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Fr. Wade Menezes Honored at Commencement by Alma Mater Holy Apostles College and Seminary

Fr. Wade Menezes Honored at Commencement by Alma Mater Holy Apostles College and Seminary

Fr. Wade Menezes, CPM Honored at Commencement by Alma Mater Holy Apostles College and SeminaryHoly Apostles College and Seminary held its 66th Commencement Ceremony on May 4, 2024. One hundred fifty graduates representing thirty-seven states and seven countries received degrees, attending either in-person or via live stream. During the ceremony, Rev. Wade Menezes, CPM received an Honorary Doctorate of Moral Theology for his work in evangelization.

The mission of Holy Apostles is to form and educate its students to be missionary disciples, with the vision of cultivating Catholic leaders for the purpose of evangelization.  Fr. Wade Menezes is a shining example of someone who has successfully exhibited these traits through his life’s work.  

Fr. Wade is a summa cum laude graduate of the Holy Apostles Class of 2000, with dual Master of Arts in Theology and Master of Divinity degrees.  Coupled with prior degrees in journalism and communications, he has been successful in his utilization of TV, radio, and print to evangelize as a priest.  Fr. Wade is a member of the Fathers of Mercy.  

In his commencement address, Fr. Wade spoke to the graduates, faculty, and guests about the need to always defend truth and faith.  “I speak to you now today as a preacher, not as a teacher, yet in two very certain respects to these different vocations there are very common ideals, and that is to defend truth and faith as our Catholic calling.”  

In the course of speaking, Fr. Wade referenced southern author Flannery O’Connor, stating that the characters in her books have the opportunity to accept or reject faith and truth using free will.  Those who make the choice to not accept faith and truth often incur tragedy.   

Quoting St. Thomas Aquinas, Fr. Wade said, “’Errors perish and cease to be when people get to know the truth.’ Amen to that, especially in 2024.”  

Many may know him from his appearances on EWTN as a guest or host on various EWTN shows, such as Mother Angelica Live, Life on the Rock, and Crux of the Matter, to name a few.  In addition, he has contributed to written publications such as National Catholic Register, Faith and Family, and The Wanderer, among others.  Fr. Wade is also the host of EWTN Global Catholic Radio’s Open Line Tuesday, and has been featured on other stations, such as Ave Maria Radio, Guadalupe Radio Network, Catholic Broadcasting Northwest and more.  

Fr Wade has been a contributing writer to publications such as National Catholic Register, Our Sunday Visitor, Catholic Twin Circle, Catholic Faith and Family, The Wanderer, and Legatus, to name a few.  He is also the author of three books.

He has served as the Chaplain-in-Residence at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament located at Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Hanceville, Alabama.  Here he acted as celebrant, homilist, and confessor; he also gave spiritual conferences on specialized points of Catholic Christian doctrine.  The shrine and monastery are affiliated with EWTN.

Reflecting on Divine Mercy: Highlights from the Holy Apostles Retreat

Reflecting on Divine Mercy: Highlights from the Holy Apostles Retreat

Reflecting on Divine Mercy: Highlights from the Holy Apostles Retreat 2On Saturday, April 5, over 80 attendees joined the Divine Mercy Retreat held on the Holy Apostles College & Seminary (HACS) campus. The prayerful day began with the Holy Mass in the chapel celebrated by Rev. Dominic Anaeto, pastor of Our Lady Queen of Angels parish in Meriden, CT, and a professor at Holy Apostles.

Following the Mass, Professor Daniel O’Connor gave an engaging talk about Divine Mercy and its relevance especially in our times today. Professor O’Connor received his MA in Philosophical Theology in 2012 from Holy Apostles. He writes for his personal website, where his books, talks, videos, and other works may be found. You can read our featured article here.

Dr. Robert Stackpole then gave a detailed overview of the importance of both the Divine Mercy and Sacred Heart and the connection and proper relationship between these devotions. Dr. Stackpole has been the 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 was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1991 before becoming a Roman Catholic in 1994.

Following the luncheon, the afternoon continued with adoration, confession, and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy sung with the HACS music ministry. In all, it was a beautiful day of reflection, spiritual renewal, and gathering of community!

