|RIP: Friar James Tuxbury, 78|
CATSKILL, NY - Our brother, Fr. James Tuxbury, OFM, went to his eternal reward on Tuesday, April 20, at Columbia Memorial Hospital in Hudson, NY. Fr. James was 78 years old.
Charles James, son of Joseph G. and Mary (McNamara) Tuxbury, was born in Lynn, MA, on January 14, 1932. Following studies at Saint John's University, Collegeville, MN, James was ordained to the priesthood at Saint Joseph's Church, Lynn, on May 1, 1963 by Bishop Thomas J. Riley for the Diocese of Bismarck, North Dakota.
Following his ordination, Fr. James served in a variety of assignments in the Diocese of Bismarck until September 1980. At that time he began working in Missouri. When Bishop John F. Kinney became ordinary in 1983, Bishop Kinney gave him permission to work in the Archdiocese of Boston. James served at Saint Ann Church, Neponset (May 1984) and at Saint John the Baptist Church in Quincy (December 1986).
After his mother's death, having cared for her for a number of years, James petitioned "to become a friar in the Franciscan Province of the Immaculate Conception."
"For Tuxbury, the desire to become a Franciscan was always there. As a young boy growing up in Lynn and, making his way through Catholic schools, he envisioned a simple, priestly life following in the steps of St. Francis. 'Francis was so Christ like,' Tuxbury said. 'He was a model for all centuries' [The Patriot Ledger, January 5/6, 1991].
Excerpts from several of the recommendations that were submitted on his behalf validate the man we came to know:
"...Most importantly though I think his own life, sometimes marked by personal trial and difficulty, shines forth as one which shows the true priest; selfless, dedicated, determined, people-oriented and prayerful...."
"Tux is a community man, very kind and gentle. He has a good sense of humor and has wanted to be a Franciscan for many years...."
"...Father Tuxbury is a very dedicated and effective teacher. He works hard, prepares well and has an excellent sense of humor that is quite appealing to the young...."
"...During the time I have lived with him, he proved to be reliable and very helpful. He is very assiduous in cultivating his prayer life and in his reading of theology. The price you will have to pay for him is putting up with his jokes."
On February 1, 1991, Fr. James entered postulancy at Mount Alvernia Friary, Wappingers Falls. He was received into the novitiate on April 30, 1991 at Saint Anthony Friary, Catskill, and made his first profession of vows on May 1, 1992. James was admitted to solemn vows on August 15, 1995.
After solemn profession James was appointed pastor of Saint Margaret Church in Buzzards Bay. In August 2001, for medical reasons, Fr. James retired from full-time ministry with residence at Saint Anthony Friary, Catskill.
The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 28 at St. Anthony Friary in Catskill, with burial in the Friars' Mausoleum at Wappingers Falls.
"Friars must remember to offer suffrages for every deceased friar of the province, professed or novice. In particular, each priest shall offer the Eucharist twice." "When news of the death of a friar is received, a concelebrated Mass in his memory should be scheduled in the friaries of the province and the foundations." On the thirtieth day after and on the first anniversary of the death of a confrere, professed or novice, the Eucharist shall be celebrated for him in the house to which he was assigned at the time of death" (PS-8, 1-3).
Heavenly Father...we commend to your mercy Fr. James and our brothers who have embraced Sister Death and we thank you for the gift of their lives. United in faith and prayer, through the intercession of our Immaculate Mother Mary, Our Holy Father Saint Francis and Our Holy Mother Saint Clare, keep us ever steadfast in your love as we strive for your vision of a world made new.
|Three ordained as priests |
NEW YORK - In certainly one of the highlights of this Centenary year of our Province, three friars were ordained to the priesthood of Jesus Christ in the presence of family, friends and friars at St. Anthony Church in New York City on Saturday, April 24.
Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Apostolic Nuncio to the United Nations, was the ordaining bishop as Deacons Christopher Gaffrey, Giacomo La Selva, and Alvin Te became priests.
