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News from Tagaste Monastery, Suffern, New York PDF Print E-mail
Written by augustinian recollects   
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 14:38

Ceremony and Blessing

Fr. John Oldfield, OAR, represented Tagaste Monastery at a special service of blessing at Good Samaritan Hospital on September 22. Cardinal Timothy Dolan presided at the ceremony, which brought together hospital officials and local clergy as well as the Sisters of Charity and representatives of Bon Secours Charity Health System who partner the services at Good Samaritan. The Tagaste community has had close connections with the Sisters of Charity and the hospital since the 1950s when the Recollects first came to Suffern.

SAR Excursion

The Tagaste SARs made an excursion to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, on October 11. The shrine, which is run by the Pauline Order, consists of a beautiful complex of buildings and landscaped grounds, and boasts the largest stained glass windows in the country with images of Polish and Polish-American history. The group attended Mass and enjoyed a tour of the grounds.

Guild Activities

The Pius X Guild sponsored a number of fund-raising activities during the fall months to support the Monastery, all of them being held in the new Guild Hall. The annual Holiday Boutique was held on Oct. 25, bringing together a number of dealers selling arts and crafts, and the annual raffle took place with a first prize of $500. A second Garage Sale (the first being June 28) was held on November 8, once again featuring dealers and refreshments. Finally, the annual Guild Communion Breakfast was held on December 7. Following a bilingual Mass at which Fr. Michael Rafferty, OAR, presided, some 140 guild members and guests enjoyed an abundant breakfast buffet. As is customary, the Guild presented each community member with a Christmas gift.

Institution of Acolytes

Bishop Thomas Donato, Auxiliary Bishop of Newark, New Jersey, conferred the ministry of acolyte on Fras. George Valdivia and José Arredondo along with twelve of their classmates on October 26 in the chapel at Immaculate Conception Seminary. Frs. Michael Rafferty, OAR, John Gruben, OAR, and Felix Daganta, OAR, concelebrated at the Mass. The ceremony was followed by refreshments in the seminary refectory; a dinner in honor of our new acolytes was later held at the Monastery.

Death of Br. Joseph Joly

The community was greatly saddened by the death of Brother Joseph Joly, OAR, on November 15 after a long period of declining health. Bishop David Arias, OAR, presided at the funeral Mass; concelebrants included members of the Tagaste and St. Cloud communities as well as Recollects of the St. Nicholas Delegation and local clergy. Brother Joe’s sister Pauline Denault and cousins Elaine and Roger Le Blanc were on hand along with a great number of Secular Augustinian Recollects, Guild members, and friends of the Monastery who were present for both the wake and funeral Mass. Following the Mass, Brother Joe was buried in the community plot at Ascension Cemetery in Monsey, New York; afterward, a lunch was provided by the Guild for all of the guests. Brother Joe had been in residence at Tagaste for some 40 years. He will be remembered not only in the affections of all of his brothers at the Monastery and in the Province, but also in the many artistic creations and practical improvements he left behind in virtually every room at Tagaste. Rest in Peace, Brother Joe!


Br. Joseph Joly, OAR, arrives at Tagaste on August 28 to celebrate his 55th anniversary of profession of vows (l to r): Fr. Michael Rafferty, OAR, Br. Joe (seated), Fra. José Arredondo, OAR, and Fra. George Valdivia, OAR.



Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 February 2015 15:04
Bishop Lacunza: “with everyone’s prayers, I aim only to be faithful to the mission entrusted to me” PDF Print E-mail
Written by augustinian recollects   
Tuesday, 20 January 2015 16:07

When bishop Lacunza had scarcely begun to take on board the idea of his new position, this official site of the Order of Augustinian Recollects put to him a few simple question, to which he was kind enough to reply.

At the conclusion of his Sunday Angelus on 4th January, Pope Francis announced the creation of twenty new cardinals from 14 nations, effective from 14th February. He also emphasized that they“show the inseparable link between the Church of Rome and the local Churches present throughout the world”.

One of those nominated was Bishop Jose Luis Lacunza Maestrojuan, the Augustinian Recollect bishop of David (Panama). It is the first time that a pastor of the Panamanian Church has received this distinction, and the first time that an Augustinian Recollect has been made a cardinal.

-As a bishop and as an Augustinian Recollect, how do you feel at being named a cardinal of the Church by Pope Francis?

I am the first Panamanian bishop and the first Augustinian Recollect to be called to the College of Cardinals, and being the first one always creates a big responsibility given that in one sense it is blazing a path, and for good or for bad can affect the future. Whatever the case, the nomination has left me stunned, and I’m still not out of my sense of amazement. And of course, I’m very much aware that all this goes beyond me personally and also involves the Church in Panama and the Order of Augustinian Recollects.

-What is your mission within the Church going to be? What are your wishes?

On the one hand, so far as I am aware, Pope Francis has no other plans than that I should continue as bishop of David; so I shall have to continue with the pastoral mission I have been carrying out until now. On the other hand, I will have to add on the responsibilities that the office creates as a member of one of the Vatican departments, attending consistories and fulfilling the tasks entrusted to me by the Holy Father. In all this, I shall endeavor to be a motivating force, helping the Pope to carry out his vision and mission for the Church. With everyone’s prayers, I aim only to be faithful to the mission entrusted to me.

