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Dear Friends of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, The recently published Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, is pertinent to all Christians, but holds particular elements that are especially relevant to religious missionary communities. After reading the exhortation, there are a number of points that really struck me, a couple of which I will share below. The first is the joy that should be present in the life of Christians, and in a particular way in the life of consecrated people. Giving ones life entirely to the Lord is certainly a challenging path, but being able to dedicate ones life in prayer, community life and in service to the Gospel is also an amazing privilege. By being joyful, not merely in a superficial way, but in an enduring, abiding manner, religious missionaries witness to the fact that it is always worthwhile to give ones life to the Lord. Through their intimacy and communion with God, consecrated

people are called to be a sign of the joy found in heaven! There is no more effective evangelizing instrument than the person who witnesses the profound joy of a life given to Christ. It is a testimony that must be present in order to give

authenticity to our belief that we are called to live in communion with God in this life and the next. As the General Superior of SOLT, one of my responsibilities is to visit the many missions of our community. One of the key indicators that I look for as a sign of the effectiveness of a SOLT team in mission is the joyful and peaceful spirit of the members of the team. Wherever authentic, abiding joy is present, almost certainly there is a corresponding effectiveness in the pastoral ministry of the team. One of the other illuminating points of Pope Franciss exhortation which I would like to mention here is the notion that our life is meant to be a mission that is constantly striving to share the Gospel with others. There is no taking a vacation from the work of evangelization or from religious life! There are always people to meet, people to speak with, and people in need of hearing the essential message of our salvation: God loves us personally; He became one of us in Jesus Christ; He died for us to save us from our sins; and, He opened the pathway for us to live with Him as His children. While it may not be easy to be an expert in all areas of Catholic doctrine, each of us can surely appreciate the great importance of sharing this essential message. As you read this edition of Mission magazine, you will encounter some of the stories of SOLT missionaries who strive to serve joyfully in the great work of the new evangelization while serving our brothers and sisters in Christ. Following the exhortation of Pope Francis, I pray that each of us will be joyful missionaries who constantly look for opportunities in our conversation with others to share the cause of our joy, happiness and hopeJesus Christ. Fr. Peter Marsalek, SOLT

General Priest Servant Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity



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Programs, plans and projects have their place; but the discernment of a vocation is above all the fruit of an intimate dialogue between the Lord and his disciples.

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retreat center and perpetual adoration chapel B

Our Lady of Corpus Christi

eing a perpetually committed lay member of the Society of Our Lady serving on an Ecclesial Family Team at Our Lady of Corpus Christ (OLCC) continues to be a whirlwind adventure and journey with the people of God! Our Lady of Corpus Christi offers an incredibly gorgeous Perpetual Adoration Chapel, a wonderful retreat center and a beautiful bookstore to all the faithful. Under Father Jim Kelleher, Our Lady of Corpus Christi Perpetual Adoration Chapel serves the Diocese of Corpus Christi in
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Between the Retreat Center and the Perpetual Adoration Chapel, our motto A place of silence, a place of prayer, a place of peace is realized on a daily basis.

many ways. The chapel is available to all people 24/7 for adoration, daily Mass, 1st Sunday St. Peregrine Healing Mass, 1st Friday Charismatic Mass and Healing Service, Tuesday nights Miraculous Medal Perpetual Novena and numerous other special events. Also, each Friday the Mass is offered for all the living and deceased members of the SOLT Mass Association. OLCC Retreat Center has a two-fold mission under the leadership of Father Dan Estes. First, it serves the Diocese of Corpus Christi as a facility available for retreats, such as Journey to Damascus, Parish Real Life, Par4 | SOLT Mission Magazine | Spring 2014

ish ACTS Retreats, Marriage Encounter, Engaged Encounter, Rachels Vineyard and many more. Secondly, it offers St. Ignatius silent retreats, Divine Mercy retreats and Total Consecration retreats to all. These beautiful and prayerful retreats, led by Father Dan and our adopted diocesan brother, Deacon Bob Allen, began in 2010 and have grown to about 15 retreats per year. The silent retreats are also served by Sister Laudem Gloriae. We have also held marriage retreats and womens retreats which include other members of our community as speakers such as Sister Anne Marie Walsh, Sister Miriam James Heidland and Dr. Joseph Biberstein. Between the Retreat Center and the Perpetual Adoration Chapel, our motto A place of silence, a place of prayer, a place of peace is realized on a daily basis. OLCC opened a bookstore in 2011 and now has a coffee shop named Caf Veritas. As a team serving the retreats, bookstore and adoration chapel, we are also able to witness our charism of serving in Ecclesial Family Teams. It is a joy to have an Ecclesial Family Team at this missionpriests, sisters, brothers, and laity serving together a common mission! Approximately 300 people (half of these for the first time) per week participate in one form or another in the life at OLCC through retreats, adoration, Masses or just want to come and see whats under the blue dome. It is a blessing to show people the Adoration Chapel, help a group have a good retreat by making sure their needs are met, and help folks find the right book or gift in the bookstore. Another tremendous blessing is praying with the team at midday prayers, attending daily Mass, being nourished through our community, celebrating birthdays or gathering with the larger SOLT community for the Assembly or monthly family days. God is so good! Be sure to visit our website, Like us on Facebook at Our Lady of Corpus Christi and Caf Veritas or sign up for a retreat at www. We would love to meet you and show you whats under the blue dome! mONa LISa BIBERSTEIN

