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A Newsletter for friends of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament of the Province of Saint Ann

Celebrating Vatican II and Saint Peter Julian Eymard by Anthony Schueller SSS

They came from across the country, and in several cases from “across the pond,” to mark the anniversary of two milestones in the recent history of the Catholic Church: the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the canonization of Saint Peter Julian Eymard fifty years ago. Close to 200 people took part in Celebrating Vatican II: Saint Peter Julian Eymard, The Apostle of the Eucharist at the Congregation’s headquarters attached to Saint Paschal Baylon Church in Highland Heights, Ohio, from August 2-4; and for all who participated, it was a weekend to remember and to cherish for years to come.

 Opening Prayer Service with Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction t Bishop Robert Morneau leading the participants in a reflection during Eucharistic Adoration

It was no accident that Saint Peter Julian Eymard, the Apostle of the Eucharist, was proclaimed a saint on December 9, 1962, the day after the close of the first session of Vatican II. That session approved the preliminary text of the first conciliar decree, Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, which brought about the renewal of the church’s sacraments and rites, especially the Mass. Saint Peter Julian Eymard was a prophetic figure whose life and ministry a century earlier witnessed to the Continued on next page...


Inside This Issue

5 From Our Provincial 6 Lay Associates 7 SSS Missionaries 10 Ecumenical Corner 12 In Memoriam: Brother Thomas Flanagan SSS

14 Saint Ann’s Shrine 16 Vocation Views 

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Celebrating...Continued from previous page centrality of the Eucharist in Catholic life and to its power to renew the faith of individuals and the church.

and, finally, one word. Throughout, he quoted Father Eymard and various literary and poetry references.

The weekend began on Friday evening with a Service of Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction during which Bishop Robert Morneau, of the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin, offered a beautiful reflection entitled “Eucharist: Jesus Present and Manifest.” Building on the experience of students in an English composition class who were challenged to write a short story in just six words, the bishop led the assembly through a series of meditations on the essential meaning of the Eucharist in eleven words, then four, three, two,

Saturday morning was an opportunity to hear the LITE (Life in the Eucharist) Teens from Saint Stephen’s Church in Winter Springs, Florida, tell of the importance of the Eucharist in their lives and of their experience in presenting Life in the Eucharist programs to their peers. A score of teens traveled to Ohio from Florida, along with Father George Dunne SSS, Parochial Vicar, youth ministers Caryl and Jim DeGrandi, and other adult chaperones. Their words touched everyone deeply as they shared the

message of God’s merciful love and compassion celebrated at the table of Jesus. For many, it was the high point of the weekend. On Saturday afternoon, workshops were presented on topics ranging from eucharistic theology and spirituality, to Saint Peter Julian Eymard’s understanding of the Eucharist, to the Eucharist and marriage and the Eucharist and service to the poor. As the LITE Teens often stated, “the Eucharist is about food,” so food and fellowship featured prominently in the program. Volunteers from Saint Paschal’s, including the Cleveland area

t Saturday morning Mass with [L-R] Deacon Joseph Bourgeois SSS, Father William Fickel SSS and Father Norman Pelletier SSS

 Father William Fickel SSS offering incense before the exposed Eucharist

ttp Nourishing body and spirit

Continued on next page... 


Celebrating...Continued from previous page Associates, prepared snacks on Friday evening and served lunch on Saturday. Later Saturday, everyone gathered at the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel for a festive dinner.

u Father Norman Pelletier SSS introduced Father George Dunne SSS and the young people from Florida q Logo of the TEEN LITE group from Winter Springs, Florida

Father Norman Pelletier SSS, Provincial Superior, officiated at the closing Mass on Sunday morning. In his homily, he emphasized the call implicit in each moment of the liturgy both to understand the meaning of the Eucharist and to live out its implications for mission. On behalf of the Provincial Council, thank you to the Cleveland community, Brother Allen Boeckman SSS, our community chefs, Father John Thomas Lane SSS, the parish staff of Saint Paschal Baylon, and Susan Work, for their assistance at every turn and the warm spirit of hospitality. Author and publisher Gregory F. Augustine Pierce has said that we all need three things: a mission worthy of our lives, a community to send us forth on that mission, and a spirituality that will allow us to be aware of the presence of God as we carry out that mission. The Eymard weekend was an experience of all three – mission, community, and spirituality – as participants recalled the example of the dynamic Apostle of the Eucharist and the continuing challenge of Vatican II to be effective witnesses to the love of God in Jesus Christ, a love which we experience most intimately at the eucharistic table. 

