Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Bells of St. Patrick

Deacon Emith Fludd climbed high into the bell tower of St. Patrick Church on St. Croix to fix the bells on December 29.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Bishop Bevard's Christmas in Estate Fredensborg

Bishop Herbert Bevard celebrated Christmas Mass under sunny skies for about 60 Spanish-speaking residents of Estate Fredensborg on St. Croix. Estate Fredensborg is a community that was destroyed by Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and re-emerged in recent years by squatters who could not find homes elsewhere on the island.

The Religious of the Good Shepherd, who organize the annual event, set up a makeshift altar (shown at the far right) in a lot littered with abandoned cars. Pictured here, Bishop Bevard with Sister Digna Rivas, RGS, sang the Spanish opening hymn, “Navidad, Navidad.”
Following Mass, Bishop Bevard called forth the children by name and presented them with gifts of clothing and shoes. The children were also given toys through the generosity of the parishioners of Holy Cross Church. A hot lunch was served as well.

Saw Christmas

Ervin Francis played “O Holy Night” on his saw during Christmas Mass at St. Ann Church on St. Croix.

Chapel Celebrates 90th Anniversary

His Excellency, Bishop Herbert Bevard, blessed the new pews, sanctuary seating, choir loft chairs and windows at the 90th anniversary Mass at St. Anne Chapel on St. Thomas on Christmas morning.

Christmas Morning Pageant

The Three Kings prepared gifts to present to the baby Jesus at the Christmas pageant prior to the 90th anniversary Mass at St. Anne Chapel on St. Thomas on Christmas morning. These kings traveled far, all the way from the Philippines!

Christmas Midnight Mass

His Excellency, Bishop Herbert Bevard, blessed the crèche at the beginning of Christmas midnight Mass at Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral on St. Thomas.
Bishop Bevard and Msgr. Jerome Feudjio at the consecration of the hosts.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas at the Shelter

His Excellency, Bishop Herbert Bevard, sang with the Caribbean Chorale at Catholic Charities' Bethlehem House Shelter for the Homeless on St. Thomas on December 24.
The Lord's Annointed pantomime dancers, based out of Holy Family Church, also performed at the shelter's Christmas luncheon.

Graffiti Street Toy Drive

The cast and producers of the local television program Graffiti Street sponsored a toy drive for Catholic Charities outside the Kmart Sunny Isles store on St. Croix on December 24. Toys were presented to staff members Brenda Charles and Carlise Deland.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Toys for Tots

More than 30 children received gifts, donated from the U.S. Marines' Toys for Tots program, at the Catholic Charities soup kitchen on St. Croix on December 22. Left to right, Aniyah Setenville, Dhakiya Hendrickson, Joseph Bowen, Jr. and Davonta Bowen showed their gifts.

Worship at the Soup Kitchen

Rev. Eddie Williams of Community Baptist Church conducted worship services for more than 20 soup kitchen guests on December 22. Christmas lunch followed the service.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Keys and Sword Planning Meeting

His Excellency, Bishop Herbert Bevard, and Msgr. Jerome Feudjio, rector of Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral on St. Thomas, met with volunteers at the cathedral's Hospitality Lounge on December 20 to further the plans for the Keys and Sword Award Benefit dinner dance. The third annual dinner dance for the benefit of the cathedral's restoration fund will honor the Dowling Family Foundation and take place at the Frenchman's Reef Beach Resort's Grand Harbour Ballroom on Saturday, February 11, beginning with a champagne reception at 6 p.m.

Teaching Tots about the Blessed Virgin Mary

Anneliese Cerni, pre-k teacher at St. Mary School on St. Croix, took her students to Holy Cross Church to introduce them to the newly-installed image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Monday, December 19, 2011

40 Years of Catholic Education

Jane Gonzalez was honored by the staff of Ss. Peter and Paul School on St. Thomas during a pre-Christmas luncheon at Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral’s Hospitality Lounge on December 19. She has taught at the school for 40 years. Pictured left to right are Aisha Boschulte, school counselor; Kim Harrigan, office manager; Austin Walters, vice principal; Ms. Gonzalez; and Samuel Belmar, principal.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tree Lighting

The St. Anne Chapel choir was invited to sing at the Frenchtown Civic Organizations’ annual Christmas tree lighting in Frenchtown on December 18.

Voices Choir

The Voices Choir sang at Mass at Holy Cross Church on St. Croix last Sunday. The choir ministers at the church one Sunday each month.