The newly ordained pictured with Archbishop Celestino Migliore and Provincial Minister Robert Campagna, OFM
In his homily, Archbishop Migliore highlighted what a wonderful event this ordination was precisely as the Church finds itself in the midst of crisis. He said, "No scandal, no misbehavior can stop the Holy Spirit from breathing new life, from renewing the face of the earth, from revitalizing his Church on earth. Brothers Alvin, Christopher and giacomo give us the opportunity this morning to sing aloud, though with humility and a sense of personal commitment, the Church is alive and young!"
The Archbishop also made mention of this celebration in the context of the ongoing Year For Priests. "There is no better way to celebrate the ongoing Year For Priests than providing the Church with fresh blood, with a new generation of priests. This emotion and joy bring to mind many beautiful thoughts...We are all thirsting for happiness. This thirst represents a pressing appeal for the Church to sing the Gospel in tune with our happiness. My religious practice and attendance must do me good. Sunday Masses must spread a message of compassion and consolation. Liturgy must be therapeutic and euphoric. Churches must resound with lovely words and healing experiences."
The candidates pray during the Litany of the Saints
The homily concluded with an exhortation to the values seen in the life of St. John Vianney, the patron of parish priests. Archbishop Migliore said, "This is the mandate which is given to you today by Saint Francis, your Father, who is the channel through which has passed the great charism which God gave to the Church 800 years ago and is still alive and active today. When you were ordained deacons, in handin you the book of hte Gospels, the bishop said to you, 'Believe what you read. Teach what you believe. Practice what you teach.' Your and our role model is Jesus the priest. We will pray with you and for you also through the intercession of St. John Mary Vianney. In conclusion, let me give you a peice of advice that I heard recently from a wise preacher at a first Mass: 'You have just given your whole life to the Lord, do not spend the rest of your life taking it back."
Fr. Christopher has been assigned as Associate Pastor at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Derry, NH; Fr. Giacomo as Associate Pastor at St. Francis of Assisi in Toronto, Canada; and Fr. Alvin will continue his ministry at St. Francis Centre in Caledon, Canada.
|Six men accepted into Postulancy Program |
NEW YORK - At an April 23rd meeting of the Provincial Council, the Provinial Board of Admissions approved six men to enter the Postulancy program this Fall.
Approved were Jason Dymek, 25, of Central Falls, RI; Riccardo Gemelli, Jr., 29, of West Newton, MA; William Toca, 45, of Plainfield, NJ; Zachary Wood, 20, of New Hartford, CT; Jared Cowell, 23, of Brockton, MA; and Stephen Nicholson, 23, of Jamaica Plain, MA.
Pictured are some of the men approved for Postulancy this Fall. Three of the men spent the Sacred Triduum at St. Leonard's in the North End
The program will begin on September 8 and will take place at St. Anthony Friary in Catskill, NY.
|Straw ballots counted, results sent to Rome |
NEW YORK - As this is an election year in our beloved Province, the first straw ballot for Provincial Minister has been tabulated at the Provincial Curia in New York City.
General Visitor Larry Dunham, OFM, presided over the counting of ballots along with tabulators Ronald Bolfeta, OFM, Francis Hanudel, OFM, and Courtland Campbell, OFM, on Saturday. All were sworn to secrecy before the counting began.
According to Provincial Statute 37, section 2b, the results of the straw ballot have been sent to General Minister José Rodriguez Carballo, OFM, who will review them with his Definitorium. After their consideration, an approved list of candidates will be sent back to the Province.
The General Definitorium begins its next Tempo Forte meeting today (Monday), and so the Province will likely hear back from Rome soon. Once that list has been sent back from the General Administration it will be mailed out to the Province.
|Agape to open new university in El Salvador |
SONSONATE, EL SALVADOR - On Tuesday, April 13, the first stone was placed on a new university structure in Chalatenango to be administered by Associacion Agape.