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upcoming events
DOmE FEST BaNQUET Saturday, March 1st FR. TOm SHOWaLTER MEmORIaL GOLF TOURNamENT Friday, April 25th
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Prayer itself, born in Catholic families, nurtured by programs of Christian formation, strengthened by the grace of the sacraments, is the first means by which we come to know the Lords will for our lives.

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consecrated widows lauded by Bishop Finn

lizabeth Dietrich, Consecrated Widow (CW), was honored on her 90th birthday recently celebrated by family and friends. Elizabeths over fifty years of service to the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese was acknowledged by Bishop Robert Finn. Elizabeth served as a leader of the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women in Kansas City. She also led the Rosary Altar Society, the Tabernacle Society, and the Blue Army, which brought the statue of Our Lady of Fatima to different parishes throughout the diocese each first

Saturday. She also has led many different groups on pilgrimages to Our Ladys Shrines throughout the nation. After five years of temporary promises, Elizabeth recently made her perpetual promises as a consecrated widow of SOLT. Her service now is one of intense prayer. The Consecrated Widows of SOLT, which began in 2000, now has fifty-three members with another seven in formation. Father Flanagans (SOLT Founder) vision of this vocation has been developed and formed by his writ-

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ings. He has written a Consecrated powerful and they are an example Widow Manual, which contain the to many. The CWs have a special rules of formation and his teach- apostolate to abandoned women ings. CWs make promises to Jesus of the world who have no one to through Mary of poverty, chastity pray for them. Saint Josephine Bakhand obedience for one year, and af- ita, whose feast day is February 8th, ter five years, may make perpetual is the patron saint for the Consepromises. The main work of the SOLT crated Widows.

CWs is to become holy, live a simple life, remain chaste and pray for family and friends. Their prayers are very

Contact Nicolina Sullivan at (816) 531-0244 for more information about the Consecrated Widows of SOLT.

The Consecrated Widows which began in 2000, now has fifty-three members with another seven in formation.


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serving the people in

e arrived in Tamale, Ghana in September 2012, tired but excited to start our new missionary work in the Archdiocese of Tamale. Fortunately, for us the Archdiocese of Tamale has provided a beautiful convent to stay in, which has quickly become a place to call home. It consists of two buildings, one serving as a main house with a chapel, and the other as sleeping quarters. This home is surrounded by local fruit trees and vegetables which provide food for the community. Being invited by Most Rev. Philip Naameh, Our Ladys priests were the first to arrive in Tamale in September 2011. The church that they were given to serve did not have a its own

building, so the priests said Mass at the pastoral center. A year later, two SOLT Sisters who are native Ghanaians joined the priests and one year later a third sister followed. Over the last few years the parishioners have built a church called

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St. Teresas. This parish is a thriving church, as are most churches in Tamale. We serve the university students, in great number. They make up more than half our parish, are involved in many groups and run many activities themselves. Due to the numerous actives that go on in this parish, the church serves as a multi-purpose building which our enthusiastic youth have single handedly taken over. They use the church for their spiritual activities and because of this we are now raising money to build a bigger church, and the existing church will become a

Being a culture built on relationships, it is easy to find oneself smothered with love and affection everywhere you turn.

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parish hall. Thanks be to God! Along with performing their normal priestly duties, our SOLT priests act as spiritual directors for many students as well as the seminarians. Last year we prepared 68 candidates for baptism and at the

[The university students] use the church for their spiritual activities and because of this we are now raising money to build a bigger church, and the existing church will become a parish hall.

moment we are preparing 72 more. We offer spiritual direction to the Legion of Mary group by giving weekly reflections on the bible and other topics for their spiritual growth. We serve the other small faith groups in the parish whenever there is a need. The church has a small school attached to it where the sisters give religious instructions once a week. St. Theresas parishioners quickly embraced our little SOLT family. As well as serving our parish, the SOLT sisters help to teach in others schools, give counseling services to children in the a government orphanage and help Archbishop Naameh when needed. The team here spends much time truly living out our SOLT identity by building beautiful friendships with the people. Being a culture built on relationships, it is easy to find oneself smothered with love and affection everywhere you turn. Spending time with the people has led many young women to enquire about our community. At this time we have three women here who have come to see what life is all about as a SOLT sister. In addition to serving in the parish, the sisters work will extend to formation of women discerning religious life. SR. REJOICE MaRY ENYONam HOEDOaFIa PROFESSED HER FIRST VOWS WITH SOLT IN 2009.

