MOSAIC Spring 2016 - Page 35

SOLTs for the City Darci Swisher D ressed in gray habits, seminarians of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT) are hard to miss in the halls of Sacred Heart—and even more so on the streets of southwest Detroit. “If you ask people in the community if they have seen people wearing ‘dresses,’ they say ‘yes!,’” says Efrain Zumudio, Christian service director at Most Holy Redeemer Parish, where the SOLTs live and minister. Their presence, he says, is “impacting the whole community.” Detroit, a Great Fit The SOLTs arrived in Detroit in August 2011 after deciding to move their House of Studies from Rome’s Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum) to Detroit. At the same time, Archbishop Allen Vigneron inquired about the congregation taking stewardship of Holy Redeemer. The nearly sixty-year-old missionary society of apostolic life decided Detroit was “a fit all the way around,” says Fr. Mark Wendling, SOLT vocation director and rector of the House of Studies. “We serve in areas of deepest apostolic need. Detroit is exactly what we do. It was a good ministry for us to take.” The society, which is based in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, includes priests, brothers, deacons, sisters, and lay members. SOLT members currently serve at missions in twelve countries. obvious joy,” says Fr. Gerard Battersby, Serving the Underserved All SOLT seminarians in the Americas Sacred Heart’s vice rector and director of and Europe now receive their priestly edu- seminarian formation. Br. Timothy Burnham, who is in his seccation at Sacred Heart. Father Mark notes that his religious community selected Sacred ond year of theology, says that not only has Heart specifically because of its innovative his own relationship with Christ been deepprograms in the New Evangelization. One of ened at Sacred Heart, he has learned ways to his brother priests, Fr. Eduardo Montemay- introduce Christ to those who have heard or, received his Licentiate in Sacred Theol- about him but do not truly know him. “Our training in evangelization has given ogy in the New Evangelization from Sacred Heart, and Father Eduardo left so impressed me a greater knowledge of the different tools with the strong academics and professors that are available to spread the Gospel message in our culture,” that seminarians says Brother Tim. were transferred to His education has the seminary the fol“Living in southwest been strengthened lowing year. Detroit has been a by living at Holy ReFive SOLT semiblessing for us.” deemer. While studnarians are curies are their primary rently studying at focus, the SOLT Sacred Heart while seminarians have living at Holy Redeemer: Bros. David Brokke, Richard apostolates at the parish. “Living in southwest Detroit has been a Brooks, Timothy Burhan, Nicholas Hamilton, and Jacob Wisenbaker. “The SOLT blessing for us as we’ve been given the opcommunity is such a singular blessing for portunity to serve the Mexican population all of us, seminarians, lay students, and there,” Brother Tim says. “This has been faculty alike, modeling as they do the good training for us as future SOLT priests, evangelical counsels [poverty, chastity, and as we often serve minority groups and those obedience] lived out in freedom and such who are overlooked in society.” 33