LETTER TO THE STIGMATINE LAITY – FOR LENT, 2015

Stigmatines – St. Joseph’s Hall
554 Lexington Street
Waltham MA 02452-3097

 February 18, 2015
ASH WEDNESDAY

Dear Stigmatine Lay Member,

A blessed Lent to you all! Due to our severe winter, we really have not had much contact since our gathering [for those who could make it!] for the Mass and supper on the 199th anniversary of the foundation of the Stigmatines, November 4th [1816 – next year is the second centenary].

In this period as well, two members of our Province died, known to most of you: Fr. Henry J. Linse, CSS – who died at the age of 95 [pre-deceased by his brother, Fr. George Linse, CSS, who died also in January over 2 decades ago] –and Fr. Joseph Connolly, CSS – who died three weeks later, February 6th, 2015, at the age of 84. Please pray for them and for those who mourn them.

It has been decided that we will not have a March meeting –hoping that much of this snow will melt [!]. This means our next gathering will be for Mass and supper on the Feast of the Stigmata, which is celebrated on the Friday following Mercy Sunday. So, the Feast of the Stigmata will be celebrated this year on April 17th – and as the festivity approaches, you will be informed by letter inviting you, regarding the time of Mass and supper.

As we endure here in New England the rigors of one of our most severe winters on record, we might do well to ponder the life of our saintly Founder, Fr. Gaspar Bertoni. So much of his life, he spent as an invalid, confined to his room – and mostly to his arm chair and bed. Perhaps with the many spiritual masters who see that holiness is much associated with deadening routine, and involuntary limitation to free movement, due to age and illness with which none of us is totally unfamiliar! If this is our own present personal lot, let us associate ourselves to that wonderful idea of St. Paul that we are being invited [as was St. Gaspar!] to make of our lives an oblation to the Mercy of God [cf. Rm 12:1] – and with St. Peter who invites us all to join our sacrifices to that one sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

A blessed Lent to you all – let us pray for each other, and the Stigmatines’ Apostolic Mission in the Church, and also our own! God bless you all – hope to see you on April 17th for the Feast of the Sacred Stigmata.

Very sincerely yours,

 Fr. Joseph Henchey, CSS
Acting Spiritual Director

Father Joseph Connolly’s funeral and burial – on February 12, 2015

The funeral was very nice. Fr. Greg did his usual sterling funeral Mass.

Fr. Joe’s son, Patrick (the Boston firefighter) was there, as was Patrick’s sister and mother and I think a nephew.

Fr. Joe’s sister, a nun, was there and many of her confreres also.

Jessica, her dad (John, the cook) Ruthie, myself and a couple of others.

We went to the cemetery for services, but the burial will be later – while I assumed it was because of frozen ground. The explanation given us was that nothing is plowed over to the Stigmatine’s section (THAT was apparent).

Again (as at Fr. Linse’s funeral), the Mass was in the lower Chapel due to construction and the collation was in the function room behind the Chapel. A parishioner owns a local deli and they have it catered by him…..the food is REALLY delicious!!!

Maureen decided it was TOO cold for her to venture forth – and Madelyn had wanted to come but neither Maureen nor I were able to reach her to finalize the arrangements so it ended up that only Ruthie and I were there from the Lay Associates.

Fr. Joe Connolly  was a good-hearted person… and very good to Van, myself and Ruthie. Fr. Joe’s decline was not easy… some people seem serve their Purgatory time here on earth, and I think he was one of them.

Page Vandewater

Father Joseph Michael Connolly, CSS is called back to Father’s Home

 

Father Joseph Michael Connolly, CSS
Father Joseph Michael Connolly, CSS

Reverend Joseph Michael Connolly, C.S.S. of the Stigmatine Fathers, 554 Lexington Street, Waltham, MA died on February 6, 2015 at Lahey Clinic, Burlington, MA. He was 84 years old. He was born in Brighton MA on November 5, 1930. His Father, Michael, was born in Spiddal, Ireland and his Mother, Mary (Connolly) was born in Oughterand, Ireland. Both parents are deceased. He leaves his loving family: Sister Marie Connolly, C.S.J. of Brighton, MA, John Connolly of West Roxbury, MA and Patrick Connolly of Roslindale, MA.

Father Connolly entered The Stigmatine Fathers’ Community at Waltham on September 15, 1945. His First Profession of Vows was on August 16, 1951. His Final Profession of Vows was on August 16, 1954. He was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on May 5, 1957. He received the Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Angelicum University, Rome, Italy in 1957 and the Master of Arts in History from Boston College.
Father Connolly served in a number of Stigmatine assignments: Parochial Vicar at the following parishes: All Saints, Manassas, VA, Mount Carmel, Springfield, MA, Holy Family, Lynn, MA and he was a teacher at the following schools: Stigmatine Minor Seminary, Wellesley, MA, Bishop Fenwick High School, Peabody, MA and Aquinas Junior College, Milton, MA. He also served as retreat master at the Espousal Center, Waltham, MA.

Father Connolly’s Wake and Funeral Mass will be held at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, 5 East Main Street, Milford, MA on Thursday, February 12, 2015. The Wake will be from 9 A.M. to 10:15 A.M., followed by his Funeral Mass at 10:30 A.M. Burial will follow the Funeral Mass at Sacred Heart of Jesus Cemetery, Milford.

Father Henry Linse’s funeral and burial – on January 20, 2015

Wilma Morin and I went together, plus Colleen K. Kodjian and her husband came, so there was representation of the Lay Stigmatines.

The funeral was very nice. It was in the lower Chapel @ Sacred Heart, in Milford.

There were some nieces, nephews and a few old friends there in addition to the Stigmatines…. also, Joseph Desir came, John (the cook) and Don.

Fr.  Greg was the chief celebrant, Fr. Deeker the master of ceremonies and Fr. Henchey gave a wonderful eulogy.

The music was very, very good also.

THANKFULLY the weather held for the burial. Although it was 30 degrees, there was no wind, and the day sunny.

Afterwards we returned to Sacred Heart for a nice luncheon in the community room, behind the downstairs chapel. A parishioner, who owns a deli, put up a dynamite salad, wonderful wrap sandwiches and delicious pastries.

Fr. Linse was a very holy priest….never wavered in his ministry…. and, when he was too frail and too hard of hearing to be involved with others, he kept up his Bible Studies.

Some priests ‘die with their boots on’…. whether they are in parish ministry, bedridden and praying for the poor souls in Purgatory or continuing their writing….

All are an inspiration to those of whose are aging ourselves!

In the spirit of St. Gaspar,

Page Vandewater