January / February 2020
News for the Secular Order of the Servants of Mary
Fr. Eugene named Prior Provincial USA

On December 16, Father Eugene Smith, OSM, was elected Prior Provincial of the United States Province of Friar Servants of Mary. Father's education has taken him from UCLA, to Saint Louis University, to the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley. Besides the usual degrees in philosophy and theology. he also holds one in art history. Father's many assignments since his ordination in 1988 would seem to have prepared him for this elective position. He has done pastoral work at Holy Trinity Parish, Westminster, Colorado and at Seven Holy Founders in Afton, Missouri. For several years he taught theology and art history at his own alma mater, Servite High School in Anaheim, California. He has been Master of Novices. He has served on the Order's General Council in Rome as well as the Provincial Council in the United States. While a member of the General Council, he visited Servite communities all over the world, thus gaining a unique knowledge of the needs and spirit of the entire Order. His current assignment is at the National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother in Portland Oregon. He will be installed as Prior Provincial in the presence of the Prior General, Father Gottfried Wolff, OSM, during the friars' elective chapter in February.

News from the National Council

  •         Michael Williams, OSSM (Our Most Sorrowful Mother, Portland, OR), has signed on as National Treasurer while Sue Weigand, OSSM (Mary, Queen of Servants, Palm Bay, FL) has agreed to transfer to National Secretary. You can learn more about Michael Williams in a separate article.
  • ·        The National OSSM/UNIFAS Conference is scheduled for October 22 through October 25, 2020 in Northbrook, Illinois. The theme will be "One Heart, One Mind." Look for more information coming in the spring.
  • ·        Nominations to serve on the National Council will be sought later this year please prayerfully consider serving in this role.
  • ·        The new community in Sarasota, FL will be known as Mary, Mother of the Church. They will be making their promises on May 31st. Another new community in St. Louis, MO is forming. Please keep both new communities in your prayers.
  • ·        2020 dues are now due. If your community hasn't paid the annual $200 dues please send it in as soon as you can. And if you can only afford a lesser amount then please send whatever you can afford and for those lucky communities that can afford to send more, we sincerely thank you. Dues can be sent to the Provincial Office, with checks made out to the Secular Order of Servants of Mary (OSSM), 3121 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60612, Attn: Kate Steimel.
A Warm Welcome to Michael Williams
Michael Williams, OSSM (Our Most Sorrowful Mother Community, Portland, OR) has accepted the position of National Treasurer. The former National Treasurer, Sue Weigand, OSSM (Mary, Queen of Servants Community, Palm Bay, FL) has transitioned to the National Secretary position. Getting to know Michael, he was born in Wiesbaden, Germany to a German mother and American father who was serving in the Air Force. The family moved back to southern California and settled into a home in Whittier, very close to where Fr. Eugene grew up! His father’s work moved them first to Fresno, then to Portland, Oregon. Upon finishing high school, he attended Portland State University, but after a year volunteered for the Navy’s Submarine Service in the Atlantic. After twelve years, he was discharged, returned home to Oregon, and continued to raise his family. He started employment with the Department of Defense as an Army civilian in Information Technology. Michael and his wife Tammy have four daughters, a son, and four grandchildren with one more on the way.
    He started visiting the Grotto for prayer and meditation in 2004, when he met Fr. Ignatius Kissel, OSM, who eventually led him to continuing his life of service with the Secular Servites at Our Most Sorrowful Mother Community, making his Promise in 2011. He eventually was elected to Council to serve as Treasurer for four years, followed by four years as Prior. He has a particular admiration for Bl. Francis Arrighetto of Siena, and a devotion to Stella Maris, Our Lady Star of the Sea.
    After almost 33 years serving his country in the military, Michael retired at the end of 2017. In May, 2018 he traveled to Europe to walk the Way of St. James starting in Carcassonne, France, to Lourdes, to Santiago de Compostela, Spain on the Camino Frances, and ended in Fatima, Portugal. He met up with his wife in Italy and traveled north to Ireland where he concluded his pilgrimage by traveling to Knock and climbing St. Patrick’s mountain Croagh Patrick. He backpacked almost 1,100 miles over 15 weeks.
Recently, Michael returned from Sicily and Rome, where he met with the Prior General, Fra Gottfried Wolff, OSM, and Fr. Vidal Martinez, OSM while discerning to accept the appointment to National Council. We wish Michael all the best in his new position and ask for your continued prayers for him and for all of the members of the National Council.
Presentation of Mary; Presentation of the Lord . . . musings from a Secular Servant
This beautiful reflection is from our National Assistant Prioress, Paulette Martin, OSSM.

