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.
Summer Picnics. The community held a barbecue at Tagaste on July 4, Independence Day, with guests including Fr. Fredric Abiera, OAR, from West Orange, Joe Marsico (SAR president) and Marie Hiltz (house organist). The barbecue featured all the usual favorites--hamburgers, hot dogs, sausage, and salads along with watermelon and refreshments. The rest of the day was free for visits or personal time.
The Secular Augustinian Recollect fraternity held a picnic for members and prospective members on the afternoon of July 19 on the Monastery grounds. Some thirty SARs and a number of candidates were present to enjoy an abundance of food. Barbecue chef for the day was SAR president, Joe Marsico; salads and desserts were provided by the members.
Finally, the Hispanic community of Sacred Heart hosted its annual summer picnic on July 20 after the 10:30 Mass. The festivities included soccer playoffs for eight men’s teams, and two each for the women and children. There was music, games for the children, and, once again, a great amount of traditional picnic and Hispanic food. Several hundred people attended the event.
Gustavo Serrano, our newest aspirant, arrived at Tagaste Monastery, House of Formation, on August 6. Gustavo is twenty-nine years old and hails from Colombia although he is a US permanent resident. He is enrolled at Rockland Community College, Suffern, for an intensive English program (ESL) as well as taking the customary in-house courses for aspirants.
Feast of St. Ezekiel Moreno. A Mass with Anointing of the Sick was held at 8:00 PM with Fr. Felix Daganta as celebrant and homilist. Frs. Michael Rafferty and John Oldfield concelebrated and helped with anointing, which took place at the end of the liturgy. Some 200 people were in attendance.
"Despedida” for Deacon Jorge Mateos, OAR. A goodbye party was held by the Hispanic community on August 24 for Deacon Mateos as he prepared to leave for his diaconate experience in Mexico City at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. There was much food, music, and picture taking with Deacon Mateos, who offered words of thanks and blessed the meal. The Tagaste community had its own dinner for Deacon Jorge on August 25; he left the following day for Mexico City.
Feast of St. Monica. Fr. Oldfield was main celebrant and homilist for the 7:00 PM Mass; concelebrants included Frs. Daganta and Charles Huse. At the conclusion of Mass, Fra. José Arredondo renewed his simple vows for one year; Fr. Rafferty, local prior, received the profession and Frs. Huse and Oldfield were witnesses. Our SAR fraternity prepared and hosted a reception following the Mass in the Guild Hall with some thirty people in attendance.
Feast of St. Augustine and Anniversaries. Fr. Rafferty was main celebrant at the bilingual Mass held at 7:00 PM in the Tagaste chapel. Concelebrants included house priests together with Fr. Fredric Abiera, OAR (Provincial Secretary); Fr. Paco Legarra, OAR, representing the St. Nicholas Delegation; Fr. Michael Kerrigan, pastor of St. John Parish in the Bronx; Fr. Niranjan Rodrigo, pastor of St. Joan of Arc parish in Sloatsburg, NY, and Fr. Christopher Ciccarino, Assistant Dean of Immaculate Conception Seminary. Fr. John Gruben, OAR, gave the homily. Several anniversaries were celebrated including Br. Joseph Joly, OAR, fifty-five years of profession; Fr. John Gruben, OAR: forty years of ordination; and Fr. Felix Daganta, OAR: twenty-six years of ordination. A reception of sandwiches, salads, and refreshments was hosted by the SAR and Guild. There was a special cake for the jubilarians.
The Hispanic community held a special jubilee party for Fr. Felix Daganta, OAR, their chaplain, after the 10:30 AM Mass on August 31. Once again, there was plenty of food, music, and cakes.
Classes began at Immaculate Conception Seminary, Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey, on August 26 for Fras. George Valdivia and José Arredondo, and at Rockland Community College on September 2 for postulant Andres Lopez and aspirant Gustavo Serrano. The Mass of the Holy Spirit to open the school year was held on September 3 in conjunction with the first SAR Mass of fall season; Fr. John Oldfield, OAR, was the celebrant and homilist for the occasion.
--Father John Gruben, OAR