Category: Josephite News

Josephites Receive Donation from SOAR

SOAR! Support Our Aging Religious Foundation, whose mission is to provide grants to assist Catholic religious congregations care for aging members, awarded a generous donation to the Josephites to renovate a common space for retired priests residing at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Washington, D.C.  Father Paul Oberg, SSJ, accepted the $25,000 check from SOAR! board member Pamela Brancaccio.

Remember your loved ones on All Souls Day

In Autumn, the leaves change color. Flowers, once vibrant and bright, lose their luster. The Fall season makes us think of things past.

This is the time of year when we visit cemeteries and remember loved ones. We gather to pray for those who have gone before us. And in our prayers, we pray that “perpetual light will shine on them.”

Praying for the dead is a natural part of our faith. Our church teaches that “purgatory exists, and that the souls detained there are helped by the suffrages of the faithful.” We also know that those who have died in the love of God can have their souls purified “by the suffrages of the faithful in this life, that is, by Masses, prayers, and almsgiving, and by the other offices of piety usually performed by the faithful.”

angelThe Josephites annually observe the month of November as the time we pray in a special way for all of our deceased members, friends, relatives and benefactors. The Josephites conduct a “Nine Days of Prayer for the Departed” novena, Oct. 24 – Nov. 2. You are invited to join with us and remember your loved ones. The novena prayers can be found here. Donations from this Novena will support the ministry of Josephites and the education and training of future priests and brothers who will continue the ministry. Click here to make a donation now.

The most effective of all prayers is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The Josephites will remember your loved ones in the Masses we offer on All Souls Day, November 2. All Josephite seminarians, novices, priests and brothers will join our prayers with yours on their behalf.

Also, the Josephites offer throughout the entire month of November prayers for all the deceased loved ones you recommend to us. Make your prayer request here.

It is comforting to know that there is something that we can do for those we love. There is a way for us to remember them. We pray for them even as they watch over us and pray on our behalf before the Lord God. Thus, it is with confidence we pray, “Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord. May perpetual light shine upon them.”

How Long, Lord?

The following statement has been released by Bishop John H. Ricard, SSJ, superior general of the Josephites.

How Long, Lord?

The African American Catholic community joins others in collective grief over the most recent attacks on the lives of brothers and sisters in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. While deeply saddened, we must not allow our grief to lull us into inaction or hopeless resignation. We must not allow ourselves to become desensitized to these events. Rather, our grief must propel us to confront these heinous acts and any other acts that seek to demean, disrespect, or destroy God’s children.

While these are the most recent attacks, they are far from the only acts. They are linked to a broader effort to divide and disparage humanity. We offer brief, but not exhaustive, suggestions for moving forward, acknowledging that inaction leaves the door open for continued hatred and future acts of violence.

1. Acknowledge and confront racist hate speech, white supremacy, and white nationalism wherever it is observed. As God’s children, we must confront measures that seek to diminish the humanity of anyone. Incendiary language, especially when spoken by leaders, must be confronted and denounced. This is especially core to us as Catholics. Each of us is made in the image and likeness of God; therefore, hate speech and promotion of one race over another enact hatred upon our God. Hate speech not only encourages and inspires others to inflict violence as we have witnessed, but it also informs the way legislation is passed and important decisions are made. It impacts the way we treat one another.

2. Advocate for legislation that will significantly reduce not only the number of semi-automatic weapons on our streets but also the number of handguns. This could include background checks, waiting periods, bans, support of gun buy-back programs, and the like. Semi-automatic weapons and weapons in the hands of young people in urban areas have deadly consequences.

3. Advocate for more resources to be spent in areas of economic development, urban community revitalization, mental health treatment, domestic violence prevention, and education.

4. Increase efforts to promote and lobby for comprehensive immigration reform. Seek out and join coalitions and organizations working to pass this legislation. We must end separation of families and the inhumane treatment of children on the border. We acknowledge that people have a right to make asylum claims and remain in the United States while these claims are being processed.

