PROVINCE OF THE UNITED STATES

1.1. M.S.A. members in the United States

Currently, the Province has 36 members, including two residents outside the United States, Canada and Brazil. We have two American postulants.

  • Among these members, some are retired for health or age reasons: 18 live in a house of the Province or in homes. We have 33 members over the age of 60. This means that we have only 3 members under 60 years of age. We have 15 members under the age of 70. So we have 21 members with very little ministry or retired.

  • We have 18 members engaged in the work of the Province and working directly or helping the Province with their income.

  • We have one temporary member who is 40 years old. We are helping in the formation of five temporary members of the Local Community of Vietnam. We need vocations to survive!

Provincial Organization

  • Provincial Moderator: Rev. Edward J. PRZYGOCKI, M.S.A.

  • Councilor, Provincial Assistant: Rev. Fr. Peter KUCER, M.S.A,

  • Councilor, Bursar: Rev. Fr. Jeffrey THOMPSON, M.S.A.

  • Councilor, Secretary: Rev. P. Jerome McCallum, M.S.A.

  • Councilor, Provincial Responsible for Formation: Rev. P. Martin D. ROONEY, M.S.A.

1.2. Local Communities:

We have two local communities: Cromwell with 22 members and Washington DC with 14 members.

  1. a) Cromwell has two houses: St. Jude's, with a coordinator, Fr. Stanley Grove, and St. Mark's, whose Local Animator is Fr. Charles Bak. Father Stanley is his assistant, a bursar and the other members are his advisors. Other members live alone in homes.

  2. b) The Local Community of Washington, DC: The Local Animator is Brother Jerome McCallum. The other members are Fathers Addison Hallock and Glenn Breed. Father Dick Hite lives in a home. The other members live alone or in homes.

The Province administers two other houses in Washington.

1.3 Works and Apostolates

1.3.1. The College and Seminary of the Holy Apostles

The current situation: The Seminar depends on the Board of Directors chaired by the Chancellor. The current rector is Father Peter Kucer, M.S.A. The office has five M.S.A. members. At present, the Seminary has 51 seminarians, the majority of whom are from Vietnam and Colombia (Diocese of Paterson) and there are some Americans. There are about 20 Vietnamese priests and 40 sisters. There are about 600 students in the online program.

Future: The lack of American seminarians is a major concern for the future of the Seminary, as all international students have scholarships and will not help the growth of the institution. The current rector, a member of our Society, has replaced another rector who had been in office for almost 25 years and has retired.

1.3.2. M.S.A. USA Formation

  • Present Organization: The Province currently has one priest responsible for formation: Father Martin Rooney, M.S.A., one priest in charge of Postulancy, Probation and Temporaries, another priest in charge of the accompaniment of newly ordained or definitive members under five years of age, and another priest in charge of vocations direction for the Society. Thus, together with the local Animator of Cromwell, we have the Formation Committee of the Province. They have permanent meetings for coordination, evaluation and revision.

  • Formation of formators: we are sending our priests to Washington, DC, to attend the formation course with the Sulpician Fathers of Saint Sulpice, and we thank the confreres for their support in this task, because it is so important to be competent in formation; this directly concerns our charism and mission in the Church.

  • Financial help for M.S.A. candidates: we have only two postulants who receive help from the group 'Friends of Jesus Saint Mathias', which supports their tuition, health insurance, board and lodging and their personal needs.

The Promotion of Vocations is one of the great improvements of our Province. We improve the search for vocations according to our needs with flyers, conferences, digital contact, and moments of interaction with "come and see", which allow us to get to know people interested in priestly vocations. On our side, we perceive and analyze with the help of the Holy Spirit whether they have what it takes to become M.S.A.

1.3.3 Safe Environment (Accreditation Presidium)

With Father Vincent Salamoni, MSA, we have begun the process for the accreditation required by the Conference of Major Superiors of the United States and the Bishops' Conference for the priestly ministry in the United States, trying to prevent and what to do when there are accusations of sexual misconduct affecting minors. After four years of preparation, thanks to the invaluable assistance of Mr. James Tabor, and Father Luis LUNA, M.S.A., we were approved and certified to issue letters of appropriate character when our members are called to celebrate Mass or to minister in different parishes in the United States. Father Dennis Patrick CONNELL, M.S.A., is responsible for the annual update with the members.

1.3.4. My Father's House Retreat House

Presently the Province is responsible for and owner of My Father's House retreat house apostolate which Father William McCarthy, M.S.A. began in 1980. Is located in Moodus, Connecticut, is a large property and serves to give spiritual retreats to those in need. The current director is Father Michael Hai Van Tran, M.S.A. We pray for much success.

2. FRATERNAL LIFE

The Animator of the local M.S.A. communities will call a meeting of the members at least once a month with a determined plan for the development of the community: spiritual, fraternal and social. (C&N. Art. 23 & Art. 29).

