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.
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.
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.
The chapel, as usual, was beautifully decorated for the Christmas holidays with a large nativity, constructed by members of the Hispanic community, placed under the altar along with many wreaths, garlands, and poinsettia plants. The community held its traditional Christmas dinner and exchange of gifts on the evening of December 24. The regular Christmas Masses were celebrated at the Monastery on Christmas Day.
The Hispanic community of Sacred Heart held a farewell lunch on January 11, 2015, for Fra. José Arredondo, OAR, who is leaving Tagaste to continue his theological studies at the Recollect seminary in Madrid, Spain. There were a number of traditional songs sung by the Hispanic choir of Tagaste including one with the title appropriately changed to “Amigo José."
--Father John Gruben, OAR