April 10, 2018
Fr. Mario Abzalon Alvarado Tovar, the current MSC Superior General, recently travelled from Rome, Italy, to attend the funeral of Fr. Mark McDonald, MSC in Watertown, NY. He was able to share some information about himself and the importance of the Sacred Heart Foundation.
Fr. Abzalon is from Guatemala and grew up very near the Mexican border. He was raised in a Catholic family with two brothers and two sisters. He began his involvement with the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart when he was around 17 or 18 and met them through a Sister from his school, LeSalle Brothers. His parents were very supportive of his chosen vocation.
Father reflected, "When I was in theology I came to the U.S. to practice English in Aurora, IL. In my last year of theology, I received a scholarship from the Sacred Heart Foundation which personally helped me. I am the fruit of your support. The two largest expenses for my Province are for Intial Formation of future priests and providing for the elderly MSC."
In the MSC provinces around the world benefactors can be found to provide for social/human service needs like water, shelter, food and such, but not for the education of priests. Most of the poorest countries do not have part-time jobs available for the seminarians to supplement their expenses. Employment levels are very high in these areas, which makes it impossible to find part-time work. The Sacred Heart Foundation fills that gap by providing scholarships for the education of the MSC priests and brothers. "I encourage you to continue your support. Every dollar makes a great difference," said the Superior Genearal.
Fr. Abzalon concluded, "If we want the mission to continue, we need well-trained missionaries. Helping us now is helping the future of the mission. In supporting the Sacred Heart Foundation, you are living the discipleship by supporting the missionaries. You are living the Missionary Spirit. No other foundation does what the Sacred Heart Foundation does. The life-long support you give to the Sacred Heart Foundation can be continued through your children by promoting the importance of what we do and how it affects the future of our world."