On Saturday, September 8, the province celebrated nearly 200 years of vowed life with the Priests of the Sacred Heart (Dehonians).
This year’s golden jubilarians are Fr. Bob Bossie and Br. Leonard Zaworski (50 years of vows). Also recognized during the ceremony were Br. Matt Miles (60 years) and Fr. Bryan Benoit (30 years).
Fr. Quang Nguyen, SCJ, vice provincial, was the main celebrant of the Jubilee Mass at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake. The provincial superior, Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, was homilist.
The jubilarians represent a wide range of ministry. For Fr. Bob, Dehonian spirituality was the source that nurtured his call to fight for social justice. For over 30 years he was on the staff of the 8th Day Center in Chicago. “For me, justice as a ministry and lifestyle is the fullest expression of Fr. Dehon’s call for reparation, or reconciliation,” he said. “To have a preference for the poor is to identify with Christ, with God.”
Fellow golden jubilarian, Br. Leonard, felt a similar call, serving as a community activist in the Rio Grande Valley, helping to give voice to the poor. “We tried to empower people who never felt that they could make a difference,” he said. “We helped them to find the courage to participate in the system, to seek change.” The call to serve the poor and disenfranchised later compelled him to serve in the missions, and later as a braille translator, bringing text to life for those with vision impairments.
Br. Matt spent many years in senior ministry before his own retirement; Fr. Bryan has been active in parish ministry.
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