 Youth Ministers Caryl and Jim DeGrandi t The TEEN LITE session

u The young people of Saint Stephen’s Parish in Winter Springs, Florida q Father John Christman SSS leading a workshop on Eucharistic Spirituality

t Frank Zalar, SSS Associate, leading a session on Eucharist and Evangelizing

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Celebrating...Continued from previous page

t Gathered around the table in celebration q SSS religious and lay associates from our parish of Saint Jean Baptiste in New York City

t Father Dana Pelotte SSS [R] with associates and parishioners from Corpus Christi Parish in Houston, Texas u Father William Fickel SSS and Father Raphael O'Halloran SSS with his LITE members from Great Britain t Concelebration of the Eucharist on Sunday morning u Leaders of song from the Teen LITE group

t Father Norman Pelletier SSS delivers the Sunday homily q Teen LITE choir, leading the singing for the Sunday Eucharist

t Two Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, Sister Mary Catherine Perko SSS and Sister Catherine Marie Caron SSS, in the midst of the congregation at Sunday morning Mass


From Our Provincial Superior... by Father Norman B. Pelletier SSS

As this final issue for this year goes to the printer, a number of us are still fondly recalling the events which occurred this past August at our Saint Paschal Baylon Parish complex in Cleveland, Ohio. The event was sponsored by the Province of Saint Ann to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of the first session of Vatican Council II and the Council’s first document, on the Liturgy; as well as to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the canonization of Saint Peter Julian Eymard. The weekend and it’s activities could not have been better realized. As you have already read, or will undoubtedly soon read, the lead article in this issue is all about this inspirational weekend. What I have garnered from this experience is that the entire weekend was an experience of faith and hope. The Holy Father invited us to a year of faith, and a genuine faith in God’s goodness was evidenced the entire weekend and this faith could not have been better illustrated than by the testimony of their faith in the Holy Eucharist by the many young adults from Saint Stephen’s Parish, Winter Springs, Florida. They were our special guests at this event.

In their personal witness of what the Eucharist means to them, one could find the hope that so often appears illusive in our Church.

In their personal witness of what the Eucharist means to them, one could find the hope that so often appears illusive in our Church. The dramatic and public expression of their faith became an act of hope. For older adults looking for any sign of hope for their Church, this group of young Christians were providing it. And for the younger generation searching for acceptance and a sense of belonging (read, a sense of hope for themselves and their generation), it was equally present in the spontaneous acceptance of them by the older generation. We believe that God is present in all of his people, young and old, and that together, through the Eucharist, we can make our faith-journey a truly hopeful event. For this we are grateful. 

Prayer in Honor of Saint Peter Julian Eymard Feast Day - August 2 Gracious God of our ancestors, you led Peter Julian Eymard, like Jacob in times past, on a journey of faith. Under the guidance of your gentle Spirit, Peter Julian discovered the gift of love in the Eucharist which your son Jesus offered for the hungers of humanity. Grant that we may celebrate this mystery worthily, adore it profoundly, and proclaim it prophetically for your greater glory. Amen.

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by Jim Brown

Lay Associates in Florida

This past June, six parishioners were installed by Father Michael Arkins SSS as Associates of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament at Saint Vincent de Paul Church in Holiday, Florida. They join 30 parishioners who were installed late last year. These ceremonies marked a remarkable culmination of events that began back in July 2003, when the priests and brothers of the Blessed Sacrament Congregation came to Saint Vincent de Paul. In 2007, Bishop Lynch initiated a three year program called “Living Eucharist.” Father Robert Chabot SSS who was then pastor, asked parishioners to attend the major events during the three years of the diocesan Father Michael Arkins SSS with new SSS Associates after their program. Subsequently, approximately seven hundred installation in Holiday, Florida became involved. Then in 2011, Father Thomas Fitzgerald SSS invited parishioners the Blessed Sacrament Congregation is from the major ministries of the parish to consider becoming lay associates of the so special to them and why they are so Congregation. Forty parishioners responded to the initial call. happy to be Associates, they respond: “The men are so friendly and hospitable In its totality, the installation of these thirty-six associates, brought together – in and communicate such a deep love of the words of Gloria Jung, Associate and program coordinator – “a fusion of the and devotion to the Eucharist; and, they Eucharist, lay involvement and an opportunity to be formally associated with invite us lay people to collaborate with the Congregation, their charism and their commitment to a partnership with them in their mission.” (A few years the laity; and, their programs (including two Life in the Eucharist experiences) ago, the Lapitan’s developed a six-week tapped into a legacy of faith sharing that has been a fruit of many adult formation parish program called Saint Peter Julian programs, including Bishop Lynch’s diocesan program, we’ve experienced here Eymard: When Eucharist Becomes at Saint Vincent de Paul.” Life. This course is being adapted by Other associates have been similarly affected by the arrival of the Blessed the Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing Sacrament religious and their involvement in the initial formation program for the into a program that is now available for associates. Ethel and Tony Lapitan first met a Blessed Sacrament priest, Father use in the Blessed Sacrament parishes Conrad Goulet SSS at the Church of Santa Cruz in Manila, Philippines. Father throughout the USA). Tony and Ethel Lapitan with Father William Fickel SSS