Reflecting on Divine Mercy: Highlights from the Holy Apostles Retreat 6

Holy Apostles Honors Alumnus Fr. Wade Menezes for His Role in Evangelization

Holy Apostles Honors Alumnus Fr. Wade Menezes for His Role in Evangelization

Fr. Wade MenezesHoly Apostles is excited to honor alumnus Fr. Wade Menezes, C.P.M., with an honorary doctorate degree at the 66th Commencement Ceremony to be held on May 4, 2024. Fr. Menezes, a summa cum laude graduate of the Class of 2000, with dual Master of Arts in Theology and Master of Divinity degrees, will also deliver the commencement address. The day will include graduates from the Spring 2024 class, as well as the Summer 2023 and Fall 2023 classes. These classes had 150 graduates from 37 states and seven countries. Participants will be both in person and online.

Fr. Wade is a member of the Fathers of Mercy, a missionary preaching congregation, and has preached throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia. He has served as Assistant General, Director of Vocations, and Director of Seminarians for the Fathers of Mercy. Fr. Wade has also served as the Chaplain-in-Residence at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament of Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Hanceville, Alabama, affiliated with EWTN.

Prior to coming to Holy Apostles, Fr. Wade received degrees in journalism and communications. These have served him well in his successful utilization of TV, radio, and print to evangelize as a priest. You may know him from many appearances on EWTN as both guest and host, or his contributions to written publications such as National Catholic Register, Faith and Family, and The Wanderer, to name a few. Fr. Wade is also the host of EWTN Global Catholic Radio’s Open Line Tuesday and has been featured on other stations, such as Ave Maria Radio, Guadalupe Radio Network, Catholic Broadcasting Northwest, and more.

He is the author of three books, The Four Last Things: A Catechetical Guide to Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell, Overcoming the Evil Within: The Reality of Sin and the Transforming Power of God’s Grace and Mercy, and Catholic Essentials: A Guide to Understanding Key Church Teachings.

Meet Our Chancellor and President-Rector

Meet Our Chancellor and President-Rector

Meet Our Chancellor and President-Rector

Pictured: Very Reverend Martin Rooney, M.S.A., Chancellor (left), and Very Reverend Peter Kucer, M.S.A., President-Rector (right)

Fr. Martin Rooney, M.S.A., Chancellor

Growing up in Palisades Park, New Jersey, the Very Reverend Martin Rooney, M.S.A., Chancellor at Holy Apostles College and Seminary, first came to Holy Apostles as an unsponsored seminarian. During his initial year, after looking into other communities, Fr. Martin decided that the Missionaries of the Holy Apostles was the order best suited for him. He earned his MDiv (Master of Divinity) in 1995.

Following training at Yale New Haven Hospital to become a hospital chaplain, Fr. Martin spent almost twenty years at St. Joseph’s Healthcare System in New Jersey before moving to Bon Secours Charity Health System in New York. Currently working there one or two days a week since being elected Provincial Animator, he handles “mission”, ensuring the Catholic values are being lived out throughout the healthcare system. Also important for him is ensuring that the legacy of the sisters who sponsor Bon Secours Charity Health System, the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth and the Sisters of Bon Secours, is lived out.

On weekends, he acts as an assistant at St. Gabriel’s Parish in Saddle River.

You have been the Chancellor of Holy Apostles since 2021. Can you tell us about your responsibilities in this role?

As Chancellor of the college and seminary, it’s my responsibility to ensure the fidelity of its theological, moral, philosophical, canonical, and other religious instruction to the teachings of the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church. The faculty take the Oath of Fidelity and Profession of Faith at the start of the academic year as one example of this commitment.

You are also the Provincial Animator of the Missionaries of the Holy Apostles. The term Provincial Animator is one that is not usually used. Can you explain what it means?

Usually, the position is called Superior of the Provincial or the Provincial Superior. Our founder, Fr. Menard, thought it was important to add the word “Animator” after Provincial because that’s the ministry. I am supposed to animate the community within the charism and mission of our founder, Fr. Menard. So, it means being there when there are issues but to be animator and mediator.

As someone who speaks to many beyond Holy Apostles, how do you see the college’s public persona? What is the impression of those you speak with about HACS?

