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Message from our Prior General, Father Miguel Miró, OAR PDF Print E-mail
Written by augustinian recollects   
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 17:53

 

WITNESSES OF HOPE

On June 15, in Baeza, Spain, we celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Sister Monica of Jesus, an Augustinian Recollect contemplative nun. Particularly noteworthy in her life were the natural ease and spontaneity with which she spoke about God and spiritual things. She viewed everyday happenings in the light of faith. Her self-giving presence to the sisters in her community, the joy and peace that she exuded, even in times of persecution and war, vividly revealed her love for Christ. The virtues of Sister Monica were approved by Pope Saint John Paul II in 1992, and now we are waiting for a miracle so that she can be beatified.

A few days later I was in the Augustinian Recollect monastery in Monteagudo, Spain, where the mortal remains of Saint Ezekiel Moreno are venerated. In that community fourteen young men from several different countries are completing their novitiate, a year of community experience, and giving direction to their lives along paths of commitment and holiness. The novices transmitted contagious hope and expectation; they gave evidence of their desire to live with consistency their life of prayer, fraternity, and apostolic service. They declared that the revitalization of the Order is their future. In the mystery of the human heart, the Lord continues to call followers to accompany him along different paths and to be witnesses of hope.

And on June 25 I was back in Rome. I had to go to the Congregation of the Saints, together with Father Samson Silloriquez, our councilor in charge of promoting the causes of the saints of the Order, and with his assistant Father Eliseo González. We visited the Prefect of the Congregation, Cardinal Angelo Amato, and presented to him the study of the life and virtues of Bishop Alphonse Gallegos, an Augustinian Recollect and Auxiliary Bishop of Sacramento, California, USA. Bishop Alphonse died in a traffic accident in 1991. We explained to the Cardinal that Bishop Alphonse had a serious problem with his vision and so experienced serious difficulties in his studies. As a priest and a bishop he went out of his way to serve the needs of the poor and the sick, immigrants and the marginalized. He befriended the young people on the street to help them in their problems with drugs and violence. They liked to call him “Father Al” or “the chaplain of the low-riders” or “the Bishop of the Barrio,” the troubled barrio of Watts in Los Angeles. He was Hispanic and was a pioneer in Hispanic Ministry. Among the Hispanics he was a witness of hope.

Bishop Alphonse Gallegos, OAR (1931-1991)


The paths of holiness are many and varied, depending on the particular vocation of each individual. In the mystery of the human heart, the Lord continues to call his followers to sanctity in different ways. But all the saints are witnesses of hope; they intercede for us and inspire us by their example. We frequently ask them to intercede for us, and the Lord grants us his favors. To declare a Christian a saint, however, the Church makes no small demands, but boldly requires that, in addition to virtues in a heroic degree, there be a miracle. Or, rather, two miracles granted through the person’s intercession, miracles scientifically proven. To see a miracle requires faith, that simple and profound faith that only God can give and that takes root in a humble heart.



Fr. Miguel Miró, OAR
Prior General
Order of Augustinian Recollects

(from the OAR website: agustinosrecoletos.com)

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 July 2014 18:06
 
Message from our Prior Provincial, Father Joseph J. Gallardo, OAR PDF Print E-mail
Written by augustinian recollects   
Monday, 30 June 2014 14:08

Bishop Gallegos: An Example for Our Times

Dear friends,

“How glorious is that kingdom where all the saints rejoice with Christ; clothed in white robes, they follow the lamb wherever he goes.” The Church prays this antiphon for the canticle of Mary on the Solemnity of All Saints. The saints behold God, and from their place in heaven they spur us on to victory and faithfulness and remind us that we are called to holiness.

Many of the religious families in the Church have provided us with saints. These families, through the living out of their different charisms, give to the universal Church examples of holiness to be followed. These holy men and women prove to others that holiness is possible. Their example is especially meaningful, perhaps, to the men and women of each particular community.

In our Recollect family we have many examples of holiness. At the present time, the Order counts thirty-two men and women who are in the various stages of process toward possible canonization. Among these Recollects is The Servant of God, Bishop Alfonse Gallegos (1931-1991). The front cover of our province Newsletter (Volume XLI, Number 2 + Summer 2014) features the saintly Bishop. On June 25, the Positio Super Virtutibus on the life, virtue, and fame of sanctity of Bishop Alfonse was presented to Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, by Father Miguel Miró, OAR, Prior General, Father Samson Silloriquez, OAR, and Father Eliseo Gonzalez, OAR, at the Vatican.


The Servant of God was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico on February 20, 1931, professed vows in the Order of Augustinian Recollects in 1951, was ordained a priest on May 24, 1958, and consecrated an Auxiliary Bishop of Sacramento on November 4, 1981. His life tragically ended in a vehicular accident on October 6, 1991.