Goulet celebrated the funeral liturgy of Tony’s brother and remembers fondly how he ministered to their family at this very difficult time.

The Lapitans had moved to Florida and were invited to attend a Mass at Saint Vincent de Paul shortly after the Blessed Sacrament Community arrived in Holiday. They were delighted to be reconnected to the Congregation. Asked why 

Another Associate, Rich Knox, put it this way: “I was lost and searching for a way to grow closer to Jesus and more knowledgeable in the Lord, to know him intimately, and He sure answered my prayers and intentions through this wonderful Association.” Judy Burgess, a ten year parishioner, told us that her involvement in the formation program meant that “there were others who helped me get closer to God and deepened our commitment to help our neighbor. I was at a point in Continued on next page...


Lay Associates...Continued from previous page

my life – after 35 years as a registered nurse – to become closer to a group of religious men like the Blessed Sacrament Community.” (Judy and five other newly installed Associates attended the Province retreat held in Tampa earlier this year.) According to Gloria, “our associates were already very involved in the life of the parish and in the community. I sense our involvement in the Associates’ program has many of us feeling the call to do more and some of us engaged in discerning the question: what would Saint Eymard want of us today especially in service to the poor. We have assumed a special ‘mantel,’ which we carry with great pride. We feel blessed to be associated with this group of men. We experience a lot of grace, for which we are very grateful, and we look forward to new opportunities to deepen our Eucharistic spirituality in the years ahead.” “Captain Rich” – as he is known because of his fishing excursion business – expressed a thought quite poignantly: “I continue to grow nearer and closer to the Lord. I pray I can be an instrument of the Good News forever and ever! I ask Saint Peter Julian to help and pray for me to feel what he felt.”  Parishioners of Saint Vincent de Paul Parish and Associates, Gloria Jung and Richard Knox

SSS Misssionaries Tell Their Story The coming of our SSS missionaries from the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and India is an event that we have come to expect in the Province of Saint Ann. Each summer we welcome SSS religious from foreign countries who throughout the summer (June through September) visit parishes assigned to us in various Diocese/Archdioceses through the Missionary Cooperative Program and solicit support for our missionary efforts in their home countries and provinces.This year again we share with you, our readers, the stories of the missionaries that have been with us. Joseph Packiam SSS – Sri Lanka Father Packiam joined the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament in 1972 in Sri Lanka and was ordained a priest in 2005. Presently Father Joe ministers to more than 1000 families with one main church. There are a number of smaller churches attached to the main church. His ministry includes facilitating many different associations, celebrating Holy Mass, visiting the hospital and private homes bringing Holy Communion and blessings. There are forty zones that belong to the main church with many weekly programs. All of the roads leading to the Tea Estates where he ministers are badly damaged. In spite of this, he still uses his motorbike to travel there. Father Packiam says that he always enjoys life, and the company of his religious brothers in community and meeting good friends while being available to others in need. Father Joe feels that the Lord has chosen him to become a priest which he appreciates very much. For him, the most fulfilling things are the Liturgy, people, friends and most of all being in a community of brothers dedicated to the Eucharist. Joaquim Rodrigues SSS – India Father Jackie, as he is called, is a member of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament of the Province of Kristu Joythi in India and has been assigned this year to do mission appeals throughout the USA. Born in 1959, Father Rodrigues joined the Congregation in 1979 after his successful completion of his high school studies in his home town, Ghas, Continued on next page... 

