A Newsletter for friends of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament of the Province of Saint Ann
Missionaries of the Congregation in USA 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. 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. This year these five young priests were joined by two of our Vietnamese priests who were learning how the mission appeal process works. This year again we share with you, the readers of Bread Broken & Shared, the stories of these five missionaries who graced us with their presence. Father Adrian Ladines SSS (Philippines) Father Adrian Obnamia Ladines was born on December 6, 1979 in Lucban, Quezon, in the Philippines of Lorenzo S. and Adela O. Ladines. Father Adrian has one sister, Ma. Lourdes L. Quebrata.
know that God wanted him to serve in an even deeper way in his vineyard, thus joining the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament immediately after his secondary education. Father Adrian relates that they were 20+ seminarians who dared to follow God’s will by entering the seminary, but in the end, he was the only one who persevered from his group. He shared that God calls mysteriously – but indeed everything was a blessing from the Lord. Father Ladines finally affirmed his call and thus on December 6, 2008 on the very date of his 28th birthday, was ordained a priest. In his very first six years in the ministry, he tells us: “I was very
It was through an SSS priest friend that Father Adrian came to hear about and became introduced to the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. This priest was conducting a vocation campaign in his local parish in 1996. Thus he entered the formation programs of the Congregation and made his first profession. Father Adrian shares that the beginnings of his vocation to the priesthood were nourished by his parents who were very devoted Catholics. He served in his own parish under the patronage of Saint Louis as an altar server from elementary school up until his years of secondary education. Little did he NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014
Inside This Issue
5 From Our Provincial 6 Provincial Chapter 7 The Associates Corner 8 Vocation Video Project 9 Remembering When 11 Ecumenical Corner 13 Saint Ann’s Shrine 15 Vocation Views
Province of St. Ann Newsletter
Missionaries of the Congregation...Continued from previous page fortunate to be assigned in different parishes (Nuestra Señora Virgen del Rosario, the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Holy Eucharist, Saint John Marie Vianney) as well as a chaplain at the DeLaSalle University for 2 years. Presently, I am ministering in a Blessed Sacrament Parish, where I am the assistant pastor and local community treasurer.” During his various assignments, Father Adrian feels that God has, indeed, never failed to show his love and guidance to him especially through the help of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament. Father Adrian shared: “I can truly say that I am like the Bread of Life – blessed broken and shared for others.” Aside from celebrating Mass and other Sacraments, Father Adrian is now in charge of Family and Life Apostolates, conducting seminars on the importance of married life. In addition, he facilitates retreats and days of recollection, especially for high school or college graduating students. In his free time, Father Ladines, enjoys biking and playing table tennis. He shared “the Philippines is very rich in culture, nature and faith.” He concluded by saying that without faith we would never be able to overcome the various problems and challenges that confront us. He can see that faith in action in his current assignment – the Province of Leyte, Tacloban City where he was deeply affected by the typhoon yolanda-haiyan.
pioneering community established to administer the Star of the Sea Parish in Honolulu, Hawaii. He received the call to discern priesthood ministry after many years in the Congregation and he obediently responded to this call. Choi took courses in theology at Maryhill School of Theology in Quezon City, Philippines and was ordained a priest in Santa Cruz Church in Manila in the Philippines on March 26, 2011. At the present time, Father Melchor is assigned as local superior of the Congregation’s community of Tabaco in the Philippines. Father Nelson de Jesus Roque SSS (Philippines)
He concluded saying “I am a very simple priest, jolly and friendly and through this I enjoy the company of different types of people especially when they share the various stories of their lives.” Father Melchor O. Castaneda SSS (Philippines) Father Melchor, better known as Father Choi, was born on January 6, 1965 in Libmanan, Camarines Sur, Philippines. After finishing his college degree in Education he taught for three years on both elementary and high school levels in his home town of Libmanan. In April of 1989 Melchor was accepted into the postulancy program of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament in the Philippines. After that he continued onto Novitiate Formation and on April 25, 1992 made his first profession of religious vows.
Father Nelson de Jesus Roque, was born on March 13, 1970 in Burol 2nd, Balagtas, Bulacan. His parents are Luis Kalalang Roque and Concepcion de Jesus Roque. Father Nelson has six siblings, four sisters and two brothers.
