Augustinians of the Assumption

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Trinity Sunday, 2018

Homily on the occasion of the ordination anniversaries (60+) of Assumptionists Oliver Blanchette, Theodore Fortier, Aidan Furlong, Roland Guilmain, Eugene LaPlante, Norman Meiklejohn, Gerard Messier and Camillus Thibault.

The Gospel for today’s feast of the Holy Trinity contains within it the Great Commission at the end of Matthew’s Gospel, the Risen Lord sending the apostles out to all the world.

When you consider the places where these men have exercised their priesthood - In Mexico City, London, Moscow, Athens, New York City, Peru, the Congo, Quebec City, Boston, Worcester, and even Fiskdale ( I’m sure this is not an exhaustive list) -  I’d say they have responded pretty well to that commission.

It’s clear to me that people love their priests.  Maybe it’s better to say they love the priesthood, but priesthood does not exist in the abstract. It’s always embodied in flesh and blood, this treasure carried in earthen vessels.  So, maybe we can say, people love these particular men who have been faithful, over many years (count, all together, 512 years) to the high and humbling calling they have received. They are the ones who have given us Christ, not as functionaries but in their very persons. The priesthood has taken its lumps in recent years as a result of grievous and self-inflicted wounds, but, if I may say so, we still love our priests.

It is a peculiar calling, especially in the present context. It is not a vehicle for self-expression, but consists entirely in doing the bidding of another.  Its clearest meaning is right here in today’s Gospel: Jesus gives his power to the apostles in such a way as to make their ministry a continuation of his own. That’s the amazing thing.  “All power is given to me by my Father, go, therefore…”  We are bidden to take responsibility for carrying on Christ’s mission in the world.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 June 2018 11:40

Bro. Daniele Caglioni, A.A.

By Bro. Daniele Caglioni, A.A.

A vocation is not a single moment in our lives. It is a word from God for us which unfolds day by day. God calls… that’s what vocation means. Who is there to listen? Vocation, especially today, asks us to listen attentively to God in His Word, His sacraments, and in our brothers and sisters in the Lord. This act of listening is so crucial because of our vocation’s unfolding. God is never done revealing Himself to us, never done calling us to share in His life. Since returning from Novitiate in the Philippines and embarking on theology studies at St. John’s Seminary, I’ve had to remind myself each day to listen to the Lord above all. In a society that bombards constantly us with images, sounds, and rhetoric, it can be hard to keep His voice at the center of our hearts, to preserve the peace of our “upper room” into which God alone can enter.

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 May 2018 14:26

Fr. Eugene LaPlante, A.A., superior of Old English RoadI started feeling attracted to poetry in high school and it never went away. I started writing poetry while at the Montmartre Canadien in Quebec City. Each religious had to write for the Sunday bulletin, and my first piece was a prayer for vocations in poetic form. It was like a push to continue. So I did. Whenever I wrote a poem in French or in English, I’d make a version in the other language.

When I was stationed in Brighton, I was working at Babson College as the Catholic chaplain. It was only a part-time job. I had a lot of free time, so I decided to try prose and perhaps begin an autobiography. But then I thought of doing a novel. I sat at my word processor and typed a title—Cold Morning—and continued typing until the novel was complete. I immediately started a second one, Frozen Days, until I’d finished twelve of them. There were three series of four following the seasons and ending with Summer Squalls or the Carousel Caper. Another, October Surprise, is on the way, but that one will have to wait.

Last Updated on Monday, 21 May 2018 13:06


Father Ron Sibugan,A.A.
Homily for Baccalaureate Mass 2018
May 12th, 2018
Unity - Goodness - Sanctity

Bishop McManus, Bishop Barron, President Cesareo, members of the Class of 2018, honored guests, one and all, Good evening to all of you!

Students, I have had the great privilege of being able to share a meal with many of you. For, as most of you know, I live in one of the dorms here at Assumption, in Plough, and part of my responsibilities as a minister in the residence halls is to deepen my relationships with students and serve in the dorms as a minister. By way of doing that, I have been inviting students, many of you here tonight, to a cooked meal!  It’s truly a great ministry. I joke with Father John that one of my responsibilities at Assumption is not only that of a priest and campus minister, but also that of a cook ----- but your mothers and grandmothers here today need not worry.  I usually cook rice with chicken adobo, or pasta with chicken parm or chicken picatta.  I guess many of you who had a meal with me liked it well enough that you asked me to deliver the homily on this very special occasion of your Baccalaureate Mass tonight.  Actually what I’d like to share with you today is the significance of having a meal together.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 May 2018 09:25
Assumptionists renew commitment to St. Anne and St. Patrick Parish PDF Print E-mail

Father Alex Castro, A.A.By Margaret M. Russell 
The Catholic Free Press
May 4, 2018

