Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Holy Week: A New Rector---A Joyful Liturgy---and a Polish Brunch

Last Wednesday, March 25, an announcement was made concerning the selection of a new President-Rector for Sacred Heart School of Theology: Monsignor Ross Schecterle. Monsignor Schecterle will become the seminary’s 19th rector on July 1 succeeding Father Jan de Jong who has served in that position since 2008. Monsignor Schecterle, a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, most recently served as rector of the American College of the Immaculate Conception in Louvain, Belgium.

The appointment concludes an extensive search process which followed the decision of the United States Province of the Priests of the Sacred Heart (SCJ’s) to open the process to non-SCJ candidates. Best wishes to Monsignor Schecterle as he begins the transition process leading to his installation as the new Rector in the fall of this year.

While the President-Rector selection sweepstakes was closely watched by the seminary community, a far more important event took place a few days after the announcement: Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos). I joined with four of my seminarian brothers in participating in Palm Sunday services at St. Francis of Assisi parish in downtown Milwaukee. As mentioned in a previous post, the St. Francis of Assisi community has a special place in my heart especially for their joyful and passionate liturgical celebrations. And, Sunday, March 28 was no exception!

The children of the parish reenacted the last week of Jesus’ life in a presentation which featured bright colors, authentic costumes and enthusiastic voices. The Gospel was read by Francisco Diaz whose emotional and heartfelt identification with Jesus’ Passion and Death was so evident in his proclamation of the Word. The choir, comprised of Latino (a), African-American and European-American vocalists, rang out as did the harmonies of those of us gathered in the similarly multicultural assembly. If the truth be told (and it is in this post), more than a few eyes were wet with tears and even more big grins were in evidence throughout the service.

With Palm Sunday kicking off a busy week of Holy Week activities, the pace here at the seminary slows to a more contemplative pace. I will be spending Holy Week in the Milwaukee area with plans to attend Triduum events at St. Gregory the Great parish, the site of my pastoral formation placement last year.

Gathering with some of my brother seminarians for an Easter brunch at one of the city’s best Polish restaurants is also on the calendar. Folks: if you ever want to sample traditional Polish cuisine, may I suggest Polonez restaurant, one of the area’s best for pierogi, sausage and stuffed pork. As with all previous promotions, I don’t receive a commission here; so, order a platter or two and enjoy!

A blessed Easter to all! He is risen!


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