For many years, Choi served as a simple and active religious brother being assigned in different local communities of the Province of Our Lady of the Assumption in the Philippines. When the Filipino Province was invited to begin a foundation in Hawaii, he was given the opportunity to be part of the
Father Nelson came to know about the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament when he was studying at
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Missionaries of the Congregation...Continued from previous page
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;
Philippine Normal University in Manila. Since Santa Cruz Church which is staffed by the priests and brothers of the Congregation was near the school, he often attended the 12:15 pm Mass and spent some moments in prayer in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Father Nelson shared: “My love for the Blessed Sacrament moved me to approach one of the Sacramentinos (a priest) to deepen my understanding of the Holy Eucharist and my devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. After three years of discernment, I came to the decision to join the Congregation.” In May 2002 he made his first profession of religious vows and was ordained a priest on February 2008 in his home province of Bulacan. Father Nelson tells us: “I know that my parents had a great influence on my vocation. Their deep love of the Holy Eucharist and their own devotion to the Blessed Sacrament inspired me to embrace the priesthood, devoting myself as a religious of the Blessed Sacrament to building up the Eucharistic Kingdom here on earth.” Recently Father Roque celebrated six fruitful years of priesthood and shared that he honestly could say that he has really enjoyed every day of his life as a priest. He spends his time together with parishioners, listening to their stories, giving Communion to the sick and elderly, hearing confessions and administering Sacraments. As a priest Father Nelson says: “I would like to continue to share this gift of priesthood with others in a simple way – being warm and hospitable in the way that most Filipinos are recognized.”
Eucharist as the source and summit of the life of the Church;
Although small in stature, Father Nelson has a big heart and a warm and engaging personality. He surely has endeared himself to Catholics where he has preached throughout the summer months.
Father Joseph Jacob SSS (India) Father Joseph Jacob, a native of South India, has been a priest in the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament for fourteen years. He was born in January 1969 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, South India. He did his early studies in the public schools, and he found it to be a very good learning experience because he rubbed elbows with various kinds of people who all practiced a different religion. Father Joseph entered the seminary in 1987 studying for a B.A. in History. After his Novitiate, he then studied philosophy and did a year of Regency (practical pastoral experience/internship) in a parish in the Southern part of India.
with our prayer;
witness to the presence of Christ in the Eucharist;
Eucharistic mission with others in full collaboration.
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Missionaries of the Congregation...Continued from previous page Finishing his philosophical studies, Father Jacob did his theological studies at Sacred Heart Seminary in Chennai itself. After theological studies, he did his preparation for perpetual profession of vows and for ordination to the Diaconate in the year 2000. He went to a small village for his ministry as a deacon, and was ordained to the priesthood at the end of 2000. In his first assignment as a priest, he was appointed as assistant parish priest in two of the Congregation’s parishes located in Chennai. After pastoral ministry in the parishes, Father Joseph was asked to begin ministry as a formator for candidates for religious life in the initial stages of their training at the Blessed Sacrament Congregation’s community in Mumbai for five years. Following his ministry in the training of the students for priesthood and religious life, Father Joseph returned to parish ministry as the pastor. In his tenure as a pastor of a parish, Father Joseph is proud that he was able to work with his parishioners to build a church dedicated to Mary, Help of Christians in an industrial zone. At the present time, Father Joseph has moved back into the ministry of formation of young men for priesthood and is working with the Congregation’s Indian scholastics in the city of Pune in the state of Maharastra. Throughout his journey, and all through his years as a priest, Father Joseph said: “I like to be open to new things and I try to learn something new in any situation in which I find myself. I spend my time in prayer, listening to music, composing hymns and reading books especially about counseling and human psychology.” We were happy to welcome Father Joseph to the United States this summer to spread the message of the Eucharist and the Congregation’s eucharistic mission, especially in his native country of India. He visited parishes especially in the southern part of the USA throughout the summer. Father Sudath Fernando SSS (Sri Lanka) Coming to us from the enchanting little island of Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) off the Southeast Coast of India is Father Sudath (his full name is Katchchakaduge John Sudath Jaganath). For our purposes, we will refer to him as Father Sudath. He was born in 1967 in Dandugama, Ja-Ela in Sri Lanka being one of five children. At the present time his mother, one brother, and three sisters live in Sri Lanka. His father is deceased. Father Sudath said that he came to know of the Congregation of the Blessed
Sacrament through a friend of his. He joined the Congregation as a brother originally making his first religious profession of vows in 1994. While he was engaged in ministry, Brother Sudath came to realize that he was called to the priesthood. At that time he asked his superiors if he could begin studies for the priesthood, to which they agreed and in 2007 he was ordained a priest and then became known as Father Sudath. His ordination took place in the Congregation’s Church of Saint Philip Neri in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, ordained by Bishop Clitus Chandrasiri OSB, Bishop of Ratnapura. After his priestly ordination Father Sudath was assigned to one of the most rural parishes of the Congregation in Sri Lanka, called Alagollawa in the diocese of Anuradhapura. Six months after this first appointment, Father Sudath was named the Administrator of the brother Eymard Campbell Retreat House at Halgashena, Hanwella, just outside of Colombo. After having finished his term at the retreat house, Father Sudath was appointed Vocation Director for the Province of Sri Lanka, a ministry that he is continuing up until the present. When asked in all of his ministries up until the present which he liked the most, he answered emphatically: parish ministry. He commented: “I am happy to be one among the many servants of God as a priest working to help others to discern God’s call in their lives so that they too might become priests or brothers in the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament.” In conclusion, Father Sudath noted that his country of Sri Lanka, although unknown by many people, is one of the most beautiful, filled with many natural resources and friendly people.
