Making the commitment to be a Dehonian Associate

The new Dehonian Associates, along with SCJs who attended the ceremony.

Nine make one-year commitment

Over the past year, ten people from Sacred Heart Southern Missions staff and Board of Directors, have gathered to participate in the Dehonian Associates Spiritual Path.  This program of 10 sessions introduces the spirituality of the Priests of the Sacred Heart and forms the basis of discernment for commitment as a Dehonian Associate.  Fr. Jack Kurps, SCJ (SHSM executive director) led the group and reports that what the participants most appreciate about this experience is the opportunity to share their faith on a deeper level.  Because the group is not exclusively Roman Catholic, there is the added benefit of learning about other faith traditions and expressions.

Receiving the Dehonian cross

On Thursday, June 15, Barbara Caldwell, Chris Greer, Laura Grisham, Lois Harrison, Clara Isom, Steve Koepke, Bridget Martin, Joyce Moore and Kelly Tartt made a one-year commitment as Dehonian Associates.  As a sign of that commitment, they received the Dehonian cross from David Schimmel, director of Dehonian Associates for the US Province.  In doing so they promise to pray a daily act of oblation, unite themselves and their everyday tasks with the reconciling love of Jesus for the Father and the world, and to continue gathering for study and prayer.

Sadly, Karen Jeltz, one of the participants, died before she could make her commitment.  However, she was buried with the Dehonian cross.

Many thanks to Laura Grisham, SHSM communications director, for the Dehonian cross cake!

Fr. Jack noted that the individuals whom he invited to take part in this pilot program were people with the potential to be group leaders.  This will make it easier to expand the program.  In fact, Fr. Jack would like to extend the program to anyone on the SHSM staff.

“Giving staff members the opportunity to share faith and learn more about the spirituality of Fr. Dehon will have positive effects in our workplace which will affect our relationships with each other and the people we serve,” said Fr. Jack. “The more that we can help people experience the love and mercy of Christ, the more Dehonian we will be.”

Plans are underway to begin the Spiritual Path with staff at St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, SD, and with parishioners at St. Thomas More Parish in Toronto, Ontario.

Click on the image below to view a photo album from the ceremony: