Celebrating 100 years in U.S.
Blessed Sacrament order has been in state since 1958
By Joanne Flemming
The Blessed Sacrament community at St. Mary Parish in Menasha will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the order's arrival in the United States on Sunday, Sept. 24.
The two priests and two brothers at St. Mary represent the only Blessed Sacrament community in the state.
Fr. Robert Lussier, SSS, St. Mary pastor, said the observance will begin at 10:30 am. with Mass celebrated by Bp. Robert Banks.
Fr. Anthony Schueller, Blessed Sacrament provincial from Cleveland, Ohio, will deliver the homily on the order's history and work in this country. Msgr. John Schuh will serve as Bp. Banks' master of ceremonies. A reception will follow in the parish hall.
St. Peter Julian Eymard founded the Blessed Sacrament Congregation in 1856 in Paris as
a response to the religious indifference of his times. The order spread to Canada in the
late 1800s. In 1900, it came to the United States to St. Jean Baptiste Church in New York
City. From there it spread across the country and to other continents.
The Congregation has experienced a number of transformations in the last century, said a news release about its history. It went from being a "French Church" to serving people of other nationalities. It moved from centers and shrines of adoration to parochial communities. Since the Second Vatican Council, it has moved from "a monastic to a more apostolic way of life."
The order came to the Green Bay Diocese in 1958 when it opened a minor seminary in Waupaca. It transferred to St. Mary in 1971 and has served that parish ever since.
The Blessed Sacrament Congregation also has communities in New York, Cleveland, Chicago, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and Houston, Texas, and Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Besides Fr. Lussier, the Menasha congregation includes Fr. Dana Pelotte, associate pastor, Br. Michael Galligan and Br. Allen Boeckman, who is the director of religious education at St. Therese Parish, Appleton.
The public is invited to the celebration. For more information, phone (920)725-7714.