The Society of Mary (Marianists) announced the 75th jubilee celebration of profession of Ohio native Father Stephen Tutas, SM. Also, The Marianists announce the 70th jubilee celebration of profession of California native Brother John Samaha, SM.
Father Tutas was born and raised in Hamilton, Ohio, attending St. Joseph elementary school and one year of high school at Hamilton High School before leaving to complete high school at Mount St. John in Dayton, Ohio. He professed first vows on Aug. 20, 1944, in Beacon, New York.
Father Tutas attended University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in education in 1947. He began seminary studies in 1949 at University of Fribourg’s Regina Mundi Marianist Seminary in Fribourg, Switzerland, and was ordained there on July 12, 1953. He earned his licentiate of sacred theology at University of Fribourg in 1954.
As a Marianist brother, Father Tutas’ first assignment was as a high school teacher in Cincinnati. After serving one year, he was assigned to teach at Saint Louis School in Honolulu. He taught in Hawaii for two years before entering the seminary in 1949. After completing his studies, he returned to Honolulu to teach at Saint Louis School for one year. In 1955, he began serving as teacher and administrator at Chaminade University, also in Honolulu, and remained in that role until 1962.
Father Tutas returned to the Fribourg seminary to serve as rector from 1962 to 1969, when he left Switzerland and returned to the States. He began serving the Marianists as provincial assistant for religious life in Cupertino in 1969 and remained in that position for two years. In 1971, he began a decade-long ministry as Superior General for the order’s General Administration in Rome.
Father Tutas returned to Cupertino in 1982 as the director at the Marianist Formation Center. He served in that role and as president of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men until 1989. After a one-year sabbatical, Father Tutas was appointed the Diocese of San Jose’s Vicar for Clergy, a role that he filled from 1990 until 1997. In his next ministry, he served for six years as administrator for Villa St. Joseph until 2003.
Father Tutas returned to Hawaii — this time to Maui — where he served for one year as associate pastor at St. Anthony Parish. In 2004, he returned to Cupertino where he retired and resides at the Marianist Community there.
“In my years as a Marianist I am grateful for all I have learned from my mentors as well as from those I served,” said Father Tutus. “I have become more and more aware that God touches my life through others, just as I realize that God touches the lives of others through me.
At this point in my life, as I continue on the journey, my hope and prayer is that I may begin each day with fresh enthusiasm. I am grateful for the gift of Marianist spirituality. Inspired by Mary’s example and supported by her intercession, I continue to strive to make God the center of my life. ”
Brother John Samaha was born and raised in San Francisco, California, attending St. James Boys School (elementary school) and St. Ignatius High School. He professed first vows on Aug. 23, 1949, in Beacon, New York.
He attended University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in education in 1952. He later returned to college and earned a master’s in religious education at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., in 1963.
Brother John’s first assignment was as a high school teacher in Los Angeles, where he taught from 1952-1955. He next served as assistant novice master at the Marianist Novitiate in Santa Cruz for one year. After a year in a second novitiate, Brother John served from 1960-1963 as assistant to the Diocese of San Francisco’s superintendent of schools. His next ministry called him to Cornet Chahwan, Lebanon, where he taught high school at St. Joseph School for two years. He returned to the U.S. to serve again as assistant novice master at the Marianist Novitiate in Santa Cruz for one year.
In 1966, he began serving at the San Francisco Bay Area Catholic Educational Television Center until 1970, when he came to Cupertino to serve as Catholic schools representative for the Foreign Study League. He began a new ministry in 1975, serving for one year in San Francisco providing admissions and public relations for Chaminade University. In 1976, Brother Samaha began a two-year ministry in Washington where he served as a high school teacher and then spent one year as a student at the School of Applied Theology in Berkeley. He returned to ministry and served one year at the Catechetical Ministries Office for the Diocese of Oakland.
Brother Samaha then served one year (1980-1981) on the staff of Our Sunday Visitor in San Francisco before leaving the U.S. to serve as the U.S. representative for Holy Spirit University of Kaslik in Lebanon. In 1984, he returned to Cupertino to serve for one year in Marianist Formation as assistance novice master. In his next ministry, Brother Samaha served from 1985 to 1988 on the staff at the Shrine of our Lady of Peace in Santa Clara. From 1988-1990, he provided public relations services for the Cupertino Provincialate and Affiliates and in 1990 began a 17-year ministry at Villa St. Joseph where he assistance with public relations and geriatric issues.
In 2007, Brother Samaha retired and moved to the Cupertino Marianist Community where he resides currently.
“Thrust into such a variety of assignments, I was a jack of many trades and a master of none, and generally ill-prepared for the challenges,” said Brother John. “But God’s grace was sufficient for survival. A redeeming feature in all these instances was working with many truly wonderful people, some of whom became lifelong friends. For all these opportunities to serve and for all of the exemplary persons I encountered – Marianists and others – am very grateful to God and to our Blessed Mother.”