June 2001

Vol. 12, No. 6

We gathered for the Province Retreat at Holy Name Retreat Center in Houston, TX. Father Ken Grabner from the Indiana Province was the retreat master. Fr. Grabner is very contemplative by nature and shared many thoughts and reflections. One of his most striking thoughts was how he views death. He sees it, not as an ending, but as our final growth and development.

We received the news that Father John Payne died at Holy Cross House, Note Dame on June 8.  Father John Payne has grown and matured into eternal life with the Lord.

Father John was known and loved by many of the people and priests in the Austin area. He had been at St. Ignatius for many years, first as an associate, then as pastor and finally in retirement. He was well known for his many stories. He knew people well and remembered them and their lives in great detail.

Fr. Jeff preached at the wake service. Jeff shared some of his experience with Fr. Payne at St. Ignatius, his trip up to Notre Dame and at Holy Cross House. Fr. Hal Zink preached at the Mass; he had known Fr. Payne for many years.

Fr. Payne had gone to Chile for his first assignment, but he contracted hepatitis. He returned to the U.S. to recuperate and was then assigned to St. Ignatius. He was there for 23 years. He spent the next several years as a hospital chaplain, at St. Joseph's Parish in Killeen, then 10 years at Sacred Heart Church in New Orleans. He was at St. Ignatius in retirement from 1992 to 2000, when he went to Holy Cross House.

May he rest in peace!

In Monterrey, the minor seminary held its graduation.  One of our candidates, Luis Antonio Pérez, graduated.  Fr. Len Collins, Fr. Pepe Tomei, Paulino Antonio, Santiago González, Crisostomo Herminio, Lucio Benito, and Julian Morales attended the Mass and supper.  Our secret reporter there reports, "A good time was had by all!"

We also received news that Father Jeremiah Buttomer had died at Holy Cross House.  Father Buttomer was almost 96years old.  He had been at Holy Cross House for quite a few years.  For a long time he had said that he was ready to die.  He felt that he had lived his life and that it was time to go home.  Sometimes when some one would die at Holy Cross, Fr. Buttomer would get upset and say that it had been his turn.

Fr. Buttomer was a scholarly man.  He read and spoke several languages.  He was well read.  Less than a year ago he began reading the complete works of Charles Dickens.  He would compare how society was in Dickens' time with how it is now.  He was always known as a kind priest and a gentle soul.  May he rest in peace!

The Holy Cross Intercongregational Hispanic Ministries Committee met in Austin at the end of June.  This committee is made up of representatives from all six of the provinces of Holy Cross men in the U.S., representatives of the different regions of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, and the congregations of the Sisters of Holy Cross, the Marianites of Holy Cross, and Family Rosary.  

The meeting moves around so that they can learn what Holy Cross is doing in different parts of the country.  They learned a lot about Alliance Schools, immigration issues, Capital I.D.E.A. (adult job training), and the ENLACE project.  They also had the opportunity to see the latest works of Family Theater.

Father Bruce Cecil (IP) pastor of Our Lady of Soledad Parish in Indio, CA and Father John Korcsmar attended an IAF organizers and leaders seminar in Glendale, CA.  The seminar was mostly on the works of Jacqueline Jones, a historia at Brandeis University.  We used her book, "The Dispossessed" as a text about the work of the tenant farmers in the South and how they later migrated to the North.  She presented how tenant farmers were forced by economic and political forces to live as they did; later on people would use the concepts of race and culture of poverty to explain why the sharecroppers remained poor.

Texas Workforce Commission has publicized that the Capital IDEA Self-Sufficiency Fund project was their best-performing in the state.  This is the fund that targets recipients of welfare and food stamps.  Capital IDEA placed 66 of 80 participants, for a rate of 82.5 percent.  The rate for all projects averaged only 56 percent.
John Korcsmar is the chair of Capital IDEA.  Sr. Ann Nguyen, CSC is a counselor there and works directly with the participants.  Capital IDEA provides training and support services for preparation for selected jobs that pay a living wage.