Bishop Bevard at the Cathedral

Bishop Herbert Bevard greeted those leaving Mass at Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral on December 18.

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Garn and Alison Johnson and their family lit the fourth candle of Advent at Holy Family Church on St. Thomas today, with sacristan Zephaniah Jean-Jacques assisting.
The Turbe family lit the fourth candle of the Advent wreath at St. Anne Chapel on St. Thomas on December 18.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Food Drives for Catholic Charities

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority on St. Croix sponsored a food drive for Catholic Charities of the Virgin Islands. Food items were presented to soup kitchen staff on December 17. Sorority members Yolande Bryan, Avia Elcock Theophane, Sandra Setorie and Jean Canton are pictured left and soup kitchen attendants Brenda Charles, Florence Jean Jules and Delores Edwards (volunteer) are pictured right.
Members of the Girls Club on St. Thomas collected food outside Plaza Extra on December 17 for Catholic Charities’ Bethlehem House Shelter for the Homeless.

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Father John Juszczak, CSsR, pastor of Holy Cross Church on St. Croix, installed an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe at the parish during a bilingual Mass on December 17. After an opening ceremony in the courtyard, a procession of parishioners carried the image, ordered from Mexico, into the church. This event was followed by a reception at McAlpin Hall. At his former assignment in Chicago, Illinois, Fr. Juszczak organized five pilgrimages to the shrine in Mexico.

Religious Education Christmas

Fr. John Mark played guitar for the religious education students at St. Joseph Church on St. Croix at their Christmas party on December 17.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Pageant

Students from St. Mary School on St. Croix dressed as shepherds and sheep at the Christmas tree lighting ceremony in the Holy Cross Church courtyard on December 16.

Sunrise Masses

Msgr. Antonio Verzosa and members of the St. Thomas Filipino community began a novena of sunrise Masses at St. Anne Chapel this morning. Masses continue through Christmas Eve at 5:30 a.m.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Advent Mission

Fr. Stanislaus Birungi of Uganda led an Advent Mission at Holy Cross Church on St. Croix on December 12-14. Pictured above, he prayed a blessing over Sr. Loretta of the Missionaries of Charity on the last night.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Church Opens Free Kitchen

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church on St. John, launched a soup kitchen in the parish's Guadalupe Hall today to feed the homeless and less fortunate. About 20 people were fed.
The effort, launched by parishioners Maggie Metor, Avis Browne and Mary Athanase, has been named "Our Lady of Mount Carmel's Kallaloo Kitchen: Food for the Soul.” Parishioners donate and prepare the meal, which is served on Mondays at noon.
The soup kitchen will be closed on December 26 and January 2 and will reopen on January 9.
Pictured above, parishioner Bernadette Lafond prepared to serve the first meal.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

School Christmas Pageants

Shepherds and angels awaited to visit the baby Jesus in the Christmas program staged by students of St. Patrick School on St. Croix at St. Gerard Hall on December 11.
Shepherds and the angel Gabriel shared the joy with Joseph and Mary when Ss. Peter and Paul School on St. Thomas staged the Christmas story at Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral on December 11.

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Hispanics on St. Thomas participated in a brief procession honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe today. The procession led to the Spanish Mass at Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral.

Installation of Acolytes

Bishop Herbert Bevard installed six deacon candidates into the ministry of acolyte during Sunday Mass at St. Ann Church on St. Croix on December 11; a seventh candidate received this ministry in 2008. The reception of the order of acolyte allows the men to serve more fully at the altar during Mass and brings the candidates closer to ordination to the diaconate.
Pictured left to right in front: Deacon Denis Griffith, diocesan director of the permanent diaconate; Tony Murray of St. Patrick Church; Marlon Braithwaite of St. Ann Church; Hector Arroya of St. Joseph Church; Alvin Bedneau of St. Ann Church; and Deacon Joseph Mark, dean and lecturer in the diaconate formation program. In back: Reynold Modeste of Holy Cross Church; Msgr. Michael Kosak, vicar of the permanent diacons; Jose Diaz of St. Ann Church; Father Simon Opira, assistant director of the diaconate formation program; and Benjamin Parrilla of Holy Cross Church.

Preparing St. Anne's Anniversary

As St. Anne Chapel's 90th anniversary approaches, workmen scraped the old paint off the exterior walls and restored the flashing for the rain gutters. The chapel will be painted this week.

