Redemptorists logo
Our Mother of Perpetual Help Icon
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.
Redemptorists logo


Articles

Monthly Archives: October 2013
Thursday

David Verghese, 33, was ordained a deacon for the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (the Redemptorists) in Boston on Oct. 12. Cardinal Seán O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston, ordained Deacon Verghese as well as eight Jesuit deacons.

The Mass was held at St. Ignatius of Loyola Church in Chestnut Hill.

Deacon Verghese had made his final vows as a Redemptorist on Oct. 11 during a Mass at The Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Mission Church) in Boston. Provincial Superior Father Kevin Moley received his promises of poverty, chastity, obedience, and perseverance.

In the days before his ordination, he said, “I was nervous, but on the day itself I felt a wonderful sense of peace. It was the fulfillment of all that I’d dreamed of.

“Looking out on the people’s faces, we could see that they were so happy for us and genuinely in deep prayer. I felt a sense of joy, thinking about giving my life for these people.”

Attending the ordination Mass were the new deacon’s parents; brother and family; three uncles; a number of cousins, including one who is studying for the priesthood for the Diocese of Lubbock, Texas; and some family members on his mother’s side who had traveled from India.

Deacon Verghese is scheduled for ordination as a priest on May 31 in Annapolis.

A native of Leonardtown, Md., he grew up in St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parish and graduated from St. Mary’s Ryken High School. He spent a year working with the Missionaries of Charity in Washington, D.C., before entering the Redemptorist formation program in Whitestone, N.Y., in 2004.

In 2007 he became a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Washington but in 2009 rejoined the Redemptorist formation program in Boston. He completed his theological studies at Boston College in May 2012 and this summer finished a pastoral year at St. Gerard Church in Lima, Ohio.

There he visited the sick in local hospitals, taught in the parish school, and ministered to prisoners in two correctional facilities.

Deacon Verghese is now in residence at St. Mary Church in Annapolis. As a deacon, he will be able to perform baptisms, witness marriage vows, proclaim the Gospel and preach at Mass, and officiate at wakes and funerals.  

View a slideshow from the ordination Mass here.

Sunday

More than 500 martyrs of the bloody Spanish Civil War (1936-39) are being beatified today in Tarragona, Spain. And among them are the six Redemptorist martyrs of Cuenca: Fathers Javier Gorosterratzu Jaunarena, Ciriaco Olarte Pérez de Mendiguren, Miguel Goñi Áriz, Julián Pozo Ruiz de Samaniego, and Pedro Romero Espejo as well as Brother Victoriano Calvo Lozano.

Approximately 270,000 people died during the strife—from warfare, reprisals, disease, and starvation. About 6,850 of these died as a direct result of religious persecution.

Most were priests and religious; 13 were bishops. Amost 1,000 of the dead have already been canonised or beatified, and another 2,000 cases are in process, including those of 14 additional Redemptorists.

In July 1936, as signs of persecution increased in Cuenca, in central Spain, Father Pozo began to sense that martyrdom might be a possibility, saying, "We [the Redemptorists] don’t have martyrs; do you want to see that we will be the first martyrs?"

For the first 200 years of the Redemptorists’ history, no missionary had been killed and recognized by the Church as a martyr. 

Since 2001 the Church has recognized 11 such martyrs—in Ukraine, Slovakia, and Spain.

View a video (in Spanish) about the lives and witness of the six Redemptorist martyrs of Cuenca:

 

Thursday

Oct. 5 is the feast day of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, C.Ss.R., and a special Mass in his honor will be celebrated Oct. 6, 2013, in New Orleans, the city where he died.

Get details about the Mass here.

How much do you know about this 19th-century blessed, who worked hand in hand with fellow Redemptorist St. John Neumann?

11 intriguing facts about Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, C.Ss.R.

  1. He was born in Bavaria on Jan. 11, 1819, and baptized the same day.
     
  2. He had 11 siblings, three of whom died in early childhood. Two of his siblings also pursued religious vocations.
     
  3. He knew he wanted to be a priest from the time he was a boy.
     
  4. As a child, he pointed to a picture of his namesake, St. Francis Xavier, and told his mother, "I’m going to be another St. Francis."
     
  5. He began his theological studies in Germany, but after meeting the Redemptorists, he decided to enter the congregation with the intention of ministering to German-speaking immigrants in the United States. He was ordained a priest in 1844. 
     
  6. He and St. John Neumann worked together at St. Philomena Parish in Pittsburgh. At that time St. John Neumann was pastor and also superior of the Redemptorists. Blessed Seelos later assumed both roles.
     
  7. Blessed Seelos lived a simple life and was known as "the cheerful ascetic."
     
  8. He was much sought after because of his kindness and excellence as a confessor.
     
  9. Blessed Seelos turned down the opportunity to become the bishop of Pittsburgh in 1860. He chose instead to preach missions in English and German in 10 states.
     
  10. In 1866 he became pastor of St. Mary’s Assumption Parish in New Orleans, during one of the city’s yellow fever epidemics. He tirelessly visited and cared for the sick and soon contracted the disease. He died on Oct. 4, 1867, at age 48.
     
  11. He was beatified by Blessed John Paul II on April 9, 2000.

You can learn much more about Blessed Seelos at www.seelos.org.