Toccata and Fugue in D minor

My name is Fr. Andrew Leung, CSB.  I met the Basilians while living in residence at St. Joseph’s College at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.  I did my novitiate in Vancouver, and theology in Toronto.  My academic background is in high school education as a chemistry, physics, and biology teacher.  When I was an associate and scholastic I got a chance to teach at St. Michael’s College School.  Currently I am stationed at St. Basil’s Parish, Toronto Canada as an associate pastor.

One of the unique things as being the associate at St. Basil’s is a chance once in a while to play on the pipe organ.  I do enjoy going up to the choir loft and practice a few hymns, postludes, and preludes.  The 3 manual Casavant Organ built in 1919 has over 3000 pipes and 50 stops.  As the title of this blog entry suggest, this is the organ piece that was played by our resident organist for the postlude at the weekend Masses.  Just to add a little bit of flavour for the season.

Published in: on October 31, 2010 at 7:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Fr. John Malo CSB

Greetings to whomever might read this. My name is Fr. John Malo CSB and I am presently teaching at St. Michael’s College School in Toronto, Ontario. I was ordained some 33 years ago (1978), but my actual Basilian life began with my Novitiate year in 1966. I guess I have really been a Basilian all my life, or at least most of it! My primary apostolic focus has been high school education, with a few significant ‘detours’ along the way. I have had the opportunity to teach in our apostolates in Toronto (St. Michael’s), Windsor (Assumption College School), Sault Ste. Marie (St. Mary’s College) and also in Oakland, California (Bishop O’Dowd High School), before returning once again to St. Michael’s. My ‘detours included two years as Novice Master in Sugarland, Texas and two years as Director of Associates and Vocations based in Rochester, New York. As well, I served in our mission in Cali, Colombia for one year. I have loved every minute of my Basilian life. Looking over my assignments, I guess I would have to reflect on the reality that we are not ordained for a specific ministry or geographic location, but rather for the work and needs of the Church as envisioned by the Basilian community. Moving has never been easy for me, but it has always turned out to be life-giving and grace-filled. In this, our aim is to be open to the Spirit and try to avoid our own agenda. This is an ongoing challenge and sometimes I succeed; sometimes I fail. Presently, I am the Guidance Counselor for all our Grade 7 & 8 students as well as Director of our Pastoral Care Department. Oh, I also teach one class of Grade 9 religion. Having one foot in the classroom keeps me close to my roots and there is no doubt that high school students everywhere have an uncanny ability to keep us honest and grounded! I will try to keep you ‘plugged in’ on a semi-regular basis in the days ahead. Blessings. John.

Published in: on October 30, 2010 at 4:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sleep, Prayer, Love.

What a rush! Community life coupled with an active school life can be a joyous blur of frenzied activity. Just this past Friday I hurried straight from the classroom into an associate’s retreat, which began with a talk on the importance of prayer. Coincidentally, this is symptomatic of my prayer life: Morning Prayer here, rosary there, contemplation when I’m lucky and then I blink and its time to crack open my trusty Bible, which is followed almost immediately by sleep.

 Just in case you missed my introduction somewhere in that crush of a tangent on ora et labora, I’m Casey Johnson a Basilian Teaching Associate, Theology Teacher, and Assistant Campus Minister. I live and teach at St. Thomas High School in Houston, Texas. This is my second year teaching freshmen and first year living in community. An Associate is basically a pre-novice or postulant who is feeling out the community as they to get a sense of him, before further formation.

 But, I wasn’t always an associate or even planning on being a priest, in fact, that probably was the furthest thing on my mind way back in August of 2001. My inevitable arrival as an associate was set in motion by a kind, caring, spectacled man who greeted me on my first day of school at St. Thomas High. Father Carl Belisch, dedicated Basilian Priest, English teacher and Latin teacher graced us with his presence for two hours every morning.

