Friday, September 22, 2017

Blessed Stanley Rother, Martyr

Glenmary has a connection to the first first US-born martyr, servant of God, Bl. Stanley Rother.  Fr. Stanley will be beatified in Oklahoma City on September 23, 2017.  You can read the article about the connection that appeared in our Glenmary Challenge Magazine online.




“The shepherd cannot run at the first sign of danger. Pray for us that we may be a sign of the love of Christ for our people, that our presence among them will fortify them to endure these sufferings in preparation for the coming of the Kingdom.” Bl. Stanley Rother, priest and martyr

Bl. Stanley Rother icon hanging at the Glenmary House of Studies

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Discernment Retreat Opportunity

What are you doing tomorrow?   
What about next week?
Sometimes the simplest questions can be difficult to answer. Bigger questions like "where are you being called by God?" may be too hard to answer alone.  Why not join a retreat to search for some of the answers.  The The religious of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati are sponsoring a discernment retreat for people who might have a call to religious life. October 20-22, 2017. You can contact Br. David for more information dhenley@glenmary.org or visit: tinyurl.com/registerudretreats to register

Monday, September 18, 2017

Mission Milestone

   It is truly exciting to see a Glenmary mission open in rural county of the U.S. where there has never been a Catholic presence. In nearly 80 years, Glenmary has served over 125 missions but the need still exists! There are still over 300 counties in Appalachia or the South that do not have a Catholic Church or  a full time priest brother or sister.
   After celebrating in a rented storefront building for many years, one of our missions in Eastern Tennessee had a ground breaking ceremony for the building of a new church. And this is not just a "new church" but the first Catholic Church that has ever existed in the county.
    Building a new Church has to be one of the greatest moments in the life of the mission but not the only one. Other great moments could include the day the Glenmary missioners arrive or the first day that Holy Mass is celebrated in the county. Certainly the first baptism could also be lifted up as a great moment in the mission. I have helped so many young people prepare for their first communion and confirmation that seeing the hundreds of young people receive the sacraments also is a great moment in the mission. Or maybe it is witnessing the first catholic wedding in the county or administering the oils on the many sick or offering the first catholic funeral mass. 
    With all the joys of of those great moments in the mission come challenges, raising the necessary funds to build the church is just one. But trusting in the good Lord we see Kingdom of God growing even in rural areas of the south. Someday the little Glenmary mission in Eastern Tennessee will grow enough to return tot he care of the diocese and that will certainly be another great moment in the mission. And we pray that someday - that mission will send a few of their young men and women back to Glenmary to serve as priests, brothers and sisters to go out to new mission areas.
    This video shows Bishop Stika of Knoxville at the breaking ground ceremony of the St. Teresa of Kolkata's permanent home in Maynardville, Tenn. If you would like to help with this or the Glenmary mission effort in other areas, you can give a secure online donation on our Glenmary website.



Picture of the new church plans.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Fr. Aaron's Interview

I hosted a Facebook Live interview with Fr. Aaron Wessman this afternoon. Fr. Aaron is a Glenmary priest recently assigned to the missions in Bertie and Washington Counties NC. We had a fun conversation about the missions, his new assignment, his hopes, his dissertation, vocations and much much more. I think you can watch it out below or on our Glenmary vocations Facebook page.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Support Families, Not Destroy Them

Guest Blogger - an article by Glenmary's
Father John S. Rausch

As a Catholic priest I shudder when I read about families broken apart by the enforcement of our immigration laws. I know pastors with sizable numbers of immigrant parishioners who have stories about undocumented parents getting arrested, while their children who are U.S. citizens by birth, stand abandoned and feel bewildered. A recent case in Kentucky should spark a meditation.

Erick Cortez lived in Bardstown with his wife, their two children, and step-son. A resident of Nelson County for over 20 years, he provided for his family by working in construction as a foreman at a concrete plant, and was known as a hard worker. In 2010 he was pulled over by police because the tinted windows on his car appeared too dark. With that stop, police discovered Cortez was undocumented and reported him to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Cortez had immigrated to the U.S. when he was 15 years old. After his arrest, he unsuccessfully applied for a permit to stay in the country for those who came here as children. Last July when his appeals ran out, he was deported to Mexico, separated from his wife, children and the community he supported. He now must wait 10 years before he can legally apply to return.