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SSS Missionaries...Continued from previous page Maharashtra, India. Having gone professed his first vows in 1987. responsibilities in the Province of dedication, he was even elected to and the General Chapter in Rome.

through various stages of formation, he Father Jackie has been assigned various India. Impressive is his commitment and attend the Provincial Chapter in Australia

During his time as a religious, Father Jackie strongly felt the call of the Lord to pursue his studies for priestly formation. After having carefully considered his motivation, the province leadership respected his intention and allowed him to study at Sacred Heart College in Chennai, India for courses of priestly formation. After his graduation in theology with B.A. in theology, which is affiliated to the faculty at Saint Peter’s Pontifical Seminary, he was ordained a priest in the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament in 2005. As a faithful son of Saint Peter Julian Eymard, the Founder of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, Father Rodrigues served as superior in the community in Mumbai. As a matured religious who could undertake additional pastoral assignments, Father Jackie was assigned to a parish in the heart of the city of Mumbai, called Dharavi, a locality with largest slums in India.

around the Philippines. Father Mark shares that mission appeals have given him the opportunity to get a good look at the Church in the USA. He has been fortunate to be able to bring the message of Jesus’ love for all in the Eucharist to the parishes where he preached for the missions of the Congregation. Father Francisco Mendoza SSS – Philippines Father Francisco Mendoza is known by most people as “Father Kit”. Although

Currently Father Jackie is an assistant pastor at another slum parish in the suburbs of Mumbai, known as Tembipada. On his return from this year’s mission appeals, he will return to Dharavi to respond to the call of the diocese to serve in vineyard of the Lord. Mark del Rosario SSS – Philippines Father Mark Del Rosario SSS grew up in a religious and closely knit family. He is the oldest of eight children: two brothers and five sisters.Father Del Rosario was recruited to join the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament by Father Robert Chabot SSS during his senior year of high school. He joined the Blessed Sacrament College Seminary program in Manila and was eventually ordained as priest in1980 by the late Jaime Cardinal Sin at Santa Cruz Church, Manila, Philippines. Father Mark has been involved in numerous ministries throughout his priesthood. Assistant Parish Priest at Sta Cruz Church in Manila, Vocation Director, Assistant Postulant Director, Assistant Novice Master, Postulant Director and Superior of Davao Community, College Program Director, and Postulant Director, and Novice Master. Father Mark served as the Pastor of Star of the Sea Parish in Honolulu, Hawaii from 2004-2012. For the last two years Father Del Rosario has been doing mission appeals on the mainland USA. He is a native of the Philippines, which is the only Catholic nation in Asia with great love for Jesus in the Eucharist and our Blessed Mother. It is the only nation that celebrates Masses in both public (government) and private offices. Likewise, Sunday Masses are celebrated inside almost all of the 1,000 malls 

quiet and unassuming, Father Kit has been involved in various ministries and responsibilities since his ordination to the priesthood in 1983. Father Mendoza is from Bulacan in the Philippines, however much of his family immigrated to the USA over time. Father Francisco was an assistant pastor in both Assumption Church in Davao (Mindanao) and Santa Cruz Church in Manila. Eventually, he served as the pastor of the Manila parish and was also pastor in the Blessed Sacrament Church in Tacloban (Leyte). While in Manila, Father Kit served as the campus minister in various universities and technical schools. His kindness and concern surely endeared him to the Continued on next page...


SSS Missionaries...Continued from previous page students. During his time in Manila, Father Mendoza was named the Vicar Forane for the Archdiocese of Manila and also for the religious of the Archdiocese. In 2007, Father Kit came to the USA to help as a hospital chaplain from our community at Corpus Christi Church in Houston, Texas. Presently, Father Mendoza is stationed at Saint Paschal Baylon Church in suburban Cleveland and is the Catholic chaplain at the Cleveland Clinic – Hillcrest Hospital. Father Mendoza comes with a wealth of experience and has worked well with people of various backgrounds and cultures. His ready smile and kind words endears him to all. Rudsend Paragas SSS – Philippines Father Rudsend Paragas SSS is a native of the Philippine Islands and joined the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament in 1996 after two years of teaching high school mathematics. He was ordained priest in February 2005 and his first ministerial assignment was local treasurer of the community in Santa Cruz Church, Manila. In addition, Father Paragas was assigned to direct and to guide the Life in the Eucharist program, which is an ministry of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament that aims to share the richness of the Eucharist to lay people. During his early years of ministry he found that he was able to involve himself in giving retreats and recollections both in and outside of the parish. He also enjoyed doing prison ministry – a ministry that he truly loved in spite of the dangers that come with it. Father Rudsend was inspired by the zeal of Saint Peter Julian Eymard, Founder of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, to work for people who are suffering and neglected by our society. For a few years now, Father Paragas has been pursuing his Doctor of Ministry degree at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. With this great gift and blessing for him and the Congregation, he hopes to continue to share the God in the Eucharist in whatever ministry that is to be entrusted to him. Father Rudsend has been doing mission appeals each summer during his studies and has enjoyed meeting people from different parishes. 

