t h e m a g a z i n e o f C at h o l i c m i s s i o n e r s t o r u r a l A m e r i c a
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Volunteers serve others, impact lives from new program location on Tennessee’s Joppa Mountain
Hollywood comes to Big Stone Gap Author Adriana Trigiani’s film brings novel to the big screen
Glenmary Home Missioners Founded by Father William Howard Bishop in 1939, this Catholic society of priests and brothers, along with numerous coworkers, establishes the Catholic Church in smalltown and rural America. Glenmary is the only religious community devoted exclusively to serving the spiritually and materially poor in the rural U.S. home missions. Today, supported entirely through freewill offerings, it staffs missions and ministries throughout Appalachia and the South. Glenmary missioners serve in areas where less than three percent of the population is Catholic, a significant percentage have no church affiliation and the Father William poverty rate is almost twice the national average. Glenmary is Howard Bishop known for deeply respecting the Glenmary Founder many cultures encountered in the home missions—Appalachian, Native American, African American and Latino among others. Its missionary activity includes building Catholic communities, fostering ecumenical cooperation, evangelizing the unchurched, social outreach and working for justice.
Glenmary Challenge This quarterly magazine has three goals: to educate Catholics about the U.S. home missions, to motivate young men to consider Glenmary priesthood or brotherhood, and to invite all Catholics to respond to their baptismal call to be missionary by partnering with Glenmary as financial contributors, prayer partners, professional coworkers and/or volunteers. Glenmary Challenge is sent to all donors, to U.S. diocesan clergy and to anyone who requests it. (To begin receiving issues, use the contact information below.) Publisher: Father Chet Artysiewicz Editor: Jean Bach Assistant Editor: Dale Hanson Art Director: Tricia Sarvak Staff Writers: Margaret Gabriel, Father John S. Rausch Planning-Review Board: Father Bob Dalton, Father Gus Guppenberger, Brother Jack Henn, Brother Curt Kedley, Patrick McEntee, Kathy O’Brien, Susan Sweet, Father Don Tranel
Glenmary Home Missioners P.O. Box 465618 • Cincinnati, OH 45246-5618 513-874-8900 • 800-935-0975 www.glenmary.org • firstname.lastname@example.org © 2014, Glenmary Home Missioners. Reprint permission granted upon request.
Anniversary and film-making FROM THE EDITOR / Jean Bach
lenmary is celebrating in 2014! (See story on page 7.) This year marks the 75th anniversary of Glenmary’s founding. As you will see in this issue and those throughout the year, we are taking this opportunity to look back at the society’s first 75 years. We are also celebrating the work being done today—and planning for the future work to be done—by the priests, brothers and lay coworkers who have devoted their lives to furthering Father William Howard Bishop’s dream that the Church be present in every U.S. county. Glenmary is planning several events to commemorate the anniversary, including a special dinner on Oct. 18 at which Bishop Joseph Strickland of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, will serve as the keynote speaker. An article about Bishop Strickland can be found in the Winter 2013 issue of Glenmary Challenge (www.glenmary.org/challenge). The following day—the Feast of the North American Martyrs and Glenmary’s Founder’s Day—an anniversary Mass will be celebrated at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral in downtown Cincinnati. All of our supporters and friends are invited to join with us as we give thanks for the blessings of the past and prayerfully prepare for the future.
n this issue’s cover story (page 9), Father John Rausch writes about his experience on the set Jean Bach of Big Stone Gap, a feature movie email@example.com based on Adriana Trigiani’s bestselling novel. He also relates her determination to film it in her childhood hometown of the same name. The story is set in a former Glenmary mission area of Southwest Virginia—where Father John was an associate pastor and Adriana a parishioner. The last of 11 Glenmary missions in this region were returned to the Diocese of Richmond in December 2013 (page 5). about the cover: Some of the cast members of Big Stone Gap (Whoopi Goldberg, John Benjamin Hickey, Jenna Elfman and Ashley Judd) filming in downtown Big Stone Gap, Va. DONATE NOW
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THE MAGAZINE OF C ATHOLI C MISSIONERS TO RURAL AMERI C A
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Vo l u m e 7 7 / N u m b e r 1
9 photo / anthony platt
Hollywood Comes to Big Stone Gap
Some of Hollywood’s well-known actors and actresses—and Father John Rausch—came to Big Stone Gap, Va., to film what author, screenwriter and director Adriana Trigiani calls “a great story.”
Glenmary’s Group Volunteer Program at Joppa Mountain in Tennessee is based on service, prayer and simple living with the goal to help change lives.
Volunteers, Page 15
Departments & columns
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From the President / Father Chet Artysiewicz
We proclaim as one that Christ is “arose” and know that death is not the end.
Glenmary News & Notes
Era in Southwest Virginia ends; land acquired for missions; celebrating 75 years; “Come & See” Glenmary.
Easter cards, Page 8
Take a look back at the first 25 years of Glenmary’s home mission ministry in pictures.
Brother Bernie Stern’s 52 years of ministry were marked by cooking, hospitality, music and prayer.
Brother Bernie, Page 14
Partner in Mission
Missioners’ example and encouragement inspired Don and Nancy Stephan to pursue ministry careers.
Final Words / from our readers
Readers reflect on Glenmary’s mission and the missioners who carry it out.
