Pilgrimage to the National Shrine of Our Lady

Join Fr. Eduardo Montemayor, SOLT, December 5th -10th, 2019 for a unique 5-day Pilgrimage to the BASILICA of the NATIONAL SHRINE of the IMMACULATE CONCEPTION and other great sites in the Washington DC area.

Next Dec. 8th, you can have the opportunity to consecrate yourself to Our Lady at the National Shrine, as well as visit: The first Cathedral built in the USA in Baltimore, the Shrine of St Elizabeth Anne Seton in Emmitsburg, the St John Paul II national shrine, the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land, the brand new Museum of the Bible, the Holocaust Museum, the US Capital Building, and much more.

Prayerfully consider if the Lord and Our Lady are calling you on this journey.

To learn more click below:
http://www.pilgrimages.com/mariantravel/usa/

Rest in Eternal Peace, Fr. Tito

 Fr. Tito Ayo, SOLT

September 21, 1952 – March 4, 2019

Fr. Terencio “Tito” Matthew A. Ayo, a priest of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT), was born to Antonio Rivera Ayo (+) and Prudencia Bautista Agbay in Canaman, Camarines Sur in Bikol.  As an infant he endured a life-threatening illness and his now 95-year old mother had prayed very hard for his well-being.

He was the eldest of seven children–six boys and a girl. His siblings are: Florencio Thomas (Toti), married to Racquel Subida; Antonio Camillus (Junet), married to Noni Salvador; Ramon Nonito, married to Asela San Andres; Arnold Amancio (Anot), married to Cynthia Napay (+); Reino Stephen (Ray), married to Maria Vivian (Bing) Imperial; and, Mariebeth Corazon, married to Juanito (Jiggs) Gegajo.  Fr. Tito had a special place in his heart for his many relatives, including over 30 nephews, nieces, and grand nephews and nieces.

He started his seminary formation at the early age of twelve when he entered the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary in the Archdiocese of Caceres in Naga City after finishing 6th grade at the Naga Parochial school in 1965. After four years at the Holy Rosary Major Seminary, he finished his philosophy education in 1969. True to his dedication to priestly formation, he advanced to his theology studies. After a couple of years in theology however, he left seminary and began to assist as a lay man in a parish in Albay, Diocese of Legazpi, where in 1975 he met Fr Tom Gier, SOLT. His time spent with Fr Tom renewed his calling to the priesthood. Fr. Tito joined the Society and completed his theology education at the Tahanan Ng Mabuting Pastol Seminary in Tagaytay City. He was ordained to the priesthood on December 18, 1979, and was one of the first SOLT priests of the Asia-Pacific Region.

From 1980 until 1996, Fr. Tito served in several parishes in the Philippines, including: Sacred Heart Mission, Cabasan; St. Michael the Archangel Parish, San Miguel; and Holy Cross Parish, Amparo Village.

In 1996, Fr. Tito was asked by the General Priest Servant to move to Texas in order to serve as the Procurator for SOLT, a position he held for one year. After his period as Procurator, Fr. Tito returned to the Philippines where he served first as a parish priest in Mary the Queen Parish, Quezon City, and then in San Antonio Parish, Cuyapo. During this same time, Fr. Tito completed his studies for an advanced degree in Philosophy at Araullo University in Cabanatuan.

In the year 2007, Fr. Tito was asked to return to the American Region to become the administrator of a parish in San Pedro, Belize. He continued in that position until 2009 when he was assigned to serve in the SOLT Development Office in Robstown, Texas. After serving as head of the Development Office for several years, in 2011 Fr. Tito was assigned to be the pastor of St. Michael Parish in Banquete, a position he held for five years. In 2016, Fr. Tito was transferred to St. Joseph’s as associate pastor, where he remained until his passing from this life.

In addition to his work in parishes and in administration, from 1988 until 2004, Fr. Tito served in various capacities with the Child Sponsorship for Community Development, Inc, Children International. From 1993-1996 and again from 1998-2004, he was the Charmain of the Board of Directors of that organization.