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;

♦celebrating the

Eucharist as the source and summit of the life of the Church;

♦associating others with our prayer;

♦giving personal

witness to the presence of Christ in the Eucharist;

♦sharing our

Eucharistic mission with others in full collaboration.

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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Father Ernest’s Ecumenical Corner The Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue: A Special Relationship 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).

Among the churches of the Reformation “in which Catholic traditions and institutions in part continue to exist, the Anglican communion occupies a special place” (UR # 13). Fifty years ago I read these words in the Second Vatican Council’s Decree on Ecumenism and it inspired my ever growing interest in the world-wide Anglican Communion. In May 2011 ARCIC III met in Bose, Switzerland to begin its work on the third series of conversations and studies on ecclesial and ethical questions which need further study for full communion between the two communions. The official press release on ARCIC III reads as follows: The official dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion is undertaken by the Anglican - Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC), sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and the Department for Unity, Faith and Order of the Anglican Communion. The dialogue has taken place over forty years, in two phases of the Commission. The co-Chairmen and co-secretaries of the new phase of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC III) have drawn up a plan for the first meeting of the Commission. This was hosted by the Monastery of Bose, from 17 to 27 May 2011. The new phase of ARCIC’s work was mandated by Pope Benedict XVI and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, at their meeting in Rome in November 2009.The co-Chairmen are the Most Reverend Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham, England (Roman Catholic) and the Most Reverend David Moxon, Archbishop of the New Zealand dioceses (Anglican).

The task of this third phase of ARCIC is to consider fundamental questions regarding the ‘Church as Communion – Local and Universal’, and ‘How in communion the Local and Universal Church comes to discern right ethical teaching’. These interrelated topics emerged from the Common Declaration of the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury. Life in Christ ARCIC II made an important contribution to the present discussion in its agreed statement: “Life in Christ: Morals, Communion and the Church” published by the International Commission in 1994. This was preceded by The Church as Communion published in 1991. Communion was seen as the key to a theological understanding of the nature of the church. This concept was especially helpful to the study on moral/ethical discernment in Life in Christ. The Christological focus (and its Trinitarian rooting) is the ground work of the study. What it seeks to show Continued on next page...



Father Ernest’s Ecumenical Corner...Continued from previous page is that while the Church of Rome and the Church of Canterbury may diverge officially and importantly on moral conclusions from its discernment, the foundations, values and method of discernment shows a shared faith and church uniting elements more than church dividing obstacles. The study is carefully crafted and seeks common ground without minimizing either the divergences or effects of these differences. In the final analysis, the lack of full communion, the history of the churches that have acted independently and without the “exchange of gifts” to which Pope John Paul II pointed in his encouraging Ut Unum Sint and many allocutions, resulted in estrangement and a failure to give full clarity to the common ground on which both churches have built their moral discernment. Part of ARCIC III’s mandate is to prepare and facilitate the reception of the work done by ARCIC II by the

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: Website: Photographs in this issue courtesy of: Bruce Richert, Jim Brown, File Photos Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament 5384 Wilson Mills Road Cleveland, Ohio 44143