Stephans, Page 17
from the president / Father Chet Artysiewicz
He is ‘arose’ Proclaiming as one that Christ is risen and knowing that death is not the end
ome years ago as I was traveling from one of our mission churches to another to celebrate the Resurrection at Easter Masses, a sign in front of a small country church proclaimed “He Is Arose.” While I was initially struck by the unorthodox word construction, as I drove on I reflected on the spirit of the author. Those simple and, no doubt, very sincere words reflect a belief that is true for all of us regardless of our ethnicities, social standings, or grammar and syntax skills: Jesus rose from the dead and the world is forever changed. As seminarians, in preparation for ministering to the sick and dying, my classmates and I were given the task of trying to imagine our own deaths. I couldn’t do it, which is probably not unusual for a healthy 25-year-old. After 40-plus years of experiencing funerals as an officiant and/or mourner, the reality is now easier for me to grasp. While people may struggle with the concept of “salvation” (I’ve often heard: “I’ve never felt ‘lost’ so why do I need to be ‘saved’?”), the experience of death is universal. We all can identify with the grieving because we too have grieved. Therefore, the Resurrection promise of Easter touches us deeply. We are a Church that utilizes symbols extensively. They are powerful, often communicating when words fall short. One of the most prominent and important symbols in this season is the Paschal Candle. Sooner or later we experience the pain of loss, and what a tremendous consolation it is to see the candle that proclaims Christ is risen and to know that death is not the end! I recall reading an article about ancient Roman tombstones, noting the difference between the pagan and Christian perspectives. Whereas the former’s sentiment was “Farewell” or “Nevermore,” the Christian message was “Alive in the Lord!” or “Till we meet again!” Death is a comma, not a period.
ope Francis has repeated the reminder of his predecessors that the Catholic Church is missionary by nature. This core belief of our faith should be a powerful 4
magnet in attracting people to Christ. After all, who can match an offer like this one: if we are baptized into Christ’s death, we are baptized into his Resurrection. Even the smartest phone in the cosmos can’t do that! This Easter, numerous people will be received into the Catholic Church at Glenmary mission parishes. Some may have had few associations with any churches, and others may hail from faith traditions that introduced them to Christ and wonderfully nur- Father Chet Artysiewicz tured that relationship. But no matter what the back- firstname.lastname@example.org ground of these new Catholics, their entry into the Church doesn’t mark the end of their journeys but just the beginning. To be “salt of the earth…light of the world” (Mt 5:13-14), with all its implications, becomes the task of the newly baptized as they join with other believers on their faith journeys. For our pastoral ministers, the baptism and reception of new members into the Catholic Church is a joyous highlight of the year. I wish you could personally witness this joy and experience the welcome that these new Catholics receive in our mission communities. But here are two facts: All those entering the Church at Glenmary missions this year— and in the previous 74 years of our home mission ministry—have the opportunity because the Church is present in their counties. And that presence is made possible only through the labors of our missioners, which you so generously support.
hank you for your ongoing assistance which makes our mission efforts possible. In the midst of your own grieving for departed loved ones, may this season bring you hope and peace as you recall the words from a Preface used for a Mass for the Dead: “For your faithful people, Lord, life is changed, not ended.” He is indeed “arose.” Happy Easter! DONATE NOW
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Dungannon and Gate City missions among Glenmary’s earliest [virginia] An era in Glenmary’s 75-year history ended on Dec. 29, 2013, when Father Rollie Hautz presided at the final Mass celebrated by a Glenmarian at St. Patrick Church in Dungannon, Va. Both St. Patrick and St. Bernard in nearby Gate City were returned to the pastoral care of the Diocese of Richmond at the end of 2013, and Glenmary’s almost 70year history in Southwest Virginia came to a close. Father Rollie, 86, had served as pastor of the two missions since 1998. The mission at Dungannon was started in
When Glenmarians arrived that year, Catholics living in this Appalachian region numbered about 150. Taking that into account, Glenmary’s founder, Father William Howard Bishop, sent priests and brothers of his newly established home mission society to the counties located in the westernmost part of Virginia. Initially, the missioners introduced themselves—and Catholicism—through tent and street preaching. In 1945, a mission was established in Norton. Soon after, a number of other missions, including Dungannon and Gate City, were last mass: Father Rollie Hautz—assisted by launched. Father Neil Pezzulo, Glenmary’s first vice presiGlenmary has led and dent—presided at the last Mass celebrated by a developed 11 Catholic Glenmarian at St. Patrick Church in Dungannon, communities in the reVa. This mission, as well as St. Bernard in nearby gion. Of those 11, eight Gate City, was returned to the pastoral care of the still serve area Catholics Diocese of Richmond on Dec. 29. today. “Our years in Southwest Virginia almost 1947 from a base mission Dungannon and Gate match the years we’ve in Norton. The iconic City have been constants been in existence,” says Dungannon log church in Scott County and have Father Chet Artysiewicz, that served Cath- readily answered the president of Glenmary. olics in the area challenge to spread the “The region will alwas built that good news. ways hold a very special same year. Prior to 1945, South- place in the hearts of all A l t h o u g h west Virginia was one of our missioners because few in number, the least Catholic regions it’s one of the first areas Catholics in both in the United States. we served, and it was during a visit to the region that our founder, Father Bishop, died. “It’s now time for us Virginia legacy: A quilt displayed at to move on to other arthe Jubilee House Retreat and Conference eas where the Church is Center in Abingdon, Va., colorfully repreyet to be established, as sents the Catholic Church in Southwest Southwest Virginia was Virginia. The highlighted blocks identify 5 S pmissions. r i n g 2 0 1 4 G l e n in m a1945.” ry Challenge eight former Glenmary photo / courtesy Don Lucas
Last Virginia missions turned back to diocese
photo / courtesy jubilee house
m i ss i o n s
news & notes
m i ss i o n g r o w t h
Missions reach milestones Tennessee acreage obtained for future churches [tennessee] Blessed Teresa of Calcutta mission in Maynardville, Tenn., and Blessed John Paul II mission in Rutledge have reached milestones in their two-year histories. In January 2014, land was acquired for both missions to build churches. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta will eventually build on almost 25 acres in Union County and Blessed John Paul II will expand on more than nine acres in Grainger County. The properties were pur-
chased with the help of the Diocese of Knoxville’s Catholic Foundation of East Tennessee. According to the missions’ pastor, Father Steve Pawelk, members of both communities are working to raise money for their respective building funds. Storefront buildings currently serve as their worship spaces. The Maynardville mission has shown the most growth. Twenty-six people gathered for the first Mass in 2011. In 2013, an average of 149 people attended Mass each weekend.
stablishing a Glenmary Gift Annuity will help ensure that Glenmary missioners can continue sharing the gospel message in the U.S. home missions. The gift annuity provides you income for life and helps support Glenmary’s future missionary efforts.
