Augustinians of the Assumption

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Catholic Free Press on Mission in the Philippines PDF Print E-mail

Two Filipino men supported by local Catholics were sent home as missionaries in January
by Tanya Connor

“For us it’s a dream come true,” Brother Alex Castro said after a commissioning Mass at Assumption College, Jan. 15, as he and Brother Clemente Boleche beamed at the thought of returning to their native land the next day. “They’ve been thinking about this for a long time and now it’s becoming a reality.” “They” are the Augustinians of the Assumption, commonly called Assumptionists, who founded and sponsor Assumption College. What they have been thinking about – and working on – is founding their first community in the Philippines. Since 2000, young Filipino men discerning an Assumptionist vocation have come here to live with the Assumptionists and take classes at Assumption College. Those who stayed did their novitiate at St. Anne and St. Patrick Parish in Sturbridge, which the Assumptionists staff. Brother Castro, Brother Boleche and Brother Carlos Melocoton professed their first vows as Assumptionists there. They introduced parishioners to their faith and culture through Filipino festivals and the installation of a statue of San Lorenzo Ruiz – their country’s first saint – in St. Anne Shrine’s votive chapel. The Assumptionists turned to San Lorenzo as the patron for their efforts to establish a community in the Philippines.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 March 2010 09:47
Commisioning to the Philippines PDF Print E-mail

It has been nearly six years since we began receiving candidates recommended to us by the Religious of the Assumption in the Philippines. In the beginning the prospect of establishing an Assumptionist foundation in this most Catholic of Asian countries seemed at best a dim possibility. In time the unlikely prospect began to take the shape of a promise, and now the promise stands poised to be realized.

Father Bernard Holzer, Brothers Clemente Boleche and Alex Castro, Father Gilles Blouin

On January 15, 2006, at 10:00 a.m. in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit at Assumption College, four of the five founding members of the first Assumptionist community in the Philippines - Fathers Bernard Holzer (France) and Gilles Blouin (Quebec, Canada), and Brothers Clemente Boleche and Alex Castro (Philippines) - will be "sent" by the North American Province to this new mission. The fifth member of the community, Father Jean-Marie Chuvi Adubango (Democratic Republic of the Congo) will join them in spirit before they arrive at their common destination. To all who have made possible this joyful event we offer a prayer of thanksgiving; to these founding members we pledge our solidarity in the extension of God's kingdom.

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Catholic Free Press on Commisioning to the Philippines


Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 March 2010 09:48
125th anniversary of Fr. d'Alzon - November 2005 PDF Print E-mail

Dear brothers, sisters, lay Assumptionists,

Father Emmanuel d'Alzon

Saint Augustine puts it paradoxically: before being Jesus’ mother, Mary was his disciple (Sermon 25). The Gospel (Matthew 12:50) inspired Augustine’s reflection: “Whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my…mother.” Mary’s greatness is less due to the fact that she conceived Jesus in her womb, than to her complete acceptance of the Father’s will.

Saint Augustine goes one step further: if we are disciples like Mary, we can become “mothers” like her and bear fruit for the Kingdom, bringing others to birth in Christ by drawing them to the font of baptism.

Mary’s consecration as a disciple manifested itself when her parents presented her in the Temple. As we celebrate her discipleship, we remember Father Emmanuel d’Alzon on the 125th anniversary of his death. He too was entirely given over to the Father’s will, and he too bore much fruit for the Kingdom.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 March 2010 09:57
A word of thanks from Bulgaria PDF Print E-mail


Emmanuel d'Alzon (1810-1880)

November 21, 2005 is the 125th anniversary of the birth into heaven of our venerable founder, Fr. Emmanuel d'Alzon.