From Our Provincial Superior... by Norman B. Pelletier SSS
This issue begins with a profile of our priest-religious who have been preaching for the missions throughout the summer. They have come from our Asian provinces where vocations are high in numbers and the accompanying costs of education are equally high. Here in our US province, it is no secret, vocations are low but, thanks be to God, we are still blessed with adequate financial resources to be in a position to assist our brothers from the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Catholics from coast to coast have an opportunity every year to share their own resources with these missionaries, some from our own religious community and others from communities of brothers, sisters and priests from all parts of the world. This truly reflects the universal character of the Church. It also demonstrates the great generosity of US Catholics towards their brothers and sisters around the globe. We are grateful for the missionaries and for all who see fit to contribute to the needs of the Church in Asia. You will also notice that this November our religious will be meeting in Florida for a special gathering that occurs only every four years. This meeting is called a Provincial Chapter and its purpose is to review the last four years and plan for the next four. It is at this meeting that the leadership of the province will be selected to carry out the goals and objectives of the group in line with the directives from our General Administration in Rome and in keeping with our Eucharistic mission. Please keep us in your prayers Bread Broken & Shared Newsletter is published as we discern our future. 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: email@example.com Website: www.blessedsacrament.com Photographs in this issue courtesy of: Tony Medley (Albuquerque, NM), Esperanza Stewart (Holiday, FL), File Photos Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament 5384 Wilson Mills Road Cleveland, Ohio 44143
Religious Communities in Illinois, Florida, New York, Ohio, Texas
We have some wonderful news about our Associates and their various events and programs in Chicago, Albuquerque, Holiday, Florida, Houston and Cleveland. The Office of Eucharistic Evangelization (CEE) has been busy updating and preparing new materials for our Associates. Something else that is going on that we are very excited about is the project to put together a short film on our religious vocation as priest, deacons and brothers in the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. Most of the footage has
been taken and now the challenging task remains to edit what we have collected. You will be able to view this short film on our website once it is completed. Speaking of vocations, do not fail to read the interesting and inspiring vocation story of Father Tom Smithson SSS that you will find at the end of this publication. We want to thank Father Tom for sharing his vocational journey with all of us. Who knows, it may inspire someone else to respond to God’s invitation to lead a priestly and Eucharistic religious life. Let us also pray for vocations! Finally, as we begin this month of November the Church invites us to remember our deceased with the liturgical feasts of All Saints and All Souls. I always thought these two feasts really belong together since few, if any of us, are in a position to judge who is and who is not to be listed among the beloved of God. I rather think that all are God’s friends, warts and all. In any case don’t forget to pray for your deceased friends and relatives as we, too, remember the priests and brothers who have passed away since our last provincial meeting four years ago as well as those whose names are listed for November and December in this issue.
Province of St. Ann Newsletter
What Is a Provincial Chapter? Have you heard during Mass in your parish or at associates’ meetings an intercession or prayer along the lines of, “For the success of the Provincial Chapter of the Blessed Sacrament Community” or “pray for our priests, deacons, and brothers who are preparing for their chapter”? Maybe you’ve noticed our reference to the Provincial Chapter in previous issues of Bread Broken & Shared. Perhaps you’ve wondered, What is a Provincial Chapter? Religious communities, like families, meet often. Sometimes it happens around the table as you share a meal and talk about the day’s events. Other times the conversation is more structured and covers important matters to be discussed and decided. A Provincial Chapter is a formal meeting of the members of a religious community or province (a number of local religious communities and ministries of the same order in a country or area). Chapters usually meet every few years; how often is determined by Church law (Canon Law) and the particular norms and customs of the Order. In the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, a General Chapter (comprised of representatives of the whole order from around the world) happens every six years; Provincial or Regional Chapters occur every four years.
