Fr. Tom Cassidy started the week in Mississippi where took part in the January 10 dedication of Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Robinsonville (see photos at http://scjusa.smugmug.com ). On Wednesday he will be at the wake for Fr. Richard Zelonis, and on Thursday the funeral (details below). Next week he will be at Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, Ill., for the province gathering.
As noted last week, Fr. Richard Zelonis died on January 3. The wake will be Wednesday, January 13 at 7 p.m. and the Mass of Christian Burial will be January 14 at 10:30 a.m. Both will take place at Sacred Heart Monastery.
A new church and a new parish
It’s not uncommon to hear of a parish dedicating a new church. Buildings are outgrown as faith communities grow, or they simply age to the point that replacement is a less expensive option than repair. But the community of Good Shepherd in Robinsonville, Miss., celebrated not only a new church on January 10, but the beginning of a new faith community as well. Good Shepherd, near Tunica, Miss., joins together the faith communities of St. Anthony’s in Tunica and Sacred Heart in Walls.
“Many years ago we worshipped in an old house, then for the longest time we worshipped in a liquor store we converted into a very, very small church,” said Good Shepherd parishioner Lynn Sturgill. “At last the parishioners bought a lovely home in a grove on the outskirts of town.” That small home served the faith community for several years and Lynn was one of several parishioners who said that there was some sadness in saying good-bye to the site. “But the parishioners from Sacred Heart have welcomed us with open arms. They are really wonderful people and I have enjoyed learning their personalities.”
Bishop Joseph Latino of the Diocese of Jackson joined in the church blessing and dedication. Good Shepherd falls under the Sacred Heart Southern Missions umbrella and is one of several parishes ministered to by a pastoral team that includes Frs. Tim Gray, Bob Tucker (team moderator) and Ed Zemlik.
More about the new parish will be featured in the February SCJ News. Photos from the January 10 dedication can be viewed at: http://scjusa.smugmug.com/Other/Good-Shepherd-Dedication/10915124_S4ZH2#762131358_7n5Yr
Or go to http://www.scjusa.smugmug.com and click on the first gallery.
After several months in Indonesia, Fr. Wayne Jenkins, province archivist, is back home in Hales Corners. Fr. Wayne’s primary task while in Indonesia was to update the filing methods in the Indonesian provincial archives.
Just a reminder: on the invitations for Frater Duy Nguyen’s final vows the date is correct (January 30), but the day of the week is not. To clarify, Frater Duy’s final profession will be SATURDAY, January 30, 10:30 a.m. at Sacred Heart Monastery. You can RSVP to Frater Duy by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 773-363-1326, x226.
Fr. Cassidy reminds younger members of the province (young in age and/or vows) that there will be a Los Jóvenes meeting at 10 a.m. on Monday, January 18, at Our Lady of Snows before the provincial gathering.
And everyone else…
For the rest of the SCJs attending the province gathering in Belleville, please note that activities begin at 3 p.m. at Our Lady of Snows.
Heading to South Dakota
After months of waiting, Fr. Christianus Hendrik recently received notification that his application for nonimmigrant worker status has been approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. What that means is that Fr. Hendrik can finally join the ministerial team based in Lower Brule, S.D., something that he has hoped to do since early 2009.
Ordained in 1998, Fr. Hendrik did his seminary studies in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. His first assignment was in a small parish on the border between South Sumatra and Bengkulu. He was there for four years before serving as the director of a retreat house in Palembang and later, in Lampung. His last year of ministry before coming to Sacred Heart School of Theology for ESL studies was as a missionary in West Papua. He loved his work as a missionary priest, but malaria cut has assignment short. Now he hopes to continue to be a missionary, but this time it will be among Native Americans in South Dakota.
“Everyone one of us has a dream, a childhood dream, but just a few of us can fulfill that dream as an adult,” said Fr. Hendrick. “I’m the one of those few people who get to have my childhood dream come true.”
Spending time in the American West has been a dream of Fr. Hendrick’s since childhood. To read more about him, click HERE to read a feature done on him last year.
The discernment ballots for the province elections were mailed to members of the province on January 4. These ballots begin the process of preparation for the Election Assembly in June. If you did not receive the discernment ballots, please contact Br. Frank Presto immediately.
Fr. Stanislaw Lukasik, a member of the Polish Province, died January 9. He was born in 1927, professed in 1949 and ordained in 1956.
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 Br. Martin Kelly who died January 15, 1986.
Br. Martin’s relationship with the SCJs began with a dime. “I received an appeal from the monastery in 1930. Being unemployed, I put 10 cents in an envelope and sent it in. Later, I sent in another donation when I had a job,” wrote Br. Martin. He began receiving the Mission Call soon after and was inspired by an article written by Fr. John Emonts titled, “Missionary Brothers.”
“I had thought about becoming a religious quite a few years before, but I was always burying those feelings until I received the Mission Call,” said Br. Martin.
As he anticipated, his first assignment after professing vows was to go back to Philadelphia and visit his generous friends who had previously given money to the province. “I told my novice master that I was not a collector and he said that we are not all sent where we like,” said Br. Martin.
Off to Philly he headed, but not to an easy assignment. Br. Martin arrived at the height of the depression. Banks were closed, friends were bankrupt, unemployment was high. “I heard that the archdiocese was about $50 million in debt,” said Br. Martin. With such conditions, it’s not hard to understand why Br. Martin wasn’t whole-heartedly welcomed by his former parish pastor. “Every parish in the city was in debt.”
Times were hard, but Br. Martin never gave up. The income received from his work was the main support of the novitiate at Ste. Marie from 1936 to 1940.
Besides his success as a fund raiser, Br. Martin also found success on a rooftop. Before joining the SCJs, he considered opening his own roofing business and saved over $1,000 to do so. Many of the SCJs’ rooftop repairs were done by Br. Martin.
However, his greatest joy was found in his vows. “The will of God seems to flood my soul with a heavenly peace and happiness that is beyond understanding or explanation,” he said.