"The (Eastern) mission owes its birth to Pius IX. Leo XIII has just established it definitively. In June 1862, at the time of the first great pilgrimage that was destined to launch the movement and to become the origin of so many beautiful and magnificent expressions of faith, during that solemn audience when our Father was so proud to be able to present so many devoted priests with Bishop Plantier at their head, the great Pius IX addressed our stouthearted founder and said to him, 'I bless your works in the East and in the West.' We had but two houses, quite weak, in the West, and nothing in the East. What did the Holy Father mean? An audience the next day, which had not been requested, would clear up the mystery. The Bulgarian movement was on His Holiness' mind. He had neither men nor money to pay attention to it, so he designated Fr. d'Alzon."
(Fr. François Picard, The Eastern Mission, 1896)


Last Updated on Saturday, 08 July 2006 13:49
Cassadaga Reunion - Class 1965 PDF Print E-mail

On Sunday, November 6, twelve of the 19 graduatingmembers of the Our Lady of Lourdes in Cassadaga, NY, Class of 1965 gathered at the Assumptionist residence on Old English Road in Worcester. Prizes for distance traveled were awarded to Paul Belanger (Golden, Colorado) and Tom Giroux (West Palm Beach, Florida), with honorary mention to Bernie Petit (Parsippany, New Jersey).

Cassadagans - Class of 1965 in 2005

After a brief chance to introduce ourselves to one another (and try to recognize each other after forty years), we spent time in a more formal way catching up with each other's lives since graduation. Without exception, we all spoke of the incredibly formative experience that Cassadaga has been in our lives. Several phrases kept popping up in the conversation: strong community, a solid academic experience, a love of the liturgy and a work ethic. It was an afternoon and early evening that left all of us grateful for the time we had spent in Cassadaga and anxious to maintain the ties we had re-established.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 March 2010 09:55
Assumptionist Martyrs PDF Print E-mail

Three years ago on May 26, 2002, the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, beatified our beloved brothers in the Lord: Kamen Vitchev. Pavel Djidjov and Josaphat Chichkov. On the night of November 11, 1952 they were shot to death for their faith in Jesus Christ.

Bulgarian Martyrs - Icon by Father Donat Lamothe, A.A.

In his homily in Plovdiv, the Pope meditated on the mystery of the Trinity, a mystery which goes to the heart of our faith, a mystery of love and of communion which inspires a prayer found often on our lips: “To you be glory and praise forever.” We are speaking of a Trinitarian God, to whom we owe all praise: a Father whose love and mercy are always faithful; a Son who shared with us his daily life and his suffering; a Spirit who dwells in us and who gives us the courage to live our Christian faith.


Last Updated on Saturday, 08 July 2006 13:49
Memorial Mass in Rome PDF Print E-mail

In the chapel of the Assumptionist general house in Rome, a Mass was celebrated on Wednesday, October 12, in memory of His Excellency Charles Mbogha, A.A., Archbishop of Bukavu, who died on Sunday, October 9. The Mass was presided by His Excellency, Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, Archbishop of Kisangani and president of the National Conference of Bishops of the Congo (C.E.N.CO.), accompanied by four other Congolese bishops: His Excellency, Tharcisse TSHIBANGU, Bishop of Mbujimayi and Vice-President of the National Conference of Bishops of the Congo (C.E.N.CO.), His Excellency, Nestor NGOY, Bishop of Kolwezi, His Excellency KABONGO, bishop emeritus of Luebo, and His Excellency GAPANGWA, bishop emeritus of Uvira. The first three are participating in the current synod of bishops on the Eucharist being held in Rome. Concelebrants included the members of the Assumptionist general curia and twenty or so Congolese diocesan or religious priests. There were also in attendance many Congolese religious and lay-people.

Homily by the Very Rev. Richard Lamoureux, AA (standing), Superior General of the Assumptionists



Last Updated on Friday, 28 September 2007 01:04
Assumptionists Celebrate 100 Years in Worcester - November, 2003 PDF Print E-mail

On November 12, 1903, after years of hard work, the Assumptionist Community moved into a ten-room house on Fales Street, establishing the first missionary residence of the Augustinians of the Assumption in Worcester. The community grew and later became became the Assumption College we know today, fulfilling the dream of Fr. Emmanuel d’Alzon.

Exactly one century later, on November 12, 2003, a Liturgy of Thanksgiving Mass was held in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit on the Assumption College campus to celebrate 100 years of the Assumptionist presence in Worcester.

