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Fr. Oswaldo Garcia Sanchez, A.A.: A New Pastor’s Reflections on the Challenges He Faces - Part II PDF Print E-mail

Fr. Oswaldo at his installation as pastorFr. Oswaldo at his installation as pastor

(In the summer of 2017 the Assumptionists were entrusted with a parish on the outskirts of the city of Orizaba in the eastern state of Veracruz, Mexico.  See Fr. Oswaldo Garcia Sanchez, A.A., was appointed pastor; it is his first assignment as such. Formerly he served as a formator and professor in Mexico and the Philippines. Here presents some of the challenges he is facing in Orizaba. This is second part of his reflections.)

Part II

As I mentioned in the Part One, the major challenge in the parish is fostering unity among parishioners who live in 12 separate communities, each with its own chapel…. first of all, unity within each community, unity among members of different political parties, unity among individuals and/or families that have had longstanding conflicts, etc.... Then, even more difficult, we need to create a parish identity. We have a situation in which two of our communities are quite large, the one around the main church in Tlilapan, and another that is much closer to downtown Orizaba. For a long time there have been parishioners in each community who have been working hard, buta ll of them for their own community without ever developing an awareness that they belong to one parish...Our parish is really diverse --- in terms of socioeconomic status, culture, language, traditions, history, Church involvement, etc. Nevertheless, at least now, everyone has expressed an interest in working together and pooling our resources in order to achieve common goals. So that’s what we’re trying to do.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 November 2017 12:35
Fr. Oswaldo Garcia Sanchez, A.A.: A New Pastor’s Reflections on the Challenges He Faces PDF Print E-mail

seated: Fr. Oswaldo at his installation as pastor together with the bishop of Orizabaseated: Fr. Oswaldo at his installation as pastor together with the bishop of Orizaba

Part I

(In the summer of 2017 the Assumptionists were entrusted with a parish on the outskirts of the city of Orizaba in the eastern state of Veracruz, Mexico.  See Fr. Oswaldo Garcia Sanchez, A.A., was appointed pastor; it is his first assignment as such. Formerly he served as a formator and professor in Mexico and the Philippines. Here presents some of the challenges he is facing in Orizaba.)

In general I am very happy working here in Orizaba. There are many challenges and I am learning to be a pastor for the first time. I have to listen to everyone and at same time try to resolve many differences, even conflicts, that exist between various groups in the parish. In my opinion creating unity in the parish is definitely the biggest challenge as well as forming a parish council composed of representatives of the major groups. This is an arduous and time-consuming task; but we have already begun and with some good results. I have spent time with the major groups both here at the main church and with those attached to the many outstations, discussing with them the needs of the parish in view of drafting an overall pastoral plan. To parishioners’ great satisfaction, we have already been able to assign a religious to each of the most active groups and to assure celebration of Sunday Mass in each of the largest outstations.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 November 2017 12:34

Blesseds Kamen, Pavel and Josaphat, pray for usOn this feast of the Assumptionist Bulgarian martyrs I would like to begin with a word about a heart-wrenching meeting that I will never forget, that took place last December in Rome between Bishop Christo Proykov, the apostolic exarch of Sofia (and therefore of all Catholics of the Oriental rite in Bulgaria), and the members of the Assumptionist Plenary General Council, that is to say, the superior general, his assistants, and all six of the provincials of the Congregation.

Bishop Proykov came to speak to us about the difficult decision we had taken to close our only community in Bulgaria and to withdraw the three Assumptionists living there. I can’t get into the long and painful process that led up to this decision, but it was one that we took with the greatest reluctance and sorrow and after countless deliberations with the members of the local community and many others.

Before I recount some of Bishop Proykov’s remarks, let me simply say a few words about the martyrs themselves. Some of you may not know much about them, all of whom were executed around midnight on the evening between November 11 and November 12, 1952 after a laughable mock trial during which they were accused by the Communist regime of being Vatican spies and agents of Western powers.

Last Updated on Monday, 13 November 2017 11:26


Fr. Dennis Gallagher, provincial of the North American region of the Assumptionists, on Nov. 5 participated in the first of the 2017 “Conversations at the Center,” an ongoing series of talks and lectures on faith and culture.

Fr. Dennis offered a reflection on Fr. Emmanuel d’Alzon, founder of the Assumptionists, paying particular attention to d’Alzon’s vocational discernment and his crisis years—when he fell ill. Many of the people in attendance—which included a large contingent of the Sturbridge Lay Assumptionists—commented on the similarities between d’Alzon’s 19th-century France and the 21st-century United States.

As always, after the talk, everyone moved into the dining room and enjoyed brunch and more conversation.

