Weekly news: January 3, 2011

Fr. Mark Mastin; this week he begins training to prepare to serve as an Army chaplain.

Off to basic training

This week Fr. Mark Mastin heads to Fort Jackson, South Carolina.  On January 6 he begins the Chaplain Basic Officer Leadership Course at the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School.  He will be training in conjunction with the newly developed Armed Forces Chaplaincy Center, a school opened in May, 2010, to serve those preparing for chaplaincy with the Army, Navy or Air Force.

Click here to read an article about the newly developed center.

Fr. Mark’s training program –– a mix of physical and academic training – runs until mid-April.  He enters as a 1st lieutenant and upon graduation will receive the rank of captain.  Talking about the program, he said that he was surprised to find that the Army uses the internet much like most major universities do.  “We have online assignments just as I did at CTU,” said Fr. Mark, referring to his theological studies at Catholic Theological Union.

Following graduation, Fr. Mark will begin his three-year assignment at Schoefield Barracks in Hawaii on the island of Oahu.  The base was originally part of the defense of Pearl Harbor (bullet holes from the Pearl Harbor attack can still be found on the base).  It is now home of the 25th Infantry Division, which primarily serves the Asian theater, but is dispatched to other locations as well.

Pastoral ministry will be a significant part of Fr. Mark’s job, but so too will be personal and family counseling.  Much of his basic training will focus on that, as well as learning about other faiths.  Military chaplains serve not only those of their own faith, but soldiers of all faith traditions.

Note that Fr. Mark has a new email to go with his new ministry.  You can reach him at:  mark.mastin2@us.army.mil

St. Joe’s students take second in “Knowledge Bowl”

It isn’t just bowl time for football.  Five students from St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, S.D., recently took second place in the annual Knowledge Bowl at the Lakota Nation Invitational in Rapid City, S.D.

“The students did a great job,” said one of the chaperones.  “They prepared for several weeks, studying questions on a variety of subjects, including architecture, children’s stories and mythology.”

Participants competed as a team and individually.  Students on the team took individual awards in both physics and geometry.

The Lakota Nation Invitational began in 1977 as an eight-team boys’ basketball tournament at Pine Ridge High School.  The event quickly grew and now includes team and individual competitions in wrestling, Lakota language, traditional Lakota hand games, knowledge, and, of course, basketball.

Please Remember

Fr. François Siou, a member of the Franco-European Province,  died December 28.  He was born in 1928, professed in 1948 and ordained in 1955.  A missionary in Cameroon from 1956 to 2008, health concerns prompted him to retire in France.

Calendar updates

January 7:  Deadline to give feedback on the proposed Province Plan
January 11-12:  Provincial Council meeting
January 15:  Celebration of SCJ ministry in the Rio Grande Valley (OLG Raymondville)
February 17-18:  Provincial Council meeting
March 29-30:  Provincial Council meeting
May 9-11:  Provincial Council meeting (budgets)
May 23-24:  North American councils meeting (Chicago)
Week of July 11:  Province Assembly, Hales Corners, Wis.

Speaking of calendars

The Province Vocation Office has a few 2011 calendars left.  If you would like to receive one call 800-609-5559.  Or email vocationcentral@wi.rr.com.

Provincial’s time

Fr. Tom Cassidy will be in St. Louis from January 4-7; January 11-12 he has meetings with the Provincial Council.