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FR. VINCENT LECLERCQ NAMED SECRETARY GENERAL FOR FORMATION PDF Print E-mail

Fr. Vincent Leclercq, A.A.December 17, 2017 - Rome

Following up on decisions made at the last general chapter, Fr. General in Council has appointed Fr. Vincent Leclercq Secretary general for Formation. The chapter decided to create the Office of the Secretary general for Formation because of the growing number of young men in formation and the urgency of paying adequate attention to their needs. There are currently more than 350 young religious in formation from novitiate to early priesthood throughout the world.

Here are some of the possible responsibilities of such an office:

- to accompany and encourage formators, in particular those who bear central responsibilities at the provincial level and those in charge of international formation houses;

- to develop a plan of formation for formators and to oversee the constitution of solid formation teams, based on a regular dialogue with provincials and the Superior general;

- to make proposals simplifying the discernment process at the different levels of formation, often perceived as too complex;

- to prepare first apostolic assignments, including specialized studies, keeping in mind mobilizing works and Assumptionist priorities;

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 January 2018 11:28
 
A PRAYER FOR THE CHRISTMAS SEASON PDF Print E-mail

Blessed Christmas Greetings From the Assumption Family

O God, who wonderfully created the dignity of human nature and and still more wonderfully restored it, grant, we pray, that we may share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity. Amen.
(Christmas Mass During the Day, Collect)

Blessed Christmas Greetings

From the Assumption Family

Last Updated on Sunday, 24 December 2017 22:39
 
PLENARY GENERAL COUNCIL TAKES PLACE IN ROME PDF Print E-mail

Plenary General Council in Rome

The first Plenary General Council (PGC) since the 33rd general chapter of the Congregation held last May is taking place at this time in Rome. The major item on the agenda of this gathering is the implementation of the many decisions made at that chapter, a huge and complex undertaking. The composition of this PGC features a number of new faces: in addition to the two new assistant generals, Frs. Miguel Diaz Ayllon and Thierry Kambale Kahongya, there are two new provincials in attendance, Frs. Benoit Bigard (Europe) and Dennis Gallagher (North America), as well as a new general secretary, Fr. Michel Kubler.

In explaining the role of the PGC, Fr. General said in his opening remarks, “The PGC is intended to offer us the opportunity to exercise coresponsibility. The Congregation is a whole and each province contributes to the life of the entire body of the Assumption. We put into practice here what has become known as an ecclesiology of communion. Responsibility for one’s province should never make one forget solidarity with the entire body of the Assumption. We are learning to discern together, to make decisions together, and to work together. From now on, it is impossible to enclose oneself within the limits of his province alone, even if it is vast. We must think catholic, that is to say, « with the whole in mind » (« selon le tout »), in the words of the Dominican theologian, Yves Congar.”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 January 2018 11:27
 
A Reflection on Mary’s Magnificat during this Final Week of Advent PDF Print E-mail

My soul doth magnify the Lordby Fr. Jacques Nieuviarts, AA

“The Magnificat is the song of hope, it is the song of the People of God walking through history,” Pope Francis said during his homily on August 15, 2013. He added, “it is particularly strong in places where the Body of Christ is suffering the Passion.” Everything is said of the Magnificat in these few words. It is at this depth that we must meditate on it and sing it. The wonders of God in the Scriptures are always, in multiple forms, passages from death to life. The Magnificat is a song of resurrection. It celebrates God’s life as stronger than death.  The Bible abounds with stories that speak of situations of hopelessness where death appears ready to win out. There is Hagar, Abraham’s servant, wandering in the desert with Ishmael, her son. They are about to die, she and her son, in the middle of the wilderness and drought. She cries out to the Lord; she shouts out her distress. And then the Bible says, in this astonishing way, “God heard the boy’s cry” (Gen 21:17). This isn’t some kind of mistake. It’s the profound truth that cuts across the entire Bible and that characterizes so many psalms: God hears the cry of those who are small; he listens to them (e.g. Ps. 22, Ps. 34). The entire Magnificat sings of this: “He fills the hungry with good things, he sends the rich away empty-handed…he raises up the lowly.”

A voice coming from the springs of God

Mary sings the Magnificat with a clear voice, with a voice that springs from God himself. And her song, in itself, seems to make the whole Bible resonate, the Bible that never ceases to affirm God’s fidelity and his special predilection for the meek and the small…and right from the very beginning.

One should also speak of Hannah, the mother of little Samuel. She would go to the temple in Shiloh every year. There she would pour out her tears for having never born a child. Eli, the priest, got upset with her, thinking that she was drunk. But she was drunk with sadness. Then Eli understood and affirmed that God had heard her and that the following year at the same time she would be holding a child in her arms. That would be the little Samuel and Hannah promised to give him to the Lord. He would become the prophet who would prepare the way of the Lord at the heart of his people and would one day administer the royal anointing to Saul and then David. Hannah, too, would sing a hymn of praise that greatly resembles that of Mary (I Sam 2:1-10), so much so that it is like its ‘ancestor.’ It is the Magnificat nine centuries before Christ’s birth.

God loves the humble. In the Bible they are called the “anawim,” “the poor of YHWH.” But this word describes more accurately those who are bent over, those under the heavy burden of suffering, of poverty, and of misery, of the oppression weighed down on them, and who know that in this misery the only one who will answer their cry is the Lord. That is why little by little they became the figure par excellence of the small and the humble. The Book of Exodus has strong words to express that God hears them and loves them. From the burning bush God says to Moses, “Yes, I have witnessed the affliction of my people in Egypt and have heard their cry against their taskmasters, so I know well what they are suffering” (Ex 3:7). But we also find these words: “If he cries out to me, I will listen; for I am compassionate” (Ex 21:26).

