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.