The Provincial Offices will be closed Thursday and Friday this week (November 28-29) for Thanksgiving. Looking ahead, the offices will also be closed December 24-26 for Christmas, and December 31 and January 1 for New Year’s.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving!
We are called to be part of the response
There are many forms of human trafficking and migrants are especially vulnerable. It was because of this that the North American Migration Committee sponsored a presentation by Dn. Steve Przedpelski, executive director of Franciscan Peacemakers in Milwaukee. Approximately 30 SCJs, students and members of the public gathered at the Provincial Conference Center on November 18 to hear him speak of his 24 years of working with victims of street prostitution, most of whom are also victims of human trafficking.
Dn. Steve talked about what it means to be trafficked as a prostitute. Generally, the victim isn’t kidnapped, forcibly removed from her home to serve as a sex worker. Instead, skilled traffickers play on a person’s vulnerabilities, often putting in three to six months of time “grooming” the victim. Once that victim trusts and feels loved by the trafficker, he asks more of her. He asks her to help him raise cash for an emergency by selling her body. If she refuses, the threats begin. He talks about hurting not just her, but the victim’s family.
“So many times we romanticize Jesus,” said Dn. Steve. “How many times have we heard or used the words, ‘And he laid down his life for his friends?’ When a 14-year-old girl says to me, ‘What choice did I have? I love my mom, I had to protect her?’ I see someone who has laid her life down for another.”
“We are called to be a part of the growing awareness, part of the response to this abrogation of love,” said Br. Duane Lemke, SCJ, who both introduced and closed the evening.
“Raise awareness about this issue,” he continued. “When people ask you, ‘What have you been up to?’ tell them that you went to a workshop on human trafficking. Tell them what you learned, tell them what concerns you. Raise awareness by not being afraid to talk about such an important issue.
“We must become a part of the personal and social response to the human trafficking that surrounds us.”
Click here to read more (including contact information to report human trafficking concerns) on the province website.
A bit of Rome in Mississippi
Members of the congregation’s General Finance Commission met in Mississippi last week; the venue allowed the SCJs to tour and learn about the ministries of Sacred Heart Southern Missions. Among who took part: Fr. Luca Zottoli (General Treasurer), Aldo Vivaldi (finance staff, Rome), Fr. Carlos Fred Ferreira (Brazil), Fr. Gerd Hemken (Germany), Fr. Dinh Nguyen (Vietnam), and Dn. David Nagel (US treasurer and a member of the General Finance Commission). More photos from the visit are on the province Facebook page.
Keep in prayer
Br. Andy Gancarczyk’s father, Henry, suffered a significant stroke. Br. Andy writes that his father is retired but has been helping a neighbor in his workshop. “He was alone when he had the stroke so no one could react immediately,” wrote Br. Andy. “The stroke paralyzed half of his body and he cannot speak.” Although the damage from the stroke is extensive, he is said to be in stable condition. Please keep him and the family in prayer.
Fr. Paul Casper, SCJ, was hospitalized yesterday after suffering significant confusion. He is receiving tests and monitoring at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee, Knisely Building, Room 4KLM 4422.
Roger Kilianski, the 67-year-old brother of Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, recently suffered a heart attack. He was treated with a stent and is being monitored.
Fr. Bob Naglich, SCJ, continues to recover from his double organ transplant. It is anticipated that he will remain hospitalized for several weeks during recovery.
Mary Helen Horvath, the wife of former SCJ Bruce Horvath, died on November 23. Her Funeral Mass will be at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Houston at 10:00 a.m. on November 27. Click here to access her obituary.
Anna Marie Smith, the mother of Laura Grisham, communications and grant manager for Sacred Heart Southern Missions, died on November 19. Please keep her and the family in your prayers.
One-minute meditations for Advent
“This Tender and Loving Mother, reflections on Mary,” is the focus of this year’s one-minute Advent meditations from the Dehonian Associates office. Sent by email each day during Advent, the reflections come from the writings of Fr. Leo John Dehon.
EVERYONE who is already subscribed to the publication Dehonian Spirituality, will be included on the daily Advent mailing. Click here to add a subscriber. The e-blast begins on December 1.
SHSST alumni FB page
Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology recently launched an alumni page on Facebook. Click here to access it.
Click here to view the seminary’s full Facebook page.
Congratulations and safe travels!
Congratulations to Br. Megha Bandanadham, SCJ, a member of the Indian District, who is headed home today after completing his MA degree at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. He will profess his final vows with his classmates on December 9 at the Sacred Heart Ashram in Nambur.
“In India we say that ‘the attitude of gratitude should be like the heartbeat of a person,’” said Br. Megha. “As I leave for India I want to thank Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, for his counsel and support, and all the members of the province who have helped to make me feel at home during this past year. I strongly believe God’s plans are always greater than what I plan for my life. Before this opportunity, I never thought about coming to the United States, but it was God’s plan and so I have lived here for almost 11 months. During that time, I came to know different members of the congregation and lay people who loved and cared for me. I had many experiences, which I certainly will cherish when I am gone. The people I met here will have a great impact on my life and ministry. I am happy that I successfully completed my MA. I am sad to leave but also I am happy to have had this experience, to have met all these people. Thank you all, and I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!”
Congratulations to Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, whose article, “Resisting Despair: Prophetic Hope in Times of Crisis” was published in The Priest magazine, December 2019 issue. Click here to access a PDF of the article.
Click here for subscription information to The Priest.
Fr. Vien is an assistant professor of Scripture Studies at SHSST.
Those celebrating birthdays in December include: Fr. Chuck Wonch (73) on Dec. 5, Fr. John Strittmatter (84) on Dec. 6, Fr. Gary Lantz (84) on Dec. 8, Candidate Thien Nguyen (31) on Dec. 15, and Br. Clay Diaz (55) on Dec. 19. Happy birthday!
Dehonian Memorial Day
Tomorrow, November 26, is Dehonian Memorial Day, a day to remember deceased SCJs, but in particular, those who gave their lives as martyrs.
This year, the general administration highlights the life of Fr. Martino Capelli, SCJ. Born in Nembro (Italy), on September 20, 1912, he professed his first vows in 1930 and was ordained a priest in 1938. After studying at the Biblical Institute and at the Urbaniana University of Rome (1939-43), he taught theology at the Seminary of Bologna.
On October 1, 1944, Fr. Capelli was killed by German Nazis, together with the Salesian priest Don Elia Comini and another 39 men, women and children, in Pioppe di Salvaro (just under 20 miles from Bologna). The Massacre of Monte Sole, also known as the Marzabotto Massacre, took place between September 29 and October 5, 1944.
Click here to access more information, including a biography of Fr. Capelli, a poster, and a prayer service. The information is available in a variety of languages.
Prayer for SCJ Memorial Day
God who is great in goodness,
with love you have called us to make our lives
a gift to you and to our brothers.
We contemplate today
the example of so many Dehonians,
that with their witness of shedding their blood
they proclaimed the greatness of your love.
Give us the grace to know more deeply,
to accept more generously,
the stories of their lives given up to the last breath,
for your glory
and the salvation of the world.
For our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who is God,
and lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
One God, forever and ever. Amen.