Spring 2020 Denver Province Snapshots

In Remembrance:

Fr. James Terrence “Terry” McCloskey: a gifted storyteller who found his niche in parish ministry, died on April 3, 2020 at St. Clement Redemptorist Mission Community in Liguori. Blessed with an Irish wit, he found humor in every situation and flawlessly delivered an extensive repertoire of jokes. He had suffered from several health issues, and had been on hospice care for a few weeks. James Terrence McCloskey was born on March 15, 1940 in Denver. His large, loving family lived within the boundaries of St. Joseph Parish, where he felt a call to the priesthood as a youngster kneeling before the altar.

He attended St. Joseph Elementary School and followed in the footsteps of his older brother, Donald, to St. Joseph Preparatory College in Kirkwood, MO in 1954. He proceeded to Novitiate in DeSoto, MO, where he professed temporary vows on August 2, 1961. He professed perpetual vows on September 2, 1964 and was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Roman Atkielski, DD of Milwaukee on June 22, 1966.

Fr. Terry earned a Master’s in Library Science at Catholic University (CU) in Washington, DC, which enabled him to establish and maintain a quality library for Redemptorist students at Holy Redeemer College, a Redemptorist seminary near Waterford, WI. Fr. Terry, Fr. Pete Sattler and Br. Eugene Patin were pioneer members of the Waterford community, living there before the school even opened. His real love may have been Liturgical Studies, which he also pursued at CU. He was the main liturgical resource while he served on the faculty and as Prefect of Students, and was stationed at Waterford for 17 years. Fr. Terry had good rapport with students, and was next appointed superior of the St. John Neumann House in St. Louis in 1985. Although the building was still under construction when the community moved in, he remained calm and collected in the midst of chaos. He enjoyed the camaraderie of community life and was always sensitive to the needs of each member of the community.

Fr. Terry later served in Wichita on the staff of the Spiritual Life Center, and in 1989, joined the St. Alphonsus Parish community in Davenport, IA. He was appointed local superior two years later. Fr. Terry returned to Wichita in 1993 as superior of the Spiritual Life Center. Always teaching, he led a successful pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1999 in preparation for the New Millennium. Later that year, he moved to Oakland as local superior of the Holy Redeemer community, and served in that position until 2002. In his next assignment, Fr. Terry joined the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Redemptorist Parish community. He thrived in the busy parish environment, and after six years he was appointed local superior. He established a wide circle of friends, and is noted for his work with RCIA. Every year he gently guided a new group of catechumens and was always a very proud ‘shepherd’ presiding over the rites of initiation.

In 2011 Fr. Terry was sent to St. Alphonsus Parish in New Orleans as associate pastor. A year later, he returned to his home town as a member of the Denver Provincial Residence. Staff enjoyed his humor and stories, and relied on him for information about liturgical matters and Redemptorist history. He was the force behind instituting weekly Perpetual Help devotions in the office chapel, and he kept busy helping out in the Archdiocese of Denver. Fr. Terry returned to Kansas City as a pastoral associate in 2015, where he was happily reunited with his large circle of friends. Declining health necessitated his move to the St. Clement Redemptorist Community last September. His gracious, dignified acceptance of death when he was placed in hospice care inspired the entire St. Clement’s community. May beloved Fr. Terry rest in the eternal peace of the Redeemer.

Fr. Martin Stillmock, C.Ss.R.: Beloved Fr. Martin “Marty” Stillmock, an exceptional pastor remembered for his kindness and practical words of wisdom, died peacefully on March 29, 2020 at St. Clement Redemptorist Mission Community in Liguori. A prolific author, Fr. Marty wrote numerous articles for more than 20 magazines, as well as two books: St. Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr and Teens Talk of Many Things, a compilation of his popular “Teenage Problems” columns published in Catholic newspapers in the 1960s and 1970s. He is widely acknowledged as a role model for Redemptorists in living the Constitutions and Statutes, and for the contributions he made in revamping the financial procedures of the St. Louis Province.

Martin Alphonso Stillmock was born on May 30, 1932 in Omaha, the youngest in a loving, tightknit family of 10 children. He attended St. Stanislaus Elementary School, and went directly to St. Joseph Preparatory College in Kirkwood, MO. He proceeded to Novitiate in DeSoto, MO, where he professed temporary vows on August 2, 1953. He attended Immaculate Conception Seminary in Oconomowoc; he professed perpetual vows on September 2, 1956. He was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Albert Meyer of Milwaukee on June 24, 1958.