“He said to them,
‘Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.’” Mark 16:15
For more information about a Glenmary Gift Annuity, contact: Susan Lambert Planned Giving Officer 800-935-0975 email@example.com
Calculations are not meant to give legal or accounting advice. A donor should seek the guidance of an estate and/or tax professional to understand the consequences of a gift. All information is strictly confidential. Glenmary gift annuities are not issued in Hawaii or Alabama.
Around the Missions More than 80 people from Blessed John Paul II and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta missions in East Tennessee attended the Diocese of Knoxville’s Eucharistic Congress in September of last year. They were among 5,000 people who attended the event celebrating the diocese’s 25th anniversary. Attendees were renewed in their faith and listened to speakers including Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York. Father Vic Subb concelebrated the dedication Mass for the new Holy Spirit Church in Hamburg, Ark., on Oct. 13, 2013. The mission community was begun by Glenmary in 1984 and was returned to the Diocese of Little Rock for continued pastoral care in 2003. Father Vic served as its first pastor. The dedication Mass, celebrated by Bishop Anthony B. Taylor of the Diocese of Little Rock, was the culmination of the community’s journey from gathering in a ramshackle structure to gathering in an 8,000-square-foot remodeled store. The new complex has worship, meeting and classroom spaces. Brother Virgil Siefker is the newest member of the Windsor (N.C.) Lions Club, which celebrated its 50th anniversary of “service to the county, state and nation” last November. And Brother Craig Digmann is the newest member of the Grainger County (Tenn.) Senior Citizen Board. The Catholic Community of Bertie County in eastern North Carolina has a new name. On Christmas Day, the nineyear-old mission community became known as Holy Spirit Catholic Church. After many suggestions, the top three names were voted on by members of the community, with “Holy Spirit” receiving the most votes. Father Mike Kerin, the mission’s pastor, then submitted the name to Bishop Michael Burbidge for his approval. A celebration was held following the Mass on Christmas Day, which is also the date of the mission’s founding. DONATE NOW
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photo / Glenmary Archives
early days: Glenmary’s founder, Father William Howard Bishop (right), and Father Raphael Sourd pose with the mobile chapel that helped early Glenmary missioners bring the Mass and the Catholic Church to missionary regions of the South and Appalachia. d i a m o n d j u b i l ee
Glenmary celebrates 75 years of home mission ministry 2014 dedicated to celebrating the past and present and looking to future missionary outreach [ohio] Glenmary turns 75 in 2014! The weekend of Oct. 18-19 will mark the culmination of the religious society’s celebration of its diamond jubilee year. An anniversary dinner will be held on Saturday, Oct. 18, at Xavier University’s Cintas Center in Cincinnati. And on Sunday, Oct. 19— Glenmary’s Founder’s Day and the Feast of the North American Martyrs—a 75th anniversary Mass will be celebrated by Cincinnati Archbishop Dennis Schnurr at 2 p.m. at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral in downtown Cincinnati. “This anniversary is a milestone for our community,” says Father Chet Artysiewicz, president of Glenmary. “Since our founding, we have w w w. g l e n m a r y. o r g
be done to fulfill our founder’s dream that one day the Church be present in every U.S. county.” Throughout the year, the anniversary will be celebrated at annual events as well as in special publications—both electronic and printed. “In the next decade and beyond, we will continue to follow in the footsteps of our predecessors,” says Father Chet, “as we move forward in establishing Catholic communities and ecumenical cooperation, evangelizing the unchurched and providing social outreach to all those in need.”
successfully established more than 100 Catholic churches in counties where, prior to the arrival of our missioners, the Church was not effectively present.” When Father William Howard Bishop founded Glenmary in Cincinnati in 1939, there were 1,022 U.S. counties without a resident priest. Today, in the southern United States alone, there are still more than 350 counties with no Catholic congregation or resident pastoral minister. “This year we will celebrate our past,” Father Chet says, “and continue to remain focused on meeting the spiritual and material needs of those living in our current mission areas as well as planning for the future. “There’s still much work to Spring 2014
for more information: Contact Lucy Putnam at 800-9350975 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the anniversary Mass and dinner.
news & notes
v o ca t i o n s
Mission trips and magazine designed to help discerners Many resources available to those considering missionary priesthood and brotherhood [ohio] Glenmary’s Vocation Office offers Come & See experiences several times each year for men, ages 18-46, considering missionary priesthood or brotherhood. Led by vocation team members, these three- or four-day trips allow participants to visit missions; meet with Glenmarians, Glenmary students, lay coworkers, those living in the missions, and fellow discerners; and join in liturgies and sometimes service work—such as volunteering at a house construction site. “Our missions are located in remote rural areas of Appalachia
and the South,” says Brother David Henley, director of the vocation program. “We have always encouraged discerners to experience the missions firsthand so they’ll eventually be able to answer the question ‘Can I see myself in this type of ministry?’” The weekends also have a retreat-like component that allows time for prayer, reflection and sharing. “In case of time conflicts, we can arrange for a Come & See experience to fit an individual’s schedule,” Brother David says. “After an adult discerner participates in a Come & See, he is
share easter blessings with family, friends: Glenmary’s
2014 Easter card (above), which features an original watercolor by California artist Jennifer Greene, is now available. Those who send or receive the card will be remembered in Glenmary’s Easter novena. Cards, in packs of five, are free upon request. A suggested donation of $5 will help cover printing and mailing costs. For more information, contact Jennifer Snedigar at 800-935-0975 or email@example.com.
