Our Ministry

Our Ministry: Bringing His Love Where It Is Most Needed

Father Dehon’s dream was to bring the love of Christ to the people and places society neglects, the people and places in greatest need of His healing touch and compassionate care. Today that ideal unites our members in the great diversity of their works.

In Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, “Blue Angel” has been launched to care for the increasing number of young people addicted to drugs.

In Brazil, Fr. José de Oliveira, SCJ (better known by his stage name, “Padre Zezinho”), is one of the most prolific composers of popular church music; his concerts and rallies attract thousands of young people. In the Philippines, an SCJ priest has set up a group home for girls who were sexually abused by family members.

We work in some of the world’s most challenging areas. An SCJ missionary on the Philippine island of Mindanao was kidnapped in 2000 and held hostage by rebel forces for almost six months. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, many relief organizations have fled the country, but the Priests of the Sacred Heart remain to help the people through war, famine and social unrest.

Ministry in the United States

Ministry in the United States began in 1923 in a small mission on the Lower Brule Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Our work now extends from South Dakota to Wisconsin, Mississippi, Illinois, Florida and Texas, reaching across ethnic, social, and economic barriers.

In Houston, the Priests of the Sacred Heart are in the central city parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe, one of the oldest Hispanic parishes in the state. Click here to read more about the parish and see photos from the 2012 celebration of the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

In Mississippi, the Priests of the Sacred Heart are responsible for the Church’s ministry in the nine northern counties of the state. Through Sacred Heart Southern Missions SCJs offer housing, job training, elder care, education and even small business start-up assistance. The Sacred Heart Auto League, which promotes safe, prayerful driving, is also a part of SHSM’s ministry.

Our other ministries include:

  • Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, WI – the largest seminary in the country specializing in “second career” vocations, as well as the academic component of the seminary program for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
  • St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, South Dakota – an elementary school for at-risk Native American children.
  • The Provincial Development Office in Hales Corners, Wisconsin – raising funds to help support ministries in the United States and for missions around the world.

Some of our members teach or work as chaplains. Others are involved in social justice programs. Some have practiced law, others provide counseling and psychological assistance.

Our formation house is in Chicago’s Hyde Park. Undergraduates attend a variety of universities, depending on their needs, and those in theology attend Catholic Theological Union. Chicago is also home to our novitiate program.