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News from Chile - March 16, 2010 PDF Print E-mail

To my Fellow Assumptionists and Friends of the Assumptionists throughout the world

Let me first of all send you greetings and thank you for your concern at this time of national and local catastrophe.

Life continues here in Lota; things are slowly getting back to normal such as the sale and distribution of food. Salaries have been canceled for most workers as well asbenefits for retirees.

In particular, our Assumptionist residence has been evaluated by German experts and local architects and the results are not very encouraging.  The building suffered serious structural  damage on the second floor, especially the northern and southern walls.  

Last Updated on Monday, 29 March 2010 07:48
 
Immortal Longings: Reason, Faith, and Politics in the Work of Father Ernest Fortin, A.A. PDF Print E-mail
Fr. Ernest Fortin, A.A., (1923-2002) On Friday, March 26, Boston College hosted a roundtable discussion on the impact of the thought of Fr. Ernest Fortin, A.A., (1923-2002) longtime professor both at B.C. and at his alma mater, Assumption College. The roundtable, sponsored by the Bradley and the Fortin Foundations, featured two main speakers, Dr. Fred Lawrence, professor of Theology at Boston College, and Dr. Thomas Hibbs, director of the great books program at Baylor University. After dinner the discussion continued with former colleagues and students posing questions to the speakers.

In their presentations, Lawrence and Hibbs focused on Ernest’s education, both that which he himself received and that which he has handed on to others. The education he received began with his parents, and continued in the Catholic school he attended in Woonsocket and later, of course, in the learning he acquired from the old French Assumptionists at the Prep and the College. It was the kind of solid, classical formation in the Catholic intellectual tradition that, for so many centuries, gave life, direction and dynamism to the Church and the West.
Last Updated on Thursday, 01 April 2010 05:06
 
The Power of the Press... PDF Print E-mail
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On Sunday March 7th, the Assumptionist Center in Brighton, welcomed a team of representatives from Bayard USA with great enthusiasm and appreciation. Mr. Brett Thomas, CEO and President of Bayard, began our time together with a brief history of the company, from its earliest days in France, coming to Canada in 1987 and then to the US in 1999. In that year, the company bought Twenty-Third Publication, followed by Catholic Digest in 2001 and Creative Communications for the Parish in 2003.

Last Updated on Sunday, 28 March 2010 18:03
 
Chile Update - March 6, 2010 PDF Print E-mail
From the pastor of the Assumptionist parish in Lota, near Concepción and the epicenter of the earthquake.
 
Dear Brothers and Sisters, one and all,
Now that Internet access has been restored, I can share with you some of what has happened here in Lota and the area.

Frs. Ruben, Nelson, and I are well.  Nelson, who just returned from Pucón where he was on vacation wth his family, brought food and other necessities.

Lota was severely affected by two earthquakes, the one that you all know of and the”social” earthquake of pillaging.  Some people took what they needed and that seemed almost normal; but then there occurred widespread pillaging and stealing and there is no justification for that.  Three large supermarkets were pillaged, small businesses and the local market were next.  Very little was spared.  What is worst is that they destroyed everything in their path, even light bulbs.
Last Updated on Monday, 08 March 2010 05:24
 
More News from the Assumptionists in Chile - March 2, 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Update from Br. Ramón Gutiérrez, aa       dated March 2, 2010
 
"1. All of us Assumptionists in Chile are doing well. No one died or was hurt. I don't have any news to the contrary.
2. Family members of the Assumptionists are also well although some have lost their homes.
3. Most of our Assumptionist houses survived the earthquake, with some damage, but we are not at the mercy of the elements as many of our countrymen are.
1.jpg4. Our basilica of Lourdes here in Santiago was severely affected; it is one of the most important and beautiful in the country. There are serious cracks in the walls and foundation, statues have been destroyed or damaged. But worst of all and most painful, some of the extraordinary stained glass windows have fallen out. The metal cross on the dome of the basilica (which is 60 meters high --- 190 feet) has become loose and is leaning to one side. As a result we have had to close the basilica and areas along the side of the basilica.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 March 2010 06:05
 