The holy Bishop was known for his love for the weakest of our society, the poor, the youth, the immigrant, the ill, and above all the unborn. He was a devotee of our Blessed Mother. During my novitiate year, the Bishop paid a visit to the novitiate in Monteagudo, Spain. On that day, he spoke to our novice class of his love for our Lady of Guadalupe. He referred to our lady as “la morenita de Tepeyac,” the dark one of Tepeyac Hill. Tepeyac is the location of our lady’s apparitions in what is today the city of Mexico. I had the privilege of meeting the Bishop on only a few occasions; there are, however, a number of friars in our province who knew the bishop on a much deeper level. Some lived and ministered with him, and at least one was ordained to the priesthood by him. It is my hope that in future issues of our Newsletter, these friars will write and share with us their memories and recollections of The Servant of God. Bishop Gallegos remains a wonderful example of holiness in our own day and age.

Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus,

June 27, 2014


Father Joseph J. Gallardo, OAR

Prior Provincial

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 August 2014 22:52
 
News from Mary Star of the Sea Parish, Oxnard, California PDF Print E-mail
Written by augustinian recollects   
Monday, 30 June 2014 13:49

 

OUR LADY OF GRACE AND THE DIVINE MERCY—The two statues in the plaza of the church were restored by a local artist, Lisa Kelly. Lisa and her crew restored and painted the statues with masonry paint from January 12 to the 17th. The sharp colors and detailed designs added a distinct beauty to these statues of devotion.

SINULOG, SANTO NINO—The annual celebration of the Infant Jesus on January 19, which has its roots in the island of Cebu, Philippines, began at 12 PM with a Mass, then a social gathering and singing/dancing with the Infant Jesus, with traditional Filipino foods served. A Novena to the Santo Nino preceded the festive Sinulog celebration.

PILGRIMS PROGRESS—A group of faithful pilgrims from Mary Star traveled to the Shrines of Italy from March 14th – 28th accompanied by their Spiritual Director, Fr. Eric Crelencia, OAR. The Spirit led them to Venice, Padua, Florence, Siena, Assisi, Ancona, Loreto, Lanciano, San Giovanni Rotondo and Rome. They also visited the hills of Medjugorje, Bosnia and the seaport town of Split, Croatia. The pilgrims celebrated with a thanksgiving prayer in Oxnard.

Father Eric Crelencia, OAR, visiting the friars at the OAR General Curia in Rome, last March.

Pilgrims from Mary Star of the Sea Parish led by Fr. Eric Crelencia, OAR, at the Vatican grounds, last March.


CARRY THY CROSS—On Good Friday, the faithful of Mary Star prayerfully reenacted Jesus’ walk to Calvary. The Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem was the church parking lot, marked with the sturdy concrete crosses—the 12 Stations of the Cross—and the presence of Jesus among the faithful, especially the men, women and children who carried a heavy wooden cross throughout the Via, were solemnly enacted and prayerfully meditated under the scorching sun. The carrying of our life’s own crosses, the silence and desolation of Christ’s death on Holy Saturday were overwhelmed by the victorious triumph of Christ’s resurrection, celebrated on Easter Sunday.


CHAPLET OF MERCY—The priests, deacons and parishioners sang the Chaplet of Divine Mercy in adoration of our Lord before an Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. The Chaplet was sung in both English and Spanish alternately. A short bilingual talk was presented by Fr. Frank highlighting the canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. Refreshments followed in the Parish Hall.

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION—The Saturdays of the month of May were filled with the celebrations of First Holy Communion. Two English and three Spanish Masses were devoted to the celebrations of this important Sacrament. More than 30 young students of catechism received our Lord in Holy Communion in each of the five masses. The masses were celebrated in a festive atmosphere with all the parents, godparents, relatives and friends.


 

Last Updated on Monday, 30 June 2014 14:05
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News from Saint Augustine Priory, Oxnard, California PDF Print E-mail
Written by augustinian recollects   
Friday, 27 June 2014 14:16

St. Augustine Priory has been blessed with a large group of very dedicated volunteers, including the members of the Guild and the Third Order. On the Feast of St. Joseph, the Priory was host to over two hundred families and friends at the Mass of Gratitude and dinner.

During the Triduum of Holy Week, the members of the Priory community attended the parish celebrations at Mary Star of the Sea Church. The two communities joined at the Priory for dinner on Holy Thursday. A Pot Luck Dinner was held at the Priory on Holy Saturday evening for the two communities, Officers of the Guild and their families.

For Holy Week, the chapel of St. Augustine Priory was decorated with magnificent flower arrangements, a gift of the Gloria Schuck Family.

Father Domingos Machado, OAR, was the celebrant at the Mass at the Servants of Mary Convent in Newbury Park, CA, on the Feast of Mary Health of the Sick, May 8. Concelebrants were Father Jose Luis Jimenez, OAR, and Father James Brown, OAR.

Father Fidel Hernandez, OAR, and Deacon Ulises Feliciano, OAR, left for the Philippines for their month-long Renewal Course on April 26.