Last Updated on Monday, 06 November 2017 15:47


Did you know, that I love penguins? PDF Print E-mail

Did you know that I love penguins?

Did you know that I love penguins? - PDF file

Last Updated on Tuesday, 31 October 2017 13:59
CNN Faith and Religion Commentator to Present on Religion, Church and the Media PDF Print E-mail

Assumption College_

WORCESTER, MA (October 24, 2017) — Media plays a significant role in shaping the public’s minds and opinions and religion is no different. Assumption College will welcome Father Edward Beck, C.P. ’80, CNN’s faith and religion commentator, who will present “Religion, Church and the Media: A Delicate Balance” at  7 p.m. on Thursday, November 2, in the La Maison Auditorium on the College’s Worcester campus, 500 Salisbury St.

“Religion, Church and the Media: A Delicate Balance,” will focus on the various portrayals of faith and religion in mainstream media, particularly through televised news. Fr. Beck will draw upon his 10 years of experience in network and cable news to examine the ways in which mainstream media cover faith and religion in television news.

Fr. Beck graduated from Assumption College in 1980, was ordained in 1985 as a Roman Catholic priest, and is a member of the Passionist Order. For the past 10 years, Fr. Beck has served as a media contributor, providing media analysis on issues of ethics, faith, morality and religion for ABC News, CBS News, Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, ABC Family Channel, HLN and current TV. For four years, he co-hosted the weekly ABC News show Focus on Faith with Chris Cuomo. In 2013, Fr. Beck contributed to the coverage of the Conclave that elected Pope Francis.


The Tsotsis Family Academic Center

WORCESTER, MA (October 20, 2017) — On a perfect fall day, in the presence of hundreds of  members of the Assumption community and invited guests, the College celebrated the official opening of its new, state-of-the-art academic building, the Tsotsis Family Academic Center. Following a brief speaking program and ribbon cutting, those who attended toured the building to experience how the new spaces and resources have already begun to transform learning at Assumption through performances and presentations by students and faculty.

“It was just 17 months ago that we stood here on a cold, snowy April day to break ground for an ambitious project that would change not only the landscape of this campus, but teaching and learning as well,” said Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D., president of Assumption College. “Every aspect of this building, every detail, has meaning and significance inspired by a vision of education that aims at transforming the lives of our students. This building speaks to the centrality of the intellectual life of the campus and the centrality of our mission as a Catholic liberal arts institution, which seeks to integrate the classical liberal arts tradition with professional formation.  What takes place in this building represents the holistic approach to education that is at the heart of Assumption.”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 October 2017 11:45

National Religious Vocation Conference

Assumption College and Assumption College Campus Ministry hosted on Sunday a National Religious Vocation Conference, or NRVC, workshop on the upcoming Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment. About 45 people -- religious, ordained, and lay, along with a smattering of students -- attended. The Assumptionists were one of the organizers of the workshop.

Sr. Julie Fertsch, SSJ, served as the workshop speaker and facilitator of a panel of people who were in different stages of their religious life:  discerner, candidate, young priest, and so on. Bro. Daniele Caglioni, an Assumptionist student brother, was a member of the panel.

« LET US NOT FORGET » PDF Print E-mail


Letter from the Superior general to Assumptionist religious, to the Sisters of the Assumption Family, and to lay members of the Assumptionist Lay-Religious Alliance.

Dear brothers, sisters, and friends,

It has already been five years since our brothers, Jean-Pierre, Edmond and Anselme, were kidnapped by armed soldiers. Since then, we have been waiting in hope and prayer. Unfortunately we remain without the slightest bit of reliable news and our waiting goes on in absolute uncertainty. I am writing this letter with the sole purpose of keeping our hope alive. Christians cannot resign themselves to a state where they allow silence and death to prevail. Our God is a God of life.

As their brother in faith I once again turn my attention to members of their grieving families. For them this disappearance is a tragedy that never ends. The absence of any information and the ongoing incompetence of civil authorities cause further bitterness and sadness. I reiterate my friendship with the religious of the Province of Africa and more particularly with the Assumptionists, the Oblates and Orants of the Assumption, and all those in the consecrated life in the diocese of Butembo-Beni. Still today you remain subject to violence and abuse. Our brother, Fr. Vincent Machozi, comes immediately to mind; he was shot in cold blood with his mother looking on. Nor do I wish to forget the two diocesan priests who were kidnapped a little more than 100 days ago. I pray as well for the people of North Kivu who regularly endure acts of violence and abuse at the hands of armed factions who criss-cross the region. We Assumptionists stand side by side with this population on whom such evil is exacting a tremendous toll.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 October 2017 12:04
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