Associate Notes – Advent 2013

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December 23, 2013 ⎪ PDF

In the newsletter:
Regional Updates
Announcements – New Associates!

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Baby Jesus in Manger, Gina Carter 

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We held our Associates’ meeting in Our Lady Help of Christians Church in Brooklyn on Saturday, November 23rd. In attendance were Brother Bonaventure, Brother Jim Smith, Tony Coscia, John Gillen, Bill Gorman, Rose Guido, Brother Tom Murphy, guests Francisco and Claire Martin and seated Amelia and Vince Maligno.


Tony and Rose recommitted.

Vince and Amelia Maligno

Google+ Group

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Pictured above: Chris Spahr and (bottom-left from left to right) Chris Roberson, Greg Mason, and Chris Irr.

The Google+ group met on Saturday, November 23rd and shared prayer and reflection, led by Chris Roberson. The shared reflection and discussion centered on the day’s Gospel reading, Luke 20:27-40. The group is planning to meet again in late-January or February.


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Left to right: Mike Buckley, Br Jerry O’Leary, (below) Chuck Ehrman, Jeanette Suflita, Peg Weidner, and Ann Nichols

Seven of us gathered at the Buckley’s (Mike and Jeanette), in Ellicott City, Maryland, on a snowy Sunday morning (December 8th). Helpful sharing on reflection questions by all, who were also appreciative of and inspired by the video, “Don’t Let the Flame Go Out.” Brother Tom Murphy, the photographer, is not included in the photo. All joined in the recommitment ceremony, as Chuck Ehrman and Ann Nichols renewed their commitment.

Brother Jerry O’Leary

New England

Xaverian House in Danvers MA hosted an Advent Day of Recollection on December 14th, led by Dominican Father Paul Philibert. Several Associates joined the Brothers for Fr. Paul’s reflections. Brother Richard Mazza writes, “Paul was excellent in his reflections on the Advent Scriptures and the spirituality found in our Vatican II Documents. Before lunch, we formed a casual circle in the community room and he shared a very inspiring and informational tracing of papal and spiritual insights beginning with Pius IX to our present day Pope Francis.” Brother Bob Green sent a note to the Associates who participated: “Thank you so very much for joining us yesterday for our Advent Day of Recollection. Your presence with us added to the quality of our day’s experience. As I just wrote to Paul Philibert, I think we all experienced something like that of the disciples in Emmaus: our hearts were toasty and warm to be together in God’s name. What a grace!”

On upcoming gatherings, Brother Richard writes, “Since our meeting in September at XBHS, we have gathered for several spiritual and social opportunities. The opportunities continue with an invitation to join our Brothers on Earl St. for a pre-Christmas celebration on Sunday, December 22. Dick Frost and Richard O’Brien will prepare our gathering in February. I am sure we will be hearing from them just after the New Year.”

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Welcome our New Associates

We’re pleased to announce the addition of two new Associate members: Mary Driscoll and Steven Ultrino.

Both have already been participating in gatherings in the New England region and both have a long association with the Xaverian Brothers. Mary is the Director of Campus Ministry and a teacher of Theology at Malden Catholic, and one of her sons, Patrick, is already an Associate member in the New England region. Steven is a graduate of Malden Catholic and a former teacher there as well. Presently, Steven is a City Councilor (Malden, Ward 2), Director of Education for the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office, and Director of Operations of St. Mary’s Parish in Winchester MA.

Mary and Steven will have to opportunity to make their formal commitment to the program in December 2014. Meanwhile, we hope they find a spiritual home among their fellow New England Associates.

Mary and Steven, this newsletter may reach you before your welcome letters do (they are on the way)! Welcome aboard!!

Chris Roberson on NPR

Associate Chris Roberson was interviewed on NPR in November to explain some of the work he does with the Amish community near Indianapolis. Listen to the story here: Some Amish Opt Out of Government-Sponsored Insurance.


We send our thoughts and prayers to Brother Cosmas Rubencamp, the coordinator of the Virginia/ Southern MD group and Chair of the Associates Committee, who has been diagnosed with metastatic bone cancer. Cos arrived at Xaverian House in Danvers MA, on December 16th. We wish Cos all the best as he settles into his new home. He will be in Room 16 and his telephone number will be 978-774-6898 x116.

