Category: Josephite News

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.

Requiescat in Pace Father Charles Patrick Moffatt, S.S.J.

Father Charles Patrick Moffatt, S.S.J.

Josephite Father Charles Patrick Moffatt died at Stella Maris Nursing Home in Baltimore, MD on August 7. He had been a patient there for the last three months. He was 92 years old and a priest for 61 years.

A proud native of Detroit, Michigan, he was born June 14, 1926, baptized in Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church and educated in its parish school. Charles attended St. Anthony High School and University of Detroit, in the Motor City. He served seven months in Germany with the U.S. Army Infantry during World War II, as a Corporal and received an ETO, Rhineland Campaign medal. Upon completing college, Charles worked as an Investigator with the Detroit Welfare Dept. He entered St. Joseph’s Seminary in 1951 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1957.

Fr. Moffatt’s first assigned as an assistant at St. Francis Xavier parish in Baltimore and two years later was sent as an assistant at Our Mother of Mercy Church in Beaumont, Texas where he served for five years. He was assigned to Epiphany Church in New Orleans for another two years when he was appointed to his first pastorate at St. Philip Church, also in the Crescent City.

After overseeing the building of a new church at St. Philip’s following the destruction of Hurricane Betsy, Fr. Moffatt was assigned in 1968 as pastor of the only Josephite parish in his native Detroit at St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church. In 1973 he was assigned back in New Orleans to St. Raymond Church where he administered the building of a new church, he left in 1981 for further studies at the University of Notre Dame.

In 1982 he served one year at St. Joseph’s in Welch, LA, and then was assigned to an eight-year term as pastor at Our Mother of Mercy parish in Houston, TX. He was then assigned an eight-year term as pastor in 1991 to Most Pure Heart of Mary parish in Mobile, Alabama.

Fr. Charles served in the vocation department, then in 2005 another four-year ministry as pastor of St. Luke Catholic Church in Washington, DC.

Fr. Moffatt’s final active five years served as clergy fill-in, while residing at St. Francis of Assisi parish in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. Failing health brought him to St. Joseph Manor in 2014.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 1501 Oliver Street, Baltimore, MD 21213, on Tuesday, August 14 at 11 a.m. with viewing beginning at 9 a.m. until Mass time. Burial will follow at New Cathedral Cemetery in Baltimore.

Preceded in death were Fr. Moffatt’s parents Patrick and Christina, his sister Maureen (Bill) Mott and his brother Gerald Moffatt.

Surviving are his sister Gertrude White, nephews Mark (Teri) White and Brian White, Peter (Carol) Mott, Kevin (Kathy) Mott, Bill (Nadine) Mott Jr., Tom (Pam) Mott, Michael (Jill) Mott and David (Heather) Mott. Also survived by his niece Kathleen (Ken) Mott-Crossman, 29 great nephews and nieces and several great -great nephews and nieces.

The newest Josephite priest; Reverend Father Kingsley Ogbuji, SSJ Ordained Saturday 19th May 2018.

Congratulations Reverend Father Kingsley Ogbuji, SSJ

Ordination day of Fr. Kingsley with the ordaining bishop Ricard. Saturday 19th May 2018.