Friar Flavian Mucci said of the project, "We have a university here in Sonsonate and by next year we will have the new buildings of the university in Chalatenango which is north of our country. We have been administering this center of education for years now and finally the government will build us a better university for the future."
Both schools will be under the same name of The Franciscan University of El Salvador. The building should be completed by next year.
"We have worked years to get to this point and finally the dream is becoming a reality," Flavian said.
|St. Margaret School named Top 100 |
BUZZARDS BAY, MA - St. Margaret Regional School has been named as one of the Top 100 Schools in Massachusetts in the John Hopkins Center for Talent Youth Talent Search.
According to the John Hopkins University Center, "participating at high levels in the annual Talent Search reflects upon the school's academic quality, student abilities and teacher talent. It also reflects upon the school leadership that encourages students to seek out educational challenges beyond traditional school walls. It is a mark of quality."
Paul Hudson, principal of St. Margaret's added, "Everyone is most proud of the students who have brought this distinction to our school, their families and to themselves."
St. Margaret Regional School is a regaional Catholic school in the Diocese of Fall River providing educational programs for kindergarten through grade eight. Fr. Francis de Sales Paolo is the parish's Pastor; Fr. Giles Barreda is the associate.
(This article originally appeared in the April 30, 2010 issue of The Anchor, newspaper of the Diocese of Fall River, MA.)
|FMU announces Day of Remembrance for missionaries killed |
NEW YORK - The Franciscan Missionary Union of our Province has announced that May 31 will serve as a Day of Remembrance for missionaries and pastoral workers killed during 2009.
The list of missionaries killed on active duty last year was compiled by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. It includes the names of missionaries as well as all pastoral workers who died violent deaths, sacrificing their lives as a result of hatred of the faith or other reasons. The list avoids using the term "martyrs," leaving this judgment of merit to the Church.
In 2009, 37 missionary murders were reported, compared to 20 in 2008. The most recent list includes 30 priests, three women religious, two seminarians and three lay evangelizers.
Of these missionaries, representing 16 nationalities, 12 were killed in Brazil and Colombia, which reported six victims each.
Among the priests killed in Brazil was Spanish Father Ramiro Ludena, 64, who ministered to the poor for 34 years before he shot March 19 by a 15-year-old youth.
Father Gisley Azevedo Gomes, 31, worked in the national youth ministry office of the bishops' conference, and was murdered June 15 by a group of young men near Brasilia.
On Sept. 19, an Italian fidei donum missionary, Father Ruggero Ruvoletto, 52, was killed in his parish by a blow to the head.
A week later, on Sept. 26, Father Evaldo Martiolo, 33, who belonged to the Diocese of Cacador, was murdered in a robbery by a 21-year-old youth and a 15-year-old adolescent.
A priest who served the Brazilian bishops' conference as advisor of the youth section, Father Hidalberto Henrique Guimarães, 48, was found stabbed and beaten to death in his home in Brazil. Two adolescents, aged 16 and 19, were arrested for the crime.
In Columbia, five priests and a lay person were killed while evangelizing. These included two Redemptorists, Father Gabriel Fernando Montoya Tamayo, 40, and Father Jesús Ariel Jiménez, 45, who were murdered March 16 at the boarding school where they were working with indigenous children.
The lifeless body of Father Oscar Cardozo was found last September in his parish house in Villavicencio after he had been strangled to death.
Also killed in his residence at night was Father Emiro Jaramillo Cárdenas. Father Juan Gonzalo Aristizabal Isaza was found dead in his car, abandoned on a highway.
The sixth missionary was Jorge Humberto Echeverri Garro, a catechist who worked for social peace but was killed by guerrillas during a meeting about Church projects.
The 12 deaths in North America took place in Mexico, Cuba, El Salvador, the United States, Guatemala and Honduras.