Welcoming the Magnificat at the center of our lives

My soul doth magnify the Lord

So all of this is contained in Mary’s hymn. She sang it shortly after the Angel Gabriel’s Annunciation to her, when she visited her cousin Elizabeth, pregnant in spite of her advanced age. Within Elizabeth the Baptist leapt for joy when Mary greeted her. The Precursor recognized Jesus and did so from Elizabeth’s womb. Mary, then, inspired by the Holy Spirit, broke forth with this canticle for it is a song of joy that can only come from God (Lk 1:39-55). It is in this way that we learn where to find the source of this song in our own lives: in the encounter or “visitation”, says the gospel, that is to say in the manifestation of God at the heart of the encounter. There we too find an invitation to recognize in our daily encounters the unexpected and joyful presence of the Lord, the manifestation of his unbelievable nearness to us, leading us to give thanks. So it is that we place ourselves in the line that goes back to the promise made by God to Abraham and “to his children forever.”

 
Greetings from Fr. Emmanuel d'Alzon Novitiate from Philippines PDF Print E-mail

Greetings from Fr. Emmanuel d'Alzon Novitiate from Philippines

 
FATHER DENNIS GALLAGHER, A.A. TALK ON EMMANUEL D'ALZON - PART II PDF Print E-mail

FATHER DENNIS GALLAGHER, A.A. TALK ON EMMANUEL D'ALZON - PART II

Last Updated on Friday, 15 December 2017 13:27
 
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City PDF Print E-mail

young members of Mexican Assumption and pilgrims arriving on the eve of Guadeloupe Feast
young members of Mexican Assumption and pilgrims arriving on the eve of Guadeloupe Feast

On December 12, 2017 the Assumptionists religious provided 87 prayer services and Masses to celebrate the most important religious event for the Mexican Catholics.  Twenty five Assumptionist brothers and fathers have gathered in the Mexico City communities of San Andreas, Casa Manuel and Emperatriz visiting churches, chapels and private homes from 8 am till 8 pm serving thousands of people. Celebration included all day fireworks, music, dancing and meals. During the same time millions of pilgrims have traveled to the Our Lady of Guadalupe Basilica in Mexico City. Father Alex Castro, Brother Dagoberto and Tomasz Jaster had an opportunity to visit and observe the preparations at the Basilica on the eve of the feast. They were struck by the number of people gathering in the areas, which were setting up tents, blankets or were just sleeping on the ground in order to be present at the Basilica on the day of the feast. Mexicans are very grateful for the patronage of Our Lady of Guadalupe for their country and love to express their love to her very generously.

Last Updated on Sunday, 17 December 2017 22:36
 
PROVINCE OF NORTH AMERICA WELCOMES NEW POSTULANT PDF Print E-mail

Fr. Dennis Gallagher, provincial, places a cross on newly accepted postulant, Matthew Mary Onyemaechi Okerete
Fr. Dennis Gallagher, provincial, places a cross on newly accepted postulant, Matthew Mary Onyemaechi Okerete

On Wednesday evening, December 6, Matthew Mary Onyemaechi Okereke was accepted into the postulancy program of the North American province by Fr. Dennis Gallagher, the provincial, who is currently attending meetings of the Congregation's Plenary General Council in Rome. Matthew Mary is a native of Nigeria who is in his last year of theology studies at the Angelicum (Pontifical University of St. Thomas) in the Eternal City. Matthew Mary completed his undergraduate studies in philosophy at the Dominican University in Ibadan, Nigeria. In Nigeria, he was involved for many years in youth ministry. He met the Assumptionists in Rome two years ago and began his period of candidacy last spring. He is interested in teaching one day. Matthew Mary's family resides in Lagos, where he has two married sisters and a brother who is still at home with their widowed mother. Matthew Mary is living at the general house in Rome where he will complete his period of postulancy. In his spare time, Matthew Mary enjoys spending time as a guide in Rome for English-speaking tourists.

Last Updated on Friday, 22 December 2017 10:21
 
FATHER DENNIS GALLAGHER, A.A. TALK ON EMMANUEL D'ALZON - PART 1. PDF Print E-mail

FATHER DENNIS GALLAGHER, A.A. TALK ON EMMANUEL D'ALZON - PART 1.

Last Updated on Friday, 08 December 2017 22:07
 
FR. JACOB BARASA, AA VISITS BRIGHTON PDF Print E-mail

Assumption High School in Nairobi, KenyaAssumption High School in Nairobi, Kenya

During his recent visit to the United States, Fr. Jacob Barasa, AA came to Brighton an shared with us his work at Assumption High School in Nairobi, Kenya. A member of St. Monica’s Parish, Fr. Jacob is the director of the school which serves both mixed boarders and day students, with seven teachers and five support staff.

It was originally the idea of Fr. Wilibrand, AA and a visionary project of the congregation, before he returned to Belgium. Giving witness to the charism of the Assumption, this successful year will be expanded next year with exciting plans for growth.  For this to come to fruition, mobilizing fund raising efforts is critical, according to Fr. Jacob.

The school is particularly concerned in reaching out to the poor, especially children from the slums and from single parent homes who need to beg for food and clean water.  Large numbers suffer from poor health and prostitution is a problem among the youth. Hopefully, it is education that will significantly help to break this cycle hopelessness and despair.

 
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