Marshall SSS, our vocation director, recently gave a retreat there in collaboration with our Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing.
Father Anthony Marshall SSS used his favorite passage from Scripture to show those attending a mission recently at St. Jude the Apostle Church that Jesus Christ is their friend. He cited John 15:917, in which Jesus tells his disciples that they will always be in his love “if you keep my commandments,” referring to the 10 Commandments. But Jesus added an 11 th commandment, Father Marshall said, “that you love one another like he has loved you.” “How did he love us? He laid down his life for us.” Jesus continues to give himself for us every time the Mass is celebrated, through the Eucharist, Father Marshall said. Father Marshall’s appearance at Saint Jude came during Lent, when many parishes in the diocese schedule missions. Father Marshall, 34, is a member of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, which founded the Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing. The theme of his March 7-11 mission was “Devotion to the Eucharist: Building the Body of Christ.” That theme was appropriate for St. Jude, according to Father Jim Hreha, the pastor since the parish was formed in 2002. Previously, it has been a mission of St. Edmond in adjacent Rehoboth Beach. Father Hreha had two ideas for the parish when he became its pastor, that its theme be to build the Body of Christ and that it have Eucharistic adoration. His interest in adoration was sparked when he ministered to the St. Dismas community at the Delaware state prison when he was in residence at Holy Cross Church in Dover. When Holy Cross began Eucharistic adoration “it was like someone hooked up a supercharger to their spirituality and their Continued on next page...
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Lenten Mission at Saint Jude’s...Continued from previous page community,” Father Hreha said. He wanted the same for St. Jude Parish. Within a few years of his becoming pastor, the parish offered adoration four hours a day, two days a week. In 2012 Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration began. All hours are covered, said Al Hanley, a parishioner, who is its primary coordinator of the adoration program. The parish has more than 200 “assigned adorers,” who cover a specific hour on a regular basis, and more than 60 substitutes. Each month more than 5,000 “visits” are made to the perpetual adoration chapel, located across a parking lot from the church. The recent Lenten mission prompted more than 40 people to ask about taking hours of adoration, Hanley said. The mission “clarified, deepened our understanding of Jesus in his Eucharistic presence, which is fundamental to our Catholic faith and practice.”
Each month more than 5,000 “visits” are made to the perpetual adoration chapel.... Father Marshall not only taught about how Eucharistic adoration can build the Body of Christ, he also included adoration each night during the mission. The mission ended with a procession carrying the Eucharist from the church to the perpetual adoration chapel. He also taught how healing through the Eucharist helps build the Body of Christ by using St. Luke’s account of a sinful woman who washed Jesus’s feet with her tears, dried them with her hair, and anointed them with oil while Jesus was at a dinner at Simon the Pharisee’s home
(Luke 7:36-50). Jesus told the woman: “Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” In an interview, Father Marshall said he considers that dinner, as well as other dinners cited in the Gospels, to be Eucharistic in nature. They foreshadow the Last Supper, the night before Jesus’s crucifixion, at which he instituted the sacrament of Communion. Jesus’s mercy to the sinful woman who washed his feet illustrates that “God is infinite in forgiveness,” Father Marshall told the mission. Part of that is because “God became a human being [in Jesus] just like us, except for sin. Jesus knows all of our struggles in life,” as well as our joys. Jesus is always there, ready to welcome us back, Father Marshall said. He compared Jesus to a GPS, which maps out routes for us while traveling. “Jesus is our GPS: God’s Promised Savior.” While God has programmed a map for us in life, being human we do not always stick to that route. “When we sin, Jesus says, ‘Recalculating,’” Father Marshall said.“He brings us back through reconciliation.” The sacrament of reconciliation was offered at each session of St. Jude’s Lenten mission, both before and after, drawing long lines. Jennifer Skelton, a parishioner who attended the mission, said it helped her “to listen to what God’s been telling us and that Jesus is our friend. I haven’t thought of him as a friend before. That was the first time, really.” Skelton, who participates in Eucharistic adoration, said Father Marshall helped her see Jesus as a friend willing to sit and listen to all her concerns and joys, and just as willing to sit in silence with her. “Jesus is welcoming me with open arms,” she said.