Sunrise Advent Masses

Filipino leaders this morning asked for traditional "Misas de gallo," a novena of pre-Christmas sunrise Masses, at St. Anne Chapel on St. Thomas. The Masses will begin this Friday, December 16, and run through Saturday, December 24, at 5:30 a.m., except Sunday, December 18. Traditional Filipino Christmas hymns will be featured at all the Masses.

Meanwhile, Hispanics at three parishes on St. Thomas and St. Croix will celebrate the traditional novena of sunrise aguinaldo Masses in Spanish on December 16–24. A light breakfast is served after each Mass in the parish social halls.
On St. Thomas, the Masses will be celebrated at Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral at 6 a.m., except Sunday at 12:30 p.m. and Tuesday at 7 p.m.
On St. Croix, the Masses at St. Joseph Church are at 5:45 a.m., except Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m. The Masses at Holy Cross Church are at 6:30 a.m., except Sunday at 7:15 a.m.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Altar Servers Visit the Homebound

Altar servers from Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church on St. Thomas visited the sick/homebound on December 10 and gave them poinsettias. Pictured right, they visited Andrea Bryan. Next Saturday they will visit Bethlehem Shelter for the Homeless.

Preparing a School Chapel

St. Joseph High School on St. Croix will soon have a chapel in building 8. Student Jonathan Morales, his father Ed Morales and Jules Ramirez scrubbed the floor and applied a floor sealant on December 10.

Rotary Serves Catholic Charities' Shelter

Members of the St. Thomas Rotary Club have served lunch at Bethlehem House Shelter every Saturday for over a year now.

Fine Dining at the Shelter

Frenchman's Reef Beach Resort on St. Thomas delivers cooked food to Catholic Charities' Bethlehem House Shelter for the Homeless every second Saturday of the month.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Pre-Christmas Dinner for Deacons

Franciscan House hosted a pre-Christmas dinner for St. Croix's 22 deacons and seven deacon candidates and their wives on December 9.

Postcard from Kosovo

Father Alejandro Sanchez Muñoz, former administrator of St. Anne Chapel on St. Thomas, is the brigade chaplain with the 157th MEB (Maneuver Enhanced Brigade) of Wisconsin National Guard. He is stationed at Camp Bonsteel in Kosovo until August.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Altar Servers Fundraiser

Timothy Olive and Brian Turbe sold the St. Thomas altar servers’ Christmas t-shirts at the Christmas tree lighting at Havensight Mall tonight. The t-shirts remind people that “Jesus is the reason for the season.”

Readying for the 90th Anniversary Mass on Christmas

St. Anne Chapel on St. Thomas is being readied for Christmas morning, when His Excellency, Bishop Herbert Bevard, will celebrate Mass on the 90th anniversary of the first Mass ever celebrated in the chapel.

The wooden hurrican shutters
are being sealed and painted

Lesley Richardson sanded
the exterior of the wooden
stained glass frames.

Rain gutters are being
removed and replaced.

Powerwashing removes all
loose paint. The entire exterior
of the chapel is being repainted.

Spelling Bee Winners

Seventh grader Estelle Jules won the annual spelling bee at Ss. Peter and Paul School on St. Thomas on December 7. She will represent the school in the District Spelling Bee in February 2012.
Twenty students from Grades 4 to 8 participated in the school bee. This year’s spelling list of words ranged from “cusp” and “scythe” to “mezzanine” and “extemporaneous.” The winning word was “barracks.” The participants received prizes ranging from trophies, medals, gifts and gift certificates from local businesses and a group pass to Coral World. The winners also received prizes from Scripps, the sponsor of National Spelling Bee. The event was directed by veteran teacher Jane Gonzalez.
Pictured from left to right: principal Samuel Belmar, champion Estelle Jules (grade 7), assistant principal Austin Walters, second place winner Gabrielle Quetel (grade 8) and third place winner Brittany Rivera (grade 6).

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Steel Pan Concert

The Prayers, Hymns & Praise Steel Orchestra performed a pre-Christmas concert at Columban Hall on St. Thomas on December 4.

Legion of Mary General Reunion

Members of three Legion of Mary presidia on St. Thomas celebrated the 12th anniversary of the Curia Mary, Immaculate Conception, with its annual General Reunion at St. Anne Chapel’s hall on December 4. Pictured above, members from Holy Family Church’s Presidium Mary, Mystic Rose, gave their presentation.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Church Cleaning Crew

Volunteers clean Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral on St. Thomas every Saturday morning.