UP Catholic 10 27 2017 E Edition Page 12

12 October 27, 2017 THE U.P. CATHOLIC PRIESTHOOD SUNDAY - OCT. 29 www.upcatholic.org Father William Ssozi Your parishioners at Church of the Resurrection and St. Francis of Assisi continue to be blessed by your example of Christ's life in our lives. Thank you for being a part of our family. May God continue to bless you and your ministry. Thank you Fr. Tim for your camaraderie, sense of humor and for being with us each and every weekend for the last nine years. Father Timothy Hruska The Parishioners of Holy Rosary St. Therese & St. Timothy BY CAROL HOLLENBECK THE U.P. CATHOLIC In our world of disposable every- thing, spending 25 or 50 years in a relationship or career seems a re- markable achievement. The Diocese of Marquette is honoring three priests who have reached those milestones. Brother John Hascall (Capuchin priests are called brother), pastor of St. Isaac Jogues Mission, Sault Ste. Marie, Holy Family Mission, Barbeau, and St. Kateri Tekakwitha Mission, Bay Mills, celebrated his 50th jubilee this year. Father William Ssozi, pastor of Church of the Resurrection, Han- cock, and St. Francis of Assisi Mission, Dollar Bay, celebrated his 25th jubilee this year. BROTHER JOHN HASCALL Brother Hascall, a Native American, was born and raised in Sault Ste. Ma- rie, Mich. He was raised in the Catho- lic faith and served as an altar boy at his home parish. When I was eight, I was at church in front of the statue of Mary, he said. The Lady talked to me in my heart. From that moment, he knew he wanted to be a priest. I wanted to do something for my people, he said. He told his parents, who told the tribes Elders. They took over after that, Brother Hascall said. They formed me in the ways of my people. When I turned 14, they said, Go and learn what they have to say. Native American priests are rare. Brother Hascall says he is aware of about20.It'sverydiculttoadaptto the Churchs rites. There are so many words. Indigenous people dont have common prayer. Tobacco is sacred, and we put tobacco at the base of a tree or on the water to thank the Great Spirit for what he gives us. The drum prays for us and our song prays for us, but we only have one or two words in our song, We praise you, Great Spirit. We dance to pray. We dont need words to pray because God, the Great Spirit, is everywhere and knows what we need to say. Brother Hascall was drawn to the Capuchins, and entered the monastery in 1959. I was the only Indigenous person there, he said. I tried to adapt, to put Indigenous ways on the back burner. I lived in the seminary, but that wasnt really me, he said. He inally asked his director if he could pray in the Native American way, and was given permission. I went into the brush down by the river, and my heart was free, he said. Brother Hascall was ordained Oct. 19, 1967. He has worked with Hispanic people in Saginaw, Mich., with blacks in Milwaukee and as a teacher in Mon- tana, but his strongest desire was to return to his people in the U.P. I am a member of the Crane Clan, responsible for the spiritual healing of my people, said Brother Hascall, who is also a medicine man. I tell them there are not two canoes, only one. I went out to all the people in North America. I used all the medicine I had. I brought back sweat lodges to those who needed them, tobacco, too. The Eucharist is the most powerful medi- cine I have. In the late 60s and early 70s, he began working with other Indigenous people to have Native ways incorporat- ed into Catholic rites and celebrations. In 1972, the Catholic Indian Confer- ence was established and 4,000 people were a part of it, he said. We wanted our people to know that its all right to be Indian and Christian, Brother Has- call said. Kateri Tekakwitha showed us the way. The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, began a First Nations partnership 30 years ago. Its Center for Indigenous Scholars offers a Native Ministries degree program. We have come a long way, but there is still a long way to go, Brother Hascall said. The Church is still trying to make us Roman. We are not totally Indigenous People yet. I feel that, and my people do, too. We are not trying to change the Catholic Church, he continued. We want it to meld into how we are. For the future, Brother Hascall said a new theological center for Indigenous People is being established in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario Its in the process now, he said. We have a $10 million donor, and we are fund raising for it. FATHER WILLIAM SSOZI Father Ssozi said becoming a priest was no surprise to him, since it is what he has always wanted to do. But that vocation took him to places hed never expected to go. Ssozi, Hascall celebrate priesthood jubilees JOHN FEE THE U.P. CATHOLIC Brother John Hascall (right) shakes hands with Bishop John Doerfler following a special Mass honoring the priests of the diocese. SEE JUBILEE, PAGE 13 Follow us on Twitter! Visit www.twitter. com and follow @ TheUPCatholic

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