Religious brothers celebrate anniversaries

On Saturday, June 28, Cardinal SeŠn P. OíMalley, OFM Cap. celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving for the Religious Brothers of the archdiocese who are celebrating anniversaries in 2008.

Brother Damien (Patrick) Chong, O.Carm. from Hawaii will celebrate 50 years as a Carmelite Brother on Sept. 8.

Brother Damien was born in Hamakuapoko, Maui, son of the late Libert and Hannah (Akee) Chong. He came from a large family (13 children, he being the 12th) and attended Holy Rosary Grammar School in Paia (staffed by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondolet), St. Louis High School in Honolulu, Oahu (staffed by the Society of Mary) and Archbishop Carroll (staffed by the Augustinians) in Washington D.C.

He made his first vows in 1958 at the Carmelite Brothersí House of Studies and Novitiate and Solemn Vows in 1961. Brother began a nearly 27-year career in education teaching in California at Crespi Carmelite High School in Encino and Mt. Carmel High School in Los Angeles. He then spent 10 years as associate pastor at St. Gelasius Parish in the South Side of Chicago, Ill. (his favorite assignment), working with the poor and homeless. His present assignment is in Peabody, Mass., working at the Carmelite Chapel in the Northshore Shopping Mall and the Carmelite Priory, which is a contemplative retirement house.

Brother William Spokesfield, SJ, entered the Society of Jesus at age 42. He always had the desire to be a missionary. Brother William spent 20 years in Brazil as a ďjack of all tradesĒ doing anything that needed to be done to support the mission. When he returned to the United States, he took care of the retreat house. Brother now resides at Campion Center and will be 92 in January.

Brother Arcadius Alkonis, CFX, is the son of the late Stanley and Anna Alkonis and was born on Dec. 20, 1930, in Sacred Heart Parish in West Lynn. Brother Alkonis attended public schools and St. Mary Boysí High School, class of 1948.

Brother Alkonis entered the Xaverian Brothers at Sacred Heart novitiate at Ft. Monroe, Va. in September 1948. After vestition and profession he attended Xaverian College, in Silver Spring, Md. from 1950-1952.

He was missioned to Brooklyn, N.Y. and attended St. Johnís University from 1952-1958 and taught at Holy Cross School and St. Teresa School.

He also taught at St. Joseph Preparatory School, Bardstown, Ky. 1958-1960 and Cardinal Hayes High School, Bronx, N.Y. 1960-1961.

From 1961-1985 Brother Alkonis was part of the Xaverian East African Missions. His assignments included: St. Augustine Teachers College, Eregi, Kenya; St. Joseph Teachers College, Kitale, Kenya; Our Lady Secondary School, Kaimosi, Kenya; St. Joseph Secondary School, headmaster, Kitale, Kenya; Mumias Secondary School, Mumias, Kenya; St. Peter Seminary, Provincial Delegate, Mukumi, Kenya; and Brother Alkonis is presently assigned to St. John Preparatory School as assistant librarian and archivist.

Brother Richard Hastings, CFX, entered the Xaverian Brothers in 1948. He has taught science at many of the Xaverian Schools.

The ministry of Brother Joseph Comber, CFX, as a Xaverian is divided into two parts: From 1964-67 and again from 1973-1994, Brother Comber taught religion, Latin and German at St. John Prep in Danvers. During this period, he also taught scripture part-time at St. John Seminary in Brighton, from 1975-79.

In 1994, Brother Comber became a Certified Nursing Assistant and has worked in this capacity up to the present at Mary Immaculate Nursing and Restorative Center in Lawrence. For the past eight years in the Restorative Program, Brother Comber has helped residents with walking, exercise, and other activities of daily living.

Brother Comber received a bachelorís degree from Catholic University in Washington in Latin in 1964, an masterís degree in biblicalstudies from Saint Louis University in 1969, and a doctorate in biblical studies (New Testament) from the University of Chicago in 1975.

Brother Ernest G. Beland, FMS, graduated from St. Joseph High School in Lowell and was recruited by Brother Giles, his basketball coach and moderator. Brother Beland entered the Novitiate in Tyngsborough on Aug. 2, 1957. Brother Beland received the habit on July 26, 1958 and professed his first vows in 1959. He received a bachelorís degree in English Literature from Marist College in 1962.