In Loving Memory October 03 05 05 10 14 15 17 17 18 18 20 22 24 26 27 31 31
2014 1988 1999 2013 1989 1991 1956 1999 1945 2002 1953 2009 1996 1946 2003 1974 2003
Bro. Gerard Hickey Rev. Arthur Maheu Bro. Mark Proulx Rev. Thomas Fitzgerald Rev. Thomas Kennette Bro. Narcisse Barette Rev. Wenceslaus Giasson Rev. Thomas Waldie Rev. Auguste Pelletier Bro. Martin Stebens Rev. Emile Poirier Bro.Stanislaus Kowalski Bro. Raymond Lussier Bro. Charles Caron Rev. Frederick Roberge Rev. Francis Brennan Rev. Lionel Lavigne
November 01 03 04 05 07 11 20 22 23 25 25 26 27 27 29 30
2007 1955 2013 1991 1924 1979 2008 1963 1903 1980 1993 1962 2006 2013 1969 1951
Rev. Dominic Luong Rev. William Fox Rev. Julian Rousseau Rev. Emile Hebert Br. Alphonse Charest Rev. Dosithee Bérard Rev. Eugene LaVerdière Rev. Albert Décelles Rev. Josephus Landry Rev. Lionel Tourigny Rev. Hérve Thibault Br. William Vallaster Br. Edmund Hardy Br. David Phelan Rev. Edgar Bédard Rev. Joseph Legacé
December 01 01 02 04 06 16 17 17 20 21 22 22 22 23 24 26 28
1920 1982 1999 1981 1981 1986 1963 1981 1960 1989 1949 1953 1995 1992 1995 1912 1993
Rev. François Jean Rev. Joseph Lamontagne Rev. Patrick Fenton Rev. Adolphe Bilodeau Bro. Joseph Morin Rev. Raymond Robitaille Rev. Henri Lachance Rev. Raymond Fleurant Bro. Placide Morel Rev. Arthur Godin Bro. Alphonse Bonneau Rev. George Légère Rev. John Paul Choquette Rev. Lionel Vashon Bro. Victor Coté Rev. Louis Estevenon Rev. Charles Charest
Province of St. Ann Newsletter
Associates News — Eucharisteo by Jim Brown – CEE Director
As we come to the close of 2015, we look back with great appreciation and thankfulness. I especially want to thank those who conducted parish missions this past year: Fathers Bill Fickel SSS, John Thomas Lane SSS, Anthony Marshall SSS, and Anthony Schueller SSS, and Lay Associate Mary Muehle. In addition, there are many people I want to thank for their commitment to the Congregation and their willingness to make a gift of themselves to further the development of the Associates program and the ministry of eucharistic evangelizing.