It’s interesting because when I’m out and about, and I mention Holy Apostles College and Seminary, it amazes me how many people have taken courses online. In New Jersey and other areas, people will say to me, “Oh, I took a course there”, or “I did my degree there.” From what I hear, they really like the courses and professors, and our faithfulness to Catholic teaching. It’s a testament to the college and seminary.

There are a number of options – Theology, Philosophy, certificate programs – are all attractive. As we add more majors we’re excited about the future.

I have said this publicly before – I am grateful to the former President-Rector Fr. Mosey, and his staff at the time, for making the decision in 2012 to go online because during Covid many small colleges went out of business trying to adapt but we just moved along. We would not be where we are today if it was not for that strong foundation. Similarly, I am excited about Fr. Peter Kucer’s current vision for both the college and seminary and the great work being done to establish new programs and impactful initiatives moving us forward.

You have a variety of responsibilities in your roles as Provincial Animator, Chancellor, and in hospital ministry. How do you handle all of it?

Each responsibility is different but that’s a good thing. When we talk about the priesthood, we tend to pigeonhole it to one thing, such as leading a parish. There are so many different options: education, hospitals, and different roles even within the parish. You can become a priest and be involved in other ministries beyond the parish.

Fr. Peter Kucer, M.S.A., President-Rector

As President-Rector of Holy Apostles College & Seminary, the Very Reverend Peter Kucer, M.S.A., is tasked with moving the college and seminary forward while ensuring continued academic rigor and a curriculum grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition.

A graduate of Holy Apostles, with an MDiv in 2001 and MA in Theology in 2002, he is keenly aware of the significance of a traditionally Catholic education and formation, and how it strengthened his vocation to the priesthood. His desire for those attending Holy Apostles, whether lay student, seminarian, or consecrated religious, is that they obtain a strong academic Catholic education and formation that supports their career path, their vocation, and their personal and spiritual growth.

As the eighth chief executive officer at Holy Apostles, Fr. Peter assumed the role in 2019 that was previously held by Fr. Douglas Mosey, C.S.B, from 1996 until his retirement. Fr. Peter’s work with Holy Apostles began several years earlier, though. Upon receiving his doctorate in 2012 from Catholic University, he was the temporary administrator at St. Joseph’s Parish in Chester, Connecticut, while working part-time as an adjunct teacher at Holy Apostles. In 2013, he accepted a full-time position at the college as an instructor and priest formator. Fr. Peter then became interim academic dean in 2014, as well as an assistant professor, followed by a promotion to permanent academic dean.

To learn a bit more about Fr. Peter, from his personal interests to thoughts about the college, a few questions were asked.

On campus, students and staff have observed that you are a skilled musician. Tell us what influenced your interest in music.

Well, my father was an accomplished musician and, growing up, music was always around me. I learned the violin at an early age and continue to play today. I enjoy it, as well as singing, and have had the opportunity to perform here at college events. It gives me a chance to share my musical skills with the faculty and student music group on campus who are quite talented. During Advent I enjoyed performing “Lo How a Rose E’re Blooming” in a Christmas email greeting. Hopefully, I can do more in the future.

What is new at Holy Apostles, and what is your vision for the direction of the college and seminary?

The college has established new programs including a Master of Sacred Scripture and Master of Divinity in the New Evangelization for our online students. Holy Apostles is a global community with our professors and students representing fifty-one countries. We look forward to broadening our international outreach that has its origins in the mission of the Twelve Apostles who were sent out by Jesus to evangelize the world. Jesus commanded the Apostles to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations”. (Matthew 28:19)

Knowing that alumni and friends of Holy Apostles are important to you, what are your plans for connecting with these constituencies in 2024?

Looking at the future activities of the college, one of my priorities is to increase our events and outreach, and other opportunities that allow me to connect further with our alumni and friends of Holy Apostles. Holy Apostles has an exceptional group of alumni, both priests and laity. We also have a special community of students, faculty, and long-time supporters and my goal is to continue to strengthen those relationships.

I look forward to more opportunities to reach out through campus events, webinars, and our monthly newsletter. These are people who understand and support our mission and vision. Their evangelization brings the faith beyond Cromwell, to all areas of the world. From here, not only the message about the college and seminary spreads, but the message of Christ. In the meantime, our community of alumni and friends are remembered during weekly Masses at Holy Apostles.

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