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Divine Mercy Retreat

Divine Mercy Retreat

Please join us for a special Divine Mercy Retreat on Saturday, April 6, 2024 from 9:30 am – 2:00 pm at the Holy Apostles campus in Cromwell, CT.

The day will begin with the Holy Mass “celebrated by Fr. Dominic Anaeto” and followed by talks given by Mr. Daniel O’Connor and Dr. Robert Stackpole. The retreat will include lunch and conclude with adoration, confession, and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

Daniel O’Connor is an adjunct professor of philosophy and religion at a State University of New York Community College. He received his MA in Philosophical Theology in 2012 from Holy Apostles College and Seminary. Daniel is the author of several books, including Thy Will Be Done and Only Man Bears His Image. He writes for his personal website, where his books, talks, videos, and other works may be found. Daniel lives in New York with his wife, Regina, and their five children. Read the feature story on Daniel and his family in our February Newsletter.

Dr. Robert Stackpole obtained a B.A. in History from Williams College, Massachusetts in 1982; an M.Litt. in Theology from Oxford University, England in 1988, and was an ordained Anglican priest in 1991 before becoming a Roman Catholic in 1994. He later obtained a Doctorate in Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome (the “Angelicum”) in 2000.

Fr. Dominic Anaeto is a professor of Pastoral Theology and a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Nnewi, Nigeria. He holds a License in Spirituality from Gregorian University in Rome, a Doctorate in Pastoral Theology from the Lateran University also in Rome, and a diploma from the Christian Institute for the Study of Human Sexuality at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Illinois. He is a Board Certified Chaplain with the National Association of Catholic Chaplain and a Liaison person for the State of Connecticut. He served full-time on the faculty of St. Mary’s Seminary of the University of St. Thomas in Houston, TX. Currently, he is the pastor of Our Lady Queen of Angels parish in Meriden, CT and a Professor at Holy Apostles College and Seminary.

In 1997, Dr. Stackpole began work as the Research Director, and in 2000, Director, of the John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy based in Stockbridge Massachusetts, an apostolate of the Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception. He authored the book Divine Mercy: A Guide from Genesis to Benedict XVI. In his book, Dr. Stackpole explores God’s message of mercy through St. Faustina as well as God’s desire to offer us mercy throughout the ages.

Cost: $20 including lunch

Please RSVP here: Divine Mercy Retreat Registration. For further information, contact Cristi Shaw at cshaw@holyapostles.edu or call 860.632.3017

Please be advised that, in light of the provision of canon 903 CIC and canon 703 CCEO, all priests who wish to celebrate or concelebrate Mass at Holy Apostles College and Seminary are required to present a celebret or Testimonial of Suitability from their Ordinary or Religious Superior. We ask that priests bring their own alb.

Divine Mercy Retreat Invitation (Click to Download)

Holy Apostles Students Attend 51st March for Life

Holy Apostles Students Attend 51st March for Life

“I was intensely proud in that moment to be pro-life, to be Catholic, and to be a member of the Holy Apostles community,” says Samuel, an undergraduate Holy Apostles student who is also discerning the priesthood. The pro-life identity at Holy Apostles is very strong, and this year was no different! The 10-hour bus drive commenced late Thursday evening and students and priests from the Holy Apostles campus arrived in Washington, D.C. at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception early Friday morning, on January 19. They attended the closing Mass for the National Prayer Vigil for Life and then made their way to the March for Life Rally. Pro-lifers from around the country attended the March and walked through the freezing cold as snow fell. Their presence witnessed to the defense of the unborn and the sacredness of all human life.

While Samuel grew up watching the March for Life on EWTN, this was his first time attending in person since he is originally from Oregon. He shared, “The actual March was a stunning witness to the vibrancy of the Faith in America, and the unity and determination to continue in the belief that all life is sacred, and I was privileged to carry the Holy Apostles banner for much of the march… What I saw was ‘morning again in America.’ And I saw that the Catholic Church in the US was filled with vibrancy and hope, and that we here at Holy Apostles are a part of that, and that we have the important and crucial calling to always contribute to the blossoming of the Church in America.” Thank you to our generous benefactor who made this trip possible, and may the Lord bless all of those who promote the pro-life cause!