Religious Communities in Illinois, Florida, New York, Ohio, Texas

church authorities of both communions. Such a reception will give a practical visibility to the unity shared by the churches even in the present real but imperfect communion. A Good Beginning The Living Church, and Anglican Newsletter published the official communiqué from ARCIC III’s third meeting in Rio de Janeiro, May 8, 2013: A wide range of papers was prepared for the meeting and discussed, taking the Commission further towards its goal of producing an agreed statement. The mandate for this third phase of ARCIC is to explore the Church as Communion, local and universal, and how in communion the local and universal Church come to discern right ethical teaching. In exploring this mandate, the members of the Commission engaged in theological analysis and shared reflection on the nature of the Church and those structures which contribute to discernment and decision-making. Time was spent considering some case studies of ethical issues which members had prepared and analyzing the ways in which the two communions have come to their present teaching on these matters. Over the forty years of its work, ARCIC have produced a number of Agreed Statements. The work of ARCIC I received official responses from the two communions. The Commission continued its task of preparing the documents of ARCIC II for presentation to the respective communions to assist with their reception. Members reviewed responses already given to each of the five Agreed Statements and will prepare introductions for them that place each of these documents within the current ecumenical situation. It is clear from the latest communiqué that ARCIC III is doing exactly what it was mandated to do by the authorities of both communions and will guide the churches to the reception of ARCIC II and present the first Agreed Statement of ARCIC III for study by the churches. 

Father Ernie’s Blog Father Ernest Falardeau SSS and Father Anthony Marshall SSS have collaborated in establishing a blog called Fr. Ernie’s Blog, an extension of Fr. Ernie’s ministry for Christian unity and interreligious collaboration. Focused on the Eucharist, the blog contains articles, bibliographies, videos and a biography. Updated regularly, the blog discusses current issues and developments. Fr. Ernie’s Blog can be reached easily through the link at Questions and comments are welcome.


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In Memoriam: Brother Thomas Had a Pure Heart Brother Thomas (Francis E.) Flanagan, 92,of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, passed away on Tuesday evening, July 9, at Regina Health Center in Richfield, Ohio, following a short illness. He was born in Newport, Wales, United Kingdom, on January 12, 1921, the youngest child of Thomas J. and Ada (Cox) Flanagan. His immediate family included three brothers (John, Joseph, and Reginald) and one sister (Betty), all of whom preceded him in death. He entered the Blessed Sacrament Novitiate in Leicester, England, in 1956, and made profession on April 17, 1958. Assigned to minister in the United States in 1961, he served as church sacristan at Saint Charles Borromeo Church, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Notre Dame Church, Chicago, Illinois, before coming to the Blessed Sacrament Community at Saint Paschal Babylon, Highland Heights, in 1989, where he assisted with the care of elderly and infirm priests and brothers as well as sacristan for Saint Ann’s Shrine. Brother Thomas enjoyed singing and was an avid sportsman, especially golf and bowling. He is survived by nieces Melanie (Barry) Johnson, of Cambridge, England, and Judith (Graham)Martin, of Geneva, Switzerland, and several great nieces and nephews. Funeral Mass Homily by Father Anthony Schueller S.S.S. In the days since word of Brother Thomas’ illness spread, and later of his passing, we have received many messages from around the world. Our Provincial, Father Norman Pelletier, wrote from Asia, where he is directing retreats for the religious of our provinces there. A message of sympathy and solidarity came from our Superior General in Rome, Father Eugenio Barbosa Martins, SSS. A message of condolence came from La Mure, France, where an international community of Blessed Sacrament religious serves the churches of the Alpine region of that country. But perhaps the most personal came from his nieces Melanie and Judith in England and Switzerland: “We always knew Brother Thomas as Uncle Frank because he was our Dad Reg’s younger brother. His nickname when he was a little boy was “Carrot Top” because he had red hair, quite appropriate really since the family name Flanagan comes from the Irish Gaelic “flann,” which means red or ruddy. Sadly, Frank was only seven or eight years old when his mother died, which must have been so hard, but ultimately he drew from this the extra strength of character to lead 12

a different life in another country and become Brother Thomas, dedicating his life to God and helping others. It was always a treat to see Uncle Frank when he visited England. He was excellent company, an interesting man who could talk informatively on many subjects. He loved keeping up with the golf, especially The Ryder Cup! Our thoughts and prayers are with the community and all his friends at this time.” When I think of Brother Thomas, the Scripture passage which comes to mind is the story of the man who came to Jesus asking sincerely, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus told him, “You know the commandments. Love God. Honor your parents. Do not kill. Observe these and you will enter eternal life.” The man responded that he had observed all these since his youth, and asked, “What more must I do?” Jesus told him, “Go, sell what you have and give to the poor. Then come and follow me.” Unfortunately, the man was so Continued on page 16...