Brother Belandís first assignment was St. Joseph High School in Trumbull, Conn., where he taught world history, algebra, French, Latin and religion from 1962-1964. From 1964-1966, he coached the junior varsity basketball team to an undefeated season. He also taught French, algebra, religion and world history. From 1967-1968, Brother Beland taught English at St. Joseph High School in Lowell, Mass. From 1968-1969, he taught at Marist High School in Eugene, Or. There he coached baseball and basketball and directed several classroom plays in addition to his classroom responsibilities for English literature and religion.

From 1969 the present, Brother Beland has been the director of the House of Formation and worked as a volunteer on weekends at Lazarus House in Lawrence. Brother Beland has a masterís degree in English Literature from New York University. He will begin his 40th year teaching at Central Catholic in Lawrence in September 2008.

Brother William Drinan, CFX, is a member of the Corporate Board of the Sponsored Ministries of the Sisters of Saint St. Joseph. Brother taught for many years at the Xaverian Brothers High School in Bangor, Maine, and St. John Prep in Danvers.

Brother was the headmaster of Xaverian Brothers in Westwood, principal at Archbishop Williams High School in Braintree and headmaster at St. John Prep from 1989-2001. Brother Drinan retired in 2001.

Brother Louis Marek, SA, entered the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement in 1958 and was professed in 1961. He earned an AB at Providence College and an masterís degree in theology at Boston College. Among his many assignments, he has served at Our Lady of the Atonement Novitiate in Cumberland, R.I., was on the pastoral team at the Church of the Atonement in Windsor, Ontario, and was once CCD Director of St. James Parish in Medford. From 1980 to 1984, he taught religious studies at Malden Catholic High School in Malden, Mass. A former secretary general for the Friars, he has served as pilgrimage director at Graymoor, and was student ministries coordinator at Atonement Seminary in Washington, D.C. He has served at the Chapel of Our Savior in Brockton since 1993.

Brother Savio McNeice, SA, was born in Pittsfield, Mass., where he graduated from St. Joseph Central High School. He entered the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement in 1958 and was professed in 1961. Early in his career, Brother Savio worked in the culinary departments at various friarsí seminaries and residences at Graymoor, Cumberland, R.I., Saranac Lake, N.Y. and Washington, D.C. During these years he was also active in CCD work and rehabilitation in the field of alcoholism. From 1982 until 2000, he was involved in social service and parish ministries at St. Paul and St. Joseph the Worker parishes in Vancouver, British Columbia. He has served at the Chapel of Our Savior in Brockton since 2000.

Brother Robert Dutil, OMI, entered the Oblates of Mary Immaculate after careers in the Air Force and as a display manager. Brother Dutil was married and is the father of five children. After the death of his wife, he heard the call to religious life.

A year after the death of his beloved wife, Brother Dutil went to see a priest, an Oblate at Saint Paul Center in Augusta, Maine. Brother Dutil told Father George of his intention. Brother Dutil professed First Vows on Dec. 8, 1983, and happily admits: ďIt has been a very full life. God has been with me all the way. I say thank you to God for this great life to which he has guided me, my vocation: A Brother with these great men, the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.Ē

Brother Don Champagne, SVD, was born in Milwaukee, Wis., in 1937. He entered the high school for Brothers operated by the Society of the Divine Word at Techny, Ill., in 1951. He professed first vows in 1958 and final vows in 1964.

Brother Don has a bachelorís degree in music education with a concentration in voice. He has served in high school and college seminaries as a teacher, formation director and year-abroad director. In 1991, he was assigned as music minister of Miramar Retreat Center, Duxbury, Mass. He does volunteer ministry for those living with HIV/AIDS and visiting the elderly in nursing homes. In 2005, he was appointed director of Miramar Retreat Center and superior of his religious community. He has served on the Board of the Religious Brothers Conference for five years and two years as vice-president of the Conference.

Sister Marian Batho, CSJ, is Delegate for Religious in the archdiocese.