During the Mass, Very Reverend John L. Franck, A.A., provincial superior of the North American Province, delivered a homily that detailed the timeline of the Assumptionist settlement in Worcester. He described the “heroic sacrifices” of leader Fr.Thomas Darbois, A.A., whose “perseverance and determination kept the flame burning.”

Following the Mass, a reception in the Atrium of the Testa Science Center honored Marc A. LePain, Ph.D., a professor of Theology at the College. LePain was the recipient of the Emmanuel d’Alzon Medal, which is given to people who have outstandingly exemplified in their lives the vision and guiding principles of the Assumptionist Founder. These are “men and women of faith and energy who give witness to the validity and priority of spiritual values in an increasingly secular world and who courageously bring to bear in their activities the life-giving message of Christ”.

The Medal, which was last awarded in 1995, has honored such prominent recipients such as Bishop John J. Wright (1959), Danny Thomas (1967); and Johannes Cardinal Willebrands (1980).

LePain, who received a bachelor’s degree from Assumption College in 1965 and returned to teach in 1971, has taught a variety of theology and philosophy courses at every educational level of the College. He is also the director of the Ecumenical Institute at the College, which was re-founded in 1999 to provide a forum for reflection and discussion of questions of common interest to people of all faiths. The Institute organizes the College’s annual d’Alzon Lecture, among other lectures and programs.

The award was presented to LePain by Fr. Franck and Fr. Dennis Gallagher. A.A., vice president for Mission.

“Marc A. LePain, for more than 30 years, you have admirably exemplified Fr. Emmanuel d’Alzon’s words: ‘If we ourselves love the truth, we will spare no efforts in teaching our students to love it too,’” Franck said. “You challenge your students to take up those questions which lie at the heart of a Catholic education and of a thoughtful and virtuous life.”

Accompanied by his wife, Patricia, and his four children: Maria, Julie, Joseph and Sarah, LePain accepted the medal proudly. During his remarks, he alluded to two gifts that Assumption has given him: the life of study and an opening to the world. He also expressed gratitude towards his colleagues and students. “You all continue to teach me through your love of learning,” he said, smiling.

LePain also recognized his cousin, Fr. Wilfrid Dufault A.A. ’29, honorary trustee and former president of the College, as an influential part of his success. “He has been a mentor in the Assumption way through his letters, through our conversations, and above all, by his example of great generosity,” LePain said.

Thanking the event’s attendees, LePain closed by saying “One hundred years from tonight, may another Emmanuel d’Alzon medalist wish your successors as I wish you tonight, ‘Happy New Century!’”

Fourth of July Cookout PDF Print E-mail

Many from the US region gathered for the annual Fourth of July cookout hosted by the Brighton community. The weather could not have been better, and the celebration was enhanced by the presence of some of our brothers from the "diaspora:" Fr. Teddy Fortier from our community in Athens, Greece; and Frs. Luc Martel and Oliver Blanchette from our mission in East Africa. We were joined also by our Sisters from Worcester, the Religious of the Assumption. As part of the occasion, Fr. Dennis Gallagher, Regional Superior, offered some words of thanks on behalf of the community to Fr. John Franck, for his nine years of generous service to his brothers as Provincial Superior.

Last Updated on Friday, 28 September 2007 01:04
Archbishop Mbogha Kambale dies at 63 PDF Print E-mail
Archbishop Mbogha Kambale Charles, A.A. (1942-2005)

The oldest of the Augustinians of the Assumption, Archbishop Mbogha Kambale Charles, A.A.,  (63 years old) died in Bukavu (eastern Democratic Republic of Congo) on Sunday, October 9, 2005, at 2:37 AM (local time). The illness that led to his death (high blood pressure which resulted in a stroke) came to light during the ceremony on the day he was to become archbishop of Bukavu in June 2001. From that day he had been taking medication and following a regime of rehabilitation exercises, all the while completing his mission as well he could as the pastor and overseer of the Ecclesiastical Province of Kivu. During those four long years, Archbishop Charles proved to be a man of great faith.

Last Updated on Saturday, 08 July 2006 13:49
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