The Spiritan vocation for professed and lay members is the same: to follow the call to individual ministry in a range of locations. As each person is called to a different ministry, the Holy Spirit is always present. The unique situation of each individual’s life enables the Holy Spirit to manifest in varying circumstances, while always remaining one unifying Spirit.
“I joined because I wanted to be on the cutting edge. I grew up in a good family. I was given a lot of opportunities, a lot of freedom. I don’t believe that any real change can happen unless people can see a different way of thinking, imagining, and acting. Christianity offers that possibility in the most creative way I know. Sharing it is the most important thing I feel I can do with my life. The Spiritans are supposed to be focused on the margins. That’s where I belong.”
Fr. Jim McCloskey CSSp, Senior Advisor to the President for Strategic Initiatives at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA.
“I was deeply influenced by the Spiritans as a student at Holy Ghost Prep. I saw deeply that they are truly good men and good priests and loved what they were doing. I knew I wanted to be like them.”
Fr. Charles Coffey CSSp (R.I.P.)
“I am absolutely positive that God called me to be a priest and arranged things for me to be in the Congregation of the Holy Spirit. The Spiritans are called to do what God wants us to and to go where the Church needs us. The Spiritan vocation is dedicated to the contemplative life and to the active life where needed. One note of a Spiritan is simplicity — we are very simple. We are happy to do what we can do to make a better church and a better world.”
Fr. Jeff Duaime CSSp,
Provincial of U.S. Spiritans
“The Spiritans are a mission community dedicated to going to out-of-the-way places and serving the fringes. I became a Spiritan to serve the poor. My mission appointment to Haiti opened my eyes to what it means to be church and the many ways that we are enriched by opening ourselves to the revelation of God in the wonderful diversity of the world in which we live. If I had to choose to do it all over again, I would joyfully respond to God’s call which continues to surprise me and challenge me in so many ways.”
John Buettler, Holy Ghost Preparatory School, retired Faculty Guidance Counselor and English professor, Bensalem, Pennsylvania
“Lay people bring an energy to the Spiritan community that comes from being present in and aware of the world. The spirit goes where it will, which is compatible with the life of a layperson who has kids, family, a job. It is a spirituality that interprets life as it is lived. The Spiritans have had a vital formative role in my life. They have been more of a father to me than any other man in my life. They performed my marriage, baptized my children, celebrated my twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, and married my first child. They are very dear to me.”
John has been a faculty member at Holy Ghost Prep for forty-five years. He and his four sons are alumni of the school, and his wife had served as the school librarian. He is a member of a Lay Spiritan Associate group that includes other faculty members which seeks to foster the Spiritan charism throughout the school.
Fr. Jean-Pascal Lombart CSSp
“For me, being a Spiritan is about creating links of solidarity between people which are nurtured by the relationship between sponsors and people in need, as we try to do with the connection of our Spiritan Community with Vietnam. I hope that some day I’ll be able to take with me a group of young Taiwanese and interest them in taking charge of the Project for Poor Children. I will then have reached my goal: to give the paddle and the net to the Taiwanese. Sharing the vision and creating the passion for spreading the Good News is what gives me such great joy in being a Spiritan.”
Virginia Sedor, retired Administrative Assistant to the U.S. Provincial, Bethel Park, Pennsylvania.
“My long relationship with the Spiritans certainly helped bring me closer to the Holy Spirit and our Blessed Mother. I have long admired the Holy Ghost Fathers for their commitment to work with God’s poor and for their genuine kindness to all.”
Virginia Sedor grew up in the Spiritan parish that her grandparents belonged to, attended school there, and was eventually married by a Spiritan priest in the same parish. She provides secretarial support and meeting organization and assists visiting Spiritans from around the world. One of her favorite projects was assisting Fr. Koren, CSSp in the archive office with the production of a series of books that included a short biography of every Spiritan who ever worked in Africa and Brazil. She provided support at the Spiritan Enlarged General Council that was held at Duquesne University in 2001. “I felt a sense of satisfaction knowing that along with my missions at home, in my own small way I am helping the Spiritans in their mission worldwide.”
Peter(R.I.P.) and Judy Stubbs, Lake Charles, Louisiana.
“The Spiritans don’t mold you into what they want you to be. They encourage everyone to use the gifts they have and to go to the areas they have been called to. The Spiritans include everyone because everyone has something to offer.”
Peter and Judy Stubbs’s work with the Spiritans has taken them many places: Canada, Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas. In North Little Rock, Arkansas, Peter was Deacon at St. Patrick’s and Judy worked with the Director of Religious Education. The Stubbs saw more and more lay people becoming involved with the Spiritans.