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Fr. Miguel (with cross) and friends of the communityOn the occasion of the centenary of Assumptionist presence in Chile (1990), there arose some thought about founding a community in a Latin American country where weren't yet located. The General Chapter of 1993 "gave its approval and encouraged the idea of an interprovincial Latin American foundation as a concrete expression of the missionary spirit of the Congregation." Three countries were considered and visited: Bolivia, Paraguay and Ecuador. In the end we chose Ecuador and the diocese of Riobamba since the bishop's proposal seemed most in line with our apostolic project.

Last Updated on Friday, 14 January 2011 21:33
New Blog by Barry Bercier, A.A. PDF Print E-mail


- by Fr. Barry Bercier, A.A.

Occasional Thoughts on Christianity, Education and Our Times

Once, long before he became an exile on Patmos stormed by apocalyptical visions, John sat in a storm-tossed boat on the Sea of Galilee. That boat, represented here by a 17th century painting (Ludolf Bakhuysen), will serve as the masthead of this blog. According to the story, Jesus is sleeping on a cushion in the stern when a terrific storm blows up over the lake, threatening to sink the boat and drown those aboard. The disciples, overwhelmed by what looks to be impending doom, cry out to Jesus who seems disturbed only by the fact that he’s been unnecessarily roused from his slumbers. From his perspective, there’s nothing to be afraid of; he gives the command and the storm ends.

This blog is not written from Jesus’ perspective, however, but from that of the others there with him. Jesus was a good teacher and did not pressure his disciples into stifling what they had to say; with the waves crashing in and the boat sinking as they shook Jesus awake, my guess is that their speech at that moment was pretty much uncensored. The rough drafts that will appear here from time to time will also be uncensored, sometimes not entirely prudent or perhaps even regrettable. Maybe the writer here shouldn’t write…and maybe you shouldn’t read…


Last Updated on Sunday, 30 January 2011 18:40
Letter from the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Bertone to Fr. General, Richard Lamoureux, AA PDF Print E-mail

The Vatican, 18 November 2010

Reverend Father,

You recently sent to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, a message on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Father Emmanuel d’Alzon, founder of the Augustinians of the Assumption and of the Oblates of the Assumption, assuring him of your prayers for his ministry as Successor of Peter. The Holy Father is very grateful for this attention on your part.

In giving to your Congregation the motto Adveniat regnum tuum, Emmanuel d’Alzon wanted to make it clear that preaching, education and teaching, which are at the heart of your apostolate, should have as its exclusive content the proclamation of the Reign of God, that is, the person of Jesus himself. May this anniversary of your Founder be for you all an opportunity to “discover ever anew the urgency and the beauty of the proclamation of the word for the coming of the Kingdom of God which Christ himself preached.” (Verbum Domini, n. 93) Through an ever closer knowledge of the thought of Saint Augustine, your principal guide, may you learn to place at the heart of your life as religious and as missionaries the love of God for all people, as made manifest by his Son. May this great Doctor of the Church help you to work with zeal for unity and reconciliation among peoples, a mission that we receive from the Lord himself!

In this year of grace for your Institutes, entrusting you to the intercession of Our Lady of the Assumption and the protection of Saint Augustine, the Holy Father is happy to impart the apostolic Blessing, to all of the Augustinians of the Assumption and the Oblates of the Assumption.

Be assured, Reverend Father, of my cordial and devoted best wishes.

+ Tarsicio Card. Bertone
Secretary of State of His Holiness

Last Updated on Friday, 24 December 2010 15:40
River Ministry: Many Actors, One Inspiration PDF Print E-mail

-A parish for riverboatmen

The barge-chapel 'Je sers' ('I serve'), located on the River Seine in the northeast Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte Honorine, is one of two river parishes in France. It has been served by the Assumptionists since 1988, when Fr. Arthur Hervet was named pastor. Religious ceremonies for boatmen are celebrated here as well as all the activities of a parish: baptisms, marriages, funerals, catechism classes for the children of residents of the barge community and children in the immediate surroundings. The pastor receives his credentials from the bishop and, together with his assistant, participates in all the activities of the local area and the deanery.