welcome to later arrange for a weeklong experience in one mission to get an even better feel for the rhythm of mission life.” Come & See is also the title of a publication that gives vocation prospects an overview of the Glenmary community, the society’s home mission ministry and the formation program. It answers many questions frequently asked by discerners. Glenmary overview: This s u p p o r t - publication invites ers, family discerners to “Come m e m b e r s , & See” Glenmary and p a s t o r s , experience home teachers and mission ministry. fellow parishioners play crucial roles in promoting religious vocations to young people. “It’s important to encourage young men—those who have the qualities to be Glenmary missioners—to explore their possible vocation call by attending a Come & See mission experience and reading our Come & See publication,” Brother David says. “And, as always, prayers for vocations are needed now as much as ever.” for more information: To learn more about future Come & See mission trips or to receive copies of Come & See, contact Brother David at 800-935-0975 or firstname.lastname@example.org. DONATE NOW
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photos / beth dodson brown
downtown: Residents of Big Stone Gap, Va., became accustomed to seeing movie crews and Hollywood actors and actresses in their town while Big Stone Gap was filmed last fall. The real-life Mutual Pharmacy (above), where the film’s heroine, Ave Maria Mulligan, works as a pharmacist, closed last summer.
Hollywood Comes to
BIG STONE GAP By Father John S. Rausch
etween scenes on the movie set of Big Stone Gap, folks engaged in idle chatter awaiting their call, trying to look ready and stay perky. Wearing my collar, I sidled up to actress and comedian Whoopi Goldberg, who plays Fleeta Mullins in the film version of the Adriana (Adri) Trigiani novel. Seeing me, she cheerfully volunteered that she attended Catholic school in San Diego. “Hey, I really like our new Pope Francis,” she remarked. I met and talked with her and several other well-known actors and actresses last fall when they descended on Southwest Virginia to film the movie in Big Stone Gap. I found myself taking part in the film at the invitation of Adri, who is also the film’s director
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and screenwriter. A former Glenmary mission member and longtime friend, she asked me to portray the priest who ministers to the heroine of the movie. Adri justified my acting credentials to cast members with a head gesture of nonchalance, saying, “He’s my childhood priest!” The screenplay and novel reflect Adri’s experience of growing up Catholic and “Eye-talian” in the former Glenmary mission area of on set: Father John Big Stone Gap, where Catholics Rausch tries out were few and local residents sel- Adriana Trigiani’s dom understood her faith or cul- director’s chair tural background. The story while on location. Spring 2014
Additional head here
‘childhood pastor’: As a child growing up in Big Stone Gap, Va., Adriana and her large ItalianAmerican family were members of Glenmary’s mission in nearby Norton, where Father John Rausch served as associate pastor. Their friendship has lasted through the decades.
line centers on Ave Maria Mulligan (played
by Ashley Judd), who tries to discover if she, as a self-proclaimed 40-year-old Catholic spinster, can find romance in a small Appalachian town where her background sets her apart.
met Adri and the Trigiani family when I served as associate pastor of Glenmary’s missions in Norton and Big Stone Gap, Va., in 1972 and 1973. Adri’s father, Tony Trigiani, was the parish council president at St. Anthony mission in Norton. Although there was a modern multipurpose church in Big Stone Gap, Tony preferred to attend Mass with his family in the traditional wooden-frame structure of St. Anthony with its statues and stained glass. He also chaired the Republican Party of Wise County in the late 1970s and invited then-Senate candidate John Warner to campaign in the region. Adri has a photo of her dad with his arms around Warner and his then-wife, Elizabeth Taylor. The couple are included in the book and movie: Adri wove into the story line both the visit and an incident when Elizabeth choked on a chicken bone at Fraley’s Coach House restaurant.
dri was born in Roseto, Pa., a heavily Catholic area, and attended Our Lady of Mount Carmel Elementary School for one year before her family moved in 1966 to Big Stone Gap and Wise County, which had a minus-
cule Catholic population of 1 percent. As she grew up, she had to answer the taunts of classmates because of her Catholic faith while they, from a literalist understanding, recited Bible verses at her. “My parents were never ashamed of their faith,” she says. “The first prayer my father had his children learn was the Prayer of St. Francis. We each had to write it about 500 times. We said it at every meal.” As a teenager Adri used her Catholic connection to help a friend who became pregnant at 14. “I took her up to the sisters at St. Mary’s Hospital,” Adri says. “She didn’t feel comfortable turning to her own pastor, so I said, ‘The nuns will take you.’” The sisters helped with prenatal care for the girl and the baby. In 1948 Glenmary Father Joe Dean arranged for the Poor Servants of the Mother of God, an order of Catholic nursing sisters from Ireland, to start this hospital in Norton, 12 miles from Big Stone Gap. Their devotion to the people over the years, in tandem with Glenmary ministries, led to quantum leaps in the acceptance of Catholics in the area. While still in high school, Adri worked as a news reporter at the local Norton radio station, WNVA. She enjoyed doing interviews, but some of her experiences seared deeply into her soul. In 1977 a double tragedy gripped the area: a devastating flood and a mine disaster. “Because of my past reporting,” she recalls, “they allowed me to go to the meeting of the families that was not open to other press. I got to do a story. Those faces still haunt me—the desperation of ‘what are we going to do?’”