5. Invoke the presence of the Holy Spirit. We encourage prayer for the victims of violence and their families, as well as those persons who inflict violence. Pray for a conversion of hearts and for the energy and faith to confront racism and violence whenever it emerges.

We are not satisfied in believing that these cruel acts are caused by a single issue. The connection and relationship between all these issues must be addressed in unison.

We share these reflections as pastors, religious, clergy, and laity in urban, suburban, and rural communities from parishes from all over the United States. We offer these reflections based on that which we have seen and heard, based on shared solutions, shared realities, and a shared love for all of God’s children.

The new Leadership Team for the Josephite Priests & Brothers

FROM THE SUPERIOR GENERAL

Dear Friends of the Josephites:
At the quadrennial meeting of Josephites in June, leadership was elected for the Society of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart.

I am honored to have been selected as Superior General at the June meeting in Louisiana. The Josephites have been a steady presence throughout my life, which started in Louisiana. At this moment in our history, which traces back to 1871, I ask for your prayers as I begin this new responsibility and mission.

Soon I will be moving from Washington, where I had been serving as rector of St. Joseph Seminary, to the Josephite headquarters in Baltimore.

I am blessed to have an excellent group of collaborators in Josephite leadership. Father Thomas Frank, SSJ, was selected vicar general. He previously served four years as consultor general. Father Ray Bomberger, an experienced Josephite pastor who will continue to serve the St. Peter Claver parish in West Baltimore, was selected to serve as the new consultor general.

Area Directors were also elected. These four Josephites will be the primary point of contact with our parishes and ministries in their regions of the country. Those selected are: Father Cornelius, Ejiogu, Father Godwin Ani, Father Joseph Benjamin and Father Kenneth Keke.

I commend Father Michael Thompson for his leadership. In his four years as superior general, he took on significant issues that laid the groundwork for future mission opportunities in the African-American community. His energy and enthusiasm were a catalyst for change and set a course for growth.

Also, Father Roderick Coates commendably served four years as vicar general. He led the successful 125th anniversary celebration and provided support to our priests and parishes in many ways.

The new leadership team, with God’s help and your support, will continue to provide the men and means for the Josephite mission.

Bishop John H. Ricard, Superior General

 

Read more about the General Council member’s here.

2020 Josephite African American History and Educational Calendar

The 2020 Josephite African American History and Educational Calendar is now available! Order for yourself, a friend, or your parish! The calendar gives homage to the Seven Sacraments and to the six Black American Catholic candidates for Sainthood who lived sacramental, spirit filled lives.

Order today!

St. Francis Xavier Parish turned 100

On Dec. 30, St. Francis Xavier, Baton Rouge area’s first black Catholic church celebrated its centennial. The Mass and Gala had a “Through trials and tribulations, by God’s grace, we triumph” theme. See photos from the celebrations here…

Centennial Mass

Centennial Gala

The Josephites 2018 Christmas Message

Father Michael L. Thompson, Superior General of the Josephite Fathers and Brothers, shares Christmas wishes! “The Joy of Christmas encourages the spirit of love and giving. Jesus was God’s gift to us.”

 

Requiescat in Pace Father John Joseph McBrearty

Father John Joseph McBrearty

The Josephite parishioners of St. Therese of Lisieux parish in Gulfport, MS, were saddened by the sudden death of their pastor, Father John Joseph McBrearty, on the afternoon of December 1, 2018.  At 87, he was the oldest active Josephite pastor. He is survived by a dear Sister-in Law, Evelyn McBrearty, of Donegal, Ireland. Three loving nieces, Noleen and Carmel, of Donegal, Ireland, and Rosemary of Sussex, England. A host loving of cousins in New York City.