The Assumptionists are rededicating themselves to St. Anne and St. Patrick Parish in Sturbridge by establishing a new local community of men there. 
Assumptionist Father Dennis M. Gallagher, provincial superior of the North American Province, made the announcement after Masses this past weekend. He said the number of priests serving the parish has been dwindling. Currently there are two Assumptionist priests assigned to cover the parish and St. Anne Shrine – Father Peter R. Precourt, pastor, and Father Peter Omwoyo, associate. The parish of 1,300 registered families is not staffed by diocesan priests. 
“Two people do not make a community,” Father Gallagher said. “We are at a crossroads and we can’t continue to be a presence at St. Anne’s with only two people.” 
Father Gallagher said Bishop McManus was pleased when he informed him that the Assumptionists will be making personnel changes to ensure that a community of three men would live at the parish and shrine. 
Constituting a local community of at least three assures that “we have a community carrying out the essential elements of religious life,” living together and praying together, Father Gallagher said. 
For the past year the pastor has gotten help with  sacramental ministry on the weekends from the Emmanuel House Assumptionist community in Worcester. 
Effective Aug. 1, Father Alex Castro, 46, will be the new pastor, Father Gallagher announced. Father Castro, a native of the Philippines, is also serving as the provincial treasurer, responsible for the United States, Mexico and Quebec. He spent his novitiate at St. Anne and St. Patrick, followed by his first profession of vows in 2004, according to an interview published on the Assumptionists’ website. 


Students at Assumption High School in Nairobi, Kenya.
Students at Assumption High School in Nairobi, Kenya.
(Credit: the Augustinians of the Assumption in the United States.)

Apr 29, 2018

People who have heard of the Augustinians of the Assumption, more commonly known as the Assumptionists, probably know of Assumption College, located in Worcester, MA.

But that’s not the only Assumptionist school. In fact, the congregation has educational institutions all over the world.

The Rev. Jacob Barasa, A.A., director of the new Assumption High School in Nairobi, Kenya, said through email they decided to open the school to help “curb the lack of secondary schools” in the area and to provide a solid education.

“Assumption High will help in planting seeds of Christian values so that we promote holistic formation of our citizens,” he said via email.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 May 2018 09:15

Fr. Barry Bercier AAThe latest update from Fr. Barry serving for one year the Inuit Catholic parish in Igloolik (above the Arctic Circle)...

"There are times when I think I’m back in my hometown with our old Hungarian family.  When I see the Inuit sitting on the floor, gathered together for a feast of raw seal and caribou, I think of my family sitting on overturned bushel baskets in the cellar, spending a week separating grapes from their stems to make wine. That world has been devoured by modernity’s merciless bureaucracy.  The culture of death isn’t limited to abortion clinics...   It’s our automatic mindset, invisible to us.

You asked about vacations up here.  Flights out of Igloolik are prohibitively expensive.  Today I head to my other mission, Hall Beach.  A 15 minute flight.  I always go standby, because that takes something off the price of the ticket, but still, for two trips to Hall Beach I could do round trip from Boston to Ben Gurion. And I’m too old to go camping out on the ice. vacation!

Being stuck indoors has been an opportunity to write, however. I guess that’s my vacation.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 May 2018 09:14

Jessica Ferronetti ’18 Awarded Distinguished Fulbright Grant

"Last summer, she spent the summer in Buenos Aires teaching English and Spanish to students aged eight through 17 at two different Assumptionist schools, an internship program offered by the Modern and Classical Languages and Cultures Department at Assumption."

Assumption College senior Jessica Ferronetti, of Andover, has received a Fulbright award for the English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Program in Argentina. The grant will enable Ferronetti to teach English in local classrooms while serving as a cultural ambassador for the United States. She is one of a select number of Assumption students awarded this prestigious designation.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 April 2018 10:24

SALUBONG: An Easter Encounter by Bro. Blair Nuyda, A.A.

The theme for the last "Conversations..." at the Assumptionist Center for the semester was "Art and Faith." Our presenter, Bro. Blair Nuyda, A.A., is our artist in residence. Bro. Blair is completing his D.Min. in transformative leadership, with a focus on art and faith at Boston University School of Theology. He was also a former editor and creative director of Living with Christ in the Philippines and is an illustrator, graphic designer and campus minister.His presentation was his personal story illustrating how he first experienced the power of visual art reinforcing faith and vice versa. He explored the different possibilities of integrating art and faith that could help advance God's plans for us and the whole of creation.What followed his presentation was a lively discussion and exchange of ideas which, as usual, led to sharing over a delicious brunch.

 SALUBONG: An Easter Encounter by Bro. Blair Nuyda, A.A. - PDF file

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 April 2018 10:25


As a young child, I remember watching my mother sew. She never actually taught me how to sew, but it was something I embraced once I became a young mother. I made costumes for alloween and for school projects. I even was so bold as to reupholster a couch and chair that had been handed down. When I returned to teaching, the sewing machine and fabric were put away until recently. Now the projects involve creating beautiful liturgical settings for our chapel.

Terry Johnson, Lay Assumptionist


About 10 years ago, at the end of summer, I decided to compile all our family recipes. Some were half torn, yellow with age, and some written on small pieces of paper.  The “authors” were grandmothers, aunts, mothers and daughters—all great cooks. I brought it to a publisher in Webster who printed it, bound it and by Christmas all our family households had a copy under their tree. To this day, our family refers to it as “The Book”

Sylvia Desautels, Lay Assumptionist

Last Updated on Friday, 13 April 2018 14:21
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