oday, with her husband, Tim Stephenson, and their adorable daughter, Lucia, Adri lives in New York City in the West Village near the Hudson River, about a mile the beginning: from Ground Zero. A member Adriana first wrote of Pax Christi USA, a Catholic Big Stone Gap as a peace fellowship, she has de- screenplay. She later veloped a peace-centered spiri- turned it into a besttuality that becomes oxygen for selling novel. anyone breathing the sooty air of violence. She remembers that in the aftermath of 9/11, Mass was celebrated every day at Ground Zero. “Everyone stopped and listened to the Word. And I thought, ‘Hmm, here’s a little ritual that DONATE NOW
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‘I wanted to dramatize Southwest Virginia the way I saw it...and tell a great story.’ has survived a couple thousand years and still has meaning in times of desolation and violence. Those simple little words, those simple little actions, the Breaking of Bread right there…it sort of renewed me. “Here’s why I can’t give up on the Catholic Church,” she says. “It’s where I learned how to pray. I feel that there is a constant engine going within me that is connected to God. I feel an exchange, and I connect it very much to my artistic sensibility.”
ach day on the movie set, the “Crew Call” was posted, listing the order of scenes and the actors involved. Of the 18 scenes scheduled to be shot on an early November day, mine was 17! After 12 hours of production, I still awaited my call at 2 a.m. An exhausted Jenna Elfman (who plays Iva Lou Wade), also scheduled for my scene, looked at me and remarked, “Glamorous life, isn’t it?” Our call came at 2:30 a.m., when Adri positioned me in a chair next to Ave Maria (Ashley Judd), lying comatose in bed because of a nervous breakdown. The scene is this: friends have called a priest to pray for her, and Iva Lou and Theodore (played by John Benjamin Hickey) watch, but they can’t understand the priest’s prayer. I suggested, to explain the confusion, that I say the Lord’s Prayer in Latin, and Adri gleefully cheered. So in the scene I pray, “Pater noster, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum....” As the action continues, Iva Lou and Theodore look at one another, utterly confused. “We shoulda got a Pentecostal in here,” Iva Lou says. “We need a pipeline to the heavenly hosts. We need us some noise, some speakin’ in tongues or something dramatic. Father John’s a mumbler!”
oupled with her writing and directing skills, Adri’s magnetic personality draws people in. Jenna Elfman refers to her as “a new best friend,” and Mary Pat Gleason, who plays Aunt Alice, says Adri “has an ability to read people, which is one of the most important aspects of a director.” The movie could have been made years ago if Adri had consented to filming it overseas. But she was doggedly determined to have the movie filmed in Southwest Virginia and to bring an economic stimulus to her hometown, which faces the slump of a depressed coal industry and vacant storefronts. She explained her commitment in area meetings and encouraged local folks to
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stimulus: Big Stone Gap and Wise County re-
ceived boosts to their local economies due to the monthlong filming of Big Stone Gap. In addition, local residents were hired as extras.
sign up as extras, which they did. She often says of her hometown and the Southwest Virginia area: “This is a place that can fill you with longing.” The line touches something deep inside her. Seemingly Adri has taken the taunts and slights she experienced growing up as a Catholic in a non-Catholic area and turned them into strengths. “Because we were labeled as different, I learned that being around people who are not all alike is a precious thing.” She wrote the screenplay because she “wanted to dramatize Southwest Virginia the way I saw it...and basically as an artist, to tell a great story. It’s really important to me.”
he location shooting ended on Nov. 14 and the film is currently being edited. No release date has been set, although Adri hopes it will be in theaters in 2014. In an interview with a Richmond, Va., newspaper, she sums up her feelings about the movie: “There’s a line in the movie that says, ‘True love energizes you, and all the other kinds exhaust you.’ I’m really energized by this. I can’t say in words…what it was. The closest thing I can say is childbirth. Years of planning…and then the baby shows up.” Spring 2014
Laying the foundation Looking back at the first 25 years of Glenmary Home Missioners
eginning with this issue and continuing through the Autumn issue, this section of Glenmary Challenge will be devoted to celebrating in photos Glenmary’s 75 years of home mission ministry in 25-year increments. The section in the Winter issue will feature a pictorial of Glenmary’s home mission ministry today and look to the future. The first 25 years of Glenmary were filled with rapid growth in membership within the society and the establishment of missions in 12 states. It was also the era in which the society’s founder, Father William Howard Bishop, died suddenly after overseeing his home mission society for only 14 years. The strides made in Glenmary’s first 25 years laid the foundation for the ministry of Father Bishop’s “apostles of peace on earth,” whom he charged with the “temporal and spiritual works of mercy, feeding and clothing the hungry and naked, ministering to the wounded and sick... and loving the poor and the underprivileged.”
1940: Father Raphael Sourd, Glenmary’s first or-
dained member, drives Father Bishop in the “Sound Wagon,” a station wagon with attached speakers. The missioners used the speakers to announce the times and places for tent meetings in mission counties. The meetings were a key way missioners introduced themselves and the Church in areas where, oftentimes, no resident had ever met a Catholic.
1942: Father Bishop (center, back) poses with the
members of Glenmary’s first mission community, St. John the Evangelist, in Sunfish, Ky. That same year, the society’s motherhouse was dedicated in Glendale, Ohio. Two years later, missions in South Georgia were established, followed by the opening of missions in Southwest Virginia in 1945. Missioners would also serve and open missions in Ohio and South Carolina during this decade.
