September 27, 2010

Blessed Juan remembered

Blessed Juan Maria de la Cruz, SCJ

On September 22, members of the Priests of the Sacred Heart celebrated the Feast of Blessed Juan Maria de la Cruz, SCJ, who was beautified on March 11, 2001. At Sacred Heart School of Theology, the September 22 all-school Mass was dedicated to the memory of Blessed Juan.  Fr. Jim Walters, director of SHST’s Hispanic Studies Department, gave the homily.

“On July 23, 1936, in the midst of a leftist controlled, anticlerical government in Spain, Fr. Juan traveled incognito to Valencia seeking refuge with one of the congregation’s benefactors,” said Fr. Jim.  “While traveling from the train station he passed the church of ‘de los Juanes’ in the center of the city. There he witnessed men desecrating and burning the church. Fr. Juan shouted in protest. When the men heard his shouting, they said to each other: ‘He is a reactionary.’ He responded: ‘NO, I am a priest.’ He was arrested and taken to the Modelo jail in Valencia.”

Click here to read the full homily.

School days in India

“It’s a bright sunny morning here in Aluva, just like it was yesterday,” writes Fr. Tom Fix from India. “But yesterday afternoon and evening turned up something else: an electrical storm with lots of rain.  The monsoon is taking leave of us with more than a whimper.  However, our students have a different kind of storm occupying their minds –– exam time has arrived.”

Fr. Tom is the latest to make a post to the province blog. To read it in full click here.

Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu

Fr. Joshua Mpiti, SCJ

Last week the South African Province hosted the first of what is hoped to be a series of seminars on Christian spirituality for priests, religious and lay people in the Dioceses of De Aar and Aliwal.

Five SCJs, joined by a religious sister who teaches at St. Joseph’s Theological Institute in South Africa (the school of theology where students in the SCJs’ pan-African formation community based in Pietermaritzburg study), gave presentations.  Among them was one of the newest members of the province, Fr. Joshua Mpiti, who spoke about “Ubuntu,” an African word that speaks of the “very essence of the human being.” It is a way of being accountable to society as a member of that society.

“Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu,” is the African saying, meaning, “a person is a person through other persons.”

To read more about Fr. Joshua’s presentation and the rest of the day, click here.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  The U.S. Province is one of the two “mother provinces” of the South African Province; the other is Germany.


Fr. Chuck Wonch
Villa Maria
7330 S. Lovers Lane Rd.
Franklin, WI 53132-1849
Cell: 414-573-9515

Asian Unity Day

Almost a dozen SCJs took part in this year’s Asian Unity Day at the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s Cousins Center last week.

“I rejoice in the presence of Asian and Pacific Catholics who for many decades have enriched our church communities and helped us shine as a sacrament of unity and universality,” said Archbishop Jerome Listecki of Milwaukee.

Asian Unity Day celebrates the many cultures of Asia and the Pacific.  Besides hosting a number of Asian students in ESL and other academic programs, the U.S. Province has among its members a number of SCJs of Asian descent (Vietnam and Indonesia in particular).  Also, the U.S. Province has pastoral responsibility for the Vietnamese Catholic community in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

Those who took part in Asian Unity Day included:  Fr. Thi Pham, Br. Long Nguyen, Fr. Yulius Sunardi, Fr. Wayne Jenkins (Fr. Wayne did his theological studies in Indonesia), Fr Donatus Kusmartono, Fr. Elis Handoko, Fr. Xavier Marmidi and Fr. Vincent Suparman.

Happy birthday!

Those celebrating birthdays in October include:  Fr. John van den Hengel (71) on Oct. 1, Fr. Ed Zemlik (53) on Oct. 3, Frs. Tony Russo (72) and Bob Naglich (55), Br. Leonard Zaworski (68) on Oct. 8, Fr. Peter Mastrobuono (71) on Oct. 10, Fr. Tom Cassidy (68) on Oct. 13, Frs. Mike Burke (73), Bill Pitcavage (68), Paul Grizzelle Reid (67) and Br. Dieudonné Tchouteu (48) on Oct. 14, Fr. Maurice Légaré (56) on Oct. 15, Br. Tim Murphy (73) on Oct. 19, Fr. Christianus Hendrik (41) on Oct. 21, Fr. Bob Bossie (73) on Oct. 23, Fra. Fernando Orozco (36) on Oct. 25, and Fr. Richard Johnston (78) on Oct. 27.

Mausoleum project

Br. Frank Presto, provincial secretary, shares the following:  “Recently you were informed that extensive work is necessary on our mausoleum.  The bulk of the project will replace all of the crypt fronts on the rear side of the structure.

“We were told that the new crypt faces are in route to the local dealer.  They expect delivery of on or about October 1.  Installation will be scheduled shortly after.

“Mike Erato and his team at SHST have prepared the mausoleum for delivery of the new stone.  They took advantage of some very nice weather last week and removed the stones from the unoccupied crypts.  These are being stored as we try to find someone who can reuse these items elsewhere.”

If you have questions, contact Br. Frank.

Please remember

Joan F. Donovan, the mother of Dr. Dan Donovan, died on September 21.  She was 79.  Dr. Donovan has served members of the province for many years.  Condolences can be sent to his office address at:

10101 S 27th St
Franklin, WI 53132-7209
(414) 325-4940

Provincial’s time

Fr. Tom Cassidy will be in Texas for much of the week; October 6-8 he will be in Montréal for the meeting of the North American Councils.

Event reminders

Final Vows: Br. Long Nguyen and Frater Greg Schill will profess their final vows during a 10 a.m. ceremony on October 2 at Sacred Heart Monastery/School of Theology.

Diaconate Ordination: Frater Duy Nguyen will be ordained to the diaconate on Sunday, October 10 at 4 p.m. at Christ the King Church in Southaven, Mississippi.

If you will be attending you are asked to RSVP by phone or email to Frater Duy at 773-363-1326, ext 226, or by email at

The Mississippi community will host a meal for SCJs coming for the ordination. SCJs should inform Carole Johnson (662-342-3324 or when they will be in Mississippi during the ordination weekend so that they can be included in the community meal.

Also, if you plan to take part in the Sacred Heart Southern Missions in-service, presented by St Joseph’s Indian School the day after the ordination, please inform Carole by October 1