[L-R] Joe McCormack, Mary Muehle and Father Anthony Schueller SSS
[L-R] Bob Robleto, Father Thomas Smithson SSS, Nancy
MacRoberts, Michael Switek, Sally Switek, Patty Pizzitola, Noreen Facilitating/Animating New Associates Groups Hoard, Bubba Pizzitola and Father Paul Raj Gnanasekar SSS • Long-time Associates of the Blessed Sacrament, Patty and Bubba Pizzitola, Nancy MacRoberts, Noreen Hoard, Laura Edstrom, • Gloria Jung, for her leadership in Sally and Mike Switek, Nereida and Tomas Rodriguez, who together with more assisting pastor and local director recently promised associates Bob McInturff, Bob Robleto and Jim Vangle at Father Bill Fickel SSS, in planning the monthly meetings and activities at Corpus Christi Parish, Houston, Texas. • Long-time associates Louise Borgione and Helen Govern at Our Lady of Saint Vincent de Paul Church. • Colleen Aboud and Father George Guadalupe Parish, Macedonia, Ohio. • Mary Muehle, Joe McCormack and Father Anthony Schueller who led a Dunne SSS, who together with a group of nine associates who made their Covenant Promise this past June 6 at leadership committee have presented numerous Life in the Eucharist Saint Paschal Baylon Church, Cleveland, Ohio. • Gloria Jung for her leadership in assembling a team of animators, including programs at Saint Stephen Parish in Mary Bastien, Mary Brady, Joan Milloy, Christine Yacabell, Ethel and Tony Winter Springs and at two neighboring Lapitan, to facilitate a group of 15 associates who made their Covenant Promise parishes; and, for their leadership in starting an initial formation program for on August 2 at Saint Vincent de Paul Church in Holiday, Florida. • Dan Krenicki who facilitated the initial formation program for a group of nine some 20 perspective associates there. parishioners at Saint Philip Church in Norwalk, Connecticut, who made their • Father Bernard Camiré SSS, who Covenant Promise on September 27th; and, pastor Father Michael Boccaccio, continues to lead a small group of for hosting this group of associates and he himself becoming an Associate of Associates of the Blessed Sacrament in monthly ongoing formation programs the Blessed Sacrament. at Saint Jean Baptiste Church in New Life in the Eucharist Ministry & On-going Support to current Associates York City. • Father Vincent Chavez, pastor of Saint Therese, the Little Flower Church in • Eva Marie Mickol, the Youth Albuquerque, New Mexico, for hosting the associates group; and, Cathy and Director at Saint Paschal Baylon and Tony Medley for keeping the Eymardian spirit alive among the associates. a group of LITE team members led • Brother Darren Maslen SSS, for leading nine parishioners at Saint Eulalia by Charlotte Fornal and Mary Muehle Parish, Chicago, Illinois, including our four lay associates, in the year-long who put on a Life in the Eucharist Course of Study on Saint Peter Julian Eymard: When Eucharist Becomes Life. programs for teens and for adults • Louise Borgione and Susan Work for assisting local director Father Paul this past August 1; and, Father John Bernier SSS, in planning monthly meetings, picnics and events for the associates Thomas Lane SSS, for his leadership at Saint Paschal Baylon Church. and support of these efforts.
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In Memoriam Father Joseph Roy SSS Funeral Homily for Joseph Roy SSS (1931-2015) by Roger Bourgeois SSS We share with you the funeral homily given at the funeral Mass of Father Joseph Roy SSS. The main celebrant of the Mass was Father John Keenan SSS, vicar provincial.
A little more than two weeks ago, Father Joe Roy celebrated the Sacred Paschal Triduum of the Church – the painful, yet glorious, remembrance of the last days in the life of Jesus the Christ. The Sacred Triduum is more than a once a year liturgical celebration, it can easily be understood as a living symbol of every Christian life and particularly of the lives of priests and consecrated religious, in this case, of the life of Father Roy, a member of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament for sixty three years. Each day of our Living Personal Triduum can be characterized by a specific action: as on Holy Thursday, to wash the feet of others; on Good Friday, to endure the uninvited, painful realities of life; on Easter Day, to touch the wounds of others, and to feed their many hungers. These actions describe the life and activity of Jesus, and are well reflected in the life of Father Roy. Like the young priest-in-training, Samuel, in the first reading, Father Joe heard God’s voice calling him from the age of fourteen, and he answered generously: “Here I am, your servant is listening.” Father Joe and I were only one year apart in both the minor and major seminary in Suffern, NY and here at the former Saint Joseph Seminary on Euclid Avenue which was administered by the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. He was not particularly gifted in athletics, but excelled in academics and was sent to complete his theological studies and eventually acquire a Masters’ Degree in Church History from the Gregorian University in Rome, where he was also ordained to the priesthood in 1956. Armed with his new degree, Father Joe began the first of his many teaching and preaching assignments, both here and abroad. He taught Church History at our former major seminary, Saint Joseph’s, here in Cleveland for six years, then was sent traveling to far away Manila in the Philippines for fourteen years of parish ministry and mission preaching. Always willing to go where he was asked, Father Joe went on to distant Leicester in England to share his talents
there for five years as pastor. Father Joe soon learned to keep his bags packed because after his tour in England, he returned Stateside and took up ministry at our parish of Saint Charles Borromeo in Albuquerque, New Mexico for ten years. But Father Joe wasn’t done traveling yet, he answered the call once again and went to minister in the neighboring state of Utah, in our parish of Saint Martin de Porres in Taylorsville for another five years. Father Joe was very faithful and generous with his time and talent, and spread himself over a good part of the world before coming home to the Provincial Headquarters here in Cleveland at Saint Paschal Baylon Parish for the last thirteen or so years. Always willing to wash the feet of others like he did all of his priestly life, Father Joe undertook the ministry of hospitality, driving community members and visitors to and from the airport, and generously became the liaison person to our community members residing here at Regina Continued on next page...
