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REV. GEOFFREY DEEKER, CSS IS CALLED BACK TO OUR FATHER’S HOME

Rev. Geoffrey Deeker, CSS [1933 – +2020]

Stigmatine

Birth: June 26, 1933

Profession: June 22, 1954

Ordination: June 4, 1960

Death: November 2, 2020

The Reverend Geoffrey John Deeker, C.S.S., in residence at Saint Joseph Church (Pittsfield, MA) was born to eternal life on Monday, November 2, 2020, in Dalton, Massachusetts. He was 86 years old, a member of the Stigmatine Fathers and Brothers for 66 years, and in his 61st year of priesthood.

Father Geoff was born on June 26, 1933 in Somerville, Massachusetts, the only child to the late Geoffrey A. and Margaret M. (Coughlan) Deeker. After attending Boston College High School he began his journey to the priesthood on September 14, 1948 when he entered the Stigmatine community in Waltham, MA., and professed his first vows on June 22, 1954. His perpetual profession came five years later on June 22, 1959. After completing his theological studies at Catholic University (Washington, D.C.), he was ordained on June 4, 1960 at Saint Peter’s Church in Cambridge by Bishop Thomas Riley. From that day onward he ministered to the People of God with faith, integrity and perseverance.

A devoted member of the Stigmatine community, Father Geoff had an affable personality, quietly sensitive to the people whom he served. He ministered in several communities, always with humility and grace. He served as Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish (Pittsfield, MA,) Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish (Springfield, MA) and Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish (Waltham, MA.) Father Geoff also generously made himself available to assist with Stigmatine community needs in developing vocations and organizing the liturgy for special occasions. He often volunteered to act as recording secretary for many Stigmatine Provincial Chapters and assemblies, a tedious yet necessary function.

Until its closure in 2008, Father Deeker was the pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, where he had served for twenty one years. He remained in the Berkshires, however, residing at Saint Joseph’s Church, assisting several local parishes with pastoral ministry, until declining health prevented him from doing what he most loved and enjoyed and had been his vocation for more than sixty years.

Father Geoff will always be remembered for his kindness and gentle nature, and of course, for the enthusiasm he had for whatever he was involved in at the moment. As a young priest he was an avid and stylish bowler and for a while was a devoted scout chaplain. After a stint as chaplain to the Civil Air Patrol, he fell in love with all things aeronautical. But the most enduring memory of Father Geoff was his abiding and lively interest in the liturgical life of the Church. He understood and cherished every aspect of Catholic liturgy and ritual. The liturgy, for Father Geoff, was not simply an historical experience. Father Geoff saw the liturgy as a beautiful and vibrant way to bring a person into the presence of God. He was convinced this was relevant in every age and for every person of any age.

In addition to his parents, Father Deeker is reunited in Heaven with his Stigmatine confreres who preceded him and many friends and parishioners he loved and served as a priest.

Father Deeker’s Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, November 9, 2020, in Saint Joseph’s Church, 414 North Street, Pittsfield, MA, at 11:00 a.m. Visitation will be available in the church on Sunday, November 8, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and Monday, November 9 from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. Committal will take place Monday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. in Sacred Heart Cemetery, 109 Medway Road, Milford, Massachusetts.

Requiescat in Pace!

Rev. Robert White, CSS

Superior Provincial

THE JUST-ELECTED GOVERNMENT OF THE PROVINCE OF THE HOLY CROSS IN BRAZIL

Seated [L-R]: Fr. Jordélio Siles Ledo [Superior Provincial] and Fr. Gilberto Dias Nunes, Provincial Vicar. Standing [L-R]: Fr. Valmir Cassim da Silva [2nd Councillor], Fr. J. Tadeu A. Lima [4th Councillor] and Fr. Elízio Pereira da Anunciação Filho [3rd Councillor].

Pleading to God to pour forth upon us all the blessings necessary for the good accomplishment of the mission of the new Council, we address all a fraternal greeting.

Fr. José Tadeu Aguiar Lima, CSS
Secretary of the Provincial Chapter
Corumbataí, SP, May 18, 2018.

FR. BOB MASCIOCCHI’S FIRST ANNIVERSARY MASS

Rev. Bob Masciocchi, CSS [9/14/1927- +4/10/2017]
Fr. Bob’s first anniversary Mass was ‘a joy’ to all!

The chapel of the Espousal Center was nearly filled by friends, which is always heartening.

Fr. White was the chief celebrant, assisted by Fr. Anthony Corigliano and Fr. Hawker (diocesan). Fr. Byrnes came over but stayed in a pew.

Fr. White ‘opened’ by saying how important he felt it was to him to be present since he’d been recuperating from surgery at the time of Fr Bob’s funeral Mass & thus been unable to be here for that.

Next Fr White said we would hear ‘remarks’.

First up was Dennis Taylor – always eloquent, pithy, from the heart & laced with dry humor.

