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Vocations and Formation


Vocations and Formation

Stewardship Update

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Vocations and Formation


Vocations and Formation

Stewardship Update

 
 
  • There are nearly four dozen men in Augustinian formation across the United States and Canada.

 

  • The Midwest Province of Augustinians currently have 17 men in formation.  We have not had this many men in formation for our Province in decades!

 

  • This past July, the Augustinians welcomed its largest class of novices to profess vows:  eleven newly professed friars!

 

  • This past June, Richie Mercado, O.S.A., became the newest friar ordained to the priesthood for the Midwest Province.  We anticipate that Brother Stephen Isley, O.S.A., will be ordained a priest in the summer of 2017.

 

  • The number of people visiting augustinianvocations.org has nearly doubled this past year!  Between July 2015 and June 2016, over 15,000 unique visitors learned more about Augustinian vocations, especially from metropolitan Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles.

 

  • We have a larger vocations team to reach more people across the United States and Canada:  Father Tom McCarthy, O.S.A. (Director for Midwest, Eastern, and Canadian Provinces); Father Tom Whelan, O.S.A. (Director for Western Province); Father Jorge Cleto, O.S.A. (Director for Spanish-speaking Vocations); Father Richie Mercado, O.S.A. (Assistant Director for Midwest); Father Joseph Aloysius Murray, O.S.A. (Assistant Director for East Coast); Bernadette DiLucido (Office Assistant); and Patrick Murphy (Assistant for Online Media).
When I am asked by other Provincials at CMSM [Conference of Major Superiors of Men] meetings, what we are doing to be getting so many candidates, I tell them that we have made a concerted effort to create a culture of vocations, commit resources and personnel, the Holy Spirit has blessed us, and our Vocation Office is open late night! Yes, Father Tom is willing to talk to young candidates when they want to, even if that means 10 or 11 o’clock at night!
— Fr. Bernie Scianna, O.S.A.
 
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Care for Retired and Infirm Augustinians


Care for Retired and Infirm Augustinians

Stewardship Update

Care for Retired and Infirm Augustinians


Care for Retired and Infirm Augustinians

Stewardship Update

 
 
  • Our Province's "Covenant of Care" program is still a priority.  The program emphasizes that friars will be kept in a religious community as long as possible, keeping true to the charism of the Augustinians.  Retired friars live in active communities where the Augustinians presently minister in schools and parishes.

 

  • When friars need more care, most move to the Blessed Stephen Bellesini Friary in Crown Point, Indiana, where they can remain in a community of Augustinian friars and enjoy the facilities of Saint Anthony Home.  Saint Anthony is a Catholic retirement community sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago; the facility offers all the necessary levels of medical care for the friars.

 

  • There are presently 24 total friars in full retirement in our Midwest Province with an additional 13 friars in "semi-retirement."  Friars in semi-retirement may assist in residence at our parishes, as priors of our communities, or other part-time ministries that might earn modest salaries for the Province.

 

  • Among our retired friars, 16 of them are members of the Blessed Stephen Bellesini Friary at Saint Anthony Home in Crown Point, Indiana.  Due to varying circumstances, one friar receives care at Mercy Circle in Chicago, and another friar receives care at Montereau in Tulsa.  All others remain members of our "active" communities in our schools and parishes.
 
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Missions in Peru


Missions in Peru

Stewardship Update

Missions in Peru


Missions in Peru

Stewardship Update

 
 
  • We began our mission in Peru in 1963 at the request of Saint John XXIII to evangelize Latin America.  The late Bishop John McNabb, O.S.A., made it his priority to focus on "building people, not building buildings."  Our focus has been on building the Peruvian clergy.  Today, our Augustinian Vicariate in Peru is almost entirely Peruvian!  There are now only three Augustinian missionaries serving from the United States:  Fathers John Lydon, O.S.A.; Richard Palmer, O.S.A.; and John Tyma, O.S.A.  Bishops Robert Prevost, O.S.A.; and Dan Turley, O.S.A., also serve in the Peruvian Dioceses of Chiclayo and Chulucanas, respectively.

 

  • This year, 22 novices entered the Augustinian novitiate in Lima.  Much like our novitiate in Wisconsin includes novices from different provinces, Lima now houses Augustinian novices from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, and Peru.  Fourteen men professed their first vows as Augustinians this year, and one friar from our missions in Northern Peru, Martín A. Arraiza Córdova, O.S.A., was ordained to the priesthood.

 

  • This year, the three Augustinian vicariates in Peru (Apurímac in the South near Machu Picchu, Chulucanas in the North near Ecuador, and Iquitos in the Amazon Jungle) entered into an official Federation in the Augustinian Order.  This step moves the Augustinians in Peru one step closer to becoming their own Augustinian Province.

 

  • The neediest parish we serve in our missions is in the small town of Pacaipampa in the Andes Mountains.  A few years ago, the parish began a program to offer free lunches and housing to students attending nearby grade school.  The children's parents, considered "extremely impoverished" under the standards of the United Nations, otherwise could not afford to have their children attend school.  Instead of walking a daily four hours to school, students are able to find safe housing with locals in the parish.  The lunch room provides them with all the food that their parents may not be able to afford away from home.  This past year, the program has sponsored 65 young children and still continues to find an increasing demand.

