SARF-Vicariate of USA Newsletter (Thanksgiving 2020)

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

Welcome, Fr. Eric Crelencia, OAR. After traveling across country from Oxnard, California, where he had been stationed as assistant pastor for a number of years at Mary Star of the Sea Parish, Fr. Eric arrived at Tagaste Monastery on October 29. Following his mandatory quarantine and negative COVID-19 test, he took up residence at Sacred Heart Church and celebrated his first Sunday Mass there on November 8. Fr. Eric, who hails originally from the Philippines, later moved with his family to California where he met the Augustinian Recollects and entered St. Augustine Priory. During the course of his studies he also spent a number of years at Tagaste where he attended Seton Hall University. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 25, 2013 at Sacred Heart Cathedral Basilica in Newark, New Jersey. Along with Fr. John Gruben (prior at Tagaste) and Fr. Michael Rafferty (pastor of Sacred Heart) Fr. Eric joins the Recollect community in Suffern as a welcome addition to the parish/monastery team.

Fr. Eric Crelencia celebrates his first Mass at Sacred Heart after arriving in Suffern as part of Tagaste/Sacred Heart community

The Solemnity of All Saints and the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed were celebrated following the modified schedule for Masses at Sacred Heart. The names of all deceased parishioners for 2019-20 were read at the evening Mass on November 2 and will be kept in the sanctuary, along with all those intentions offered by our parishioners, for remembrance throughout the month. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing pandemic, the Halloween (“Holy Wins”) get together for the children had to be cancelled this year.

Regional Day of Recollection. Recollects from St. Nicholas Monastery in Union City and Tagaste Monastery in Suffern met on November 9 at Ascension Cemetery in Monsey, New York, for the traditional November visit to our community plot, where Midday Prayer was offered for our deceased brothers. Unlike other years that have been cold and rainy, this year’s beautiful fall weather made the cemetery visit very conducive for prayerful remembrance. Afterward everyone returned to Tagaste for a reflection and discussion on the monthly theme prepared by the Order on “Poverty”. Finally, there was a light lunch of sandwiches and salads and time for a leisurely visit.

Members of the Eastern Region of the Vicariate gathered in front of the statue of St. Augustine at the entrance to Tagaste Monastery on November 9, 2020
Veterans’ Day Invocation: Fr. Michael Rafferty (c) offers a prayer for all veterans in front of the Soldiers’ Memorial in downtown Suffern on Wednesday, November 11
Obligatory stop: Fr. Eric Crelencia (l) joins Fr. Peter Jamarillo at the former St. Augustine Monastery in Kansas City, Kansas. Fr. Eric was traveling across country from Oxnard to Suffern and stopped to see our former novitiate house and clericate, now owned by the Seventh Day Adventists. The cupula of the tower building, familiar to many of our senior members, was badly damaged in a fire in 2019
Long ago in a monastery not so very far away: Fr. Eric gives his first priestly blessing to Mr. Joe Nappo of Suffern in the Guild Hall at Tagaste Monastery following his ordination in Sacred Heart Cathedral Basilica on May 25, 2013. The photo, not Fr. Eric, shows signs of wear!
Thanksgiving cactus outside chapel at Tagaste

Bishop Gallegos in Catholic New York: Our local archdiocesan paper featured an article on Venerable Bishop Alphonse Gallegos, OAR, in its issue of October 21, 2020. Both Fr. John Gruben, OAR, and Marcy O’Brien, a Suffern resident and Guild member whose family was close to Bishop Al, were interviewed by Armando Machado, who frequently writes articles for Catholic New York. Below is a link to the story in both English and Spanish.,21544,21531

For all parish news, upcoming events, and Mass schedules see:

Into eternal life: Please pray for Wayne Gannon, Jr., son of our SAR member and long time catechist at Sacred Heart, Wayne Gannon.

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

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