On May 3, St. Augustine Priory was host to thirty-five Cursillistas from Artesia, CA, for a Special Ultreya Day of Recollection in the Portuguese language. Father Domingos Machado, OAR, served as Spiritual Director of the day.

St. Augustine Priory Chapel resembled a rose garden for Mother's Day and the Feast of St. Rita due to the very generous donation of white and red roses by Mr. Enrique Flores.

On May 25, the Priory was host to the 90th birthday celebration of Maria Mota who, together with her daughter Delores, has been a longtime friend of the community. Father Domingo was the celebrant of the Family Mass. A reception followed.

The Annual Retreat for the members of the Province of St. Augustine stationed on the West Coast was held at the Priory, May 26-30, Father Samson Silloriquez, OAR, of the Order's Curia in Rome, was the retreat master.

Fr. Samson Silloriquez, OAR, retreat master, Fr. Domingos Machado, OAR, and Fr. Eliseo Gonzalez, OAR, during the annual retreat in Oxnard, California.

 

--Father James Brown, OAR

 

Last Updated on Friday, 27 June 2014 14:24
 
News from Tagaste Monastery, Suffern, New York PDF Print E-mail
Written by augustinian recollects   
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 19:54

Ministry of Reader. Fras. George Valdivia and José Arredondo joined 15 other candidates to receive the Ministry of Reader at Redemptoris Mater, the seminary for the Neo-Catechumenal Way in Kearney, New Jersey, on February 23. Archbishop Bernard Hebda, new coadjutor of the Newark Archdiocese, presided at the Mass and the installation of Readers; Frs. Michael Rafferty, local prior, John Gruben, vice prior, and Felix Daganta, prefect of students, concelebrated along with many other diocesan and religious priests. After the ceremony all enjoyed light refreshments in the dining room of the seminary.

Ministry of Reader (l to r): Frs. John Gruben, OAR, Felizardo Daganta, OAR, and Michael Rafferty, OAR (back), Fras José Arredondo, OAR and Jorge Valdivia, OAR, with Archbishop Bernard Hebda, coadjutor of the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey, February 23, Redemptoris Mater Seminary.


St. Patrick’s Dinner Dance, 2014. The Pius X Guild sponsored its annual St. Patrick’s Dinner Dance on the evening of March 8 in the Tagaste Guild Hall; there were some 140 people in attendance. Traditional Irish-American fare was prepared by the Celtic Kitchen of New Milford, New Jersey. Guild president Peggy Evans coordinated the evening. There was a grand cake to celebrate the March birthdays of Fr. Charles Huse, as well as (in absentia) Br. Joseph Joly, and guild member Antoinette Martucci. Music was provided by the house “music man,” Mr. Joseph Nappo.

Vocational Retreat. The Tagaste community hosted a vocational retreat weekend for four candidates who have expressed interest in the Augustinian Recollects, March 28-30. The four young men, who hailed from places as close as the neighboring town of Spring Valley, New York, and as far away as Miami, Florida, arrived on the evening of March 27. The retreat opened the following morning with words of welcome from Fr. Michael Rafferty. Retreatants joined the community for common prayer, meals, and recreation. Presentations were given by Fr. John Oldfield on the “Charism of the Order,” and by Fr. John Gruben on the “Constitutions and the Liturgy of the Hours.” Fr. Michael gave a personal testimony and conducted individual interviews along with Fr. Felix Daganta. The professed students also shared their vocation stories with the retreatants. Over the weekend the community along with the retreatants enjoyed a new movie on the life of Pope Francis, followed by a lively discussion. Fr. Fredric Abiera joined the community for dinner on Friday evening, and Fr. Joseph Gallardo, Prior Provincial, was present for Evening Prayer and dinner on Saturday. The retreatants also participated in Lenten Stations of the Cross, Sunday Liturgy, and a Holy Hour with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament conducted by Frs. Michael and Felix that brought the retreat to a close. After a final lunch together, the retreatants departed. Fr. Michael contacted each of the retreatants after they returned home and found that all had enjoyed their weekend at the Monastery and the experience of Augustinian Recollect community life.

Tagaste Vocational Retreat (1 to r): Frs. John Gruben, OAR, Michael Rafferty, OAR, Felizardo Daganta, OAR, and John Oldfield, OAR, with retreatants, March 28-30, 2014.


Admission to Postulancy/Novitiate. Fr. Provincial, Joseph Gallardo, formally admitted Andrés Lopez to the postulancy in an evening prayer service at St. Cloud Monastery on April 3. Afterward Fr. Provincial treated the members of the Tagaste and West Orange communities to a wonderful dinner. On April 14, he admitted postulant Andrés to the novitiate for 2014-15.

Father Provincial, Joseph J. Gallardo, OAR (c), assisted by Frs. Michael Rafferty, OAR, and Felizardo Daganta, OAR, admit Andrés Lopez (l) to the postulancy at St. Cloud Monastery, West Orange, New Jersey, on April 3.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 June 2014 20:35
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