Province of St. Ann Newsletter
Father Joseph Roy SSS...Continued from previous page Health Center. Father Joe made the trip from Saint Paschal’s parish to Regina several times each week for a good ten years, driving our Blessed Sacrament priests and brothers to doctor appointments and procuring for them whatever they needed. He lived out his personal Living Triduum, by touching the lives of thousands of people here and abroad, and feeding their many hungers through his priestly ministry of fifty eight years. These were some of Father Joe’s actions, his way of washing,touching and feeding others, his Holy Thursday, so to speak. But he also had his Good Friday of enduring the uninvited and painful realities of life. Like people the world over, Father Joe had his own cross to carry and eventually to die on in his quest for the eternal life of Easter. In his later years, Father Roy contracted cancer which he eventually conquered. He underwent open heart surgery with a double bypass and wore a pacemaker. He suffered with episodes of dizziness leading to several falls and hospitalizations. Father Joe was obviously well known here at Regina from his many years as community liaison, and he was warmly welcomed by both staff and residents when he himself needed the services of this wonderful facility a little over a year ago. Now Father Joe had more time to enjoy reading historical and biographical books, to listen to his favorite classical music, and to indulge in his favorite card game of pinochle, which he played with exuberance whenever he could during his life. In the second reading today, Saint Paul charges his friend and companion in ministry Timothy to proclaim the Word, to put up with hardship, perform 10
the work of an evangelist, to fulfill his ministry whether convenient or inconvenient. Certainly Father Roy’s priestly life accomplished all of that and more. The Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI once wrote about the priest: “The priest is not a mere officeholder – instead he does something that no human being can do of his own power: in Christ’s name, he speaks the words that absolve us of our sins, and over the offerings of bread and wine, he speaks Christ’s words of thanksgiving – words that make Christ Himself present, the Risen One, his body and blood. God makes use of us, poor men, in order to be, through us, present to all men and women, and to act on our behalf. This audacity of God, who entrusts himself to human beings and considers men capable of acting and being present in His stead – this audacity of God is the true grandeur concealed in the word – priesthood.” As Paul says in his letter to Timothy today: Yes, Father Joe Roy, you have finished the race, you have kept the faith, you have lived your calling as priest – the crown of righteousness is deservedly yours. Yes, Father Joe, you have lived your personal Sacred Triduum. Now enter into your Father’s house and to the eternal home God has prepared for you. Congratulations, Father Joe! Enjoy the God you served so faithfully!
Father John Keenan SSS, vicar provincial, blesses the remains of Father Joseph Roy SSS at the beginning of his funeral Mass. Father Roger Bourgeois SSS, homilist, is to his right.
A Word of Thanks to our Partners in Ministry Many of you returned the enclosed response card in with a generous donation to the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. We are most grateful to you for making it possible for our priests and brothers to continue their ministry. Your gift, whether large or small, helps you to actually share in the ministry of the Congregation in the USA. You are remembered daily in the prayer intentions of the priests and brothers of the Congregation.
