Summer of Milestones
Salvatorian Cls. Patric Nikolas and Octavio Trejo-Flores returned home, after completing their summer assignment in Columbia and Maryland respectively, to renew their vows, before starting the school year as they move closer toward their diaconate ordinations. Cl. Marcel Emeh was ordained a deacon at St. Pius X church in Wauwatosa this summer and has begun his diaconate year at our Salvatorian parish of Most Holy Trinity in Tucson, AZ.
And still abroad at our East Asian Mission Vicariate, Cl. Paul Wilkin renewed his vows along with two Salvatorian sisters during a Mass at Mount Carmel Church on September 8, which is also a celebration for our founder, Fr Francis Jordan. We celebrated the 100th anniversary of his death.
Please keep all of our men in formation in prayer.
God captured his attention
Salvatorian Patric Nikolas spent a good portion of the summer working and living in Columbia.
“My desire to develop greater empathy for non-English speakers in the United States paid off, and I now understand what it feels like to be the outsider who doesn’t necessarily know how or even what to communicate,” he said. “It was a lonely, disorienting feeling which motivated me all the more to learn Spanish to a professionally functional degree.” Though Patric made perpetual vows on August 13th, he made a point of working directly with the Latin American novices while in Columbia.
He was given the task of teaching them English twice a week, and his ministry schedule was that of a Colombian novice and very demanding: Morning classes; visits to local schools, providing catechesis, activities and Masses; travel into the inner city and participation in collaborative ministries that primarily focused on helping at-risk youth.
Weekends were filled with pastoral visits, sometimes stopping at homes and small businesses, to do catechesis, pray the rosary and visit with the people in meaningful ways. “This was serious, challenging work and we would not return home until after dark,” said Patric. “About a month into the trip I accompanied the novices to a very poor parish we staff in a pueblo named San Joaquin. The work there was similar to the novitiate, except that we were ‘on’ all the time. Pastoral visits to homes and schools were daily.” Sundays were devoted to Mass and everyone had ministries that occupied significant portions of the day.
Salvatorian Roots -
An alumnus of our Salvatorian St. Nazian Seminary, Walter Gartman, or as friends call him, Wally, isn’t shy to tell the stories of his life. The walls of his pristine garage and his meticulous home office in Sheboygan, Wis. Are covered with photos and mementos of the life he and his wife Judy have shared for more than 60 years. One photo in particular stands out. It’s a photo of Wally, as a teen, playing basketball for his St. Nazianz team.
A graduate of Holy Names grade school in Sheboygan, Wally looked into St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee and then, on the advice of his Pastor, considered and ultimately attended St. Nazianz. “When you live together and go to school together, you learn how to work with people. I learned how to solve problems,” said Wally. “I owe the Salvatorians a debt of gratitude for my time there.”
He ultimately decided not to pursue religious life after minor seminary, sharing, “There were a lot of reasons, but also I think I was too young to make a decision that important that would impact the rest of my life.” Wally credits his successful career to his Salvatorian education. He had learned about a job opportunity at work but it required a college degree. He applied anyway. The hiring manager, noticing that Wally had attended St. Nazianz, gave him the job because he held the Salvatorians in such high regard. Wally’s career in manufacturing management was launched, taking him around the country and the world. “I applied the skills I learned at St. Nazianz and they helped me be successful,” he said.
Wally and Judy have slowed their lives down a bit now that they are in their 80’s, but they remain committed to giving to charity, including the Salvatorian mission and ministry, and staying true to their Catholic faith. “I’ve had a really great life.”
CELEBRATIONS AROUND THE COUNTRY
Multi-media concerts commemorated 125 years of Salvatorian Presence in the U.S.A.
The Society of the Divine Savior’s (Salvatorians) traveled coast to coast in 2017 commemorating 125 years in the United States. The events kicked off in December 2016 in Tucson, AZ with the release of Fr. Joe Rodrigues SDS fifth music CD. The CD, titled "Mission of Mercy: Fr. Joe and Friends" highlights his religious orders’ 125th Anniversary of ministry in the United States and culminates the “Year of Mercy” as designated by Pope Francis. In fact, the CD is dedicated to Pope Francis and his inspirational message.
“Mission of Mercy,” includes sixteen contemporary inspirational songs, including “Love Take Me Over,” “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again,” “God Speaking,” “Faith Makes a Way” and a unique interpretation of “Hallelujah.” This special collection of music captures the spirit of mercy in a fresh variety of styles, sounds and rhythms. There is something for everyone. “The mix echoes the hopes and yearnings for compassion and healing within us,” says Rodrigues. “I pray that the songs will inspire and touch the hearts and souls of everyone who listens. As the Gospel says, ‘Be merciful, as your heavenly Father is merciful.’”
Rodrigues leads multi-media concerts and programs in various regions throughout the U.S., in collaboration with Salvatorians from each area. The events, filled with laughter, inspiration, dance and songs from the “Mission of Mercy” CD creatively captured the Society’s 125 years of mission and spoke to the enthusiasm the community has for the future. This messaging was intertwined with songs from the newly released CD [proceeds from the CD will benefit the mission outreach and ministries of the U.S. province].
“I love being a priest, I love to serve, and I love affirming and encouraging God’s people with inspirational and moving music! I have been fortunate to combine my musical interests to help spread hope-filled messages in a world riddled with fear and despair. It becomes an invitation for people to consider how merciful God truly is in our lives. As Jesus saying in Jn. 10:10,’I did not come to condemn, but to save, so that you may live life and live it to the full!’ proclaimed Rodrigues.
“I think everyone wins because those who support our efforts will participate in our mission and receive a music CD that may lift their spirits now and in the years to come.”
To order “Mission of Mercy,” go to our Facebook store: http://bit.ly/MissionofMercyCD. You can also call (414) 258-1735 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Proceeds from CD sales will benefit Salvatorians mission outreach. Fr. Joe has produced four other CDs – “Chorus of Faith,” “Sing Divine Fire,” “Desert Rain” and “Spirit of Christmas.” CDs are available for a $15 donation.
Society of the Divine Savior - The Salvatorians
Salvatorian priests and brothers are members of the Society of the Divine Savior, a Catholic religious community founded in 1881 by Fr. Francis Jordan in Rome. The U.S.A. Province is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis. As a locally-based religious order with global outreach, Salvatorian charisms are more relevant than ever in today’s world.
As men of prayer and action, Salvatorians are encouraged to use their unique and diverse talents through “all ways and means” to spread the word of God. They work as equals within the family of Salvatorian sisters and lay, priests and brothers.
The Society of the Divine Savior is hosting “Years on Fire: Passion for Mercy” celebrations around the country to celebrate 125 years of Salvatorian presence and history in the United States, to share our enthusiasm for today and hope for the future.
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- Years on Fire: Passion for Mercy Celebrations