The Connecticut March for Life will be held on Wednesday, March 20 in the capital city of Hartford. Students, faculty and staff from the Holy Apostles community will again march in peaceful and prayerful support for the pro-life cause and as a witness to the unborn. For more information and to also attend the Connecticut March for Life, please visit: https://marchforlife.org/connecticut/

Photo credit: Huan Tran

An Adventure in Following the Footsteps of the Founder

An Adventure in Following the Footsteps of the Founder

Article by Fr. Jeffrey “Skip” Thompson, MSA

March is “Fr. Menard Month” for the Missionaries of the Holy Apostles to honor the priest who founded our MSA and the seminary that bears its name. Back in 1943-46, the first ministry of the charismatic young Franciscan priest Fr. Eusebe Menard were retreats that attracted “a few good, older men” to discern priestly vocations. To facilitate his unique mission Fr. Menard built a retreat house and seminaries with significant help from a faithful layman: Mr. Hector Durand.

Fr. Menard and Mr. Durand co-founded the “Missionaries of the Holy Apostles” in Montreal, Canada in 1951. Their apostolate expanded into the U.S. with the help of Br. Joseph Barabie, a former real estate man, who founded the site that in 1957, eventually became Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, CT.

Br. Barabie later moved out to California to live and serve with the Camaldolese Benedictine monks, who had just founded New Camaldoli Hermitage in the magnificent Big Sur region on the central California coast as a place of retreat. One eventual retreater was Jeffrey “Skip” Thompson who went there from 2003 to 2006 and reverted to his childhood Catholic faith.

During one of Skip’s retreats in 2004, however, Br. Barabie died and Skip was invited to assist the monks move his body. He stayed for Br. Barabie’s funeral mass and noted his last words on his program, not anticipating how Barabie’s MSA identity as one of Menard’s men would guide his future vocation. In 2008 he began to discern the priesthood and flew east to meet MSA vocation director, Fr. Brad Pierce of happy memory. When he learned about Skip’s retreats to New Camoldoli. Fr. Brad recalled that Br. Barabie went out to live in that same place. He asked Skip if he met Br. Barabie and when he learned that 4 years earlier he had helped bury Fr. Menard’s old assistant he declared it “providential.” Fr. Brad concluded, “You can’t make that happen! You belong with us.” It was a moment of amazing grace!

After his ordination in 2015, the new Father Skip worked for 5 years at HACS as Dean of Seminarians along with several other Provincial jobs. What was also providential was his opportunity to return to California to pursue a Menard-like ministry of retreats in 2020. In 2022, he met with Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron. They agreed on operating a retreat house and a contract was struck with MSA Provincial Fr. Martin Rooney and the good bishop to run the new Retreat House at the Santa Clara Parish in Oxnard, CA, for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Another thing you can’t make happen! Bishop Barron’s comment to Fr. Skip was: “It’s all grace!” Indeed. Amazing.

Fr. Skip moved into the retreat house on Menard Day, March 26, 2022, and since then has partnered with laymen to support retreat offerings there and God-willing, help a few good men to discern their particular calling to the priesthood.

Reflecting on the value of retreats, Fr. Skip observes that they “involve one’s deliberate choice to make time to be with Jesus Christ in prayer and reflection. And that’s what allows grace to flow to hear his call to follow him!”

“Draw close to God and he will draw close to you.” James 4:8. Call the house at 805.330.8260 or email: retreathouse@santaclaraparish.org. Fr. Skip would love to hear from you. Get thee to a retreat house!

