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Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
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Monthly Archives: October 2008

Provided below are links to photos and three homilies from the week’s events.


At the Convocation, the Province recognized the outstanding contributions of Fr. Edwin Foley, C.Ss.R. and Fr. Sylvester Feeley, C.Ss.R. in moving it to a deeper understanding of elder issues – "for their ministries and witness in teaching us to age gracefully in the Lord." The recipients received a standing ovation from their confreres.

Fr. Sylvester Feeley, C.Ss.R.

Fr. Edwin Foley, C.Ss.R.

Highlights of the Convocation included Father Anthony Gittins, CSSp, Professor of Mission and Culture at the Catholic Theological Union, who spoke about religious life and the challenge to continue to reshape it for the future from his book, A Presence That Disturbs and Mr. Alejandro Aguliera-Titus, Assistant Director of the Secretariat for Cultural Diversity in the Church at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, presented ways to embrace and welcome new groups of people and their cultures, in particular Hispanic/Latino Catholics, into our parish communities.

Fr. Anthony Gittens, CSSp
Professor of Mission and Culture,
Catholic Theological Union

Mr. Alejandro Aguliera-Titus
Assistant Director of the Secretariat for Cultural Diversity in the Church
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops


Fr. Patrick Woods, C.Ss.R., Provincial Superior, presents Fr. Edmund Faliskie, C.Ss.R., Provincial Consultor, with the Province’s Praesidium Accrediation for "achieving the highest standard in child abuse prevention." Fr. Faliskie coordinated this effort for the Province.


Mr. and Mrs. Henry Schab, Oblates of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, and their family


V. Reverend Father Patrick Woods, C.Ss.R. installed Mr. & Mrs. Henry (Mary Lee) Schab as Oblates of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, the Redemptorists, in a special Mass concelebrated by the Redemptorist community at St. Mary’s, Annapolis, MD, and former pastosrs, Fr. Kevin Milton, C.Ss.R. and Fr. Denis Sweeney, C.Ss.R.

Mr. and Mrs. Schab, Annapolis natives, have been closely associated with St. Mary’s Parish over the course of their entire married life, sixty-three years. They were instrumental in initiating the Pre-Cana for the Parish and worked with it for many years. Hank has been a extraordinary minister of the Eucharist from the time that lay ministers were allowed. Both have always had a warm relationship with all of the parish priests down through the years. For example, every Saturday, they go to the Amish market and buy sandwiches and various other foods for the Redemptorists, because they heard that there is no cook on the weekends. They’ve been doing this for years.

St. Mary’s current pastor, Fr. John Kingsbury, C.Ss.R., requested that a petition be made to the Congregation’s Superior General, M. Rev. Joseph Tobin, C.Ss.R. to install them as Redemptorists Oblates.

Letter from V. Rev. Patrick Woods, C.Ss.R., Provinical Superior to Most Rev. Joseph Tobin, Superior General of the Redemptorists



Redemptorist Father Lawrence Buckley, a champion of the rights of the people he served, died Saturday, Oct. 11, at St. John Neumann Residence in Saratoga Springs, NY. He was 84 years old.

A Wake Service and Mass were offered in the chapel there on Monday, Oct. 13; a second Wake Service and Funeral Mass were held Tuesday evening , and 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15, at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Boston, his home parish and the city he served since 1972.

The son of John and Ann Kelly Buckley, he was born Feb. 12, 1924. He attended the parish grammar school, in the later grades joining a group of other boys being tutored in Latin because of their expressed desire for the priesthood. After graduating from OLPH School, he entered the Redemptorists’s junior seminary in North East, PA. He completed the six-year course there, made his novitiate in Ilchester, MD, and professed his first vows in 1944. He continued his studies at Mount St. Alphonsus in Esopus, NY; made his final profession of vows in 1947; and was ordained to the priesthood on June 19, 1949.

