How our group was created
It was the year 1998. Because the Stigmatine community of the American Province was dwindling and there are no new vocations coming in, the Province decided to establish a group of dedicated lay people to assist them in praying for vocations and assisting them in various lay ministries. Father Bob Masciocchi, CSS was appointed to this ministry, and this group was called the Lay Associate Stigmatines.
Six months of discernment were provided to those who answered this call. Those who decided to go on to becoming Lay Associate Stigmatines then attended a year of formation in 2000.
On Jan. 23, 2001 the first Lay Associate Stigmatines made their ‘promises’ at a Mass celebrated in the Stigmatine Retreat House (in Waltham, MA) by Gregory Hoppough, Superior Provincial, welcoming these first Lay Associate Stigmatines. This original group was composed of 9 ladies.
Our meetings are always on the campus of the Province of the Holy Spouses, in Waltham, Massachusetts, USA.
Our rules and guidelines
Every Lay Stigmatine is committed to:
- Attend the monthly formation days for Lay Associate Stigmatines
- Attend the Community feast day celebrations
- Attend the annual retreat for Lay Associate Stigmatines
- Renew the PROMISE annually
- Assist the Stigmatine priests
- Support the charism of the Stigmatine Community in the American Province
- Assist at the Retreat House and other buildings on the Waltham campus
- Ministry in our local parishes
- Ministry in our local community
The Promise Formula
called by the love of God
to live in faith and charity,
in union with my baptismal consecration and
to witness in the world
to the Gospel of Jesus Christ,
promise to the Congregation of the Sacred Stigmata
of Our Lord Jesus Christ
to commit myself to live the Gospel plan
of the Lay Associate Stigmatines, that is:
- To be a faithful disciple of Christ in the Church;
- To work for the coming of the Reign of God, especially for youth, priests, married couples and the least in society;
- To deepen my understanding of, and witness to the spirit of St. Bertoni;
- To collaborate in service to the local Church
In so doing, I open myself to the power of the Holy Spirit, that I may be faithful to this dedication of my life.
May the Holy Spouses Mary and Joseph, and St. Gaspar Bertoni and our Stigmatine confreres assist and guide me.
Admission of new members
When one decides to become a Lay Stigmatine, he/she is accepted as a candidate for a period of a year. At the conclusion of the year, on one of the Stigmatine feast days, the candidate takes the Promise* at the altar in the presence of the Stigmatine Father Provincial and the entire Stigmatine Community.
After taking the Promise, you sign a copy of it on the altar, and are presented with a cross, which we wear whenever we have meetings and Feast Days.
The Spiritual Development is an ongoing process. We have a formation meeting on the morning of the first Saturday, every month. The presenter is one of the Stigmatine Fathers, in regular basis the Spiritual Director of our group.
We also gather on the Stigmatine Feast days, when, after the afternoon Mass, we are invited for a dinner with all the Stigmatine community.
Each member is asked to find a personal spiritual director, preferably one of the Stigmatine Fathers.
Our Current Group
We have only one group, in Waltham, MA, including ‘remote’ members. Our current group is formed by 12 members in Waltham, 2 in Texas and 1 in California. The 2 members in Texas are originally from the Province of the Holy Cross in Brazil. The member in California is a parishioner of the Holy Cross Parish, under the care of the Stigmatines from 2005 to 2013.
Our current Spiritual Director is Father Joseph Henchey, CSS.