The members of a chapter evaluate how things are going, make decisions about common life and mission, choose leadership for the coming years, and set priorities and goals. A Provincial Chapter is a time of grace, to take stock of all we are experiencing and to look to the future. So, yes, please pray for our 24 th Provincial Chapter which meets from November 9-15 attended by Blessed Sacrament religious from around the USA at Bethany Retreat Center in Lutz, Florida. We’re counting on your support and prayers!
Prayer in preparation of Provincial Chapter XXIV
(Join with the priests, brothers and associates of the Congregation in praying for the success of the upcoming chapter in November 2014) ALMIGHTY GOD we give you thanks for the gift of Eucharistic life which you gave us through Saint Peter Julian Eymard. Like him, You have called us to religious life to proclaim a Eucharistic gospel. As we prepare for our provincial chapter, we ask you the grace to discover anew in your son, Jesus Christ, the center of our life and mission. Help us acknowledge our need for a profound conversion of our personal and community life. Send your Spirit to help us read the signs of the times, and to discern what we need to change in our personal, community and apostolic life in order to be infused with a new missionary impulse. May this same Spirit draw us into an ever deeper life of prayer. We ask you this through the intercession of Our Lady of the Cenacle and also of Saint Peter Julian Eymard, Apostle of the Eucharist. Amen.
The Associates Corner:
The Associates of Albuquerque - “Quite a Journey” by James W. Brown
In September, Father Anthony Schueller, director of the Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing, visited the associates in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Ten associates shared a meal and an evening of conversation on the 12th at the home of Kathy and Tony Medley. “It was,” in the words of the Medleys, “a wonderful opportunity to share our history and hopes for the future with Father Tony, who listened so attentively and gave us many good ideas for how we can continue to grow in our eucharistic spirituality.” Looking Back There is a long and varied history of involvement with the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament and the association, dating back to the Blessed Sacrament Shrine on Gold Avenue in the early 1950s and then for 41 years at Saint Charles Borromeo Parish. The Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, who served at Saint Charles for several years, played a very important part in nurturing the associates, as have other pastors and religious. Bernadette Hill and Andrea Montoya have journeyed as “associates” since the days of the People’s Eucharistic League. Father John Thomas Lane was pastor when the Province of Saint Ann decided to withdraw from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. He spent time educating them in the life and charism of Saint Peter Julian and in connecting the group with the renewed Aggregation of the Blessed Sacrament. On September 16, 2011, 15 women and men were installed by Father Norman Pelletier, provincial superior. And to the Future Recently, Father Vincent Chavez invited the group to meet at Saint Therese of the Little Flower Church. He was also present on the 13th when Father Tony celebrated Mass and led the group in a morning of reflection and prayer. Said Tony Medley, “We are greatly thankful for Father Vincent’s presence. He even wants us to share our eucharistic spirituality with the rest of the parish, something we will hopefully feel formed enough to do.” One associate, Tomas Luna, commented that “we are in a searching mode, both in how to sustain ourselves in the future and especially since the Blessed Sacrament Community is no longer present. It is a challenge and an opportunity, given that there may be more groups of associates forming in places where there is no Blessed Sacrament parish.”
(L-R) Jane Greiner, Tomas Luna, Isabel Serna, Father Anthony Schueller SSS, Carol Havey, Kathy Medley, Pete Havey, Ed Muller, and Wendy Muller. t (L-R front row) Kathy Medley, Wendy Muller, Carol Havey, Jane Greiner, Father Anthony Schueller SSS; (L-R back row) Tony Medley, Tomas Luna, Ed Muller, Pete Havey.
Father Tony made a point of discussing with the group how the province and the CEE can support them on their eucharistic journey. “Because the history of their relationship with us is so rich and varied, they believe it would be helpful to go through a common formation process, using our new materials. Beyond that, they could consider the new course of study on Father Eymard and The Manna Series as resources for ongoing formation.” The associates also liked the idea of maximizing opportunities for connecting with the members of the province and other associates through Skype and personal visits. Father Tony commented after the visit: “God has blessed us with a group of deeply committed associates in Albuquerque. They have been on quite a journey with us, but have persevered and remain as focused as ever. I was touched by the level of openness and sharing on the part of all who were present these two days. To quote Father Eymard, ‘May God be praised!’”