According to a nearly lifelong friend, Father Peter Quinn of the Archdiocese of Boston, "Very early in Larry’s seminary formation as a Redemptorist, a statement by one of his professors laid hold of his heart for the rest of his life. The priest’s insight was this: the Church must be willing to suffer for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

Father Buckley took that passion for Christ and the Church into the mission fields. His first priestly assignment was to Puerto Rico, serving for three years in Mayaguez and then one year in San Lorenzo. Father Sylvester Feeley said: "When I Fr. Buckley, champion of social justice, dies at 84 was Vice Provincial in Puerto Rico, he was a champion of social justice. He loved to argue and there was no doubt about his views"

In 1955, Father Buckley began 12 years of service at Sts. Peter and Paul Church (now the diocesan cathedral) in St. Thomas, VI, for six years as a parish priest and six years as rector and pastor. Father Carlyle Blake, a native St. Thomian, remembered that the then Governor, Ralph Paiwonski, took the opportunity of Fidel Castro’s revolution in Cuba to promote the Virgin Islands as the new "tourist mecca of the Caribbean." However, St. Thomas lacked accommodations and the infrastructure to support them and immigrants from Dominica, St. Lucia and other islands were brought in to supplement the local work force. "The law then said that alien children could not go to public schools; Father Buckley wanted to make sure the children were being educated," Father Blake said. "As a good missionary, he met the needs of the immigrant children," building new classrooms for the parish school in whatever corner he could find, he added. "He was a no-nonsense pastor who knew what he wanted to do and did it … I have the highest respect and honor for Father Buckley for all the work he did in the VI."

It was Father Buckley, too, who decided that mission preachers coming from the States not only preach in church, but visit people in their homes and invite them to the services.

Bishop Emeritus Elliott G.. Thomas, the first West Indian Bishop of the Diocese of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, recalled Father Buckley’s kindness to himself and his family that led to many other blessings. "It was because of him that I went into business," Bishop Thomas said. As a licensed pharmacist, the young Army veteran was working as a government drug and narcotics officer and had no thought of opening his own pharmacy – no other business on Main Street was owned by an island native. As pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul, Father Buckley was looking for a tenant for a small building right next to the church. "He said, ’I want to help a native,’" the bishop explained, and offered to rent the space at half the rate he might have commanded from an outside owner. "That store was a blessing to me and my family for many years," Bishop Thomas said.

In 1967, Father Buckley was transferred to St. Croix, where he was named rector and pastor of St. Patrick Church in Frederiksted. It was under his leadership that the church was renovated.

From St. Croix, Father Buckley returned to Boston in 1972, where for the next 30-some years he became well known for his pastoral and civic service to the city. In that decade, parts of the city were in turmoil over the issue of court-mandated busing to achieve racial balance in public schools. Father Quinn said that Father Buckley’s "passionate mind and heart led him to work tirelessly for racial harmony and justice and Christ-like response to life’s complicated, complex issues. Larry was blessed with the moral courage and willingness to suffer for the Gospel and to suffer for God’s people when he addressed complicated social issues, such as housing in Mission Hill, busing in Charlestown, and racial integration."

He never lost his concern with the education of children. According to Sister Teresa Prior, who has served at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School for 25 years, Father Buckley "was a wonderful friend, a really truly dedicated priest who visited the children every day." He taught religion to the first-graders and prepared the classes of children studying to receive First Penance and First Communion, she added. "If we had a situation in school, he would ask for the parents’s names and number. He would call the mother or father and invite them to the rectory, where he’d talk lovingly, like a father, with the parents. After that, there were never any problems with that student," Sister Teresa said.

Father Buckley also ran the parish CCD program, was a strong pro-life supporter, and was faithful in visiting the elderly. He continued his service at Mission Church until the last few years of his life, when his need for nursing care prompted his move to St. John Neumann Residence.

Father Quinn, reflecting on his friend’s life, said: "Lord Jesus, we thank you for his remarkable kindness, acceptance, understanding, forgiving, enthusiasm and dedication and so much more Ó all emanating from his grace-filled regard to Jesus Christ, to the Lord’s people and his Redemptorist community… We thank you, Lord, for the ways he radiated his hope and trust in you and gave passionate witness to that love in our world."

Father Buckley is survived by a brother, James Buckley, one niece, Roseann Abril, and her husband Todd; two grandnieces, Bridget and Danielle Abril and one grandnephew, Owen Abril.

– Mary Conway


Rev. Lawrence J. Buckley C.Ss.R.

  • Born: February 12, 1924
  • Professed: August 2, 1944
  • Ordained: June 19, 1949
  • Died: October 11, 2008




Redemptorist Father Francis J. Sands, who was 88 years old, died of cancer Tuesday, Oct. 7, at St. John Neumann Residence in Saratoga Spings, NY. He was surrounded by confreres praying the rosary, a devotion that had been a favorite of his since childhood.

A Wake Service is planned for Thursday, Oct. 9, at 7 p.m. at St. John Neumann Residence. The Funeral Mass will be offered there the following morning at 11 o’clock, followed by burial in the Redemptorist Cemetery in Esopus, NY.

