March 25th, 2017 marked an historical moment for the Institute of the Incarnate Word (IVE) as it was a double occasion for a celebration in the Province of the Immaculate Conception (IVE USA Province). The province, in communion with entire Incarnate Word Family, celebrated the thirty-third anniversary of the foundation of the Institute. In addition to this commemorative moment, the province also had a new reason for celebration; the inauguration of its first IVE Monastery in the providence, located in Auriesville, New York; bringing the number to a total of seven IVE monasteries throughout the world.
We start our first monastery on holy grounds. Where, those great martyrs, St. Isaac Jogues, St. Rene Goupil and St. Lohn Lalande, shed their blood for the truth of the Gospel and for the Conversion of the natives. The Martyrs died in the 1650’s and where later canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1930. [It is said that Fr. Jogues and lay missioner, Rene Goupil, would often pray the rosary in secret, when suddenly two Mohawks natives approached them. They were then told to return to the village and suddenly Rene was struck on the head with a tomahawk. Fr. Jogues, due to rain, could not bury Rene’s body right away, so he decided to place it in a creek, under a rock. And when Fr. Jogues returned he could no longer find his body to be properly buried. The ravine, which can still be visited, the body of St. Rene has never been found making the entire grounds of the shrine a reliquary housing the holy relics.
The shrine church was later built in 1930, in the circular style of the Coliseum, to also commemorate the first roman martyrs who died a in a coliseum. After having been under the care of the Jesuits for several decades it was recently handed over to the care of the Institute of the Incarnate Word.
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was presided by His Excellency, Bishop Edward Scharfenberger, Bishop of Albany, concelebrating were Fr. Alberto Barattero, IVE Provincial Superior and Fr. Daniel Mentensana, the new superior of the monastery. Mass was very well attended by members of the IVE Third Order, parishioners of IVE Parishes, “Friends of Our Lady of Martyrs Shrine”, local faithful, and guests. After mass there was a lively reception in the usual IVE manner as we all shared in the excitement of the new foundation.
It is a great blessing for the Institute, to not only to be entrusted with the care of this Shrine, but also to establish the long hoped for monastery. The monastic life is significant branch not only to the institute itself, but also holds “an honorable place in the Mystical Body of Christ, whose members do not have the same function” (Perfectae Caritatis, 7). Currently, there are only two monks assigned to the Monastery, Fr. Daniel Mentesana, IVE and Dcn. Theodore Trinko IVE, who is to be ordained priest this May.
Please join us in praying for the new monastery and for vocations to the monastic branch of our community.