Last Updated on Friday, 24 December 2010 12:51
The Assumptionist Presence in Turkey PDF Print E-mail

Assumptionist communities in Turkey and the date of their foundationIn 1900, when the Assumptionists were expelled from France by an anticlerical French regime, together with most other religious orders, almost half of the congregation moved to Turkey.  At that time there were 200 Assumptionists in Turkey (including students) and 150 Oblate Sisters of the Assumption. The Assumptionists were responsible for 17 places of worship (both Latin and Eastern rite, and mixed parishes).They oversaw 14 elementary schools and high schools (1200 students) and were in charge of two seminaries. In almost all of these places there were Oblates as well who themselves ran 12 elementary schools and high schools (1350 students), 10 dispensaries and 2 hospitals.

Last Updated on Friday, 24 December 2010 10:57

AccompanyThe social service organization « Accompagner » was born on March 19, 2001 at the heart of the Belgian capital. It was an initiative of the general chapter of the Assumptionists held in 1999 and was meant to be a "prophetic gesture" for the new millennium, a project that was energetically and enthusiastically oriented to the neediest in society and addressing a particularly modern problem. What was the origin of "Accompagner"? The experience of certain Assumptionists who worked at our church, La Madeleine, in the heart of Brussels, led them to observe that many poor people whom they directed to various social service agencies returned without having their issues resolved, usually because they didn't and often simply weren't able to meet all the filing directives. Thus there arose the idea to create a center, made up of volunteers directed by several salaried professionals who would not only direct but accompany people in difficulty to various social agencies to help them comply with all the necessary directives.

Last Updated on Friday, 17 December 2010 10:38

Father Robert Fortin, A.A.At a recent celebration, Fr. Robert Fortin, A.A. was honored by the Northeastern Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem of which he has been a member since August 28, 2002. The occasion was to recognize and to thank him for the work he did in Jerusalem.

After a Mass in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit at Assumption College, the award ceremony took place during a reception for the Knights and Ladies of the Worcester area at the Tatnuck Country Club in Worcester. In the presence of H. E. Robert McManus, Bishop of Worcester, and of more than 50 guests, including several Priest-Knights of the diocese, the award was presented by H. E. John J. Monahan, Lieutenant of the Northeastern Lieutenancy.

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 December 2010 20:31
Evariste Misigaro, one refugee’s story: from Burundi to the USA via the Congo and Tanzania: 38 years on the move PDF Print E-mail


I first met Evariste Misigaro two years ago. Though he told me that he was from Burundi, I immediately noticed how he was fluent in Swahili, a language not spoken widely in Burundi. So I asked him where he learned Swahili. And boom! Everything came out: a painful story of a life of which more than half has been spent on the move.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 December 2010 11:54
A Vietnamese Diary: Chapter IX PDF Print E-mail

Dinh and his 96 year old grandmotherDinh, Dennis, Dinh's grandmother, Dinh's uncleDinh, Dennis, Dinh's friend Loc

I know I am lagging behind Fr. Dennis' account but·I have so much to say.

Tuesday was a traveling day for us. After breakfast with the seminarian community, we had enough time to clean our room and we left at 10:30 AM. We rented a car so that we could stop along the way to see some of my friends who now serve as pastor or assistant and to visit some of my family’s friends who have been with my family in all the many difficult moments of life. When we said good bye, the director of studies told Dennis that it was a mistake when Dennis let me plan the trip. It only takes 3-4 hours to drive from Da lat to Phuong Lam; but if Dennis was coming with me, we would need a day…because I had to make so many stops…. I did not tell Dennis too much about this, but I thought that he would give me enough space in which I could be myself in this context and that he wouldn’t mind having another new adventure.

Last Updated on Monday, 17 January 2011 14:22
Assumption Language Center, Manila - Philippines Providing Contextualized Training PDF Print E-mail

Assumption Language Center, Manila - Philippines Providing Contextualized TrainingThe Assumption Language Center started along side the delegation’s Martin Yen Residence Program for Asian seminarians, religious and priests in July 2009 by providing English language training to the Martin Yen residents. Since then, the center has extended its services to other religious, seminarians and priests of other religious congregations and communities due to a perceived need to provide contextualized language training for this specific clientele.

Last Updated on Monday, 13 December 2010 10:18
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