Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hispanic Catholics Seek Spanish Mass At Basilica Of Saint Josaphat

Milwaukee Bishop Callahan supports having Spanish mass at South side Basilica

By H. Nelson Goodson
June 3, 2009

Milwaukee - For years, Basilica parishioners and South side Hispanic Catholics in the area have been inquiring about getting a Spanish speaking Franciscan priest just in time for the 100th Anniversary of the Order of Friars at the Basilica of Saint Josaphat located in the heart of the Latino community in Wisconsin.
Bishop William Patrick Callahan, O.F.M. Conv. (Order of Friars Minor Conventual) was visiting St. Adalbert Catholic Church for the first time and presided over 50 Christian confirmations last Saturday. Bishop Callahan has taken over temporarily for Archbishop Timothy Dolan until a permanent archbishop is chosen for Wisconsin. Dolan officially became the New York Archbishop in early April.
Bishop Callahan told St. Adalbert parishioners that the Catholic church needs them and the church is there for them. However, some parishioners and other Hispanic Catholics in the predominately Latino South side community have asked for Spanish mass and other services in Spanish at the Basilica of Saint Josaphat located at 2333 S. 6th St. Bishop Callahan served at the Basilica for ten years and said he supported for the Basilica of Saint Josaphat to provide mass in Spanish. A Franciscan Spanish speaking priest would have to be assigned by the Franciscan Order to fulfill services in Spanish at the Basilica, according to Bishop Callahan.
The Order of Friars (Conventual Franciscans) have operated the Basilica for the last 99 years and will celebrate their 100th year in 2010. Father Jim Ciaramitaro from the Basilica of Saint Josaphat said he also would like to see church services in Spanish since, Quinceañeras (young lady turns fifteen) and Hispanic parishioners attend the Basilica and also get married at the church. Currently, these religious ceremonies are done in English only because the Basilica has only two English speaking Franciscan priests.
The decision to find and assign a Spanish speaking Franciscan priest would fall on Pastor Jim Jankowski at the Basilica of Saint Josaphat, the archbishops of Wisconsin and Chicago, and the Franciscan Order, according to Father Ciaramitaro. Pastor Jankowski could not be reached for comment due to a traveling commitment.

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