Province of St. Ann Newsletter
Vocation Video Project by Anthony Marshall SSS â€“ Vocation Director
During a meeting of the priests and brothers of the Congregation last year, it was suggested that the Vocation Office, in collaboration with the Office of Communications, should create a vocation promotion video. To this end, a media company in Cleveland, Ohio was engaged to produce a 20-25 minute video coupled with a 5-minute trailer promoting the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. Although our target audience is young men ages 1840, it is hoped that the video will also provide some interesting perspectives on the Congregation in the USA today. The video will reside on our web site, blessedsacrament.com and YouTube. The outline of the video is focused on the three major areas identified by the CARA/NRVC (Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate/National Religious Vocation Conference) study as being important to young adults discerning a religious vocation: community life, common prayer (i.e., Divine Office, Mass, and Eucharistic adoration), and the mission of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament.
p Father Anthony Marshall SSS with the crew from Frisson Media in New York City
Filming began in June at our religious communities of Saint Jean Baptiste and Saint Andrew in New York City, followed by filming in Houston, Texas to interview our SSS priests and lay associates. Taping has also taken place in our Cleveland religious community. The final stop and the completion of the filming will be in Orlando, Florida with interviews of the LITE Teen group there and Father George Dunne SSS who ministers with this group. It is our hope that a final video will be ready to present to the members of our Provincial Chapter this November. I am grateful for the extremely valuable collaboration in the planning and editing of our video that I have received from our religious. I am excited to see the final product, and I am positive that this video will be something that we will all be proud of, making our Congregation alive in the digital media. My thanks are extended to all who were willing to be interviewed and shared their vocation and religious life stories. ď ˜
p Father James Hayes SSS during a outdoor videoing session t Father Thomas Smithson SSS during a video session in Houston, TX u Father Peter Dorairaj SSS talking about his vocation on video.
Remember When... Building Memories, One Day at a Time by Bobbi McQuiston – Holiday, Florida
This year Saint Vincent de Paul Parish celebrated its 45th anniversary, and the parish deserved a grand celebration! About three and a half weeks prior to the week-end of the anniversary, Father William Fickel SSS, our pastor, called us together and proposed a special Mass and a parish get-together to commemorate the anniversary-event. That gave us just over three weeks to plan and execute. Could we do it? Father Bill encouraged us in his very special way and we were confident we could make it happen. The committee formed at the Parish Council meeting, plans were made and the process began. It was decided that the commemorative Mass would be on Sunday, May 18, with a pot luck meal that afternoon with an international flavor that would showcase the diversity of our parish. Father Fickel also asked for a Legacy Committee be formed to publish a booklet for the occasion and suggested the phrase “Remember When.” In three weeks? Well, of course.
Installation Mass of Father William Fickel SSS as pastor of Saint Vincent de Paul Parish in Holiday, Florida
We forged ahead and the day finally arrived. The Mass was wonderful and then the party began. We had the celebration in Father Farrell Hall. Tables were set up and about 240-250 places were set. All were filled and then some. The food was placed on both sides of the hall and there was so much to choose from: Filipino, Spanish, Polish, Irish, Italian and many more, and of course American, with hot dogs and hamburgers. And the desserts! What a feast ... everything imaginable. There was a live band and dancing, performances by the youth of our parish including the Lords’s Prayer sung by the youngest and the Hail Mary signed by the older kids. The Filipino parishioners sang their national anthem in their native language lead by Father Mark Del Rosario SSS, associate pastor. Maren Thomas, one of our altar servers, performed a traditional Indian dance. A great time was had by all as was evidenced by the party-goers who stayed well past 6:00 p.m. The commemorative booklet came together, and it showed a brief synopsis of our history, the priests and other religious who have served here and interviews with three parishioners who have been here many years.
We are already planning for our 50th anniversary. It will no doubt surpass this one because we have so much more time to plan it. The Legacy Committee intends to research and publish a comprehensive book about the parish and the surrounding area, the people who were here at the beginning, what has occurred over the years and what makes Saint Vincent de Paul Parish tick. Father Bill’s input and guidance will be greatly appreciated. Another memory to add to our history Continued on next page...