Susan Crowley followed – sweet, sincere & brief.

Fr. White then spoke saying how glad he was to have started with these remarks because the remarks certainly ‘set the tone’ that would be permeating the Mass.

After the Mass we repaired to the auditorium for refreshments and fellowship… and what a joy to catch up with so many people that I either see ‘only in passing’ or, worse, nowadays I rarely see.

The Superior Provincial, Fr. Robert White, CSS, presiding Fr. Bob Masciocchi’s First Anniversary Mass, concelebrated by Fr. Anthony Corigliano, CSS [at his right hand-side] and Fr. Hawker [at his left hand-side]

THE JUST-ELECTED GOVERNMENT OF THE STIGMATINE CONGREGATION

The just-elected government of the Stigmatine Congregation

This is the new Government of the Stigmatines, for the next 6 years:

Superior General:
Fr. RUBENS SODRÉ MIRANDA (Province of St. Joseph, Brazil)

Vicar General:
Fr. CLAUDIO MONTOLLI (Province of the Sacred Heart, Italy)

Second General Councilor:
Fr. NELTON PEZZINI (Province of the Holy Cross, Brazil)

Third General Councilor:
Fr. DAVID AUGUSTUS KALYOSI (Vice-Province of the Holy Redeemer – South Africa)

May the Holy Spouses Mary and Joseph, and St. Gaspar Bertoni, intercede for all of them for a fruitful government!

And we give thanks to the Government that just finished its 6-years term: Fr. Mauricio Baldessari (Superior General), Fr. Bruno Facciotti (Vicar General), Frs. Tadeu Lima and Abel Maglines (Councillors).

POPE FRANCIS ADDRESSES THE STIGMATINE FATHERS

Pope Francis addressed the Stigmatine Fathers, during the Stigmatine General Chapter in Rome (Feb. 1st-15th).

The report below is a copy of the matter by Hannah Brockhaus, for the Catholic News Agency (CNA):

Pray for each other, Pope Francis tells Stigmatine Fathers

Pope Francis on Jan.6, 2018. Credit: Daniel_Ibanez (CNA)

“The life of community, the life of fraternity, is difficult because there are human problems, jealousies, competitiveness, misunderstandings… Fraternity is a grace, and if there is no prayer, this grace does not come,” the Pope said Feb. 10.

You might say that you pray the Divine Office or meditate on the Gospel, but “do you pray for this brother, for the other… for the Superior?”

The sin is not to argue, Francis continued, pointing out that even in good marriages there are fights. The sin comes in the “rancor, the resentment that you keep in your heart, having quarreled.”

Pope Francis spoke to about 40 participants in the General Chapter of the Congregation of the Sacred Stigmata of Our Lord Jesus Christ, commonly called “Stigmatine Fathers.” The Pope opted to speak off-the-cuff, so copies of his prepared speech were instead handed out to participants after the audience.

Besides fraternity, Francis also spoke about the “terrorism” of gossip, which he said is like throwing a bomb to destroy another from afar.

To have a good community doesn’t mean everyone has to be close friends, but you must have respect and esteem for one another, and you must pray for one another, he said, inviting those present to make an examination of conscience on this issue.

He also spoke about the wounds of Christ, especially the stigmata, which is found in the name of their order. As St. Bernard said, if you are depressed or if you have sinned, done this or that, “Go and take refuge in the wounds of the Lord,” the Pope said.

“Only the conscience of a ‘wounded’ Church, of a ‘wounded’ Congregation, of a ‘wounded’ soul or heart leads us to knock on the door of mercy in the wounds of the Lord.”

He encouraged them not to be ashamed of their devotion to the wounds of Christ, because it is their path to sanctification, and they are called to teach anyone “plagued” by their sins to find comfort there.

“A ‘wounded’ sinner finds forgiveness, peace and consolation only in the wounds of the Lord, not elsewhere,” he said.

In his prepared speech, Pope Francis invited the Stigmatine Fathers to revive both within themselves and their community the “fire of the Word of God.”

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus announces: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” the Pope said. “Imitating the divine Master, you too are called to bring fire into the world.”

He noted that there is a good, holy kind of fire and a wrong kind, however. The wrong kind he said is that illustrated in the Gospel of Luke, when Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem, but sends messengers before him to a village of Samaritans, who did not want to welcome him.

The disciples, James and John, said, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” But in answer to this, Jesus rebukes them. “This is the wrong fire,” the Pope said. “God in the Bible is likened to fire, but it is a fire of love…”

He encouraged them to announce the Gospel with meekness and joy like the founder of the Stigmatine Fathers, St. Gaspare Bertoni. “This is the style of evangelization of Jesus, our Master. He welcomed and approached everyone and conquered people with kindness, mercy, with the penetrating word of Truth,” he said.

“So you missionary disciples, who are evangelizers, can bring people to conversion, to communion with Christ, through the joy of your life and with meekness.”