Fr. Marty completed additional courses at St. Louis University during Tirocinium at St. Alphonsus “Rock” Parish. In his first assignment, he served as a professor of English and Religion at St. Joseph Preparatory College in Edgerton, WI. He instilled a love of the written word in his students, as well as the values of discipline and time management. He encouraged students to develop their unique gifts and mentored many of them in parish ministry during the next three decades.

Fr. Marty was later assigned at St. Joseph Parish in Wichita in 1972. He was soon named pastor and local superior of the community. A natural leader, he stressed the importance of continuing to teach the faith to the people in the pews. He was assigned pastor and local superior of St. Alphonsus Parish in Davenport in 1981, and he returned to Omaha to serve as pastor and local superior of Holy Name Parish from 1987 until 1993. He was then assigned at St. Alphonsus Parish in Minneapolis. He remained there for 22 years, serving as local superior of the Redemptorist community from 1999-2008. Although he officially retired in 2009, he remained in residence until 2015.

Fr. Marty was very popular with parishioners, who valued his authenticity, true friendship and wisdom. He maintained contact with friends from all of the parishes he served throughout the years. May Fr. Marty rest for eternity in the peace of the Redeemer.

Fr. Vincent Aggeler, C.Ss.R.: Beloved Fr. Vincent Aggeler, a dedicated missionary who served the people of the Amazon Region of Brazil for 46 years, died on March 13, 2020 at St. Clement Redemptorist Mission House in Liguori. Despite severe health issues, he always brightened spirits with his extensive repertoire of jokes while relying on social media to maintain contact with thousands of people, especially his friends in the Amazon Region— the land that captured and held his heart.

Vincent Hubert Aggeler entered our world on October 31, 1932, the eldest of 10 children born to Hubert “Buddy” and Bernice Anna (Schuster) Aggeler in Pilot Grove, MO. He attended St. Joseph Preparatory College in Kirkwood, MO and proceeded to Novitiate in DeSoto, MO, where he professed temporary vows on August 2, 1953. He continued studying for the priesthood at Immaculate Conception Seminary in Oconomowoc, and professed perpetual vows on September 2, 1956. He was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Albert Meyer of Milwaukee on June 24, 1958.

After completing his Tirocinium at St. Alphonsus “Rock” Church in St. Louis, he set sail for the Amazon Region in 1960. Fr. Vince was a talented mimic who quickly learned Portuguese. Redemptorist missionaries used only their first names at that time and Fr. Vince was advised to choose a moniker, preferably short, because he would be signing countless baptism, confirmation and marriage certificates. Fr. Vince chose Pe. Noé – perfect for the rugged outdoorsman who relished the “maritime apostolate” on the mighty Amazon River. He indulged his passion for hunting and fishing, while capturing the natural beauty of the people and the landscape with his camera everywhere he went.

After only six months he left Our Lady of Aparecida Parish in Manaus and was appointed associate pastor at Our Lady of Grace in Codajás, where he served in 1961-1964. He transferred to Nazareth Parish in Manacapuru, where he ministered along the Purus and Manacapuru Rivers. He served as associate pastor from 1964 until 1967, when he was appointed pastor of St. Ann & St. Sebastian Parish in Coari. Fr. Vince was sent to Rio de Janeiro to hone his supervisory skills, and then returned to Manaus. After a sabbatical year in the US, Fr. Vince returned to Brazil and served in the vast Diocese of Juazeiro in the State of Bahia.

Fr. Vince returned to Manacapuru as local superior and associate pastor in 1982-1985; and was appointed assistant director of the Juvenate. He enjoyed advising and mentoring the students from 1985 until 1992. He took great pride in his former students as they advanced to leadership positions within the Vice Province of Manaus and the Church.

Fr. Vince retired and returned to the US in 2006. After four years at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Kansas City, he transferred to the St. Clement’s community in Liguori. His good nature, quick wit and zest for life were a welcome addition in Liguori. He enjoyed many outings with his nearby family members, as well as his gardening, photography and woodworking hobbies. He confessed that even after 14 years back in the USA, he still thought in Portuguese: his mind and his heart never left the Amazon. May this faithful son of St. Alphonsus rest in the eternal peace of the Redeemer.

Fr. Edward Monroe, C.SS.R.: Fr. Edward Monroe died at St. Clement Redemptorist Mission Community in Liguori on January 27, 2020 just two weeks after his 85th birthday. He touched countless lives in more than five decades of ministry, and was greatly consoled that he was able to continue in ministry during his later years despite challenging health conditions He formed lasting friendships with those he encountered in ministry, especially those he accompanied during his 38 years with the Alcoholics Anonymous community.