-What message do you have for the whole Augustinian Recollect family: friars, contemplative nuns, female religious, fraternities, members of the Augustinian Recollect Youth?

I have received many messages from brothers and sisters congratulating me and also congratulating themselves on this appointment. I believe it should be interpreted as the Pope looking at our religious community which, although small – we could say ‘on the outskirts’ of the Church – has much to offer in the revitalization of the consecrated life, so that freed from the restrictions and the trappings which have accumulated over the years, it can offer to the world a living, consistent, and joyful image of the Gospel which can and must give full meaning to the man and woman of today. Let’s hope we can get the most out of this Year of the Consecrated Life.

The first Augustinian Recollect Cardinal.

The news spread rapidly throughout the world, but the appointment of bishop Lacunza has had a particular impact in Panama and amongst the Augustinian Recollects. Going back to the start of the Augustinian Recollection in 1588, bishop Lacunza will be the first cardinal the Order has had.

The prior general of the Augustinian Recollects, Miguel Miro, was in Brazil carrying out his visit of renewal to the community of Portel in the prelature of Marajo. From there he got in touch with bishop Lacunza to congratulate him, and offer him his services and the prayers of the entire Augustinian Recollect family. Congratulations and messages of support and of thanks have been coming in from the nineteen countries in which the Order is present.

Celebrations in Rome and Panama.

Bishop Lacunza will be going to Rome to take part in the celebration during which Pope Francis will install the new cardinals on 14th February. He will then return to Panama to participate in the national pilgrimage to the basilica of Atalaya together with the other bishops of the country, and on 23rd February will make his entrance to his diocese of David.

(from the OAR website: agustinosrecoletos.com)


Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 January 2015 16:13
News from Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Mexico D.F., Mexico PDF Print E-mail
Written by augustinian recollects   
Friday, 14 November 2014 16:07

DEACON JORGE MATEOS, OAR, ARRIVES IN MEXICO. Deacon Jorge Mateos, OAR, arrived with great enthusiasm at Our Lady of Lourdes last August 25th , to begin his diaconate pastoral experience prior to approval for his ordination to the priesthood. Deacon Mateos is originally from Mexico City, and has recently finished his theological studies at Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey.

SILVER JUBILEE ANNIVERSARY. Last September 6th was a day of celebration and thanksgiving at Our Lady of Lourdes as parishioners and friends organized a special event that marked Fr. Gerard Cosgayon’s twenty-five years a priest. The local clergy from the deanery and Augustinian Recollects joined Fr. Gerry at a solemn concelebrated Mass that was accompanied by sacred music and Mozart’s Mass in Honor of the Holy Trinity by Don Carlos Esteva and the Orquesta Clásico de México. Towards the end of the Mass, a papal blessing was presented to Fr. Gerry as a gift from Bishop Carlos Briseño, OAR, who was unable to attend because of meetings of the Mexican Episcopal Conference. Adding a special flavor to the occasion was the presence of family and friends from the United States.

Fr. Gerry's sisters and friends from the US.

Fr. Gerry's Silver Jubilee Anniversary

EUCHARISTIC ADORATION. Although we have regular Eucharistic Adoration every Friday morning until the afternoon Mass, last September 11, Fr. Juan José Alfaro, OAR, along with parishioners, organized an evening Eucharistic Adoration that began with the celebration of Holy Mass, and was followed by times of silence, reflection, and music provided by the famous choir Grupo Emanuel. The event was such a success that we hope to hold many evening Eucharistic Adorations in the coming months.

LA VIRGEN DEL CAMINO. The Archicofradía de la Virgen del Camino and the Agrupación Leonesa de México gathered at the parish to celebrate the feast of La Virgen del Camino (Our Lady of the Way), patroness of Leon, Spain. The annual celebration is a joyful expression of faith, love and devotion to La Virgen del Camino, especially by those who have migrated from Leon, Spain, to Mexico and their children and grandchildren who were born and raised there. The Solemn Mass was presided over by Fr. Gerard Cosgayon, OAR, in which Fr. Jose Antonio Arias, OAR, delivered the homily. Following the eucharistic celebration, everyone was treated to a banquet and a presentation of folk dances typical of Leon.

Children in their native costumes at the fiesta de la Virgen del Camino.

PRIOR GENERAL’S RENEWAL VISIT. The Augustinian Recollect Prior General, Fr. Miguel Miró Miró, OAR, accompanied by the Secretary General, Fr. Francisco Javier Tello Vegas, OAR, arrived in Mexico City from Rome in the early hours of the morning, on October 2nd. They immediately began the official visit of renewal to Mexico with the community of Our Lady of Lourdes which will last through the month of October. A full day’s meeting of all the Secular Augustinian Recollect Fraternities with Fr. General is scheduled for Saturday, October 18, at the OAR parish in Colonia Avante, Mexico City.

Fr. Miguel Miró, OAR (prior general), with the Our Lady of Lourdes community during his official visit, October 2, 2014.