In Mexico, a priest and two seminarians were forced from their car and shot dead while on their way to a meeting on vocations.
Two Spanish priests were killed in Cuba: Father Eduardo de la Fuente Serrano, 59, was killed Feb. 14 on a street outside Havana, and Father Mariano Arroyo Merino, 74, who was found dead July 13 in his parish tied, gagged, and burned.
Another two lives were claimed in El Salvador. Salvadoran Redemptorist Father Leopoldo Cruz was found dead in a canal in a rural area of San Salvador, several days after he had disappeared.
William Quijano of the Sant'Egidio Community, who had been working with poor children in the School of Peace, was killed by a gang near San Salvador.
The only female religious killed in North America was Sister Marguerite Bartz of the Sisters of the Most Blessed Sacrament, who was killed in her convent on a Navajo Indian reservation in New Mexico.
Also in the United States, Father Ed Hinds, 64, pastor of St. Patrick's Church in Chatham, New Jersey, was found lifeless in his parish residence with 32 stab wounds.
In Guatemala, American Father Lorenzo Rosebaugh of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate was shot and killed May 18.
In that same country, Franciscan Father Miguel Ángel Hernández, 45, was found murdered in a hotel room Nov. 10 after having been kidnapped several days earlier.
The report included 11 violent deaths of missionaries in Africa, two in Asia and one in Europe.
Fides pointed out that the Church also remembers those of whom there is no news, "many who perhaps will never be known of, who in every corner of the planet suffer and even give their lives for their faith in Christ."
"This is the 'cloud of unknown soldiers of the great cause of God' -- in the words of Pope John Paul II -- to whom we look with gratitude and reverence, even without knowing their faces, because without them, the Church and the world would be enormously impoverished," the agency stated.
Fides quoted Benedict XVI's words on the feast of the first martyr, St. Stephen, last Dec. 26: "The martyr is, in fact, the person who dies in the certainty of being loved by God and, placing nothing before love for Christ, knows he has chosen the better part.
"Fully identifying himself with the death of Christ, he realizes that he is a life-giving seed that opens the way for peace and hope in the world."
|Guadalupe Province celebrates 25th Anniversary |
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The Province of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Southwest is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
Fr. Jack Clark Robinson, OFM, provides some province history in the March 18 issue of OLG's newsletter, Padres Trail. He writes: "Our Lady of Guadalupe Province of the Order of Friars Minor formally came into existence during a celebration of evening prayer in St. Francis Cathedral in Santa Fe, N.M., on the third of January 1985."
The roots of OLG Province go back to 1897, when the friars of St. John the Baptist Province in Cincinnati decided to send missionaries to work among the Navajo nation at the encouragement by St. Katherine Drexel, who was highly committed to work among Native American peoples. The first friars arrived in 1898, founding St. Michael's Mission, Arizona, to serve the Navajo. In the early 20th century the work of the friars expanded to minister among the Pueblo people, neighboring Hispanic villages, and parishes in such cities as Roswell and Clovis. The friars' ministry continued to expand through the 1950s.
As Fr. Jack explains, changes within the Church and Order in the 1960s and '70s that encouraged local decision making, a growing realization of the value of diverse local cultures, and the emergence of Franciscan leaders such as Fr. John Vaughn, OFM, Fr. John Altman, OFM, and Fr. Jeremy Harrington, OFM, were all factors leading to the decision of the 1984 chapter of St. John the Baptist Province to let the friars in the Southwest form an independent province.
"Undeniably, the biggest single fact in the history of the province since its founding has been the reduction of the number of friars within it. Once the Province of Our Lady of Guadalupe was born in 1985, a number of factors contributed to the decline in the number of friars from 100 in 1985 to 60 in 2010, even as the friars struggled through the years to maintain the ministries which the friars who formed the Province conducted at the time," he wrote.