Assumptionists in Rengo, Chile - March 2, 2010 PDF Print E-mail
From the novitiate in Rengo, Chile - about 150 northwest of the epicenter
We are all well and that's already good news. When you see the pain and suffering of so many people who have lost everything, family, work, material possessions, the scare we had was nothing.
When the earthquake struck at 3:34 AM, we all ran out of our rooms and out of the house. Once we were all together, we took a look at the house, an old colonial adobe residence.  Fortunately there was little damage apart from a corridor ceiling which fell, cracks in the exterior walls, overturned furniture, and various items (books, dishes, etc.) thrown to the ground 
Afterwards, we  make our way over to our parish to see how Fathers Raúl and Olivier were doing. They were both OK. The church sustained some damage, especially cracks in the wall.
The hardest part of all is getting used to the continual aftershocks and just not feeling safe. At night we have been sleeping outside. We still have no electricity or water, but, as I said, this is not much in comparison to the trails so many others are facing elsewhere.
  
Aldo Gajardo
Novice-master
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 March 2010 06:04
 
Assumptionists in Lota, Chile - March 1, 2010 PDF Print E-mail

Here is some news from Lota, not far from the epicenter, where the Assumptionists have a community and two schools (1-8 and 9-12). Lota is located on the Pacific Ocean just south of Concepción. There is a coastal area (Lota Bajo) and an elevated area (Lota Alto).

"The promontory in Lota Alto has split in two, other, smaller hills as well.
Houses in certain sections of the city remain unstable; many have collapsed.
The highway to Arauca is heavily damaged.
People are living in tents and drinking water from broken water mains.
There is no gas or electricity.
Stores are being looted. The government is sending troops to patrol the streets.
Fortunately, no tsunami hit here.
Our grammar school, Francisco de Crozé, sustained some damage: the entrance wall has collapsed and other walls have been weakened and will need to be repaired or replaced.
Our high school, Emmanuel d'Alzon, suffered damage as well; lots of equipment and furniture has been damaged. There is fear that much of the foundation may have been compromised.

Fortunately, none of our religious was hurt."

Fr. Nelson Egaña, AA
Monday, March 1, 2010

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 March 2010 06:04
 
Latest from Chile - February, 28, 2010 PDF Print E-mail
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"Everything is unstable ... outages of electricity, water, Internet, and telephone. A good part of the country is in ruins.
We are doing well. We were able to celebrate Masses outside in the grotto today. We couldn't open the basilica to pilgrims. There were very few visitors here today since there is very little public transportation running. The subway line closest to the shrine has been closed for safety reasons.
Thanks for all the prayers.
We are worried that we have no news from Lota. Unconfirmed reports have arrived indicating that our school has collapsed."

Bro Ramón, aa
Sunday, February 28, 2010

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 March 2010 06:03
 
Support for the Assumptionists in Chile PDF Print E-mail

The Assumptionists have four houses in Santiago, one in the port city of Valparaíso, two in Rengo, an hour south of Santiago, and one in Lota, just 30 miles south of Concepción, near the epicenter of the earthquake (400 miles south of Santiago) . Lota is a poor, former coal-mining town on the Pacific Ocean where we have a huge parish and a school (elementary and high school).

Please donate now to support the Assumptionists in Chile. Thank you!

In US Dollars
In Euros
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 March 2010 06:07
 
Just received from our Brothers in Chile - February 27, 2010 PDF Print E-mail

"At 3:05 this morning an earthquake struck. There are deaths; the number is unknown.

I have no news at this time of Concepción, Cauquenes, Chillán (near the epicenter). Historic Talca is in ruins. There is a lot of damage in Santiago. Once again stained glass windows have fallen in our basilica. There are large cracks in the structure of there building itself.

Bridges have fallen. There is word that the church in Providencia has been razed.

None of the religious here has been hurt. We are fine, but haven't had much sleep since the whole house was shaken. Things have fallen everywhere and not a book remains on the shelves, at least wherever I have looked.

I just got outside during a strong aftershock.

Our house has sustained enormous damage.

All we can do is pray.

We will have to raise funds to help others and ourselves.

Electricity just returned. That's why I am writing. We can't contact our religious in the south (N.B. Lota is about 100 miles south of the epicenter)."

Bro Ramón, a.a.
Saturday, February 27, 2010

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 March 2010 06:05
 
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