I blush to admit that up to now I have given little really deep thought to the feast of the Presentation of Mary. It has slipped by me, year after year, with a nod to her and not much else. This year, searching for an appropriate feast for a Promise ceremony in the span of October/November, I chanced upon it, but without much enthusiasm. Time, I thought, for some deep musing. The result was, of course, that I found it a perfect feast for the Promise. Mary is taken to the Temple to offer her life in prayer and service to God; our candidates stand at the altar in the company of Mary to offer their lives in prayer and service. In the words of Eucharistic Prayer II, "we thank You for making us worthy to stand at your altar and serve You".  On this feast, as we envision Mary setting forth formally upon her life of holiness, I am reminded of what Father Hubert Moons, OSM calls "our two great tasks since 1233": "to walk in the way of holiness", and "to prolong . . . the active presence of Mary, the Mother of Jesus". (RofL, p.5)
This feast of the Presentation of Mary in the Temple, derived from legend, has long been observed in the Eastern Church, and in the West since the 15th century. It is certainly wholly consonant with what we know of Mary from the Gospel. Her life of prayer and service in the Temple leads to the Annunciation and to her becoming the temple, sheltering her incarnate Lord. Thus how appropriate a day to make the promise of life to be lived in the Church, in the way of the Servants. And on this feast, how appropriate for each of us during the offertory to renew this gift of self, "with the abiding inspiration of Mary".
St. John Damascene (7th C) offers on this feast, "She was planted in the House of God and nurtured by His Spirit. Like a fruitful tree she flowered forth in every virtue", and a prayer proper to this day asks, "that we too may merit to be brought into the temple of God's glory". I repeat the words of Eucharistic Prayer II, "We thank You for making us worthy to stand in your presence and serve You.” In rededication, "we share a vocation of service and loving union, drawing inspiration from Mary, Mother and Servant of the Lord". (OSSM Promise)
The Presentation of Mary (November 21) was a call to contemplation, a prelude to Advent and the quiet waiting with Mary for the Word made flesh to begin to truly live among us. The Presentation of the Lord (February 2) is a call to act. Mary and Joseph bring Jesus, a first male child, to the Temple on his fortieth day to offer Him to the Lord and offer sacrifice (doves) They are obeying the Mosaic Law. "If you love Me, keep My Commandments". While they are there Mary allows Simeon to hold the child; he is ecstatic, as is the woman Anna. Mary has offered Him to His Father and now offers Him to others, to us. These are actions. These feasts give us an illustration of the rhythm of prayer and action, contemplation and virtue.
This feast, the ending of the Christmas cycle, used to be called Candlemas. Candles were carried by the faithful in pre-Mass procession and lit again at the Gospel as a sign of Christ. St John says "in Him is the light and the light is the life of men" and at the Easter Vigil, we pray in the procession of the Paschal candle, "Lumen Christi", Light of Christ.  
Let us pray. Let us keep the Lord's command to love. Let us carry the light of Christ.
  Child Jesus School Welcomes Donations
this update is from Father Vidal Martinez, OSM

Hello Servites, friends, family, and potential donors!

We welcome you to visit our website and see all the great things we are doing and have done in the past for this beautiful little school in Petit-Goave, Haiti.
For anyone not familiar with the school, The Child Jesus School at the Servants of Mary Center in Petit-Goave is an elementary and middle school for poor and needy children. These children would never be able to attend school or receive an education, mainly because their parents or relatives are not able to pay the monthly fees required by the majority of schools in Petit-Goâve.
Recently, we concluded the construction of another building to accommodate the increase in number of students and addition of grade levels that was required by the National Education System in Haiti. The new building occupies the Junior High classes: Grades 6-9. The original building occupies the Elementary classes: Grades 1-5. 
Due to the increase in students and additional teachers, our monthly expenses have increased and it is becoming a challenge to keep up with the expenses. The funds raised through this campaign will help with those expenses. It costs $3500 monthly to cover the salaries for the faculty & staff, utilities, daily morning snack, and a hearty meal for students. In addition, we need funds to purchase equipment for the new classrooms, improve the electrical wiring in the elementary school as well as replace the deteriorated concrete floors with tile floors.
All donations received are employed exclusively for the needs of Child Jesus School, its students, teachers and staff. You can support this great cause by making a donation or sharing this GO FUND ME link with family and friends. 
For more information on the school please visit the website. Check out all the great things that have been accomplished with the help of donors and volunteers! Together we can bring change!
“Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.” – Mother Teresa

You might be interested in supporting this GoFundMe Even a small donation could help Carmen Inoa and all of us on the team reach our fundraising goal. And if you can't make a donation, it would be great if you could share the fundraiser to help spread the word. Thanks for taking a look!

ANOTHER WAY TO DONATE Please mail checks to:
Fr. Vidal Martínez, OSM
Please make checks payable to: Child Jesus School
Secular Order Servants of Mary 3121 W. Jackson Blvd.
(501(c)(3) Charitable Institution) Chicago, IL 60612-2729
St. Juliana Community News
St. Juliana Community, Belen, NM is producing a new video of Servite Sacred Art using photos of beautiful statues and symbols that adorn their parish church, Our Lady of Belen where Servite Friars previously served for over 60 years. They not only plan to link the video to their website but also to a local parish ministries website.
           In addition, St. Julianna promoted the Secular Servants of Mary at the parish fiesta in August where community members handed out brochures, processed with their banner, and awarded prizes to lucky parishioners from their 10 x 10 booth space at the fiesta. Visitors to the booth were then rewarded with invitations to a future pot-luck dinner to learn more about the Secular Servite Community. Kathy Cordova, chairperson of the fiesta booth, estimated that about 100 fiesta-goers participated in a quick and easy quiz about the Servite Order.
Upcoming Feast Days
February 2
February 11
February 14-16
February 17
February 19
February 26
March 19
March 25

Presentation of the Lord
Our Lady of Lourdes
Triduum in Preparation of the Feast
Feast of the Seven Holy Founders
Blessed Elizabeth of Mantua
Ash Wednesday
St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Annunciation of the Lord