With the recent decision to revoke the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), over 800,000 young people in the U.S. basically between the ages of 15 and 25, and over 6,000 DACA recipients in Kentucky alone, face the possibility of deportation in six months. I talked with one minister who encouraged young folks to “come out of the shadows” and register with DACA. He now feels betrayed by the government, embarrassed and angry. People in ministry try to build community and heal social brokenness. The current government policies on immigration destroy trust, breed fear, and stoke racism.

Our immigration system is broken. It divides families, allows corporations to detain people for profit, and compromises our historical commitment to refugees and asylum seekers. Children live in fear that their parents could be gone when they return from school. DACA recipients face the end of their schooling and apprenticeships. The border with Mexico has been labeled a militarized zone as more border agents oversee the area, and corporations anticipate the great profits from building the wall. What values do these policies express? What kind of country do we want to live in? Politicians blithely target the most vulnerable-- the undocumented who pick our vegetables and the youth unwittingly brought here-- rather than address the difficult task of reforming the immigration laws to reflect our current reality.

Any person of faith can consult the Scriptures: “You shall treat the alien who resides with you no differently than the natives born among you; you shall love the alien as yourself; for you too were once aliens in the land of Egypt” (Lev. 19:34). In our political discourse, these values seldom surface.

Laws must be respected, but unjust laws hold no moral obligation. Securing our boarders means effecting fair and just immigration policies that allow people a place in line—whereas currently no line exists.

We need immigration laws that honor families and extend compassion to DACA recipients, because more important than the papers we carry, is the image of God we bear as members of the human family.

Fr. John S. Rausch, a Catholic priest and member of the Glenmary Home Missioners, lives in Stanton, KY, and conducts a Ministry in Appalachian Justice Education.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

DACA Letters

An open letter to my Senators and Congressman

Dear Senator Portman, Senator Brown and Representative Davidson,

I am David Henley, from Ohio’s 8th Congressional District. I am a Catholic Religious Brother and serve my community as Vocation Director for the Glenmary Home Missioners.

I am writing to you because last week Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the cancellation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). I find the cancellation of this program reprehensible. I was shocked, disappointed, and angry by this announcement. I feel betrayed.

As a minister of the Church I have encouraged many young people to participate in the DACA program. For many of them, I wrote letters of support. DACA was a way for them to come out of the shadows and become contributing members of society. In the last five years, many of them have gone on to higher education and been able to find work to help support their families.

The young people who have received DACA status have done nothing wrong! They arrived in the USA as minors and for most of them; the USA is the only home that they know. They took a big step in coming out of the shadows, trusting that our government would protect them and allow them to stay. These young people have no other country to call home and canceling DACA makes it appear the U.S. Government is unwilling to welcome or protect them. By canceling DACA, these vulnerable young people with so much hope and potential, could lose their faith in the U.S. Government.

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, the President of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) said in reference to the cancellation of DACA that these actions “represent a heartbreaking moment in our history that shows the absence of mercy and good will, and a short-sighted vision for the future.” I hope that you will be on the side of history that has a positive, far-sighted vision for the future and can show good-will to the most vulnerable in our society.

I am writing this letter with sincere hope that you and your office will work to ensure that new legislation will be passed by the Congress to protect these young “dreamers.” I hope that the new legislation will include a pathway to citizenship for them, something that the DACA program did not offer. This legislation cannot wait; the cancellation of DACA has left these young people living in fear and unnecessary anxiety. Please act quickly to support a new legislative solution.

Sincerely,
Brother David Henley

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Summer and Fall Mission Assignments

Each summer, Glenmary students are assigned to a Glenmary mission or project. Their ministry/learning experience is an instrumental part of the formation. Sometimes students shadow the Glenmary priests and brothers in the missions and in other occasions they learn how to undertake a new project on their own. They learn new skills as they try putting what they learn in school/seminary into practice. Not only are they involved in the ministry in each site but the grow closer to their Glenmary brothers through their community living. Our seminarian Daniel Ochoa, recently wrote a brief refection about his most recent experience serving in Lafayette, TN.
Another article on our Glenmary website is about our novices "send-off" as they travel to Tennessee for a five month mission assignment. And enjoy this video of the brief send-off ceremony.