--Father Gerard Cosgayon, OAR


Last Updated on Friday, 14 November 2014 16:19
News from Bishop David Arias, OAR PDF Print E-mail
Written by augustinian recollects   
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 14:47

Bishop Arthur Serratelli's 10th Anniversary. On Sunday, September 28, 2014, Bishop Arthur Serratelli of the Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey, celebrated the 10th Anniversary as the bishop of the diocese. The bishops of New Jersey were invited to the celebration.  Bishop David Arias, OAR, of the Archdiocese of Newark, NJ, was among them.  Following the Mass at St. Peter's Church in Parsippany, a banquet was served at the Sheraton Hotel in Whippany, NJ, which the Bishops also attended.

Bishops from left to right: Manuel Cruz and David Arias of Newark, Abbott Richard Cronin of Morristown, Dominic Marconi and Charles McDonnell of Newark.

Beatification of Sr. Miriam Teresa. On Saturday, October 4, 2014, Sr. Miriam Teresa Demjanovich was beatified before a multitude of people that crowded into the Cathedral of Newark, New Jersey. Angelo Cardinal Amato, SDB, was sent by Pope Francis for the beatification ceremony. Several Cardinals and bishops were present for the ceremony, among them Bishop David Arias, OAR. Sr. Miriam Teresa was born in Bayonne, New Jersey, Archdiocese of Newark, in 1901 and died in 1927 at the age of 26, just a few months after she had made her religious profession in the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth.  The beatification took place after a young boy legally blind recovered his sight through her intercession.

Bishop David Arias, OAR, Angelo Cardinal Amato, and Theodore Cardinal McCarrick.

New Jersey Desfile de la Hispanidad. Bishop David Arias, OAR, marched in the Desfile de la Hispanidad of New Jersey along Bergenline Avenue on Sunday, October 5, 2014. Several authorities of New Jersey also marched through North Bergen, West New York, and Union City. Among them were Robert Menendez and Cory Booker, both US Senators from New Jersey, the Mayors of West New York, Union City, Jersey City, and others. Many people from throughout the State attended the colorful parade. There are about 1,650,000 people of Hispanic origin in New Jersey, about eighteen percent of the state population.

Bishop David Arias, OAR, with US Senator Robert Menendez.

--Bishop David Arias, OAR


Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 November 2014 14:57
News from Tagaste Monastery, Suffern, New York PDF Print E-mail
Written by augustinian recollects   
Monday, 10 November 2014 20:48

First Communion. Tagaste Monastery has been celebrating the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist for the Hispanic community of Suffern's Sacred Heart Parish for almost twenty years. The Mass is said in Spanish to accommodate the Hispanic children and their families. This year’s celebration, which took place on April 19, welcomed thirty-one youngsters to the Lord’s Table. It was a delight to see the joy on the faces of these children and of their parents and grandparents. The Tagaste community looks forward to seeing these young ones and their families at regular Sunday Eucharist worship.

(l to r- back row): Deacon Jorge Mateos, OAR, Fr. Felizardo Daganta, OAR, Fr. Michael Rafferty, OAR, and Msgr. Joseph Giandurco, flanked by a beaming group of youngsters celebrating their First Holy Communion.

Corpus Christi procession. Fr. Felix Daganta, OAR, was the main celebrant for the Mass on Sunday, June 22, and led the procession from the chapel at Tagaste Monastery to the lower parking lot with the Blessed Sacrament, making the three traditional stops for Eucharistic Adoration. The people had set up altars with flowers and other decorations on the monastery grounds. At each “station” there was a hymn, followed by a scripture reading, an account of a Eucharistic miracle, and a period of silent reflection. Prayer at the third station was concluded by the Eucharistic blessing. Following the liturgy, refreshments were served in the Guild Hall.

Corpus Christi, 2014: Fr. Felizardo Daganta carries the Blessed Sacrament in procession around the Tagaste grounds following the 10:30 AM Mass, June 22.

Br. Joseph Joly, OAR, has been in residence at Ramapo Manor in Suffern, New York, since falling on Memorial Day (May 26) at the community barbecue. Br. Joe is greatly missed at the monastery, but is getting good care and is receiving daily visits from community members. His only sister, Pauline Denault, came from California to visit Br. Joe, September 8-15. Cards and letters can be sent to Br. Joe in care of the monastery or at the following address:

Ramapo Manor Center for Rehabilitation Nursing

30 Cragmere Road

Suffern, NY 10901

Visit of AR Sisters. The Augustinian Recollect Sisters from Milpitas and Sun Valley, California, arrived in New York on June 24 to begin a five-day community retreat at St. Mary’s Villa in Sloatsburg conducted by Fr. Felix Daganta, OAR. Following the retreat, the sisters came to Tagaste, where they resided until July 2. During their stay some members of the community accompanied the sisters on excursions to New York City and to the Statue of Liberty as well as a visit to the Provincial Residence. The sisters brought their usual good spirits and good humor which they shared with their Recollect brothers.

AR Sisters from Milpitas, California, join Tagaste community for dinner after completing their annual retreat.


Last Updated on Monday, 10 November 2014 21:12
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