From Wall Street to the Priesthood

From Wall Street to the Priesthood

Caption: Very Reverend Daniel Reehil,
V.F. and President Rector Fr. Peter
Kucer at the Boston Marian Conference

Very Reverend Daniel Reehil, V.F., is the Pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Church in the Nashville area and has a fascinating story about his journey to the priesthood.

As a Wall Street banker in Manhattan in the 1990s, he was invited to take a trip to Medjugorje in 1998 after being away from the church for twenty years. During confession, the priest told him that he believed he had a vocation. This life-altering pilgrimage began a transformational conversion for him.

The experience led him to re-evaluate his life, and so after 9/11, he moved to Boston to begin his formation under the mentorship of Fr. Tom Dilorenzo. Later, Fr. Dan attended Holy Apostles College and Seminary and completed his MDiv in 2014. During that time, he also spent five years in a contemplative hermitage

Along with his busy pastoral responsibilities and his role as Treasurer of the Diocesan Bank of Nashville CCIL, Fr. Dan also leads an engaging radio broadcast at 9:00 am CT called Battle Ready on Radio Maria USA, discussing a variety of topics relevant to our times and to advancing the Gospel.

Fr. Dan is also a well-known exorcist of the Diocese of Nashville. In fact, he was featured this past October on Fox News warning of the dangers of Ouija boards.

In 2018, he received his exorcism training at Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum in Rome and completed intensive spiritual warfare training with the Intercessors of the Lamb in Omaha. He has seen unusual paranormal experiences and strange manifestations in his role of exorcist but remains undaunted.

“As I approach the 10th anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood, I am continually thankful for the solid, orthodox formation I was afforded at Holy Apostles Seminary and College. The strong work ethic and mission to serve, coupled with an excellent academic formation and a dedicated discipline of prayer and adoration have given me the tools to cultivate a rhythm of life to faithfully serve the parish and various ministries I shepherd,” said Fr. Reehil

“I have also maintained many solid friendships with the men I befriended at Holy Apostles Seminary; friendships that have grown into a brotherhood and relationships I am so grateful to have formed while in seminary.”

Fr. Reehil is in demand and travels extensively for speaking engagements worldwide. This fall, he was a guest speaker at the Boston Marian Conference in Quincy, Massachusetts. At the conference, he shared stories about the importance of following the leading of the Holy Spirit as we live out our Christian calling.

“As pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Columbia, TN, and as the Exorcist of the Diocese of Nashville, Fr. Dan Reehil is placing his many gifts at the service of the Church in a truly Christ-centered manner, “said Fr. Kucer. “Holy Apostles College & Seminary is blessed to have formed Fr. Reehil at our seminary. May Fr. Reehil and his ministry be blessed abundantly and flourish in accordance with God’s will.”

Holy Apostles College and Seminary www.holyapostles.edu is a NECHE and ATS accredited college with a mission of preparing and educating seminarians, consecrated and lay students, for the New Evangelization through undergraduate and graduate programs. Students have access to faithfully Catholic, truly affordable, and fully online programs as well as residential religious programs in historic Cromwell, Connecticut. As a pioneer in online learning, Holy Apostles is one of the first theological schools to offer 100% online graduate programs. Alumni and faculty of the institution include internationally recognized leaders and experts in apologetics, philosophy, and theology.

Community Gathering

Community Gathering

On Thursday, October 12, we gathered in our chapel for the Mass to celebrate Blessed Carlo Acutis on his feast day and as a reminder of the passion, powerful mystery, and gift that receiving the Eucharist is for us all.

A plaque was placed in the chapel to honor Reverend Douglas Mosey, C.S.B. for his years of service to Holy Apostles College & Seminary followed by an outdoor Eucharistic procession.

We ended the evening with Eucharistic adoration led by Reverend Jeffrey “Skip” Thompson, M.S.A., who presided and gave reflections on “How Jesus Taught His Real Presence in the Eucharist.” Father Thompson has been featured on ETWN’s The Journey Home program.

It was a beautiful day to celebrate with our community and friends!

Click images below to view at full scale.