SARF-Vicariate of USA Newsletter (October 2020)


Fall greetings to all our Secular Augustinian Recollects, Guild members, and the Hispanic Committee as well as our parishioners at Sacred Heart Church!

St. Nicholas of Tolentine. Fr. John Gruben presided at the Mass celebrating the Feast of St. Nicholas of Tolentine on September 10 at the 9 am Mass at Sacred Heart Church, in Suffern, New York. In his homily, Fr. John sketched the outline of the extraordinary life of St. Nicholas—his care for the poor, his efforts to bring about peace in the divided Italy of his day, his prayers for the souls in Purgatory, and his reputation as a miracle worker. Fr. John also announced the opening of the 400th anniversary celebration of the founding of our Province. At the conclusion of Mass all were invited to receive and take home the bread of St. Nicholas (wrapped individually for safety). The people of Sacred Heart, formerly a diocesan parish, have been enjoying the cycle of Augustinian saints that we have been celebrating, most especially in the months of August and September, as bringing a new dimension to the spirituality of the parishioners. Remember to keep joining us for our daily and Sunday Masses streaming live at The schedule for all services is posted on the website.

St. Nicholas Day: Fr. John Gruben with Theresa Giampaglia, Tagaste SAR president,
bless and present St. Nicholas Bread to the faithful following the Mass, September 10, 2020

Remembrance of September 11, 2001. Sacred Heart Parish remembered 9/11 on the 19th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and the sacrifice of United Flight 93 with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm followed by recitation of the Divine Mercy chaplet. That evening, Fr. Michael joined Suffern mayor, Ed Markunas, a number of town officials, and many Suffern residents for an official 9/11 memorial service at which Fr. Michael offered the invocation.

Remembering 9/11: Fr. Michael Rafferty joins Mayor Ed Markunas  and other town officials at Suffern Town Hall for the annual September 11 memorial service honoring those who lost their lives, family members, and First Responders

RCIA First Communions and Confirmation. Fr. John, with the delegation of Fr. Michael Rafferty, pastor of Sacred Heart, confirmed five adult candidates who had completed the required period of instruction to receive the Sacraments on Saturday, September 12, at an afternoon Mass. Confirmation was actually supposed to take place at the Easter Vigil, 2020, but was delayed because of the pandemic. Three other candidates, members of one family, who had also completed their studies moved to San Antonio, Texas, and were preparing to receive the Sacraments in their new local church. Fr. John gave the homily for the Mass, and Fr. Michael, who also concelebrated, officially congratulated the newly Confirmed and welcomed them to full membership in the parish community.

Sacraments of Initiation: Frs. John Gruben and Michael Rafferty join newly confirmed  and their sponsors at Sacred Heart Church on September 12

A Funeral Mass was offered for Sr. Mary John Burke, SRCM, at St. Zita’s Villa, Monsey, New York, on Saturday, September 19. Fr. John celebrated the Mass for the staff, residents, and friends of Sr. John. Following the death of Sr. Maureen O’Shea earlier this year, Sr. John was the last living member of the St. Zita’s congregation. During her last years, Sr. John waged an extraordinary struggle against a particularly disfiguring form of nasal cancer. Her complete confidence in God enabled her, almost to the end of her life, to continue to witness to the wonderful cheerfulness that marked her many years as a consecrated religious.

Sr. Mary John (seated) at her 80th birthday celebration with Sr. Maureen Francis and Rita and Bob Reers, benefactors of St. Zita’s Villa

Fr. Marlon Beof, Vicar Provincial, stopped at Tagaste for a fraternally visit on Monday, September 14 and had lunch with the friars at Sacred Heart rectory. They then went for a visit with Fr. John Oldfield at St. Joseph Home in Sloatsburg, New York.

Lookin’ out my front door: Fr. John with Guild members (l to r): Pat Knight, Victor and Aura Ramirez, Connie Montanye (president), and Joe Nappo

The Pius X Guild held its first meeting since the beginning of the pandemic on Sunday, September 20 on the porch at Tagaste. Fr. John was present along with Connie Montanye, president, and several other members. The group sadly acknowledged that the fall schedule of Guild activities—Italian Night (October 10), the Holiday Boutique (November 8), and, in all likelihood, the Guild Communion Breakfast (December 6)—would all have to be cancelled this year. The next meeting of the Guild executive board will be Sunday, Nov. 15, at 10 am in the Fire Place room at the Monastery.

Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentine: 400 years of consecrated life and missionary history

Symbolism of the Logo

400 Years: 1621 – 2021

Within the first zero is St. Nicholas with the star of faith and the word of the Gospel which inspired our founder St. Augustine and continues to inspire all of us; Within the second zero is the boat that carried Recollect missionaries and the Christian faith to the Philippines and other lands. Siempre en misión. . . “Always in Mission”

To read full story click control +

Fr. John Gruben, OAR, prior
Theresa Giampaglia, SAR president
Connie Montanye, Guild president

More posts about:

SARF-USA Correspondent

SARF-USA Correspondent