"Almost 200 different men were at one time or another part of the province during the years, some very briefly. Amazingly, more than 40 friars have been part of the Province of Our Lady of Guadalupe Province for the entire time of its 25-year existence. All in all, the friars did an amazing amount of work."
Fr. Jack wrote that the friars' perseverance and faithfulness to their call during trying conditions of the first 25 years are an inspiration for the future.
The challenges facing the friars of OLG Province are not unique but typical of those confronting most religious communities, according to Franciscan historian Dominic Monti, OFM. "Our own Holy Name Province has seen a large decline in membership. In 1985, we had 708 friars, and we now have 359."
(This story originally appeared in HNP Today, April 28)
|The Order by the numbers |
ROME - The May issue of Fraternitas
reported the following statistics for the Order for 2009:
As of December 31, 2009, there are 14,525 Friars Minor compared to 14,724 in 2008, a drop of 199. Further data: There are currently 586 Postulants, who are not part of the official count; 399 Novices; 1,426 Simply Professed; 12,700 Solemnly Professed among which 9,866 are priests; 73 Permanent Deacons; 1,462 with a clerical option; 2,332 Lay Brothers; and 280 Friars without an option. There are 6 Franciscan
Cardinals; 6 Archbishops, and 107 Bishops. The total number of Friars that
passed away in 2009 was 321.
The Friars are present in 110 countries: In Africa and the Middle East there are 1109; Latin America 3,505; North America 1,510; Asia-Oceania 1,295; Western Europe 4,612; Eastern Europe 2,494.
The universal fraternity is structured in 102 Provinces, 8 Autonomous Custodies, 14 Dependent Custodies, 1 Federation, 20 Foundations, 14 Conferences of Ministers Provincial, and 3 Unions of Conferences in Asia/Oceania (FCAO), Latin America (UCLAF), and Europe (UFME).
Although the total number is not included here; nevertheless, it can be a favorable occasion "to take time out along the way to discern where we are, where we are going, where the Spirit is driving us, and where it is we want to go" (Starting Afresh From the Gospel, p. 9).
|New Provincials, Visitors |
ROME - The May issue of Fraternitas
reported the following friars elected as Provincial Ministers and appointed as General Visitors:
New Provincial Ministers:
► Br. Francesco Bravi (former Vicar General of the Order) was elected Minister Provincial of the Province of St. Charles Borromeo in Lombardy in
► Br. Antonio Scabio was elected Minister Provincial of the Venetian
Province of St. Anthony in Italy.
► Br. Stane Zore was elected Minister Provincial of the Province of the
Holy Cross in Slovenia.
► Br. José Antonio Castiñeira Chouza was elected Minister Provincial
of the Province of St. James of Compostela in Spain.
► Br. José Antonio Jordá Tomás was elected Minister Provincial of the
Province of St. Joseph, Husband of the BVM, in Spain.
►Br. Reinald Van Laer was elected Minister Provincial of the Province of St. Joseph, Husband of the BVM, in Belgium.
New General Visitor:
► Br. Dominic Vincent Monti, of the Province of the Holy Name Jesus
in the USA, was appointed Visitator General to the Province of the Assumption of the BVM in the USA.
►Br. Manuel Anaut Espinosa, of the Province of the Holy Gospel in
Mexico, was nominated Visitator General to the Province of the Three
Companions in France-Belgium.
|Prayer for Vocations |
O Mary Immaculate, Patroness of the Americas
and Queen of the Order of Friars Minor,
we ask you to inspire humble and chosen souls
for a life in Christ and in the spirit of St. Francis.
foster vocations to our Order and to our Province,
so that seraphic love, labor and sacrifice
will ever flourish in this land dedicated to your protection.
|VOCATION DISCERNMENT WEEKEND|
The Vocation Office will hold a Discernment Retreat Weekend next month. Please advertise the weekend in your bulletins, websites and other publications:
St. Leonard Friary, Boston, MA
* Please note the date has changed from earlier publication due to scheduling conflicts.