Fr. Tito also earned several degrees from various colleges, including a degree in Theology from Divine Word Seminary (1980), a Master’s Degree in Business Management from Aquinas University (1994) and a Doctorate in Philosophy from Araullo University (2006).

For a number of years, Fr. Tito struggled with cancer. His patience and trust in God were an inspiration to all who knew him. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and fellow community members.

homily @ Fr Tito Ayo funeral

Nuestra Señora del Refugio Mission

 On February 9, 2019, Fr. Tristan Abbott was installed as pastor of the SOLT mission, Nuestra Senora del Refugio in Nuevo Laredo, located in northern Mexico. Fr. Tristan follows the leadership of Fr. Anthony Anderson, who has served in Nuevo Laredo for almost twenty years. The celebration on February 9thhonored Fr. Tony who received two standing ovations in thanksgiving for his love and service to the community. During the Mass, Bishop Enrique Sanchez Martinez installed Fr. Tristan to succeed him.

Following his ordination on May 31, 2014, Fr. Tristan Abbott was assigned as associate pastor to the mission in Nuevo Laredo. The parish, Nuestra Senora del Refugio, also includes several mission churches. The main industry in Nuevo Laredo hinges on export/import of goods to the United States. It is the biggest land import to the US.

When Fr. Tristan arrived during the peak of summer following his ordination, he was warmly welcomed by the parish community. While he was working on fluency in Spanish, the people were very open to having him in their homes. Their support and warm embrace was very helpful for him to adjust to the new mission and his first assignment as a priest.

Moving forward, Fr. Tristan has ideas to build on the legacy and good work established by Fr. Tony. This year, the diocese is celebrating a Eucharistic Year and will have a Eucharistic Congress later this summer. For example, he may seek to increase Eucharistic adoration in the parish.

A Jubilee Celebration

On January 11, 2019, Fr. Rogel “Ogie” Rosalinas celebrated 25 years of ordination to the sacred Priesthood. Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey and Bishop Emeritus Edmund Carmody and many people from the Corpus Christi diocese celebrated this joyous occasion. The South Texas Catholic included a short article about this wonderful event (see link below). We are very grateful for the faithfulness and dedication of Fr. Ogie to the priesthood and service to the People of God.

South Texas Catholic Article

Sharing the Gift of Music

 Excitement was in the air as music aficionados arrived at Visitation Catholic Church in Kansas City, Missouri on January 28, 2019 for the Sixth Annual Joy of Music concert, offered by Our Lady’s Montessori School (OLMS). Guests took their seats to experience a night of beautiful music performed by a variety of skilled musicians.

The Joy of Music, which has developed through the leadership of Sr. Mary of Holy Hope, SOLT, began as an inspired idea that would provide a venue for members of the school community to share their musical talent with the local community.

Years ago, Sr. Holy Hope met a young musician, David Snow, quite providentially, while playing in the orchestra at the Cathedral in Kansas City, Missouri. David was a former student at Our Lady’s Montessori School, and is now a religious brother enrolled in seminary studies for SOLT. Additionally, Kayleigh Aytes, a good friend of the school, met Sister and the trio joined together to launch the first Joy of Music concert in 2014. Since then, additional performers have joined the group and come from as far as Lawrence and Atchison, Kansas. What began as a small idea based on true appreciation for music and the desire to share it with the community, has quickly developed into the professional program offered today. Skilled musicians prepare and perform a variety of instrumental and choral pieces, a few of which include sacred and classical chamber music, including selections for organ, harp, and small ensemble.

Music offers a reflection of the truth, goodness and beauty of our heavenly Father. While Montessori incorporates music in the classroom, Sr. Holy Hope also offers an extra class for the preschool children in the afternoon. Perhaps someday one of our current students will be a performer such as Br. David!

We are grateful for each of the performers, who recognize music as an incredible gift to be shared with others. Click on the link below to enjoy the performance from our dedicated and generous friends.

For more information see olmskc.org.

25 Years of the Sacred Priesthood

 Fr. Paul Dao Ming (Dao Ming means Dominic) Dou was born October 14, 1954, one of 3 children, in Beijing, China. His family have been practicing Catholics for over 300 years and experienced persecution for the faith.