Father McBrearty was born in Kilkar County, Donegal, Ireland on March 23, 1931.  After being educated in Ireland, he migrated to Chicago, IL and worked there for four years.  In 1958, he felt a vocation call to study for the priesthood with the St. Joseph’s Society of the Sacred Heart, and entered Epiphany Apostolic College in Newburgh, New York. Upon completion of his studies, John continued through the novitiate year and then priestly formation at St. Joseph Seminary in Washington, DC. On June 1, 1968, he was ordained a Josephite priest by Patrick Cardinal O. Boyle in Holy Comforter/St. Cyprian Church in Washington.

Fr. John’s first two priestly years were spent as an associate pastor at St. Vincent DePaul parish in Washington, DC.  Six years after this assignment he served as associate pastor at Church of the Epiphany parish in New Orleans.  He returned in 1974 to minister for three years as associate in Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Washington, DC.

Fr. John McBrearty received his first assignment as pastor in 1977, to Immaculate Conception parish in Lebeau, LA. After a brief stay he was assigned to Houston, TX, to pastor Our Lady Star of the Sea Church.  Four years later he did a two-year pastorate at Prince of Peace parish in Mobile, AL, followed by a six-year pastoral ministry at St. Francis of Assisi Church at Breaux Bridge, LA. In 1986 he served for one year at St. Joseph parish in Wilmington, DE, as pastor.

During the next sixteen years, Fr. McBrearty served as pastor at Sacred Heart, Raywood, TX (3 years), St. Joseph, Alexandria, VA (5 years) and St. Augustine, New Roads, LA (8 years).  He recently completed a renovation of the 80-year-old parish church at Gulfport, Mississippi.

A Funeral Mass for Fr. McBrearty will be held at 6:00 pm at St. Therese of Lisieux Church on Thursday, December 6, 2018.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 12:00 noon on Friday, December 7, 2018 at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.  Burial will follow in the parish cemetery.

May he be at peace in his 50th year as a priest.

Josephites celebrate 125 years of ministry with Mass at Baltimore Basilica

Over the weekend of November 16th, hundreds of people came to Baltimore to celebrate The Society of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart, The Josephites, 125 years of ministry in the African American Community.

The Mass and Banquet were joyous events with Josephite priests and brothers, religious sisters, and dedicated men and women who serve in this important ministry.

With the help of our generous donors, we have built churches and schools, provided formation for priests and brothers and collaborated with other religious communities and lay leaders to share the Good News.

Read the homily that was given by Father Michael Thompson, SSJ. And, see all the photos from the Mass and the Banquet.

If you would like to donate to support the Josephites’ mission, please do so here.

Requiescat in Pace Father John Edward O’Hallaran, S.S.J.

Father John E. O’Hallaran, 80, of Long Branch, New Jersey, passed away Sept. 2nd.

 

He was born Nov. 24, 1937 in Jersey City to the late John and Harriet (nee: Fitzgerald) O’Hallaran.

 

Father John was a 1956 graduate of Red Bank Catholic High School and started his evangelical ministry as a teenager where he lived and was raised in Asbury Park, NJ. In 1961 he entered the brotherhood of the St. Joseph Society of the Sacred Heart. In May of 1985, he entered the priesthood in the St. Joseph Society.

 

He served as pastor of multiple parishes throughout Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi

 

Father John retired in 2016 and lived at St. Joseph’s Manor in Maryland before returning home to New Jersey in 2018.

 

He is predeceased by his “embraced” family members, Mildred and Jose Rodriguez. He is survived by many cousins and his “embraced” family: Dominga, Evelyn-Sophia, Iris, Maribel, and Edwin Rodriquez.

 

A life celebration will be held Friday, Sept. 7, 2018 from 9-10 a.m. at the John E. Day Funeral Home, 85 Riverside Avenue, Red Bank, New Jersey, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. at St. James Church, 94 Broad Street, Red Bank, New Jersey. Interment will follow at St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Clayton, Delaware.

 

In lieu of flowers, donations in Father O’Hallaran’s name can be made to the Society of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart, 1097c West Lake Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21210.