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House of Studies’ 10th anniversary

Posted By July 2, 2017 | 5:09 pm | Featured Article #4
Visiting Holy Name of Jesus House of Studies during Friday’s 10th anniversary open house, Father Joseph D. Rice and Deacon Stephen T. Kohut look at photos of seminarians, some of whom are now priests. The display was updated for the anniversary.

Photo by TANYA CONNOR | CFP
Visiting Holy Name of Jesus House of Studies during Friday’s 10th anniversary open house, Father Joseph D. Rice and Deacon Stephen T. Kohut look at photos of seminarians, some of whom are now priests. The display was updated for the anniversary. Photo by TANYA CONNOR | CFP

Visitors see where seminarians live, are supported

By Tanya Connor |  The Catholic Free Press

WORCESTER – People from different backgrounds, with a variety of stories to tell, visited Holy Name of Jesus House of Studies and Office for Vocations for the 10th anniversary last weekend.
Bishop McManus, the House’s founder, came for Friday night’s barbecue. The house is supported by Partners in Charity donations.
Visitors continued to stop in for the open house Saturday, an estimated 200 over two days, according to Father James S. Mazzone. He directs the vocations office and House of Studies, where some of the diocese’s seminarians live.
The building, at 51 Illinois St., was formerly the rectory of Holy Name of Jesus Parish.
“Father Jim did a fantastic job of renovating the whole thing,” Henry Kenary told The Catholic Free Press Friday. “My Eagle (Scout) project was helping renovate the library.” After that, he helped with other parts of the house, he said.
“I grew up helping the Colombians learn English,” he said of seminarians who lived at the house when they came from there to be priests here. “It was definitely mutually beneficial.… They, in turn, taught me Spanish.” He said those are probably his best memories from his high school days.
“My father passed away in 2007,” he said, explaining that Father Mazzone was a father figure and that “definitely filled a void.”
Father Juan D. Escudero, associate pastor of St. Mary Parish in Shrewsbury, said he returns to the House of Studies to support the men there now.
“When I was a seminarian, to me it was very important when the priests came to visit,” he said. “It was a way for us to feel the support of the diocese and to see ourselves in the future. So I try to come as much as I can.” He said he comes weekly, if possible, to eat or watch a movie with the men and is available if they need a ride somewhere.
“And it’s always good to spend some time with Father Jim,” he added.
Christian Cortes, a Colombian seminarian who lived at the House while studying English at Clark University over the past several months, said he likes it there, and noted that they have daily Mass and weekly adoration. He is currently at St. Mary Parish in Shrewsbury for his summer assignment.
“It’s a beautiful experience to share the faith with one another – in the house and in the community,” he said.
“It’s good that we have some place local for men to become priests,” especially since they come from all over, said Karen Clark, of St. Andrew’s, a mission of St. Peter Parish. (The men receive formation at the house and do their academic studies at seminaries.) She said Father Mazzone is “a good family friend” and she goes on his trips to Tanglewood in Lenox with people who help at the house.
Robert D. Johnson, of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in West Boylston, said Father Mazzone is generous about inviting people to join the annual Tanglewood trip to thank them for their support. He said he went last year.
Richard Trubiano, incoming grand knight of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Knights of Columbus Council, said Father Mazzone was once stationed at the parish. He said they help set up and clean up for the receptions after ordinations.
“So that’s basically why we’re here tonight,” he said. “We like to support the priests.” And seminarians.
So does Ceil Sauro, of Mary, Queen of the Rosary Parish in Spencer.
“I just pray for them,” she said. “I still have them on my wall.” (She displays the current poster with the seminarians’ names and photos.)
“I have all the old posters; they’re all priests now,” she said.
One of the current seminarians, John Larochelle, wanted his parents, Gervais and Virginia Larochelle, to see the House of Studies, so they came Friday. He doesn’t live there, but visits. Monthly spaghetti suppers, after a Mass, for men discerning a priestly vocation, are a favorite.