From 1974-1977, Fr. Dou studied Chinese Literature at the University of Beijing and received a BA in that subject.

He felt a call to become a priest early in his life and entered the seminary in 1980 as a member of the persecuted “underground” Church. From 1980 until 1986, Fr. Dou lived in the bishop’s residence as a seminarian while he studied Philosophy and Theology at Beijing Seminary.

On June 14, 1986, Fr. Dou was ordained a deacon together with the late Fr. Paul Hu, SOLT, for the Diocese of Yi Xian, China. He served for eight years as a deacon in that diocese. On January 21, 1994, Fr. Dou was ordained a priest by the Most Reverend Cosmos Shi, Bishop of the Yi Xian Diocese. Because of the persecutions going on against the Church at that time, Fr. Dou emigrated to the United States in March of 1994.

From 1994-1995, he studied at Holy Apostles where he met Fr. Tony and Fr. Jim Blount and a number of other SOLT brothers. During the years 1995-1999, Fr. Dou discerned a vocation with the Congregation of St. John the Baptist in Astoria, NY. When he decided that was not where he was called, he accepted an invitation to serve in the Archdiocese of New York, where he spent five years in the Church of the Transfiguration and at St. Joseph Parish. From December 2005 to May 2006, Fr. Paul spent some time at the Trappist Monasteries of Holy Mother of God in Taiwan, and Our  Lady of Joy Abbey in Hong Kong, renewing his spiritual energy.

Fr. Dou returned to the United States in 2007 and, on the recommendation of Fr. Paul Hu, SOLT, entered the SOLT novitiate in Bosque, New Mexico.  At the end of the novitiate, Fr. Dou was sent to serve in various SOLT missions, including Belcourt, Bosque, Capulin, Corpus Christi, and Kansas City. On November 1, 2015, Fr. Dou professed perpetual promises in SOLT. He is currently serving in the Corpus Christi Diocese and residing at OLCC.

We are very grateful to God and our Blessed Mother for the priestly vocation and service of Fr. Paul Dao Ming Dou, SOLT, and we wish him many more years of grace-filled service.

Founding Lay Member Enters Eternal Life

 Nicolina Teresa Capuano Sullivan of Kansas City died November 21, 2018 at her home. She was 93.

Mrs. Sullivan lived the words of St. Paul, “I have become all things to all people that I might by all means save some” (I Corinthians 9:22b). She was not only an advocate for her community’s underserved, she was also a champion of social justice as demonstrated through her many life roles. As wife, mother, missionary, author, nurse for the Kansas City urban population, and above all, servant to God, she sought to meet His callings with humility, dedication and love. This devotion to others was expressed most vividly in her relationships with her husband, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and her family in the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT).

Affectionately known as “Nikki,” Nicolina Sullivan was born Nov. 15, 1925, in Springfield, Mass. to WWI veteran Carmine Capuano and his wife Annina. She graduated from nursing college in 1947 and married decorated WWII veteran Dr. George E. Sullivan in 1948.

In 1962, George and Nikki left their suburban lives and George’s optometric practice in Massachusetts to pursue their calling to serve as one of the first lay missionary families in SOLT in New Mexico. After a few years, Nikki and George moved to Kansas City, Missouri with the SOLT community to work in areas of deepest apostolic need. To this end Nikki and George assisted the African American community in the civil rights movement of the 1960’s. SOLT founder Father James Flanagan and then Diocesan Bishop Helmsing had a goal to fully unite the races in the Kansas City community. Answering this call, Nikki and George fully integrated their professional lives as nurse and optometrist and their family into the local African American community to perform apostolic works.

As a lay member of SOLT, Nikki worked with ecclesial teams to serve in areas of deepest apostolic need, a practice that began in SOLT’s foundational years and extended until her death. In the SOLT community she was known not only as a faithful servant of God, but for her gift of hospitality and intercessory prayer. Inspired by the life of Jesus’ mother Mary, in widowhood, Nikki consecrated her life to Jesus and organized other widows to serve Christ through a life of charitable works.

She was an avid chef, quilter, and author. She shared these gifts through her dinners, classes, books, and storytelling.

She is survived by her children, Daniel (Theresa) Sullivan of Kansas City, David (Cheryl) Sullivan of Lee’s Summit, Anne (Steve) Winn of Kearney, George (Ilona) Sullivan of Kansas City, Mary Sullivan of Seattle, WA, Rosalie Buergler Kansas City, and Edward Sullivan of Atlanta, GA; 21 grandchildren; and 40 great-grandchildren.

Visitation for Nicolina Sullivan will be from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. with the rosary at 7:00 p.m., Monday, November 26, 2018 at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, 2552 Gillham, Kansas City, MO, 64108. The Mass of the Resurrection will be conducted by Fr. Peter Marsalek at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, November 27, 2018 at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, with the burial at Mount Olivet Cemetery, 7601 Blue Ridge Blvd., Raytown, MO, 64138 In lieu of flowers and gifts, a donation may be made to the Lay Association of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Laity, 1200 Lantana Street, Corpus Christi, TX 78407.

Homily at Nikki Sullivan’s funeral.

Eulogies at Nikki Sullivan’s funeral

Lessons from the Road

 After two weeks of long meetings and joyful celebrations, most attendees of the General Chapter and Regional Assembly returned immediately to their respective homes and missions. However, for the visiting Filipina sisters and the sisters from Phoenix (plus a couple extra drivers from our Texas-based sisters), the journey was not yet complete. A week on the road allowed us to share with our sisters from the other side of the world some of the most beautiful sites of the Southwest, as well as our historically significant houses in New Mexico. Our trip left us with memories to cherish for a lifetime, many graces, new friendships, innumerable photos, and some lessons learned (or learned anew).

 1) There’s no place like home.

The spiritual highlight of our trip was visiting Holman, N.M., the birthplace of SOLT and the earthly resting place of our founders, Fr. James Flanagan and Fr. John McHugh. “It feels like home,” one Filipina sister shared. “I have only taught about these places to our novices. Now I have actually seen it,” said another. Although not an impressive tourist attraction, this was the most meaningful site we visited. We were also able to make a short visit to Bosque, N.M., a former formation site and the place where Fr. Flanagan passed away. Particularly meaningful was our time with one of our founding sisters, Sr. Mary of the Redemption, who shared some of her experiences and wisdom with us.

 2) Our God is a God of beauty.

The vastness and magnificence of the Grand Canyon and the beautiful red rocks of Sedona gave us a renewed sense of awe before creation. “Sing to the Lord, all the earth!” (Ps 96: 1)

3) Our God is a God of generosity. 

Now, it is not an unusual occurrence for sisters to experience God’s generosity through monetary donations received from His people, but on this trip we experienced it like never before. Strangers and friends alike, almost every single place we went, felt moved to share their material blessings with us. I think God likes to show off once in a while, and He certainly made sure we were welcomed and taken care of everywhere we went, through donations and hospitality alike. May God reward all who gave to us!

3) Learning about other countries and cultures is fun.

One sister, amazed at the vast expanses of uninhabited land, kept asking, “Where are all the people?” The USA is much less densely populated than the Philippines, and there’s nothing a like a road trip to demonstrate that!

Another unexpected cultural moment: One morning, an everyday occurrence in the US literally stopped our visiting sisters in their tracks: a front loader garbage truck using automated forks emptying a dumpster!

 5) Those Filipina sisters sure can sing.

In several places, the sisters sang several songs to share their gratitude for the hospitality and friendship given to them. It was beautiful and heartfelt. A chorus of Filipina sisters singing the Tagalog “Stella Maris” can bring tears to one’s eyes.

This trip renewed us in relationship and fostered new friendships. Names now have faces, and we have bonded as friends and sisters in the same family. May Our Lady continue to guide us on our earthly journey towards heaven!

Tanglawan kami aming ina

Sa kalangitan naming pita

Nawa’y maging hantungang

Pinakamimithing kaharian

(From the lyrics of “Stella Maris” by Bukas Palad. Translation: “Be our beacon, our mother, in our journey towards our deepest desire, which is heaven.”)

Submitted by Sr. Mary Joy of our Father, SOLT