Fr. Tom Cassidy took part in Frater Duy Nguyen’s final vow ceremony on January 30; this week Fr. Tom has council meetings February 2-3.
He first came in contact with the SCJs in 1999 when his family was invited to a gathering at the province’s formation house. “At that time, I did not know who they were or what they were all about,” said Frater Duy Nguyen. It would be another three years –– at a youth gathering in Toronto –– before he would formally meet the community and “eventually discover my calling and the charism of the SCJs.”
That call prompted him to make his first profession in 2006. On January 30, Frater Duy, 31, made his final profession with the Priests of the Sacred Heart during a ceremony at Sacred Heart Monastery.
As Frater Duy prepared to make his perpetual commitment with the community he compared final vows with the first (temporary) vows he professed in 2006.
“They are the same vows,” he said, “yet they are different. The difference is in commitment. In temporary vows, leaving is always an option if life as an SCJ doesn’t work out, if God calls you somewhere else. In a sense, it’s like test-driving a vehicle. But with final vows, the commitment is life-long.
“It’s a complete dedication to serve God and the Church through the lenses of Fr. Dehon.
“Will I feel different after professing final vows? In substance, I won’t feel any different. I’m still the same person. But my perspective has changed. Being an SCJ and all it embodies is my way life from now on.”
To read more about Frater Duy, click HERE.
Fr. Chuck Wonch thanks SCJs and co-workers for their many messages, cards and prayers following the death of his mother. He is now back at Sacred Heart Monastery.
Keep in prayer
Please continue to remember the family of Fr. Charles Brown. Fr. Charles writes with an update on his mother: “My mother has had a series of strokes and is debilitated and we, the Brown family, deeply appreciate your prayers and support as we work to figure out what is best.”
The people of the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota lost electricity following a blizzard over a week ago. For days much of the community has endured sub-zero temperatures and high winds without electricity, heat or drinking water.
“There’s been winters this bad before, but not with rain so bad it freezes the power lines and snaps the poles,” said Joseph Brings Plenty, the 38-year old chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe. The chairman was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article. To read the full WSJ story, click HERE:
Eagle Butte, where SCJs ministered for many years (a pastoral team based there served the Cheyenne River Reservation), had electricity restored on Saturday. However, much of the reservation is still out. Br. Duane Lemke’s parents are among those who have been affected by the outage.
“Though they are out of running indoor water,” wrote Br. Duane, “they do have a generator, have disconnected themselves from the power grid, and are providing their farm with its own power until the infrastructure is restored.”
Those celebrating birthdays in February include Dn. David Nagel (59) on Feb. 6, Fr. Paul Kelly (60) on Feb. 9, Frater Duy Nguyen (32) on Feb. 17, Fr. Quang Nguyen (45) on Feb. 18, Fr. Greg Murray (53) on Feb. 19, Fr. Mark Mastin (53) on Feb. 21, Fr. Tom Fix (77) on Feb. 24, Fr. Frank Clancy (78) on Feb. 25 and Fr. Peter Sanders (70) on Feb. 28.
St. Joe’s development director receives national award
Kory Christianson, St. Joseph Indian School’s executive director of development, received the Max L. Hart Non Profit Achievement Award from the Direct Marketing Association’s Nonprofit Federation (DMANF). The award was announced on January 25 and presented on January 29 during DMANF’s Washington Nonprofit Conference in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes outstanding achievement by an individual within the nonprofit community.
“When you look at the volatility of the stock market and economy over the past couple of years, it really is amazing what we at St. Joe’s have been able to accomplish without giving up our big goals of improving staff training, remodeling the campus, and work at ways to benefit our students,” said Fr. Stephen Huffstetter. “It’s a team effort for sure, and it’s affirming when one of our own gets recognized for excellence in his field.”
Christianson has worked at St. Joe’s for over 16 years. As the executive director of development, he oversees the school’s fund raising programs in the United States, Germany and France. In 1999 he became a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), and in 2000 was awarded the Charity Fundraising Executive of the Year Award by the National Federation of Non-Profits.
The Nonprofit Federation of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is the leading association for nonprofit organizations that use direct marketing channels such as mail, internet, email, phone, social networking to gain support from individual donors.
Remembering those who built the province
As we have for the past several months we will continue to share a bit of information about deceased members of the province on or near the anniversary of their death. This week we remember two SCJs:
Bishop Joseph DePalma (February 3, 2005): Born in Walton, New York (raised in Rome, NY), Bishop Joseph DePalma spent several years working in a factory before giving the priesthood serious consideration at the age of 24.
He made his first profession in 1939 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1944. Bishop DePalma entered religious life hoping serve as a parish pastor, but the needs of the U.S. Province, and later, the worldwide church, sent him in different directions.
“I would have loved to have worked in a parish, dealing with souls,” he said. “But as it turned out, I was told after my ordination (to the priesthood) to go to the novitiate where I would be assistant novice master and superior.”
He was surprised by his first assignment. “You don’t expect to be a superior shortly after finishing your studies,” he said. After seven years, he returned to Hales Corners as rector of the monastery he once studied in. During this time, he attended the General Chapter in Rome and through his travels, became familiar with many of the European SCJ communities.
In 1955, Bishop DePalma was named provincial superior of what was then the North American Province. He had only been a priest 11 years. As provincial superior, he moved the province headquarters from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin and approved the construction of the new monastery in Hales Corners.
Again, he attended a General Chapter in Rome. By the end of it, he was the new general superior, following the death of Fr. Alphonse Lellig, SCJ. Bishop DePalma assumed office in 1959, and as general superior, attended the Second Vatican Council.
He headed the congregation until 1967, when he was consecrated as bishop for the newly created diocese of De Aar. He continued to minister there until his retirement in 1988.
The bishop returned to the U.S. Province and joined the retirement community in Pinellas Park, Fl.
Fr. Justin Guiltnane (February 7, 2009): Originally from Chicago, Fr. Justin Guiltnane was a member of the Priests of the Sacred Heart since 1946. Fr. Justin did his theological studies at Sacred Heart Monastery and was ordained to the priesthood in 1953.
He served as province vocation director for several years before entering seminary administration. Fr. Guiltnane was a seminary rector before being named provincial superior of the U.S. Province in 1970. He served two, three-year terms.
Following his final year as provincial, Fr. Guiltnane ministered at Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary parish (now St. Martin of Tours) in Franklin, Wis., and then joined the staff at Sacred Heart School of Theology. Besides his duties at the seminary, Fr. Guiltnane spent many years as local superior of the SCJ community at Sacred Heart Monastery.
He was a rabid Notre Dame football fan and loved to work on his golf game whenever he had the opportunity.
Writing about his vocation, he noted that it was an SCJ seminarian who inspired him to consider the Priests of the Sacred Heart:
“When he furnished me with information about the founder of the congregation, Fr. Leo Dehon, about the spirituality, history and apostolate of the institute, everything seemed to connect and coincide with my own expectations. Even his hands-on experiences of seminary life with its hardships, demands, challenges, and discipline convinced me of my future path and calling to be a Priest of the Sacred Heart.
“With God’s grace and inspirational instruments such as my mother and that seminarian, I discovered inner strength, confidence of purpose and surefootedness in the pursuit of my vocation as a religious priest of the Sacred Heart.”