 

  • One other long-term project, the development of the first Augustinian high school of our missions in Northern Peru, is still in its developing stages.  The new "Saint Augustine High School" will be constructed in Trujillo, the country's third largest city by population.  A few years ago, Augustinians from North America assisted in funding the purchase of the land where the school will be built.  Since this time, the Augustinians have been developing a nearby elementary school branch of the future school.  The Augustinians in Peru are presently developing funding strategies to construct the school's facilities.
 
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Providing Education in Augustinian Schools


Providing Education in Augustinian Schools

Stewardship Update

Providing Education in Augustinian Schools


Providing Education in Augustinian Schools

Stewardship Update

 

 

  • Saint Rita of Cascia High School restructured its leadership model this past year. The school is now led by Father Paul Galetto, O.S.A., Ph.D., as the new Head of School and Chief Executive Officer, while Mr. Mike Zunica serves as the school’s President and Chief Advancement Officer. Father Galetto most recently served as the Assistant Dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University and the President of Saint Augustine Preparatory School in Richland, New Jersey. Now having completed their initial formation, two other Augustinians have been assigned to Saint Rita as their first “active” ministries. Father Richie Mercado, O.S.A., serves as the school’s Chaplain and Director of Augustinian Mission; Brother Joe Ruiz, O.S.A., now teaches Theology at the school. With increased Augustinian presence at the school and a new leadership team in place, the school is poised is to offer a rewarding Catholic education to young men across the South Side of Chicago.

 

  • This past year, Cascia Hall has announced that Mr. Todd Goldsmith would be named the new principal of the middle school. He comes to Cascia having previously served as the superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Tulsa from 2002 to 2012 and as president of Aquinas Catholic Schools in Lacrosse, Wisconsin, from 2012 to 2016. Brother Nick Mullarkey, O.S.A., has been assigned to teach theology at the school for his pastoral year, a stage in his formation process to become a solemnly professed Augustinian. A group of students is also set to volunteer in our Peruvian missions in early 2017.

 

  • This past June, Richie Mercado, O.S.A., became the newest friar ordained to the priesthood for the Midwest Province.  We anticipate that Brother Stephen Isley, O.S.A., will be ordained a priest in the summer of 2017.

 

  • Providence Catholic High School is the largest secondary school served by the Augustinians. This past school year, its graduates earned scholarships valued at nearly $30 million. The class of 2016 performed over 100,000 hours of community service in their time at Providence. The school holds 30 state championship titles, making it the most among private high schools in the State of Illinois.
 
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Parish Ministry Across the Midwest


Parish Ministry Across the Midwest

Stewardship Update

Parish Ministry Across the Midwest


Parish Ministry Across the Midwest

Stewardship Update

 
  • Beyond the parishes served in Canada and Peru, the Augustinians presently serve as pastors in eight parishes:  Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Edwardsburg, Michigan; Our Mother of Good Counsel Parish in Homer Glen, Illinois; Saint Ann Parish in Cassopolis, Michigan; Saint Jude Parish in New Lenox, Illinois; Saint Gabriel Parish in Chicago, Illinois; Saint Rita of Cascia Parish in Chicago; Saint Rita of Cascia Parish in Racine, Wisconsin; and Saint Turibius Parish in Chicago.

 

  • Saint Ann in Cassopolis is the newest pastoral responsibility taken on by an Augustinian. Father Joe McCormick, O.S.A., who has already been serving as the pastor of the nearby Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Edwardsburg, agreed to serve as the canonical pastor at the request of the Bishop of Kalamazoo.

 

  • We extend our gratitude to Father John Ohner, O.S.A., who has served faithfully as the pastor of Our Mother of Good Counsel Parish for the past ten years.  Father Joseph Broudou, O.S.A., has been named as the parish's third pastor.

 

  • Saint Jude Parish is presently the largest parish served by the Midwest Augustinians with approximately 4,800 registered families.  One of our recently professed vocations, Br. Sam Joutras, O.S.A., came from this parish community.  The parish also welcomed its newest associate pastor this year, Father Robert Basler, O.S.A.

 

  • Earlier this year, the Augustinians committed to continue serving at Saint Rita of Cascia Parish in Racine, Wisconsin, until at least 2021.  This agreement was made between the Federation of Augustinians of North America (FANA) and the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.  This allows us to continue to serve the people of Racine and also maintain our Augustinian novitiate on the parish grounds.  In the future, we may need to install a new elevator at the novitiate to help accommodate elder friars of the community.

 

  • Father Tony Pizzo, O.S.A., has been lauded in the Archdiocese of Chicago and beyond for his continued work with immigration issues and other social justice projects associated with Saint Rita of Cascia Parish.  His work was recognized earlier this year in a speech delivered at the United Nations.

