Mar 8, 2014

'Chalice of Salvation' host, Passionist Brother Terrence Scanlon, celebrates 50 years of religious life



Story and photos by Terence Hegarty

CHICOPEE – Passionist Brother Terrence Scanlon, host of Catholic Communications’ weekly televised Mass "Chalice of Salvation," celebrated the 50th anniversary of his religious profession at St. Anne Church, here, March 8.

With family and friends, co-workers and fellow religious in attendance, he renewed his vows as part of the 4 p.m. liturgy at the parish which is in the Fairview section of the city.

A dinner at the Castle of Knights banquet facility just down the road followed. Passionist Provincial Superior Father Robert Joerger was the principal celebrant for the Mass. Springfield Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell gave the homily as several local priests and religious participated.

“We’re celebrating Brother Terry,” Bishop McDonnell told iobserve before the dinner at the Knights of Columbus facility. “For 32 years, he’s been the face and the voice of 'Chalice of Salvation.' Brother Terry is known all over for his gentle way, his insightful remarks and his love of the Eucharist.”

“He’s pointing people to Christ,” Bishop McDonnell said.

Brother Terrence told iobserve that the celebration, which took place exactly 50 years to the day of his religious profession, was a joy.

“It’s gratifying and extremely humbling to see the thanks coming back to you,” Brother Terrence said. Referencing the accolades from viewers of the 'Chalice' Mass, he said, “There are so many stories, ‘my father, my mother, my sister, when I was in the hospital,’” he said. “That’s what the program’s about. To bring the church into the homes.”

“Through this communications office, we’re showing the health and the vitality of all the parishes and the ministries,” Brother Terrence said. “We show it right back to the people. That’s really the gift of our ministry.”

The golden jubilee was celebrated with congratulatory remarks from diocesan and Passionist personnel as well as Brother Terrence’s family members. The evening celebration also featured music and singing from "Chalice of Salvation" music ministers.

Brother Terrence, a native of West Springfield and a Cathedral High School graduate, was not only in attendance at the very first "Chalice of Salvation" Mass in 1957, he was, in an impromptu manner, asked to be an altar server for that Mass.

For more than the last three decades he has served as host of the program. For much of that time, the Mass was broadcast live from the former Channel 22 headquarters on Provin Mountain in the Feeding Hills section of Agawam.

Marie Renaud, who has worked closely with Brother Terrence as she has volunteered at the "Chalice" ministry for more than 35 years, said that she is still looking forward to more of the same.

“Let’s hope that it ('Chalice') stays, because it’s certainly needed,” Renaud said. “We have so many shut-ins that look up to us. Our program is their Mass and they need this Mass.”

For more on this story, tune into an upcoming edition of “Real to Reel,” the Diocese of Springfield’s television newsmagazine that airs Saturday evenings at 7 on WWLP-22NEWS.