Cardinal beatifies 22-year-old Romanian as 'martyr to chastity'

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- A 22-year-old Romanian peasant has taken a step closer to sainthood as a "martyr to chastity," six decades after she was murdered ...

Maryland attorney general will review church records on child sex abuse

BALTIMORE (CNS) -- In a Sept. 24 letter to the clergy of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Archbishop William E. Lori informed priests and deacons that the ...

People helping people is what attracted actor to 'God Friended Me'

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Television audiences may recall seeing actor Joe Morton as Eli Rowan Pope, the father of professional Washington fixer Olivia Pope, ...

Pa. bishops support creating fund to compensate survivors of sex abuse

PHILADELPHIA (CNS) -- The bishops of Pennsylvania's eight Roman Catholic dioceses are supporting creation of an independent fund to compensate survivors ...

CRS sells fair trade coffee, supporting Mexican farmers and land

Baltimore, Md., Sep 24, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Catholic Relief Services is now offering fair trade coffee beans that will benefit local farming communities ...

The Jesuit who survived the KGB

Vilnius, Lithuania, Sep 24, 2018 CNA.- When Pope Francis visited a former KGB building in Vilnius, Lithuania Sept. 23, Archbishop Sigitas Tamkevicius ...

Next step toward artificial reproduction violates human fundamentals, ethicist warns

Washington D.C., Sep 25, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Artificial human reproduction appears to be on the horizon with Japanese scientists’ claim to ...

Update: Scandals create outrage, but there is time for conversion, pope says

TALLINN, Estonia (CNS) -- In what is probably the least religious country in Europe, Pope Francis said he is surprised by how many people hold firm to ...

Catholic leaders oppose administration's plan to limit green cards

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Catholic leaders are speaking out against a Trump administration proposed rule announced Sept. 22 that would deny green cards to legal ...

Head of Georgetown Prep urges renewed commitment to being 'men for others'

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In a letter to the school community, the president of an all-boys Jesuit high school in suburban Washington emphasized the schools' ...

Today is 'hour of the laity,' Archbishop Gomez tells Encuentro delegates

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- Hispanic Catholic leaders are living an important moment in the history of the Catholic church in the U.S. and are called to ...

Stay close to the suffering, forgive one another, pope tells Latvians

AGLONA, Latvia (CNS) -- What would Mary do? was the question Pope Francis, in effect, asked Latvian Catholics gathered at their nation's popular Marian ...

Joy, hope contagious for Encuentro participants as they discern priorities

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- Joy, hope, energy and a spirit of continued collaboration are contagious among the participants of the Fifth National Encuentro, ...

Update: Pope in Lithuania: Don't let anti-Semitism, hatred resurge

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- Outside the former KGB headquarters in Vilnius, Pope Francis ended a day of paying homage to victims of totalitarianism and ...

God is patient, even with failures, pope tells young Lithuanians

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- Meeting young Lithuanians in Vilnius, Pope Francis said he wanted a relaxed conversation, like they were sitting in a pub ...

Update: Vatican signs provisional agreement with China on naming bishops

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- For the first time in decades, all of the Catholic bishops in China are in full communion with the pope, the Vatican announced. Pope ...

Find strength in tolerance, solidarity, pope tells Lithuanians

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- In Lithuania, a nation that experienced invasions, atrocities and persecution, Pope Francis began his visit with a plea to ...

Ospino: Encuentro reflects 'energy, maturity' of a church 'here to stay'

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- The thousands of Hispanic Catholic ministry leaders gathered in Texas for the Fifth National Encuentro shared views on the maturity ...

N.J. cardinal won't attend synod, asks to remain home at 'time of crisis'

NEWARK, N.J. (CNS) -- Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark told the people of his archdiocese Sept. 21 that Pope Francis has granted his request that he ...

Detroit Archdiocese welcomes investigation into Michigan dioceses

DETROIT (CNS) -- Michigan's attorney general has opened an investigation into the handling of sexual abuse by clergy in all of Michigan's seven Catholic ...