Brother Thomas...Continued from previous page possessed by his possessions that he wasn’t free to follow Jesus. By contrast, Brother Thomas had a remarkable inner freedom: he left family and homeland and came to another country to serve Christ and the church generously, as a sacristan for many years in different locations and, from 1989, as a care giver for elderly and infirm priests and brothers here in Cleveland. He was always modest and unassuming. His one ambition seemed to be to please God and to grow in ever deeper union with God. Brother Thomas found the inspiration for his life in the self-giving of Jesus memorialized in the Eucharist. He exemplified beautifully what we Blessed Sacrament religious aspire to do: to celebrate the Eucharist, to contemplate its meaning and power, and to live it in communion with others through lives of service.

His one ambition seemed to be to please God and to grow in ever deeper union with God. About a month ago, I happened upon a powerful rendition of a traditional song by a young Welsh choir, Only Boys Aloud, as they auditioned for the television show Britain’s Got Talent. Calon Lan is a Welsh song, the words of which were written in the 19th century by Daniel James to a tune by John Hughes. The song is a hymn, but it has become a song more associated with the Welsh rugby union, being sung before almost every match in which the Welsh national team plays. The lyrics are: I don’t ask for a luxurious life, the world’s gold or its fine pearls, I ask for a happy heart, an honest heart, a pure heart. A pure heart full of goodness is fairer than the lily white. None but a pure heart can sing, sing in the day and sing in the night. If I wished for worldly wealth, it would swiftly go to seed; the riches of a virtuous, pure heart will bear eternal profit. Evening and morning, my wish rising to heaven on the wing of song for God, for the sake of Christ my Savior, to give me a pure heart. Brother Thomas had a pure heart, an undivided heart, a heart given over to Christ. Can any of us doubt that he is in God’s presence in heaven? 

In Loving Memory November 01 03 05 07 11 20 22 23 25 25 26 27 29 30 30

2007 1955 1991 1924 1979 2008 1963 1903 1980 1993 1962 2006 1969 1920 1951

Rev. Dominic Luong Rev. William Fox Rev. Emile Hebert Br. Alphonse Charest Rev. Dositnee Bérard Rev. Eugene LaVerdière Rev. Albert Décelles Rev. Josephus Landry Rev. Lionel Tourigny Rev. Hérve Thibault Br. William Vallaster Br. Edmund Hardy Rev. Edgar Bédard Rev. Franciscus Jean 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 Br. Joseph Morin Rev. Raymond Robitaille Rev. Henri Lachance Rev. Raymond Fleurant Br. Placide Morel Rev. Arthur Godin Br. Alphonse Bonneau Rev. George Légère Rev. John Paul Choquette Rev. Lionel Vashon Br. Victor Coté Rev. Louis Estevenon Rev. Charles Charest

 


Province of St. Ann Newsletter

Saint Ann’s Shrine

How Saint Ann Came to Cleveland by Linda Hensley

Sometimes people wonder how and why Saint Ann came to Cleveland, Ohio. After all, she was born far away, before Cleveland was a city and before the United States was a country, but her path to the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament is, in some ways, a simple and wonderful story. When Saint Peter Julian Eymard founded the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, he wanted to teach and share the power of the Eucharist. He saw the benefits of priests and brothers living together and ministering to their communities. The leadership of the Church saw the value of Saint Eymard’s ideas and gave him the authority to form the new order and Saint Eymard’s inspiration took hold throughout the world. In 1892, Pope Leo XIII sent a first class relic of Saint Ann, a small bone, to the famous Shrine of Saint Ann de Beaupré in Canada. On his way from Rome, the bearer of this relic stopped at the then-small church of Saint Jean Baptiste in New York City. The people of the city were ecstatic. They came every day to show their reverence for the relic. The sick were cured, the lame walked, and everyone was overjoyed with Saint Ann’s love and generosity.

Saint Ann. The priests and brothers decided to conserve the generous gifts of people who provide support to the order and the Congregation’s headquarters was moved to Cleveland. The relic of Saint Ann was divided again and Saint Ann’s Shrine had a new home. Both shrines are open to the public. The original shrine at St. Jean Baptiste Church in New York City had a display of crutches which were discarded in joy when people experienced the healing power of Saint Ann and no longer needed them. Saint Jean Baptiste Church is now a magnificent structure, unlike its small beginnings. Saint Ann’s Shrine in Cleveland is a more intimate space. It is a very special, but simple, chapel devoted to prayer. Thank you to everyone who contributed to our appeal to restore the statue of Saint Ann, Mary, and Jesus which resides at Saint Ann’s Shrine in Cleveland. Through your generosity,