 

  • After 90 years of service, the Augustinians celebrated a final farewell Mass on July 23 at Saint Matthew Parish in Flint, Michigan.  With the retirement of Father Fred Taggart, O.S.A., as Pastor in 2015, the parish was placed back into the pastoral care of the Diocese of Lansing.  While these departures are never for the Augustinians, the Province always needs to reshape where it serves geographically.  In the past few years, we have been able to serve two other parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago thanks to this "reshaping."  Father Bill Lego, O.S.A., has been serving as the pastor of the multicultural Saint Turibius Parish, a parish that offers Masses in English, Polish, and Spanish.  Father Tom Griffin, O.S.A., has also been serving as the pastor of St. Gabe's in Chicago; the parish is scheduled to conduct its first fundraising appeal specifically for the Augustinians in 2017.
 
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Advancement


Advancement

Stewardship Update

Advancement


Advancement

Stewardship Update

 
  • On April 22, 2016, we announced that we reached 101% of our $3,500,000 goal for the Continuing Our Journey of Faith capital campaign.  These funds helped build the Journey of a Lifetime Trust in support of retired and infirm friars and the Fr. Ray Ryan, O.S.A. Trust in support of the formation of future Augustinian vocations.  This campaign, chaired by Milann H. Siegfried of Tulsa, was the first of its kind conducted by the Augustinian Province since the Journey of a Lifetime Campaign was launched in 1992.

 

  • The Augustinian Advancement Advisory Council, a group of lay volunteers committed to providing vital advice and insight into building a strong philanthropic and mission-driven arm of the Province, has grown from 17 volunteers to 19 volunteers this past year.  We welcome Norma Berman and Richard Solava as the newest members of the council.

 

  • Since restructuring the development office in 2011, we have seen consistent and sustainable growth.  From 2012 to December 31, 2015, we have increased our number of active donors from 1,300 to 1,941.  In that same time period, we have increased annual net revenues from $160,000 to $730,000 in the 2015 calendar year.  We have also secured 89 pledges valued at over $2,000,000.

 

  • We held our fourth annual Augustinian Gala at the Drake Hotel in downtown Chicago co-chaired by Catharine and Edward Hennessy.  We are now preparing for our fifth gala to take place on April 28, 2017, also at the Drake Hotel; the gala will honor Father Jim Friedel, O.S.A., D.Min.; Father Tom McCarthy, O.S.A.; and Anne and Don Berschback.

 

  • In 2015 alone, 24 new supporters informed the Midwest Province that they have included the Augustinians in their estate plans as beneficiaries in their wills, retirement plans, or insurance policies.
 
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Involvement in the Global Augustinian Order


Involvement in the Global Augustinian Order

Stewardship Update

Involvement in the Global Augustinian Order


Involvement in the Global Augustinian Order

Stewardship Update

 

The Midwest Augustinians' Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel is only one circumscription of several dozen throughout the world.  This past year, our Province has been involved in several international efforts in the worldwide Order of Saint Augustine and the greater Catholic Church:

 

  • Our Province took part in the 12th international Augustinian Youth Encounter from July 12-26, 2016.  Teens from our parishes and schools traveled across Austria, the Czech Republic, and Poland, visiting cultural landmarks like the home parish of St. John Paul II and ancient Augustinian communities.  The next Augustinian Youth Encounter is scheduled for 2019 in  Panama.

 

  • This past year, the Very Reverend Bernard C. Scianna, O.S.A., Ph.D., completed his second two-year term as the Prior of the Federation of Augustinians of North America (FANA).  He has been succeeded by the Very Reverend Michael DiGregorio, O.S.A., the Prior Provincial of the East Coast Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova.  As the Prior Provincial of the Midwest Province, Father Bernie is still a member of the Federation Council.  The federation serves as a vehicle for Augustinians across the United States and Canada to collaborate in several areas including vocations outreach, formation, education, personnel, foreign missions, and justice and peace.  The federation is now preparing for a convocation to take place in June 2017 at Villanova University.

 

  • In addition to serving as the Prior Provincial for the Midwest Province, Father Bernie Scianna, O.S.A., also serves as the Prior Provincial of the Canadian Province of Saint Joseph.  Earlier this year, the Canadian Augustinians unveiled the largest rosary in the world at the province headquarters of Marylake Monastery in King City, Ontario.  The rosary stretches across one kilometer in length and extends over twenty acres of rolling hills and old farm fields.  Its presence helps further establish Marylake Monastery as the central site for Marian devotion in the Archdiocese of Toronto.

 

  • This past year, Father Edwin Orina Nyaoma, O.S.A., of the Augustinian Delegation of Kenya, graduated from Saint Monica's International College in Rome thanks to a scholarship provided by the Midwest Augustinians.  Friars from around the world, typically from more impoverished provinces and vicariates of the Augustinian Order, study at Saint Monica's to learn advanced studies in theology and Augustinian spirituality.  The Prior General (worldwide leader of Augustinians) is preparing to propose another student that the Province may sponsor to study at the college.

 

  • This year, the Augustinian Order made history as the first mendicant religious order to hold a general chapter/mid-chapter on the African continent.  The Mid-Chapter serves as a time when Augustinian leaders from around the world congregate and review the Order's plans and priorities.