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q Father Anthony Schueller SSS, provincial
superior [right], with Bishop Larry Silva [left] of the Diocese of Honolulu, Hawaii at a recent meeting. The Congregation has two parishes in Hawaii served by our Filipino SSS religious and 2 American SSS religious (Father John Keenan SSS and Father Robert Stark SSS) serving in the Diocese of Honolulu in special ministries.
p Father Anthony Schueller SSS [left], provincial superior,
presiding over the celebration of the 50th anniversary of religious profession of Brother Thomas Mella SSS [center] and Brother Michael Oâ€™Leary SSS [right] at the Church of Saint Jean Baptiste in New York City where both of the brothers are assigned. We are grateful for the dedication and service that they have given to the Congregation and the Province throughout these 50 years. Ad multos annos!
t [L-R] Brother Darren Maslen SSS (theology
student from Great Britain), Rose Mattax, Father Michael Arkins SSS (pastor), Father Ravi Earnest Sebastin SSS (missionary from India) and Jane Lashinski. Both Rose and Jane are Associates of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament.
Province of St. Ann Newsletter
Saint Ann’s Shrine
Annual Triduum in Honor of Saint Ann A Photo Essay by Linda Hensley
Thank you to everyone who attended the Triduum Masses of the Feast of Saints Ann and Joachim this past July at Saint Jean Baptiste Church in New York City, or at Saint Paschal Baylon Church in Cleveland, Ohio. Thank you also to everyone who joined us in prayer from their homes. May A Renewal of Wedding Vows during the God continue to bless you through the powerful intercession Triduum Mass of Good Saint Ann! Congregation at Triduum Mass
Triduum Mass with Father Anthony Schueller SSS as main celebrant Father John Christman SSS anointing a Devotee of Saint Ann with Oil
Receiving the Blood of Christ at Triduum Mass
Father Joselito Hitosis SSS presents Relic of Saint Ann for Veneration
Father Provincial, Father Anthony Schueller SSS, presided at the Triduum in Cleveland, Ohio, which was well-attended by people of all ages. Please enjoy these photos of a very special annual event at Saint Ann’s Shrine in Cleveland, Ohio. Plan to join us in prayer at next year’s triduum July 24-26, 2016!
FALL (October-November-December) / 2015
Father Frederico Joseph Ablog SSS Celebrates 25 Years of Priesthood It was a day of great happiness for the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament and Father Frederico Joseph Ablog SSS as he recently celebrated 25 years of ministry as a priest. He joined together with other priests of the Congregation and the parishioners of Corpus Christi Parish in Houston, Texas to thank God for the past 25 years in the service of God, his people and the Church. Father Anthony Schueller SSS, provincial superior, shared the many blessings of Father Fredericoâ€™s priesthood in the last 25 years.
Father Frederico [Center] with four other Blessed Sacrament Fathers [L-R]: Robert Chabot SSS (parochial vicar), Paul Raj Gnanasekar SSS (parochial vicar from India), Anthony Schueller SSS (provincial superior), and Thomas Smithson SSS (pastor of Corpus Christi Parish. t Father Frederico [L] with good friend, Knight of Columbus and parishioner of Corpus Christi Parish in Houston, Sam Totah q Father Frederico with four SSS concelebrants at his 25th anniversary celebration at Corpus Christi Parish on June 27, 2015.
Father Frederico, a late vocation, made his profession in the Congregation in the USA August 15, of 1986 and was ordained on May 5 of 1990. Native of Ilocos Norte in the Philippine Islands, Father Frederico worked in New York City for several years before being attracted to the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament and the eucharistic charism of Saint Peter Julian Eymard. In his priesthood, most of his years of ministry have been in the State of Texas, for some time at Corpus Christi Parish, and then in various other parishes of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, as well as chaplain of the hospitals in the Medical Center in Houston. Devoted to the Blessed Virgin and Saint Joseph, Father Ablog has inspired many people with his love for the Church and his dedication to his ministry. Many more happy years, Father Fred! ď ˜ 13
Province of St. Ann Newsletter
Father Ernest’s Ecumenical Corner The Call to Cut Poverty in Half: The Goal of Christian Churches Together in the USA by Ernest Falardeau SSS Ernest Falardeau SSS lives Ecumenism! For many years he has dedicated his life and efforts to promoting the unity of Christians. His articles are frequently featured in Bread Broken & Shared. He is committed to promoting this unity in line with the Rule of Life of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament which states: “The celebration (of the Eucharist) leads us to promote unity in all our activities: within our Christian communities, among all confessions that share the same baptism and among all those who are working to unify the world” (Rule of Life, 38).