Edward Francis Monroe was born on January 13, 1935 into a large Catholic family in Oconomowoc. He often said that he had a happy childhood, and he credited his parents for setting a good example for virtues like humility and compassion. He professed temporary vows on August 2, 1956 and perpetual vows on September 2, 1959. He was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop William Cousins of Milwaukee at Immaculate Conception Seminary on June 29, 1961.

After completing Tirocinium at St. Alphonsus “Rock” Parish in St. Louis, Fr. Edward joined the faculty of Villa Majella – the school for Redemptorist Brothers – at Pine City, MN. He was a popular professor, and students especially liked his optimism about Vatican II, which was underway at the time. Fr. Edward was assigned at Holy Redeemer Parish in Detroit in 1964-1966, where he also taught high school. When he was assigned at St. Joseph Parish in Wichita in 1966, he served as a missionary preacher and high school retreat director. As he traveled the country and met soldiers who had served in the Vietnam War, he felt a great desire to serve as a military chaplain. He became a civilian chaplain and served in Thailand in 1967-1968. He often said it was his favorite assignment, and that he would have loved a military career.

Fr. Edward returned to parish ministry at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Redemptorist Parish in Kansas City, and also taught high school religion classes at Bishop Ellis. In 1981 Fr. Edward was assigned at Sacred Heart Retreat Center in Rolling Hills, IL. After one year, he moved to the St. Michael community in Chicago, where he served as a hospital chaplain until 1984. He began a special apostolate as chaplain at a drug/alcohol treatment facility in Wichita in 1984, where he served until 1990.

After his retirement— although dealing with several challenging health conditions—Fr. Edward continued to assist people with the intense personal reflection work of the Alcoholics Anonymous program, which was a great source of consolation to him. Failing health necessitated his move to the St. Clement Redemptorist Mission Community in Liguori in September of 2019. May Fr. Edward rest for eternity in the peace of the Redeemer.


Who Is My Neighbor:

Fr. Charles Vijay Kumar’s Who Is My Neighbor?—a documentary film that highlights ministry in the Denver Province—is available from Liguori Publications. The film won a Special Jury Mention award at the Jaipur International Film Festival, 2020, one the biggest competitive film festivals in the world. Who Is My Neighbor? weaves stories of migrants and refugees from five continents, and was one of the 26 documentaries that screened at the weeklong film festival. It was a unique experience to screen a film that showcases stories of Redemptorists and other Christian organizations working in solidarity with poor migrants and refugees across the globe to a secular audience. The film was well-received. It created a rare platform to express Catholic social teachings. For community and parish screenings and other distribution information, kindly contact Fr. Charles Vijay at charlesvijaycssr@gmail.com.

And More!

Liguori Is Finalist for Book Awards: The Association of Catholic Publishers has picked two Liguori titles as finalist for its prestigious 2020 “Excellence in Publishing Awards.” Thea Bowman: Faithful and Free by Fr. Maurice Nutt was among the finalists in the “Biography” category. While Conscience: Writings from Moral Theology by Saint Alphonsus by Fr. Raphael Gallagher of the Dublin Province made the finals in the “Theology” category. The ACP is a professional organization of more than 60 Catholic publishers that provides opportunities for its members to further the ministry of Catholic publishing. The goal of their annual “Excellence in Publishing Awards” is to recognize the best in Catholic publishing.

Jubilee Year in Honor of St. Clement Hofbauer: Redemptorist Superior General Michael Brehl, C.Ss.R, in a March 15 letter proclaimed a Jubilee Year in honor of St. Clement Maria Hofbauer, from March 15, 2O2O to March 15, 2O21 to mark the bicentenary of his death. St. Clement, often referred to as “the apostle of Warsaw and Vienna” and the “second Founder of the Congregation” was a major contributor to the history and development of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. He left a lasting mark on the Redemptorists’ spirituality and mission. Superior General Brehl in the letter declared, “During this Jubilee, we remember once again the person and work of our brother Clement, whose ‘life was based on love for God and the Holy Church and the desire to lead souls to God’—as those who knew him personally affirmed. Clement lived in a very difficult period from the political and religious point of view. It was a period hostile to the Church and to religious life, and he opened a road to Christian renewal. Thanks to him, the revival of religious life in Warsaw and Vienna took place.”