Province of St. Ann Newsletter
Remember When...Continued from previous page is our Second Annual Fund-raising Gala Mardi Gras. Father Fickel became very involved with this and attended most of the Gala Committee meetings. He began and ended each meeting with a prayer for guidance from our Lord and we were pleased to be serving Him. Father Bill had many good suggestions gained from similar events in his other parishes, one of which was a pre-Gala raffle. We chose to offer a cruise, a two day stay at the Clearwater Beach Hilton and a fishing trip. We began preparations early in the year, printed only 1,000 tickets and made an 85% return! That was great and gave us a good headstart to our goal. The Gala was a huge success and surpassed the previous year’s Gala, which was the first ever at Saint Vincent. We thank Father Bill for his support and encouragement. Sooner than we think we will start planning for the third Gala. A third memory to add to the happenings at Saint Vincent de Paul parish was Father William Fickel’s installation Mass earlier in the year. When Father Michael Arkins SSS came to our Parish several years ago as pastor, Bishop Lynch was ill and then Father Mike became ill, so we had no celebration. We missed not having one, and were so happy to share this special ocassion with Father Bill. Bishop Lynch installed Father Fickel as our Pastor. It was a touching and beautiful ceremony. One reason we are so blessed to have the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament here at Saint Vincent de Paul is their emphasis on the Eucharist. This was truly evident on this wonderful day. We shared a meal from the altar of our Lord and everyone felt His presence. Afterwards, there was a brunch for us to share with Father Bill and each other. To quote him: “What I most appreciate is how everything came together for a joyous celebration to express our love for God and one another.” Days to be added to our history which aren’t chronicled are the many opportunities we have here at Saint Vincent de Paul to participate in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament each week. So many parishes do not have Adoration at all. The Congregation emphasizes Adoration and we benefit from their commitment to it. It is so wonderful to see Father Bill’s and Father Mark’s reverence for the Body of our Lord. We look forward to making more memories, and pray that Father Bill and Father Mark will be here for many years to share them with us. We truly are the Body of Christ. 10
pFather William Fickel SSS with young parishioners tGala celebration at Saint Vincent de Paul Parish
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.
Father Ernest’s Ecumenical Corner On Becoming a Christian: Catholic and Some Pentecostal Churches in Dialogue 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).
Father Kilian McDonnell, OSB
Father Kilian McDonnell, OSB and the Reverend Cecil M. Robeck, cochairs of the Catholic-Pentecostal Dialogue, are friends and colleagues. I met Fr. Kilian when I spent some time on sabbatical at St. John’s Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota in 1993. We worked in offices located in the University Library for three months. Reverend Robeck introduced me to Pentecostal history and theology when we were members of the North American Academy of Ecumenists My interest in this dialogue is very genuine because of their leadership in the dialogue and because they have both contributed significantly to its progress. The introduction to the report of the fifth phase of this dialogue bears the following testimony:
Reverend Cecil M. Robeck
“As we complete this fifth phase of dialogue we wish to recall the many important contributions made to these conversations
by Father Kilian McDonnell. With the aid of David du Plissés, he helped to initiate these discussions in 1972. He served as Catholic chairman from that time through the beginning of this fifth phase, before he retired in the year 2000. We acknowledge with deep gratitude that both communities owe him a huge debt for his contributions to whatever success this dialogue has achieved over the years.” The Dialogue The first two phases of the dialogue published reports in 1977 and 1984. The report of the third phase was entitled Perspectives on Koinonia (1990). The fourth phase was on Evangelization, Proselytism and Common Witness (1997). The theme of the fifth phase of dialogue, which we are now studying, is “On Becoming a Christian.” Catholics and Pentecostals are convinced of the importance of being fully integrated into the life of the Church. In this dialogue they attempted to understand how an Continued on next page... 11
Province of St. Ann Newsletter
Father Ernest’s Ecumenical Corner...Continued from previous page
In Loving Memory 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 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
individual moves from his or her initial entry into the Christian life to being a fully active member of the Church. There are two important reasons for the focus on this theme. First, during the study on Evangelization, Proselytism and Common Witness participants in the dialogue concluded that some members of our churches do not always recognize one another as Christians. As a result, it is easy to imagine that from time to time, tensions exist between Pentecostals and Catholics. By exploring together how one becomes a Christian, how one is initiated into the Christian community, and by reviewing the importance of religious experience in one’s life, the Dialogue believed they might be able to assist our communities to recognize more easily that we are sisters and brothers in Christ. The topics chosen to understand how one becomes a Christian therefore includes faith, conversion, experience, formation and discipleship and Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Both teams made presentations on these subjects and each of them was the focus of one annual session. In the course of the study on Baptism of the Spirit, Kilian McDonnell co-authored a study on Christian Initiation and Baptism in the Spirit which stressed that Baptism in the Spirit has a direct relationship to the earliest understandings of Christian Initiation in the early church. The work concludes that Baptism in the Holy Spirit belongs to what is “constitutive of the Church”. Writings of the Fathers of the Church show evidence of the experience of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the dialogue members studied the texts to which they referred and other early texts to determine whether they might provide a bridge between two communities. This new energy which is the fruit of prayer together with ecumenical partners, a growing appreciation of the dedication of colleagues, and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, have contributed greatly to progress achieved and hope received through the human response to divine grace and the prayer of Jesus “that all may be one”.
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 blessedsacrament.com. Questions and comments are welcome.