A native of Scotland and often referred to as "Scotty" by his confreres, Father Sands was born in Greenock, on the bank of the River Clyde, on Feb. 17, 1920. His parents, Francis J. and Bridget Callahan Sands, moved the young family to the United States, settling into Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Brooklyn.

After graduating from the parish grammar school, Father Sands was accepted as a student at St. Mary’s Seminary in North East, PA. He made his first novitiate in Ilchester, MD, and professed his first vows as a Redemptorist in 1942. He continued his studies for the priesthood at Mount St. Alphonsus in Esopus, NY, made his final profession of vows in 1945, and was ordained to the priesthood at Esopus on June 22, 1947.

A classmate of his, Father John Barry, said, "When I first heard that Frank had died, my first thought was that now his worries are over. From the first day at North East, he did enough worrying for the rest of us in the class. But this difficulty may have been a blessing because it led him to have a deep devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help, and Mary saw him home safely on her feast day" (Feast of the Holy Rosary).

Father Sands began his priestly ministry in Puerto Rico, first at Fajardo, then in Vieques (1949-1951), back to Fajardo (1951-1956), an on to Caguas (1956-1961).

Returning to New York, he served until 1966 at St. Cecilia Church in East Harlem. He was sent to Tampa, FL, for a year, his first assignment in what is now the Vice Province of Richmond. In 1967 he was appointed to St. Clement Mission House in Ephrata, PA, where he served until 1974.

It was during his next assignment, to St. Joseph Church in Odenton, MD, that two young parishioners discerned their own vocations to the Redemptorist Congregation. Father Daniel Francis recalled serving at the altar there. "I was profoundly influenced by Scotty, as we called him," he said. "When I told my family about his death, they remembered him for the passion in his preaching." Father Sands did not forget his former parishioner; when Father Francis was a full-time mission preacher, he recommended him to a parish in Florida. "He came every night and helped with Confessions," added Father Francis, who remembered his elder confrere promoting the graces of the sacrament back in Odenton.

Father Kevin Murray also was a parishioner in Odenton. He remembers Father Sands as "very, very inspiring, a spiritual man and an outstanding homilist." His interest went beyond the people entrusted to his care at the parish: "He reached out to non-Catholics, helped them, and brought many of them into the Church," Father Murray said. He added that he was moved and inspired by Father Sands’s devotion to praying the rosary, to preaching about Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and to modeling his priestly actions on St. Jean Vianney, the Curé d’Ars. After serving eight years in Maryland, Father Sands was assigned to Mission Church in Boston. Two years later, he began more than a quarter of a century’s work in the South. He did parish work at Sacred Heart Church in Griffin, GA (1982-1991); Sacred Heart Church in New Smyrna Beach, FL; and St. James Church in Concord, NC, before going to St. Alphonsus Villa in New Smyrna Beach in 1999.

Richmond Vice Provincial Father Jerome Chavarria said, "He loved all the devotions; he was a man of prayer. Scotty was a nervous type and he battled it with prayer, knocking down the doors of heaven for peace. He had a fun side, too, and could be a real character. He loved to kid around."

Father Chavarria, who was visiting Father Sands at the time of his death, said that as his confrere grew older and sicker from cancer, he developed dementia. His illness "called us as a community to support him," he said. When it became clear that Father Sands needed nursing care, Sister Serafina, a Missionary Sister of St. Benedict and director of the nursing staff at St. John Neumann, flew to Florida to accompany him to Saratoga Springs. Father Chavarria said the confreres had some concerns about whether Father Sands would agree to move North. Sister Serafina said that when she asked, "Will you come with me, Father?" he replied with a smile, "With you, Sister, anywhere." ’I learned kindness from him," Sister Serafina said. "He never complained, even when he had to spend two weeks in ICU. He was so kind to all the nurses through everything he suffered." Father Chavarria, who recounted how Father Sands never missed spending two hours daily in the Villa’s chapel – "no matter how he felt, what the weather was, who might be visiting the Villa, how sick he might have been, even no matter how ’out of it’ he was because of dementia" – summed up the most important thing he learned about Father Sands:

"Our Father Scotty loved God and God loved Scotty! They were friends and old companions. God asked Scotty as a priest to share his love, his compassion, his mercy with God’s children and Scotty did the best job that he could. Scotty lived as God’s servant and died as God’s servant. Right to the end, his priesthood touched peoples lives."


Rev. Francis J. Sands C.Ss.R.

  • Born: February 17, 1920
  • Professed: August 2, 1942
  • Ordained: June 22, 1947
  • Died: October 7, 2008