Christian Churches Together in the USA (CCT) is the newest and largest federation of Christian Churches, Associations of Churches and Non-profit Organizations which has focused on moral and social issues in the United States. It was established in 2001 and began to recruit members after its organizational meeting in Chicago in 2002. It meets annually and publishes statements of concern affecting millions of people in the United States and beyond. The topic of poverty was early seen as one that should concern CCT, especially given the importance placed on the subject by evangelical churches and many other Christians because of the central place that it has in the gospel message (Matthew 25: 31-46). In 2007 CCT began a series of conversations about the problem of poverty in the United States and more broadly in the world. The central statement issued in 2007 pointed to the fact that poverty had been cut in half in the United States by 1990 thanks to the efforts of government’s “war on poverty” and the ministry of churches and not for profit organizations. It was one of the first topics on which CCT issued statements based on gospel principles and suggested practical means for implementing a strategy. Principles and Concrete Ideas The CCT document begins with a listing of principles which seem clear and simple on the subject of poverty. They flow from the scriptural teachings about God’s concern for the poor. “To reduce poverty, we call on churches, government, businesses, communities and families to: strengthen families, strengthen communities, make work work, and improve education”. These principles and their connection to the elimination of poverty and hunger are elaborated. The document then enumerates a number of concrete proposals that will assure that these principles are given concrete realization through strategies. 14
CCT prefaces these strategies by saying: “while CCT does not endorse or promote specific ideas to reduce poverty, we encourage church and societal leaders to consider these specific ideas to reduce poverty:” • To strengthen families: ensure national child-nutrition programs and funding and universal access to health care, especially for children, and assistance to families at risk of losing housing due to the mortgage crisis (including tenants); ensure comprehensive immigration reform that protects the dignity and unity of immigrant families, access to resources such as premarital and marital counseling, parenting skills, mental health care, conflict resolution, financial management skills, and other services to prevent family crises and restore healthy family relations. • To strengthen communities: promote investment in lowincome communities, and families Continued on next page...
FALL (October-November-December) / 2015
Father Ernest’s Ecumenical Corner...Continued from previous page should be a part of the economic recovery package (more resources for job creation, food stamps, a fully refundable child tax credit, and education for everyone from pre-kindergarten to adults). People who are poor should be a part of the decision-making process of the recovery proposals. • To make work work: protect and uplift vulnerable families must be the right mix of the following: an increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, a just minimum wage, expanded coverage of food stamps, increased unemployment insurance, and other proven investments that reward work. • To improve education: mentoring programs to students in pre-school through grade 12 should be provided using the trained voluntary efforts of college students, church members and others. Research should be undertaken to identify safe school models that can be observed as part of a comprehensive program to assure safety for students and staff in all publicly funded schools. Present state and local formulas that depend too much on local property taxes for school funding must be corrected. Funding and/or provision for Early Childhood Education should be a joint effort among government agencies, religious organizations, community groups and private contributors. The Gospel and Poverty: Next Steps (2009) At the end of two years, Christian Churches Together affirmed the gospel base for its principles and concrete ideas to implement its goal of cutting poverty
in half in the United States. It also set a goal for ending extreme poverty by 2030. It urged the candidates for the 2016 national election to endorse these goals and objectives during the election campaign, and use the year 2017 with a new president and a new congress, as a new opportunity to strive to cut poverty and hunger by half and eventually to overcome them as problems for millions in the United States. While everyone may not agree with the specific recommendations or strategies of the CCT Statement, the wide consensus of Christian churches represented by the organization and the millions of Christians who agree with the churches, the need for a concerted effort to cut poverty and hunger in America does require us to heed the gospel’s call to feed the hungry and assist the poor.
