SARF Vicariate of the USA Newsletter (May 2021)

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Late May greetings to all of our brothers in the Province of St. Nicholas, the Order, our Secular Augustinian Recollects, Guild members, and the Hispanic Committee, as well as our parishioners at Sacred Heart Church!

First Communions: Thirty-eight children in the Sacred Heart Religious Education Program received their First Communion in three sessions, one on May 1 (Spanish) and the other two on May 8 (English). Frs. Michael Rafferty, John Gruben, and Eric Crelencia each presided at one of the liturgies which were prepared by Mrs. Janis Batewell (coordinator for Religious Ed) and Mrs. Miriam Montano (director for the Spanish-speaking group). There were 215 children (grades 1-8) enrolled in the parish catechetical program for 2020-21. The children, along with their parents, and teachers were all congratulated for their hard work as well as the inspiration they gave to the parish during these very challenging days of pandemic.

“El Cuerpo de Cristo!”: Frs. Michael Rafferty and John Gruben with Hispanic First Communion candidates on May 1, 2021.

Mothers’ Day, 2021: All mothers received a special gift and blessing at the Masses of Mothers’ Day in the parish, and intentions for living and deceased mothers were left under the image of the Virgin Mary to be remembered at all Masses for the month of May.

New York and the Pandemic: In light of the dropping rate of Covid-19 cases in New York State, the Governor’s Office announced that as of May 19, 2021, many of the social distancing regulations mandated for the Covid outbreak including the wearing of masks would be relaxed for the fully vaccinated. New regulations from the Archdiocese of New York point in the same direction, although continued social distancing and precautions about the Sign of Peace and reception of Holy Communion remain in place for the time being.

Sons of Italy Memorial Mass. The Vincent Linguanti lodge of the Sons of Italy, who have been long-time supporters of Tagaste Monastery and of Sacred Heart Parish, held their annual Memorial Mass for deceased members on May 16. Fr. Michael was main celebrant at the Mass assisted by Fr. John.

Gran them eternal rest: Frs. Michael and John join members of the local Sons of Italy lodge along with their wives for annual Memorial Mass on May 16.

Happy Birthday. Although Fr. Eric’s birthday fell on Sunday, May 16, the friars and parish staff gathered at noon on Monday, May 17, for the traditional cake and birthday wish.

Birthday Blessings: Fr. Eric summons all his strength to make a wish and blow out the candles on his cake, while staff members observe from a safe distance and sing “Happy Birthday!”
Month of Mary: Image of Mary appearing to the children at Fatima is overspread by a blooming cherry tree between the church and the rectory along Route 59 in Suffern.
First Communion: Fr. John gives Holy Communion to Arianna Arguello on Sunday, May 2.
Fr. Eric with one of the English First Communion groups on Saturday, May 8

Wedding Anniversaries at Sacred Heart: Fr. Michael was the celebrant and Fr. John concelebrated at the 11:30 AM Mass on Pentecost Sunday, May 23, with eight couples present marking major wedding anniversaries: six were celebrating their golden and two their silver jubilees. The couples were called before the altar after the Prayers of the Faithful. They renewed their wedding vows, received a special blessing, and were given small gifts from the parish.

Marriage Anniversaries: Fr. Michael witnesses renewal of wedding vows for eight couples celebrating special anniversaries at Sacred Heart on May 23.

Union City gathering: For the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic, the Tagaste friars made the short trip to St. Nicholas of Tolentine Monastery in Union City, New Jersey, on May 24. The occasion was the birthday of Fr. Dionisio Gutiérrez, OAR. There was a wonderful lunch provided by the local community and an opportunity to get caught up on all the latest news from both communities. It was another hopeful sign that the pandemic was finally declining and that more frequent gatherings could now take place.

Birthday at St. Nicholas Monastery: Friars from Tagaste joined the Union City community to celebrate the birthday of Fr. Dionisio Gutiérrez (2nd from left) on May 24. Present were (clockwise, from the lower left) Frs. Eric Crelencia, Dionisio, Charles Huse, John Gruben, John Docherty, José María Martínez, Francisco (Paco) Legarra, Miguel Echeverría, Michael Rafferty, Fidel Hernández, and Antonio Ciordia.

Please pray for the eternal repose of Fr. Euben Capacillo, OAR, 72, who died on May 8, 2021, in the Province infirmary in Valladolid, Spain. Fr. “Ben”, who was born in the Philippines, worked in St. Augustine (now St. Nicholas) Province from 1995-2019 where he was assigned to a variety of the Province’s ministries in California. Fr Ben was known by all US Recollects and will be greatly missed by the friars.

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

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