The courier eventually continued his journey, but since the people of New York had shown Saint Ann so much love and respect, the Father Paul Bernier SSS presides during the final Triduum Mass on the Feast of Saint Ann in Saint Paschal Baylon Church in suburban Pope granted them a portion of the relic that had Cleveland,Ohio with the assistance of Deacon Joseph Bourgeois SSS gone on to Montreal. Archbishop Corrigan of New York invited the fathers and brothers of Montreal to administer a parish in Manhattan. This was the first community of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament in the U.S. When the province for the U.S. and its territories was created it was christened “The Province of Saint Ann”. The relic of Saint Ann was united with the province named in her honor. Who could provide a better home to Saint Ann than Saint Ann’s Province? As New York City and the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament grew, Saint Jean Baptist Church became a center of Eucharistic devotion for the whole country, but New York City became an expensive place to run the administration of the Province of 14

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Saint Ann’s Shrine...Continued from previous page t The procession at the closing of the Saint Ann Triduum in Cleveland q A devotee of Saint Ann venerates the relic presented by Father Norman Pelletier SSS

we not only will be able to restore Saint Ann’s statue to her former glory, we will also be able to provide much needed repair to the tabernacle and reliquary in the Shrine. Your gifts of support echo the joy people felt in New York City when the relic first came to America.

Our thanks also go out to everyone who joined our prayers or attended Saint Ann’s 3-day Triduum in Cleveland or the 9-day Novena in New York City in July. The first annual Novena was celebrated in New York in 1892 and has continued ever since. The 3-day Triduum in Cleveland has been celebrated every year since 1987. 

Blessed Sacrament Mass Association Did you ever wonder what gift you might give to a friend or relative that was hard to buy for? Why not consider our Mass Association. Your loved one will share in Masses for a whole year. For a donation of your choice, you will receive a beautiful card that you can send to your friend or relative and they will be remembered in a weekly Mass celebrated here in Cleveland at the Shrine of Saint Ann. All you have to do is request Mass Association cards in advance. When you decide to use one of the cards, simply fill out the name of the person you want to enroll in the Association, and send it back to us. It’s so simple – you just send your donation when you use a card. When you need more cards, just let us know and we’ll be happy to send them to you. For more information about the Blessed Sacrament Mass Association, write to: Saint Ann’s Shrine 5384 Wilson Mills Road Cleveland, OH 44143

p Attendees at the Saint Ann Triduum u Priests of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament concelebrating Mass on the Feast of Saint Ann

Telephone: 440-449-2700 Email: Website:


Province of St. Ann Newsletter

Vocation Views: Strength for the Journey by Father Anthony Marshall SSS

Over the summer, many families took to the roads and highways to enjoy the all-American road trip. My ministry as Vocation Director takes me on the road and airways all too often as I go in search of candidates for the priesthood and brotherhood with our Congregation. All along the roads and in the airports, there are plenty of restaurants and oases for the weary and hungry road warriors. For us Christians, Jesus is our strength for the journey of life on this side of eternity as he leads us in his Church to life everlasting. In the Eucharist, Christ offers us not only the pledge of future heavenly glory, but as we eat his Body and drink his Blood in Holy Communion, we are strengthened for the many journeys of life. That’s why the Vocation Office debuted a special Eucharistic holy hour for teens, young adults, and their families last month at our Cleveland parish of Saint Paschal Baylon. The first such holy hour kicked off our “Come and See Weekend Experience” for young men discerning their vocation to either priesthood or brotherhood with the Congregation. The title of these special holy hours is Strength for the Journey. They feature praise and worship music, biblical readings, and time for silent and shared prayer. Following the spiritual nourishment of Eucharistic adoration, the teens, young adults and their families, along with the Blessed Sacrament priests and brothers, enjoy a time of bodily nourishment and fellowship in the parish hall over a slice or two of pizza. Our holy Founder, Saint Peter Julian Eymard, focused a great deal of his priestly ministry working with young people. Through these special Eucharistic holy hours, Strength for the Journey, the charism of Saint Eymard and his religious congregation that he founded, continues to be handed down to future generations of the Church. 

For more on vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life, please contact Father Anthony Marshall, SSS – Vocation Director: (440) 442-7243 Like us on Facebook! 16

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.

Bread Broken & Shared  
Bread Broken & Shared  

November/December 2013