Redemptorists in Houston Celebrate 200th Anniversary of St. Clement:  On Monday, March 16, the Redemptorist community of Holy Ghost invited confreres of the Extra-Patriam Vice Province (Houston area) to celebrate and commemorate the 200th anniversary of the death of our glorious missionary, St. Clement M. Hofbauer. The group of Ex-Patriam confreres included Fr. Peter Tuan Bui, the Vice Provincial, three other priests and five students. They concelebrated with us at the Noon Mass, led by Fr. John Gouger, who this year celebrates 60 years of religious vows. Fr. Don Kirchner offered a reflection on the meaning and life of St. Clement for us today. Also present were Fr. Binh Ta, local superior, who led the singing, Fr. Len Broniak and Fr. Bill Bueche, pastor. Fr. Pete Voelker was able to join us at our luncheon. Fr. Andy Meiners, due to a special therapy appointment, could only join us in spirit. After the Mass, a lunch of Vietnamese food was offered to all participants in the new parish hall. Our gratitude goes to Christina Ha Tran and her friends, who were so generous in preparing and donating those delicious foods. Before our lunch, Br. Clement Furno was saluted with a birthday melody in honor of his name’s day. A good time was had by all, with hopes that there will be more contact and meeting between the two local communities of the common Redemptorist family.

St. Clement Celebration in Arizona: The Redemptorist Circle of Associates in Tucson kicked off the Jubilee Year in honor of St. Clement Hofbauer with a “Plentiful Redemption” weekend at Our Lady of the Desert Conventual Church on March 14-15. Fr. Ed Vella, rector of the church community, presided and preached at the weekend Masses. Redemptorist Associates joined the entrance procession with a likeness of St. Clement, which was enshrined before the ambo. Our Associates were acknowledged at the Masses, and were approached by the local church community afterwards to discuss the Circle of Associates. Confreres and Redemptorist Associates invited people to consider participating in the virtual online formation in Redemptorist Spirituality scheduled on May 2-3, and possibly to enter a process of discernment about becoming Redemptorist Associates.

Food Distribution at St. Mary’s Whittier: Fr. Patrick Keyes, pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Whittier, reports that 1,000 meals were distributed in the church parking lot. The owner of Kogi, a local taco truck, expected to donate 300 meals, but kept serving food because most of those in line told him that they had lost their jobs.

New Redemptorist Associates Online and In Person: The St. Michael Parish Virtual Circle of Redemptorist Associates celebrated the acceptance of seven new members at Sunday Mass on January 27, in both Chicago and Detroit. Typically, Redemptorist Associates are attached to a local community. The Virtual Circle of Redemptorist Associates is located at St. Michael’s, however, about half of the group is connected to the gatherings through Zoom conferences. Gatherings for discernment took on the dynamic of offering local and virtual groups to work together as they discerned a personal call to make the Redemptorist spirituality and charism their own. Each person also discerned which activity they would do to make the Redeemer’s Love experienced through their own ministry.

Redemptorist Spirituality Workshop: The Working Group for Partners in Mission (PIM) in the Denver Province is sponsoring a virtual workshop on Redemptorist Spirituality for the laity during the weekend of May 2-3, 2020. Redemptorists are also encouraged to participate. The workshop will take place from 2-6pm CST.  The workshop is designed to provide a basic understanding of Redemptorist Spirituality that meets the initial requirements for the Redemptorist Associate Program. There are 100 openings for individuals and groups to participate. The PIM Working Group encourages communities to try to form a group gathering at their ministry sites, inviting people who would be interested in learning more about the Redemptorists and our charism. Please contact the Working Group if you have questions about this opportunity for group and individual participation at PIM@redemptoristsdenver.org.

The End of An Era: Holy Redeemer in Oakland: After nearly a century of ministry at Holy Redeemer in Oakland, the Redemptorists have sold the property to the Seneca Family of Agencies. Founded in 1985 by advocates who were determined to more effectively meet the needs of children in group homes and foster family care, Seneca is an innovative leader in the provision of unconditional care through a comprehensive continuum of school, community-based and family-focused treatment services for children and families who have experienced high levels of trauma and are at risk for family disruption or institutional placement of the children. Holy Redeemer now serves as the organization’s Bay Area headquarters.

Snapshots adapted from Denver Link; special thanks to Kristine Stremel.

May 13: Our Lady of Fatima
May 21: Ascension
May 31: Pentecost
May 31: Visitation
June 19: Feast of St. John Neumann
June 27: Our Mother of Perpetual Help Feast Day