1947: Membership expanded to include brothers when
Glenmary’s first brother, Vince Wilmes, joined. Brothers Larry Jochim, Tom Kelly, and Vince (kneeling, left to right) profess their Glenmary Oaths before Father Bishop. Father Bill Smith is in the background.
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1950: Father Bishop often spoke about the 1950: Father Bishop breaks ground for the new
Our Lady of the Fields Seminary. Construction was completed in 1952 with the laying of the cornerstone. A year later, Father Bishop died suddenly during a visit to the Southwest Virginia missions. During the 1950s, Glenmarians spread out into mission areas in four additional states: Oklahoma, North Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.
need to “catch up” mission kids who didn’t have the opportunity for a Catholic school education. Missioners like Father Francis Wuest (center, front) found creative ways to pass on the faith, including this “vacation school” in Appalachia, Va. The children gathered during their winter break from school to study their copies of The New Baltimore Catechism.
1962: Fathers Jim Kelly, Raphael
Sourd and Clem Borchers pose at the construction site of the new Headquarters building dedicated this year. Following Father Bishop’s death, Father Borchers became the superior general and saw the need to move from the white farmhouse (in the background), which had served as the first motherhouse, to a more modern building. The community began outreach efforts in Pennsylvania in 1962 and expanded to Arkansas and Texas in 1963.
1964: For 25 years, Glenmary priests and brothers had worked to introduce the Catholic Church to those like these boys at a county fair in Pennington Gap, Va. Information booths, tent preaching and Gospel sing-alongs were some of the more unique ways the message was shared. Missioners and lay coworkers also made U.S. Catholics more aware of mission needs in the United States through publications, parish and school visits, and vocation and ministry fairs.
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Brother Bernie Stern, 1937-2014
Ministry marked by hospitality A remembrance / Father John S. Rausch
Missioner used cooking, music and prayer to minister to and serve others
rother Bernie Stern taught me how to dice an onion and make a roux, two of the most essential and frequent chores of cooking. As a novice in 1965, I took my assignment of kitchen duty seriously under the tutelage of “Brother B,” who served the people by serving meals. Brother Bernie, 76, a native of Dayton, Ky., and a missioner for 52 years, died Jan. 5 at a Cincinnati health care facility. He used his talents, which included cooking and music, to serve in a range of Glenmary ministries in five states following his Final Oath in 1965 until 1995, when he took senior membership due to declining health. Brother Bernie’s interest in cooking began when he was a young man helping his dad— a well-known chef in the Greater Cincinnati area—in the kitchen. A cookbook written by his father, which the family published posthumously, is filled with the German and American recipes that I loved as I grew up in Philadelphia.
y classmates and I spent our novitiate year living on a farm 200 feet above the Ohio River in Aurora, Ind. For that year, we lived apart from the world. We had classes in
a ministry of service: During his time as chef
at Glenmary Headquarters, Brother Bernie made sure his fellow missioners were well-fed.
the morning and work assignments in the afternoon, with an hour for recreation and plenty of time for prayer and study. Brother Bernie had just taken his Final Oath when he found himself overseeing the kitchen at the novitiate. He patiently showed us the art of making soups and sauces, preparing vegetables and braising meats. Although his assignment read “Chef at the Novitiate,” in reality his job focused more on making our culinary mistakes palatable! Brother Brother Bernie bought stale Bernie Stern: Danish from the local bakery to Missioner, chef serve us on Sunday. He would and musician. sprinkle them with water, shove them into a 325-degree oven for seven minutes, and voila, nearly fresh, luscious pastries. Almost monthly, he made his legendary pizza. I still have the recipe for his pizza sauce that makes enough for eight large pizzas. We novices gobbled them up with nary a slice remaining.
rother Bernie was a gentle and holy man, and hospitality became a trademark of his ministry. After the novitiate assignment, he cooked at Glenmary Headquarters and at various missions, where he also used his gift of music to play the accordion at liturgies and social gatherings. He continued his music ministry as a senior member living in retirement communities by leading sing-alongs or simply providing music for the enjoyment of residents. Toward the end of his life when he became incapacitated by illness, Brother Bernie’s ministry turned to contemplation and prayer. He told folks he would pray for them—and they could depend on his word. The biblical story of Martha and Mary portrays Mary as the contemplative and Martha as the doer. But prayer and hospitality can never be separated. Brother Bernie knew this. As a missioner, he successfully combined his prayer life and dedication to God with serving and cooking for others. DONATE NOW
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photos / courtesy Glenmary Group Volunteer Program
JOPPA Glenmary’s Group Volunteer Program has expanded to a new site on Joppa Mountain in Grainger County, Tenn. Based on service, prayer and simple living, the mission immersion experience offers volunteers the opportunity to help change lives—both their own and the lives of those they serve. By Jean Bach
volunteers: Members of St. Peter the Apostle Church in River Edge, N.J., were among the first volunteers to take part in the Group Volunteer Program in East Tennessee. They helped staff the day camp for migrant workers’ children (top) and assisted with home repairs during their time of service in Grainger and Union counties. The schedules for Glenmary’s Kentucky and Tennessee volunteer sites are filled through July 2014.