Saint Ann’s Shrine by Linda Hensley
Father Anthony Schueller SSS and I gave a radio interview before Saint Ann’s Feast Day on 1330 AM (WINT) in Cleveland, Ohio with host Carol Ganser on her program, “What Women Want.” I was captivated by Father Tony’s discussion with Carol and would like to share some of it with you here. “…Saint Ann is a person who is a little bit shrouded in mystery because in ancient times they didn’t keep birth Father Schueller & Carol Ganser during radio interview records and death records the way we do now. Saint Asked about Saint Ann’s Blessed Ann is not mentioned at all in the Bible, but she is mentioned in… the Proto Oil, Father Anthony said, “Yes, this Gospel of Saint James, which kind of details the home life of Mary. A home is a Sacramental of the Church, just centered on the covenant – Israel’s covenant with God – with faithfulness to as a rosary is, holy water – these are it, communicating the traditions of Israel. Ann and her husband Joachim are special ways that God conveys His mentioned very prominently in this, and in the story of Mary’s preparation to grace, and communicates His presence be the Mother of Jesus. So [Saint Ann is] a little shrouded in mystery, but I to us in our need. This particular oil think those who come to the Masses during the Triduum begin to understand can be used by individuals at home, her and to feel her closeness to people. they can anoint themselves or a family member and pray with the person and …the term Novena, is a nine-day intensive prayer devoted to a particular need, ask God to bless this person, again in seeking the intercession of a saint or the direct assistance of God. The original whatever way he or she most needs Novena in Christianity was the 10 days between the Ascension of Jesus and God’s healing.” the descending of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. What we have at Saint Ann’s Shrine is called the Triduum, which basically means three days. It’s more Father Schueller explained how the condensed, three days of prayer in honor of Saint Ann. various dioceses and the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament work together. …Grandmothers have a special relationship with their children and “We serve in the diocese of Cleveland, grandchildren, and to show the tenderness of God and the concern of God, and because we serve the parish and even for the smallest among us, we have a ceremony of blessing children and other institutions and ministries here, babies, a very beautiful thing… another ceremony… is the Anointing of the we always do so at the request and Sick, and again it expresses the tenderness of God and the concern of God with the blessing of the Bishop, and of that we be whole, both in body, mind and spirit. There will be the veneration course we follow diocesan policy. of the relic [and] a beautiful candle light procession.” When asked about the anointing of the sick, “Is it really hands on?” Father Schueller responded, “Very hands on, in my ministry as a priest it’s one of the most beautiful and evocative moments. It’s a very tender moment when you speak to the individual, pray with him or her and then you anoint the person with the blessed oil. It’s a Sacrament of the Church, and again it expresses the tenderness of God, the healing power of God. God is a healer. God is one who wants us to, as Jesus said… give us abundant life, that we might live life fully and joyfully.”
World-wide there are about a 1,000 Blessed Sacrament priests and brothers in 30 counties. We have about a dozen provinces around the world. We’re growing especially in Asia right now. Many, many vocations, young Continued on next page... 13
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Saint Ann’s Shrine...Continued from previous page enthusiastic priests and brothers joining the Congregation.” Many people are unable to travel to Cleveland for the Triduum or to New York City for the Saint Ann Novena, and Father Anthony spoke about the ministry of Saint Ann’s Shrine. “One of the things that happens is people are often burdened and feel a sense of isolation. I think our ministry is an attempt to reach out to them, to support them emotionally and spiritually, and to pray for whatever healing they need most in their lives. God is close to them. There’s an old saying that a mother is the expression of God’s care for a child, the grandmother is also a special expression of God’s care for grandchildren. We believe that God communicates through people in our lives, works through people by their presence, their care, their compassion and understanding.” Incidentally, Carol Ganser who led the radio interview in Cleveland is mother to a different Father Anthony in the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, Father Anthony Marshall SSS. Father Marshall presided over this year’s Triduum in Cleveland, Ohio and also gave a radio interview on his mother’s program. Father Anthony Schueller SSS will preside over the Triduum in Cleveland next year.