Meet Father John Kamas SSS by Anthony Marshall SSS – Vocation Director This article is excerpted and adapted from the parish bulletin of Saint Jean Baptiste Church in Summer 2015.
Many things happen over the years but it’s so very curious how a place can be the creative vortex of one’s entire life. One might leave a place but somehow always returns to that one pivotal spot. That seems to be the story of Father John Kamas’ life and the SSS Church of Saint Jean Baptiste in New York City.
Father Kamas attended through grade school at Saint Jean’s, and at age 13, entered the minor (high school) seminary of the Congregation. He described his feelings upon entering the seminary, borrowing from words of Harry Potter: Everything was strange and wonderful! Indeed, it was – the cassock-clad priests and brothers walking along the squeaky, highly polished parquet floors, the singing of evening prayer with the other students in the darkened chapel, eating
meals in silence under the watchful eye of the priest-principal who sat alone at his private table, the daily Masses sung in mysterious Latin chant. Father Kamas noted that, “The best part Continued on next page... 15
Province of St. Ann Newsletter
Vocation Views...Continued from previous page for me was journeying through the Liturgical Year, walking hand-in-hand with the changing seasons.” Father Kamas’ novitiate consisted of two years of prayer: adoration of the Blessed Sacrament throughout the day and into the night, the Liturgy choreographed in perfect harmony with the seasons, the communal Office with the Fathers and Brothers. “It was all so beautiful and deeply peaceful,” said Father Kamas. His six years, four in high school and two in the novitiate, laid a spiritual foundation for him; it had to settle and grow, and needed some pruning, but it had been set. After his ordination in 1975, Father Kamas was sent to Hyde Park, NY as the spiritual director for the high school seminarians in his former seminary. “Sadly, that only lasted a year. Times had changed and the Congregation decided to close the minor seminary.” After 2 years of music study, he was assigned to our parish in Cleveland and Saint Paschal Baylon parish. After 5 years, Father Kamas was ready to return to Saint Jean’s as pastoral associate! At the age of 38, he was named administrator, and then pastor shortly thereafter. “I was thrilled to be back at Saint Jean’s, my spiritual birthplace,” he said. Three months into his new assignment, a fifty-pound chunk of limestone fell onto Lexington Avenue from the north cornice of the church’s façade. A week later, after borrowing money from the Archdiocese, protective scaffolding was erected. In the weeks that followed a detailed inspection of the entire building was made. The prognosis: the five cooper roofs and four flat roofs need to be completely replaced, and all the cornices of the 16
building needed to be removed and re-attached with stainless steel rods to make them more secure. The interior of the church was beginning to show signs of water penetration. Nothing could have prepared him for the job of contractor-fundraiser-pastor! Nevertheless, a countless number of people, parishioners and friends of parishioners, gave and gave until the restoration project at Saint Jean Baptiste was finally completed. “I’m nearly 67 years old. If my health holds up and nothing else intersects my life I can remain as Pastor until I’m 75, my golden jubilee as a priest,” said Father Kamas. “When I returned to Saint Jean Baptiste in 2013 the church building was again in crisis. The church was experiencing a rapidly dwindling parish population. The good news is that we’re welcoming new parishioners. Collections are up. Things look very hopeful.” “I’ve received so much from this wonderful church and its community. I don’t have much money to give, but I pledge all of my energy, creativity and spiritual insight. I’m thankful to have been able to give many years of my life to Saint Jean’s, and hope that the next eight years will help to assure a fruitful future.”
Who We Are “Following in the footsteps of St. Peter Julian Eymard, our mission is to respond to the hungers of the human family with the riches of God’s love manifested in the Eucharist.” Rule of Life 3 Conscious of our call to bear prophetic witness to the Eucharist, we commit ourselves to the renewal of Church and society through this sacrament, especially by:
communities characterized by hospitality, reconciliation, and service;
Eucharist as the source and summit of the life of the Church;
♦associating others with our prayer;
witness to the presence of Christ in the Eucharist;
Eucharistic mission with others in full collaboration.