John 15:13 reads that “no one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” and while I know Christ is truly spot-on, my ever so humble addendum would be that there is no greater challenge than to deal with adolescent males first thing in the morning. Yet, through all our lack of focus and excess energy, Fr. Belisch in quiet patience and perseverance, parlayed us into men of goodness, discipline and knowledge. It was from this initial contact with a simple priest that I experienced so much of what drew me to the Congregation of St. Basil.

 There have been a great many priests after Fr. Belisch, all of whom have helped in one way or another to draw me ever closer to this community. It is clear that Basilians, in their diversity, draw the strength to hearken to greater heights as a community of Christ-lovers. I have wanted nothing more than to fall in to their trek over the valleys and peaks of life; in search of holiness and devotion to Christ.

Published in: on October 29, 2010 at 8:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wednesdays at St. Joe’s and Seeds

Seeds Pic

My name is Fr. Glenn McDonald, CSB, and I am the Director of Residence and Campus Ministry at St. Joseph’s College in Edmonton, Alberta.

Over the summer, Matthew Durham, CSB, and I developed a campus ministry program for the young people at St. Joe’s.  Our master plan was to have a campus ministry event every Wednesday evening at 7 pm.

Fall Schedule Pic








(Rebecca from Kateri House, the women’s residence, created the following card which outlines the schedule for the fall semester.)

It’s October now, and the master plan seems to be working.  The first component of the program has been a spiritual formation program for young people called Seeds.  The program is trying to address the perennial questions of young people, such as, how to become peaceful? Who am I? How to respond to suffering?

Following the good example of Fr. Chris Valka, podcasts of each talk were made and posted on the St. Joe’s website. Perhaps there is a talk that would interest you?

Published in: on October 29, 2010 at 1:09 am  Leave a Comment  

Two qualities…

Hi my name is Kevin Storey.  I am a Basilian priest, and I was recently elected to the Basilian General Council.  I live in Houston, Texas at St. Thomas High School where I used to teach Algebra and Geometry.  There are two qualities that have always attracted me to the Basilian community.  One, Basilians have always had a soft spot for the underdog, and two, I believe Basilians achieve almost as much good outside the Church as within the Church.  If you visit or attend any Basilian school, university or parish, regardless of where it is located or the median income of the families, Basilians will always be trying to reach out to people whose finances are limited.  This is as true in Houston, Texas as it is in Cali, Colombia.  The second quality is a little more nuanced for me.  While Basilians do a great deal of good in the world preaching, teaching and visiting the sick, it is the other things that we do that I think makes us approachable and gives us a common touch.  Basilians that I personally know run marathons, travel to art museums, provide commentary to operas, climb treacherous mountains, ride cross country on Amtrak trains, cook Cordon Bleu meals, collect stamps, and grow award-winning orchids.  Trust me, this list is by no mean comprehensive!  I am honored to be able to share my thoughts on the ordinary and not so ordinary parts of being a Basilian priest.

Published in: on October 26, 2010 at 4:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Blessed to work in the Basilian ministry of Catholic education

My name is John Huber.  I am a Basilian priest and high school principal.  I am the son of John and Ann, the brother of Andy, Jeff, Joe, Matt and Mark.  All 5 of my brothers are married, and each one has a family.  I am blessed to have 9 nephews and 5 nieces.

I encountered the Basilian Fathers in high school: I went to Aquinas Institute in Rochester NY, where my older brothers attended and where my dad and uncles attended.  My grandfather, who ran the Huber Electric Company, helped to wire the building when Aquinas moved to its current location in 1925.  While I was inspired by the hard work, dedication, personal attention, and pastoral guidance that I received from the Basilians in high school, I was inspired to consider religious life by the Sisters of Saint Joseph in Rochester who taught me at St. Theodore School in Gates and St. Pius Tenth School in Chili.

I am an extroverted person who likes to meet different people and encounter the People of God in different situations.  I attended St. John Fisher College in Rochester, majoring in French while minoring in Spanish; I also took the necessary education courses to become a certified secondary school teacher.  After I joined the Basilians, I have been able to live in many different places: Annonay, France, where our congregation was founded in 1822, Sugar Land, Texas, where I spent my novitiate year, Toronto, Canada, where I completed my M. Div degree, Paris, where I completed my MA degree through Middlebury College, Oakland  California, Detroit, Houston Texas, and now Novi Michigan.

