From the Director
In February of this year Fr. Charlie Duster was admitted to the hospital where he was informed a short time later that he was terminally ill. During the following weeks, with the same zeal with which he had lived his missionary life, he prepared himself to meet God face to face. He also bid farewell to family and friends, and took care of important personal matters.
Among his treasured possessions was a chalice and paten that had been given to him as a gift by his parents, Charles and Cleo Duster, on the occasion of his ordination and first Mass in December 1961. These precious gifts had traveled with him on his various missionary journeys around the world during his 55 years of priesthood. In fidelity to the command of Jesus at the Last Supper, "Do this in memory of me," Fr. Duster used them in the celebration of Mass, while also cherishing the blessing of his beloved parents, other family members, and friends in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. These were the people who had nurtured his vocation and whose prayerful support he could count on throughout the various chapters of his missionary life in Japan, Italy and Fiji. Now, however, as Fr. Duster approached the closing chapter of his life, he expressed the wish that his chalice and paten have a sequel: that they be given to a young Columban priest who would continue to celebrate Mass with them.
Fr. Visanti's future missionary life is likely to be just as adventurous as Fr. Duster's.
Later this month, on the feast of St. Columban, his wish will be granted: Fr. Pat Visanti will receive Fr. Duster's precious inheritance on the occasion of his ordination to Columban missionary priesthood in Fiji.
Fr. Pat grew up in the capitol city, Suva, and later worked in a bank there. A gifted musician, he was also a member of the cathedral choir. Thanks to an encounter with Columban priest, Fr. Pat Colgan, he became interested in mission and, after a period of personal reflection, decided to become a Columban missionary priest. During these past eight years, in addition to his seminary training in Fiji, he spent two years with the Columban team in Pakistan. After his ordination, he hopes to return there, taking with him Fr. Duster's gifts.
Fr. Visanti's future missionary life is likely to be just as adventurous as Fr. Duster's. Like Fr. Duster, wherever he goes, he believes that Christ accompanies him in the celebration of the Mass. However, since he also believes that Fr. Duster is united with Christ, every time he raises the chalice and paten during the consecration, he can also be confident that he has a faithful Columban companion by his side.