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ach year since becoming the director of Glenmary’s volunteer program in 1999, Joe Grosek has had to turn away Catholic high schools, colleges and parishes interested in taking part in Glenmary’s Group Volunteer Program because the Glenmary Farm in Lewis County, Ky., was booked full. Since the summer of 2013, when a second site for the program was opened in Grainger County, Tenn., he’s had to say no a little less often, although the new location’s schedule is currently booked through July. The site is on nine acres outside of Rutledge, Tenn., on Joppa Mountain. Although it doesn’t yet have an official name, Joe and the Glenmary missioners serving the two-year-old missions in Grainger and nearby Union counties have nicknamed it the Glenmary Group Volunteer Program at “Toppa Joppa.” More than 20,000 high school and collegeaged participants in the Group Volunteer Spring 2014
‘The missioners…have laid the groundwork for this program to…succeed’ Program have traveled to Lewis County over
the past 40 years to take part in a weeklong, retreat-like experience of missionary service to residents; prayer and reflection; immersion into local Appalachian culture; community building; and an environment of simple living. While the program Joe is creating for groups of up to 12 volunteers interested in spending five to seven days serving in Tennessee is patterned after the Kentucky program, there are differences. “The population we are serving in Grainger and Union counties is very diverse,” he says. “Lewis County is 100 percent Appalachian. But here, there’s a mix of cultures ranging from Appalachian to Latino.” While simple living and respect for the environment are stressed making a difference: Beat both sites, cause of the efforts of volunteers there are a few from Bloomsburg University more “luxuries” in (Bloomsburg, Pa.), members Tennessee. “The of two families now have new house and trailer roofs over their heads. on the property are both air-conditioned and have conveniences like microwaves,” Joe says. The configuration of the housing has also made it possible to open the site to adult and multigenerational parish groups.
he Tennessee program launched gradually last summer. Small volunteer groups came each month. They helped Joe identify and develop service opportunities such as opening and staffing a day camp for children of migrant workers laboring in the county. The day camp will start again this summer when the workers arrive to work in the area’s tomato fields. Since last summer, “We’ve been so busy I haven’t really had time to catch my breath,” Joe says. Brother Joe Steen, a member of the Glenmary pastoral team serving both counties, “has 16
more home repair work than he can keep up with, so that has become an important part of our ministry—along with helping staff a food pantry that is run by a nearby Baptist church.” It’s been a bit of a juggling act, Joe says, to develop the new site and keep up with activities at the Glenmary Farm. He oversees both the Kentucky and Tennessee sites, traveling the five hours between the two locations regularly. He is also in daily contact with Farm managers via phone or video conferencing. Things are beginning to come together in Tennessee. A long-term volunteer and a program manager are now on staff. And Joe and his family are preparing to move to their own home after sharing living quarters with volunteers for the past six months. “It’s been a challenge to start this program from scratch and manage the programs at each site,” Joe says, “but it’s been a good challenge. People here have been so welcoming, and I’ve had good volunteers to help us get the program off the ground.” In the future Joe would like to see Tennessee volunteers begin visiting area nursing homes and working at a residence for children at risk. “But right now we need to focus on the service opportunities we’ve identified and make ourselves more known in the counties.”
ince establishing two new mission communities in Union and Grainger counties in 2011, Glenmary missioners have become known through their outreach work and their presence in the communities they serve. And that, Joe says, has helped him and the volunteer program tremendously. “The missioners (Brother Joe Steen, Brother Craig Digmann, Father Steve Pawelk and Father Aaron Wessman) are a tremendous support to me and the program,” Joe says. “They have done so much work in the community and have laid the groundwork for this program to launch and succeed.” It’s exciting, he says, to start the program and to see the new missions become more established in both counties. “We haven’t inherited anything here. It’s all new. It’s up to us to build it up and create a program that has the same life-changing impact on volunteers that the Kentucky program has had.”
for more information: To learn more about serving as a volunteer with Glenmary, please visit www.glenmary.org/volunteer or contact Joe Grosek at email@example.com. DONATE NOW
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Partner in mission / by Dale Hanson
Inspired, nurtured by Glenmary
n 1972, Don and Nancy Stephan moved from Chicago to Pontotoc, Miss., with their two small children after Don’s employer asked him to manage a facility there. Chicago natives and lifelong Catholics, the Stephans moved from a parish of 2,000 people to a 20-member Glenmary mission community that gathered for liturgy in a house trailer. They had never heard of Glenmary. But during the next four decades, becoming part of two Glenmary missions so transformed them that they became exceptionally active in their missions and larger communities. And with Glenmary’s inspiration and help, they eventually became lay pastoral ministers themselves. “We wouldn’t be who we are today without Glenmary’s influence,” says Don, 68. Nancy, 66, remembers the St. Christopher congregation in Pontotoc as “a small, growing mission family that welcomed us very warmly. We (mission members) helped, trusted and shared with one another. We looked forward to being together. And we reached out to others. Don’s and my spiritual lives changed and we became better Catholic Christians.” Over the years, their family got to know and admire Glenmary’s missioners. “They were extremely devoted to the people, were great at relating to them, and lived very frugally,” says Don. “They were very outreach-oriented, too, which rubbed off on everyone.” The Stephans saw that Glenmarians and mission members worked together collaboratively. Missioners used a give-and-take style and encouraged members to do whatever was needed. “That made all the difference,” says Don. As a result, he and Nancy became more involved in ministry than ever before—parish council, religious education, social outreach efforts, Engaged Encounter (facilitators), and more.