Our prayers also go out to Brother Cornie Hubbuch, coordinator of one of our Maryland groups, who broke his foot and is recovering at Ryken House, in Louisville. He may be reached on his mobile phone at 443-570-0019.


We hope you’ve been receiving the weekly Advent reflections in your email inbox. If not, (let us know) you can catch up on Living the Charism: the First Week by Brother Ed Driscoll; the Second Week by Associate Gail Dennig; the Third Week by Collaborator Cathy Reynolds; and the Fourth Week by Brother Raphael Wanjala.

On Sunday, December 15th several Associates joined Brothers at the Generalate in Baltimore for an Advent Vespers Service that was webcast live online. The Vespers included prayer and song in all four languages of the Congregation—English, French, Dutch, and Swahili—and Brothers from around the world contributed to the prayer service. You can still watch and participate in the Vespers online.

Associates Retreat 2014

Another reminder to mark your calendars for June 20 – 22, 2014 for the inaugural Xaverian Brothers Associate Retreat in Marriotsville, MD.

Our retreat leader will be Sister Donna Markham, OP, Ph.D. Thank you to Brother Cornie, who made contact with Donna for us. She and Cornie were colleagues at The Southdown Institute in Canada. Brother Cornie and Chris Irr, along with suggestions from the Associate Committee and Associate Coordinators, have worked with Donna to develop a theme for the retreat, which will be: “The Call to Uniqueness in a Common Mission.”

Formal invitations and more information are coming in the new year.


Sister Donna Markham’s specialty is the integration of spirituality and psychology. She is the Former Prioress of the Adrian Dominican Sisters in Michigan. Former CEO of the aforementioned Southdown Institute in Canada, a treatment center for priests, brothers, and sisters. She is a former President of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and was special assistant to the President of Georgetown University for some time. Presently, Donna is Vice President of Catholic Health Partners in Cincinnati. And several Brothers know her well from an introductory retreat she gave at the General Chapter in 2007.

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One Comment

  1. Bonaventure Scully says:

    12-22-13—Occasional reflections Bonaventure

    Some recommended readings that might be of interest….

    1) ATCHISON BLUE, Judith Valente , Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, IN 46556, 2013, $15.95. Judith, a professional writer, married to a divorced man with two older step daughters, describes her own spiritual life struggles as she visits and prays and experiences with the Bendedictine Sisters in their monastery in Atchison, Kansas. These sisters have certainly diminished in numbers but live a relational religious life full of spirit and love. This is a good insight into what religious life in the USA is at this time of our diminishment. Easy read!

    2) RELIGIOUS LIFE AT THE CROSSROADS, ‘A school for Mystics and Prophets’, Sr. Amy Hereford, CSJ, Orbis Press, Maryknoll, NY, 2013, paperback, $20.00 (40 % disc through bo). Many have reflected and written about the history and future of religious life over the last sixty years, including Sandra Schnieder, IHMs’ three volume extensive study. Religious response has varied from group to group with some moving on and others holding on. Amy Hereford now gives us an overview of our history, our recent past of the last fifty years or so and then the now and the future. This is well referenced and with an index.

    There is a sense of urgency that now is the time for new decisions with an emphasis on community. Amy tells it as it is and she is worth a read. This book is a primer, a guideline, a future direction. A significant read!

    3) WHOM AM I TO JUDGE?, a Profile, ‘A Radical Pope’s first year’, by James Carroll, THE NEW YORKER MAGAZINE, Dec 23, 2013, pages81-93. This is a thorough profile of Francis’ beginning as our pope. Carroll gives a fairly balanced view describing Francis’ evolution into the papacy. Worth the length of this article and worth finding this copy of the New Yorker!

    4) BIG RUSS AND ME, paperback, an easy read of father and son in the very Catholic life in the 40’s and 50’s in a middle class Buffalo neighborhood. This a good rendition of my own Baltimore Catholic neighborhood. If you want a feel for the times of you and your parents, this an easy read. I found Tim Russert’s story inspiring and good for my own faith.

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