I have found my call to minister in Basilian high schools.  I had the honor of serving as Campus Minister and teacher at Aquinas, my alma mater, le Lycée Saint-Denis in Annonay, Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, Holy Redeemer High School in Detroit, St. Thomas High School in Houston, and at Detroit Catholic Central High School in Novi, Michigan.  Being a principal was never a goal of mine: indeed I would be quite content teaching high school until the end of my days.  My community asked me, however, to serve as principal at St. Thomas in Houston, where I spent over 5 very happy years.  I am now learning the ropes of being principal at the largest Catholic school in the State of Michigan, Catholic Central.  I do not deserve all of these privileges God has offered to me, but I thrive on the blessings I receive on a daily basis working where He has called me with my Basilian confrères, many wonderful families and so many lay people dedicated to the ministry of Catholic education.  I am confident that the Lord has much more in store for me…

Published in: on October 26, 2010 at 3:27 am  Leave a Comment  

Joy and Hope

When I was ordained just over a year and a half ago, the two references to scripture on my prayer cards were Psalm 16:1b, 11: “O God, in you I take refuge. You will show me the path of life, abounding joy in your presence, and the delights at your right hand forever”; and I Peter 3:15-16: “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do so with gentleness and reverence.”

Joy and hope are what I have prayed for since the very beginning of my journey with the Basilians. Over time, I have to understand them more and more as gifts. I cannot manifest them on my own; they are without a doubt the by-product and best evidence of my faith.

Last year, I was asked to blog for Catholic News Service during the “Year of the Priest” which resulted in 34 pages of entries during my first year of priesthood. The first of which is a snapshot why I became a priest and what I have learned since then, which you can read here if you are interested.

Currently, I serve as the Campus Minister to the University of Windsor through Assumption University. After a period of “neglect” (according to the people here), the Basilians have decided to make a new attempt at ministry to the students of this university. Every day I walk to my office with a humility that stems from knowing the great tradition I have been asked to carry. Windsor is a town inspired by Basilians and now I am asked to do what they did in a new age.

I live with 15 other men who are much older than I am. They serve as living reminders of what once was and support me in every way they can. I am as grateful to them as I am for all the Basilians with whom I have lived and worked. I am quite certain I am a better man and Christian because of them and hope that I am able to give to others as much as they have given to me.

Which brings me once again to joy and hope. The students whom I encounter, I believe, are quickly learning these are the operative words of faith. When our faith is lived out of this space, evangelization is led by hospitality and followed the reason for it. On a campus as diverse as this, far too many seem to approach it the other way around, and it just doesn’t seem to work as well.

Joy and Hope, Faith and Hospitality. . . perhaps all of this is a sort of synonym of “Goodness, Discipline and Knowledge” . . . or at the very least, they must be closely related.

Published in: on October 22, 2010 at 3:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Introducing a chronicler

My name is Fr. Timothy Scott.  I’ve been a Basilian priest for over twenty-five years.  I was first attracted to the Basilians through the Campus ministry at St. Thomas More College in Saskatoon.  The order’s French connection also fitted into my academic studies, so much that I wound up studying theology for a year at the Faculté catholique in Lyon, France.  A love of languages brought me to Rome and Jerusalem to study scripture and exegesis.  It’s great being in a religious community that treasures learning.

The Holy Land has a particular place in my heart because of the indescribable beauty of the land.  My year there as a graduate student was a kind of extended pilgrimage.  Related to that and an extraordinary experience was a pilgrimage I made on foot through Spain to Santiago de Compostela.

Religious life today surely has its ups and downs.  Finding myself now on the General Council following our Chapter has added to the roller coaster sensation.  All in all, it remains a journey of faith and hope.

Published in: on October 21, 2010 at 9:19 pm  Leave a Comment