n 1987 Don took a new job in Dumas, Ark. But they decided to live 45 minutes away in Monticello and join St. Mark, the Glenmary mission there. And the family gladly took on or led even more ministries and ecumenical community efforts. Father Dan Dorsey, then pastor in Mon-
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ticello, asked Don in 1999 if the couple had thought about becoming lay pastoral ministers. He encouraged them to consider it. “We wanted to give back to others the blessings we received in Glenmary missions, so we really liked his idea,” says Don. “And Glenmary nurtured and helped us.” They proceeded to finish their degree work and, by 2009, Don was prepared to be a lay ecclesial minister and Nancy a parish catechetical leader. Glenmary had no positions open at the time, but Lorraine Vancamp, Glenmary’s director of pastoral ministers and services, suggested they apply for openings at Christ the King Church, a former Glenmary mission in FulLEADERS: Former Glenmary miston, Miss. T hey were sion members Don and Nancy hired and led Stephan served as pastoral leadthat growing ers of a Fulton, Miss., parish. Here diocesan parish they pose in 2012 with parishiofor four years, ner Wanda Heering. while nearby Glenmarians provided sacramental ministry. As Nancy points out, “It wasn’t a Glenmary mission, but it was filled with the Glenmary spirit!” Don says that their mission experiences “helped prepare us, and the Holy Spirit was at work.”
photo / courtesy Don and Nancy Stephan
Missioners’ example, encouragement led couple to pursue pastoral leadership roles
he Stephans, parents of four adult children and grandparents of eight, retired in 2013. They have moved back to Monticello—home of the parish that was formerly a Glenmary mission. “As we learned from Glenmary,” says Nancy, “we’re still organizing and volunteering for ministries to help meet people’s needs.” Spring 2014
final words / from our readers
Reflecting on mission, missioners Remembering priests who have impacted lives and giving thanks for Dungannon right on target
your article in the Winter 2013 Glenmary Challenge entitled “Spreading the Message” (Then and Now) brought back to me many wonderful memories, especially regarding Fathers Pat O’Donnell, Frank Gardner and Rollie Hautz. I greatly appreciated and admired all three. When I worked in the Glenmary Mission Office in the 1950s and 1960s, Father Pat asked me to pose for a picture out in a field on the Glendale, Ohio, property. The photo appeared in the Spring 1960 issue of Glenmary Challenge! In the late 1960s, I was in Hayesville, N.C., and Father Rollie was our kind and very special pastor. These priests certainly spread the home mission message, in my opinion. Now that the methods of communication have greatly changed, Glenmary is, of course, right on target. Thank you for great communication efforts, Then and Now. I love Glenmary and I am thankful for its founder, Father William Howard Bishop. Mary Jane Hack Cincinnati, Ohio
North Carolina and South Carolina. It was quite moving to hear the individual testimonials about how Father Rollie and Glenmary had influenced their Catholic faith. The Mass itself was quite beautiful, with Father Neil Pezzulo (Glenmary’s first vice president) and the new diocesan pastor of the mission participating. It was sad to say goodbye to Dungannon. But, I know what happened there is in the total missionary plan of what Glenmary does. Many times during the day, my thoughts were of Father Pat (Breheny) and my wonderful days in Dungannon, which I will cherish forever. Don Lucas Cincinnati, Ohio
Readers’ Views welcome!
bless father pete
one of your own is serving as our pastor now. I want to thank you all for sending Father Gerry (Pete) Peterson our way. He is a remarkable man. (Editor’s Note: Father Pete, 84, is temporar-
what glenmary does
i traveled to Dungannon, Va., on Dec. 29 to attend the last “Glenmary” Mass at St. Patrick mission. (See story on page 5.) The Mass was well-attended—both by members of the mission and by those from other places who had experienced Father Rollie Hautz (the mission’s longtime pastor) in their lives. Some came from as far away as 18
ily serving as the sacramental minister at St. Henry Church in Rogersville, Tenn.) I’m pretty much homebound due to several health issues. He visited me shortly after his arrival and has continued to do so. His energy at his age has inspired me. As a result, for the first time in ages, I have attended Mass a couple of times. After returning home, I was exhausted, but it was worth it. Without Father Pete I don’t know when I would have tried so hard to make it to church. May God richly bless your important work, and may God especially bless Father Pete. Dennis Phillips Bulls Gap, Tenn.
Send comments to: Editor, Glenmary Challenge, P.O. Box 465618, Cincinnati, OH 45246 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments are printed at the discretion of the editor and may be edited for clarity and space.
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O n line Co nte nts
What’s new Pastoral Coordinator Leads Mission’s Growth As the first full-time, resident pastoral leader at Glenmary’s new Cuthbert, Ga., mission, Susan Sweet is guiding St. Luke’s growth and leading mission members to reach out to the larger community. glenmary.org/mission-growth
Departments Ways to Give
Entire parishes can become partners in Glenmary’s missionary efforts through tithing. glenmary.org/tithing
Pat McEntee describes how discernment can lead to living a beautiful life of service. glenmary.org/beautiful-life
Compare your county to those identified by Glenmary as having great mission need. glenmary.org/mission-need-maps
Attention Glenmary Farm volunteers: help us stay in touch by updating your contact information. glenmary.org/addressupdate
Feature Story Priest Reflects on First Mission Assignment
Father Aaron Wessman has served two East Tennessee missions since his ordination in 2012. His first assignment, he says, has been a “blessing.” glenmary.org/first-year
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photo / courtesy Holy Spirit mission
Glenmary G l i m p s e / Sinulog Festival
embers of Holy Spirit mission (formerly the Catholic Community of Bertie County) in Windsor, N.C., hosted their annual Sinulog celebration on Jan. 19, which drew over 300 people from North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia. The celebration commemorates the Filipino people’s acceptance of Catholicism in 1521 when Spanish explorer Ferdinand Magellan and missionaries arrived on the island of Cebu in the Philippines. He presented a statue of the child Jesus, the Santo Niño (above), to Cebu’s queen when she was baptized. Filipinos in Windsor brought the celebration and devotion from their homeland when they arrived in Bertie County in 2003 to serve as school teachers.
Catholic Missioners to Rural America
Glenmary Home Missioners P.O. Box 465618 Cincinnati, OH 45246-5618