It is done according to the recommendation of the Assembly. We must request that the minutes of each Local Community be sent each month to the Provincial Secretary.

MSA Associates

We need to teach them:

  1. a) The Constitutions and Norms MSA (Art. 58 and 59)

  2. b) The history, charism and spirituality of the M.S.A.

We have named Father Jeffrey Thompson, M.S.A. as the person responsible for the Laity of the Province. He is working with Mr. James Tabor to create the Menardian Disciples.

  • Our Province has a chronological calendar of important events each year.

  • The first and most important was the election of the Provincial Animator and the organization of the Provincial Assembly in December 2017, which took place at Provincial House, Cromwell, Connecticut.

  • Second event. Every year we have Father Menard Day in March, a week before the 26th, we gather the MSA family; friends, family members of Father Menard. This always takes place at the College and Seminary of the Holy Apostles.

  • In 2015-2016, we celebrated Father Menard's centennial, which ended in March. We awarded two prizes: the Father Menard Prize, Mr. John Bevins, to the priest who best identified with the Charism and Mission, and the Mr. Hector Durand Prize to the layperson, Mrs. Mary Welch, who best identified with the Charism and Mission. We have translated into English and published two books by Father Ménard, 'Thirst of Love' and 'Revolution of Love'. Edward Doherty, M.S.A., for his support and generosity in paying for the banquet at St. Clément’s Castle.

  • The Year of Mercy in all our M.S.A. homes in the U.S. from March 2016-2017: We were united with the Holy Father Francis and opened Our Gates of Mercy to all who wanted to come and visit.

  • We had three ordinations: Fathers John McDermott, M.S.A., Jeffrey Thompson, M.S.A., and Glenn Breed, M.S.A. It was a great event in the life of our Province and a sign of God's blessing with these generous men ready to serve the Church.

  • In 2014, we received the approval of the Presidium's accreditation as an act of prevention for our children.

  • We have several priests who have entered the Father's House and accompanied them to their funerals.

  • We introduced the day of the deceased M.S.A., USA, brothers and fathers on the Saturday after November 2. We gathered in the Chapel and went to the cemetery to pray in Faith, Hope and Charity.

  • Every year, after graduation from HACS, we have a Day of Prayer for priestly, religious and lay consecrated vocations from the USA MSA on Sundays. We have a Day of Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament and we use the internet to connect with all our members of the Province, the Society and all our friends, asking the Master of the Harvest to send us workers to His harvest.

  • We have Christmas and Easter dinner together as a sign of fraternity and love.

  • We have instituted 4 October as a day of sharing our goods with the poor, and we give charity to those who live near us.

  • We have introduced January 6th as the day when the postulant begins his formation with a Liturgy of reception with blood and spiritual families.

3. Analysis of the Situation

Because we are a small Province, with only 36 members, this favors a better community family, with a good structure of government that makes the service of authority effective.

Our charism in the Church is vital, because without priests there is no Church. Therefore, our future is always encouraging and positive.

We have an M.S.A. House of Formation, and, in order to have apostolic work, the College and Seminary of the Holy Apostles is a precious instrument for our Mission in the present and in the future.

The land we have at Cromwell is a precious support from a financial point of view.

 

Because the average age is so high, 77 on average, with 50% efficiency, we risk collapse. Since 2014, five priests have entered the Father's House, while we have had only 3 ordinations. Currently we have two postulants who should be ordained in ten years; in the meantime, we will have at least twelve fewer priests. The reduced number of vocations to replace retired or deceased persons presents us with a great challenge.

Limited financial resources do not allow us to have younger vocations because we cannot pay for their education as other religious communities and dioceses do.

With the limited number of members available to work in our mission and charism, with a decent salary, this becomes impossible.

The lack of personnel is one of the greatest challenges of our Province. Tithing is so difficult to obtain because most of our members are elderly and need their limited income for personal subsistence; we have only two properties that we rent in Washington, DC. This helps us to support our limited budget. From our College and Seminary of the Holy Apostles, we receive some support, free food for MSA members when the kitchen is running. Five members work there full time.

  • We are working intensely to promote vocations to the priesthood and the committed laity at the level of our province.

  • We need to find a house outside of New England, responding to the challenge of developing our Society in the United States of America.

  • We need to build a new house in Washington in order to rent it out as a source of income for our province, and especially to support our elderly members.

  • We need to continue to help our members obtain academic degrees to serve the College and Seminary of the Holy Apostles dedicated to the formation of missionary and lay priests for the New Evangelization.

  • We need to encourage dialogue with other M.S.A. from different regions and countries and to share our vocations through an internal document duly signed by the members and competent animators.

  • We need a house for the retired and to assume parishes, even with ethnic requirements, as a source of income for the Province.

  • The union of Vietnam with the Province is very important and is a positive resource for vocations.

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