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Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
PHIL 3:8
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Virgin Mother of Good Counsel

I N H Y T H E , K E N T, E N G L a N D

irgin Mother of Good Counsel Parish in Hythe is situated in Kent on the South-East coast of England. This county was where St. Augustine, sent by Pope St. Gregory the Great in 596 A.D., came to evangelise the Anglo-Saxon pagan peoples. SOLT began to serve here in 1997 when Father Jean Hart was assigned as Parish Priest and assisted by Father Robert Copsey. Since then we have had Father Fred Alexander as head of the parish assisted by other SOLT priests. Two SOLT members died here while serving, Father Richard Merrick and more recently Brother Rick Bunch. Besides the main church in Hythe we have three mission churches in the Marshes: St Monicas in Dymchurch; St Augustines in Littlestone; and St

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Martin of Tours in Lydd. A team of several SOLT priests and sisters pray and minister together to these areas of England. The parish is also assisted by a married deacon, Rev. Ray Partridge and his wife Elizabeth, and two retired diocesan priests, Monsignor Klyberg and Canon Cronin. Below are descriptions of the SOLT members currently serving and their particular ministries. Father Avelino Bermundo is the head of the parish and serves in the administration of the parish as well as pastoral activities and the celebration of the sacraments. Father Avelino works with

Sister Trinity sees her struggles with cancer as a gift from God that unites her to His Pascal Mystery and offers the suffering for the conversion of England and the work of SOLT.

many groups, such as the Union of Catholic Mothers (UCM). On several occasions he has led the parishioners on pilgrimages to various holy shrines in the United Kingdom and abroad. He is involved in Remembrance
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Masses, Mass for the housebound, carol services and concerts. Father has also founded a Filipino presence in the Parish with a monthly Mass and meal, and many other creative activities throughout the year, such as processions and programs, which have brought great joy to the parish. Father Sam Medley has a varied apostolate inside and outside of the parish. He began a youth group and often works with Youth 2000. He holds individual RCIA classes for converts and has done much to re-establish a good relationship with nearby St Augustines primary school, in which he serves regularly. Additionally, Father Sam travels all over England and Europe to give talks on Theology of the Body, most recently going to the Ukraine. He provides human formation classes for the archdiocese at the Vocation Centre for Seminarians. He also helps with retreats of various kinds and has an effective ecumenical outreach.

Father Robert Copsey knows the parishioners very well and maintains close relationships with them. He is especially treasured for his wonderful work with the sick and the dying. Father Robert has been able to reach many lapsed Catholics through this ministry and has brought quite a number
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back to the Church. Besides helping with administering the sacraments, Father Robert provides a Tridentine Rite Latin Mass every Friday. Sister Maria Caritas Wendt is the newest member of team, having arrived in March 2013. Sister Caritas has been a great blessing to our team

Father Robert Copsey has been able to reach many lapsed Catholics through this ministry [to the sick and dying] and has brought quite a number back to the Church.

as she shares her wide experience of catechesis, youth ministry work and music ministry. She is supportive, intensely interested in England and serving with her whole heart. Sister Mary of the Trinity Vaughan arrived in Hythe in 2012 after seven years of service in Wales. The most important reality for her is and has always been the conversion of her fellow countrymen back to the faith. Following the call of the New Evangelisation, Sisters Trinity and Caritas go door to door visiting all the parishioners to bring them faith sharing, prayer and the Word of God. It has become increasingly fruitful with wonderful encounters as they try to bring Jesus to them. Sister Trinity also helps with First Holy Communion and Confirmation classes, as well as some retreats and talks outside of the parish for various groups. Sister Trinity sees her struggles with cancer as a gift from God that unites her to His Pascal Mystery and offers the suffering for the conversion of England and the work of SOLT. SR. MaRY OF THE TRINITY VaUGHaN IS FROM MANCHESTER, ENGLAND AND WILL BE CELEBRATING HER 35 PROFESSION OF VOWS ON JULY 16 .

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Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity PO Box 4116 Corpus Christi, TX 78469
Non-Profit U.S. Postage Robstown, TX Permit No. 774

Celebrating more than fifty years as a Catholic missionary community, the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT) serves in family teams of priests, sisters, brothers, lay members, volunteers, and benefactors. The fruitfulness of SOLT grows from the prayers, sacrifices and financial support of people like you. Living a joyful life, SOLT serves the deepest needs of Gods people. Following the Gospel mandate to go and make disciples of all nations, SOLT serves people of all walks of life. Thanks to the many blessings of the Lord, membership of SOLT has tripled in the last ten years to serve the growing needs. SOLT needs your help to continue its growth in service to others. Your prayers, financial support and work as a volunteer allow more people to receive the gift of Gods love and help. Please prayerfully consider making a gift today to support the fruitfulness of this work. Checks may be made payable to SOLT or donate online at SOLT PO Box 4116 Corpus Christi, TX 78469 361.289.9095 Thank you. May God bless you. PAID

Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity - SOLT