Catholics believe in God but 'don't believe in us,' Miami archbishop says

MIAMI (CNS) -- The crisis the Catholic Church is facing is not "a crisis of faith" or "mainly about a crisis of sexual abuse by clergy," but is "a crisis ...

Update: Disney animator says grounding in Catholic schools led to success

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (CNS) -- Ron Clements is a renowned animator, screenwriter and producer-director of award-winning Disney films, including the blockbuster ...

#WhyImCatholic movement aims to share hope at difficult time for church

CHICAGO (CNS) -- Catholic Extension has launched a new social media campaign called #WhyImCatholic to offer "hope and unity" for Catholics by inviting ...

Continue to be an evangelizing church, nuncio tells Encuentro delegates

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- Quoting from Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation "The Joy of the Gospel," Archbishop Christophe Pierre encouraged Hispanic Catholic ...

Encuentro opens with procession, papal message, prayers for abuse victims

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- A video message from Pope Francis and a procession of Encuentro crosses representing all of the participating episcopal regions ...

Retired Green Bay auxiliary bishop failed to report abuse, withdraws from ministry

Green Bay, Wis., Sep 20, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Bishop Robert Morneau, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Green Bay, has withdrawn from public ministry saying ...

Dolan 'impatient' waiting for apostolic visitation in response to McCarrick

New York City, N.Y., Sep 20, 2018 CNA.- The Archbishop of New York said Thursday that while he has confidence in the way Pope Francis is handling the ...

Two more Chilean bishops step down in wake of abuse crisis

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis accepted the resignations of two more Chilean bishops, bringing to seven the number of bishops who have stepped down ...

Celebration of the Priesthood dinner raises over $1.8 million

BOSTON -- A record 1,700 people attended the 10th annual Celebration of the Priesthood dinner to raise funds for the Clergy Health and Retirement Trust ...

Lawrence parish helps community cope with gas explosion aftermath

LAWRENCE -- Volunteers at St. Patrick Church's Cor Unum Meal Center were serving dinner when multiple natural gas explosions and fires broke out in homes ...

Ceremony, Mass kick off St. Augustine Chapel bicentennial

SOUTH BOSTON -- St. Augustine Chapel and Cemetery began its year-long bicentennial celebration on the weekend of Sept. 14-16 with tours, special Masses, ...

Mass. Knights install new officers

The Massachusetts State Council Knights of Columbus recently held its Installation of State Officers at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Canton with ...

Deal will keep Sancta Maria Nursing Facility open

CAMBRIDGE -- Sancta Maria Nursing Facility announced Sept. 17 that it has negotiated a comprehensive operational contract with Advocate Healthcare Management ...

From Cardinal Seán's blog

As I mentioned in my preface to last week's blog, this week and last, I have been in Rome for meetings related to the work of the Pontifical Commission ...

N.Y. Archdiocese names judge as independent reviewer on abuse protocols

NEW YORK (CNS) -- New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan has named a former federal judge to study archdiocesan policies and procedures with respect to sexual ...

U.S. reports poverty declines, but agencies finding needs remain great

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The good news from the U.S. Census Bureau Sept. 12 was that the poverty rate dropped for the third straight year in 2017 and median ...

Class-action lawsuit filed against eight Pennsylvania dioceses

PITTSBURGH (CNS) -- A class-action lawsuit was filed Sept. 17 against eight Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania demanding the dioceses provide proof that ...

Apostolic visitor outlines plans for expansion at Medjugorje shrine

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- The Polish archbishop tasked with overseeing Bosnia-Herzegovina's Medjugorje shrine has outlined plans for expansion, including ...

Pope names administrator as Indian bishop investigated for alleged rape

MUMBAI, India (CNS) -- Pope Francis has accepted the request of an Indian bishop accused of raping a nun to be relieved of his duties during the investigation. In ...

In letters to German cardinal, retired pope defends way he stepped down

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Retired Pope Benedict XVI expressed his displeasure with the way a German cardinal publicly criticized his stepping down as pontiff, ...

Thousands of Hispanics expected in Texas for Encuentro summit

Fort Worth, Texas, Sep 20, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- As many as 3,000 Catholics of Hispanic background are expected in Texas this week for the National V Encuentro, ...