t Father Anthony Marshall SSS with his parents Carol & Duane Ganser qFather Anthony Schueller SSS Anointing at Annual Triduum
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 Telephone: 440-449-2700 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.st-ann-shrine.org
Get to Know Father Thomas Smithson SSS Father Thomas Smithson’s vocational story is filled with surprising twists and turns, all of which eventually led him to the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament and to the priesthood. Tom, a native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, is the youngest of three brothers. His mother Josephine was from North Dakota and was a mixture of Chippewa and French stock. Tom’s dad Leslie hailed from an Illinois farm family of English descent. He owned several stores which sold Native American curios – pottery, jewelry, and rugs. Later, when illness forced Leslie to close his last store, Josephine opened her own store where she made Southwestern fiesta dresses. Father Tom attended both Catholic and public schools in Albuquerque. Following graduation from high school, he joined the Air Force and worked in hospital administration. His tour of duty took him to Travis Air Force Base near San Francisco, Yokota, Japan, outside Tokyo, and briefly to Suwon, Korea. While in Japan, he also worked as a bartender and tutored Japanese businessmen in conversational English. After time in the service, Tom interviewed for a job with the Albuquerque Publishing Company which published the city’s two daily newspapers. Thus he began working in newspaper advertising, a job he really enjoyed. Eventually Tom would work his way up in the company to manage the national advertising department. He was active in the New Mexico Advertising Federation, serving on its Board of Directors and later as its President. Tom always assumed he would retire at the newspaper, but after living life in the “fast lane” and traveling to many cities nationwide, he says, “I began to think that there was something more to life.” Tom spent his final four years at the newspaper discerning a new career. In 1993, Tom resigned his job to join the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. Even though the thought of undertaking college studies did not appeal to him, he started undergraduate studies during his initial formation process in New York City. After his novitiate year in Australia with other members of the Congregation, Tom attended the Congregation’s theologate, Catholic Theological Union in Chicago where he was awarded a Master of Divinity degree from the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. Looking back on his journey, Father Tom says “People often ask me how I came to make the decision to join a Catholic religious order. Well, never in most of my 45 years – yes, that’s correct … I was 45 years old when I joined the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament – had I thought it possible. It wasn’t on a whim that I joined. A series of events was instrumental in my hearing this call to religious life.”
He continues: “During twenty years of working in newspaper advertising, and to some extent living a worldly and materialistic type of lifestyle, my relationship with God received very little attention. I went to church on Sunday; however, I was a nominal Catholic – the last one in the church and the first one out the door. I was going through the motions. Eventually, though, my relationship with God reached a turning point.” “Three moments stand out in my life. The first was when I was returning from a party, one of many I attended. I realized that I wasn’t having fun anymore. So I decided to withdraw from the party scene. The second moment was when I thought about wanting to do something more significant with my life. As much as I enjoyed my advertising career, I didn’t think it was going to fulfill that need. But I had no idea what I wanted to do. The third moment was when a co-worker, with whom I used to have frequent chats at the office, began to speak to me about Jesus. This was most uncharacteristic Continued on next page... 15
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Vocation Views...Continued from previous page of her, as she also attended some of the same parties that I went to.” “As Debi talked about her newfound relationship with God and her church involvement, I could see a glow of peacefulness and excitement come over her. After a few weeks of listening to her, I began to seriously think about my own relationship with God. I realized that the wonderful relationship I had with God as a child was missing. I didn’t know very much about God or about my Catholic faith. I was deceiving myself in thinking that I had a relationship with God. How can anyone have a relationship with someone if you don’t spend time with that person? Then I made the most important and sincere prayer of my entire life: ‘Lord, I don’t know you very well, teach me about yourself!’” “A lot of things happened after that. I began to re-prioritize. Debi gave me a Bible (I couldn’t find one at home). It took me awhile – about three months – but once I opened it I couldn’t put it down. I was also drawn to read more about the Catholic faith. Gradually, I became more active in my own parish and came to meet and enjoy the friendship of many of the parishioners. My interests shifted from the things I used to do, to spending more time in church activities and helping out wherever I could.” “I also began to pray in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. God and I have had many wonderful conversations, and God has shown me how valuable and loved I am in his eyes. Sometimes we can be very hard on ourselves when we don’t measure up to our ideals.” Some important events and people brought Father Tom to the Congregation 16
of the Blessed Sacrament. He received an unexpected invitation to inquire about religious life and the priesthood – which came through a parish vocation program. That got him thinking. A meeting was scheduled with the Vocation Director of the Congregation. “I was made to feel that there was no pressure, and allowed the freedom to say I was not interested.” Because he hadn’t attended college, the invitation sat on the table for three years until Father Joseph Bernier SSS again pressed it. With Father Joe’s help, Tom undertook a year of serious vocational discernment. He read various books and talked to a lot of people in the Archdiocese and in other religious Congregations. It resulted in a commitment to pursue the dream of religious life and the priesthood. “I have found peace and fulfillment in my life by getting involved. It has been like peeling off the mask and being myself for the first time in my life. This journey has been exciting and joyful, and it has also been the most challenging part of my life, even dangerous at times and sorrowful. But it has also been the best of times – meeting wonderful people, sharing and working on a variety of projects, and seeing the love and compassion of God in so many ways.”
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
Published on Nov 1, 2014
Published on Nov 1, 2014
This is a newsletter for family and friends of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament USA Province of St. Ann