in union with your mother and your beloved disciple
at the foot of the cross,
we gaze at your open side
and contemplate the depth of mercy
with which you handed yourself over
to us sinners.
As we behold your pierced heart,
may we be transformed by your compassion
for those wounded and humiliated by evil.
Take our hearts, often weary and discouraged,
and make us servants of reconciliation
and messengers of love
to a world which hungers for your peace.
From This Day of God, community prayer book of the Priests of the Sacred Heart
The Provincialate Offices will close at 2 p.m. on Holy Thursday (April 17) and reopen on Tuesday, April 22.
There will be no Fridge Notes next week (April 21). However, be sure to check the province Facebook page for short news items. Urgent news (such as prayer requests) can be sent to the membership at any time via email. Click here to do so.
Fr. Guy Blair has a new email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, Fr. Mark Mastin’s cell phone has been updated in the online province directory found in the Members’ section of the province website.
The Finance Committee for the Provincial Chapter has been named. Delegates elected to it: Fr. Jim Brackin, Br. Ray Kozuch, Fr. Mike Burke and Fr. Greg Speck. Dn. David Nagel, provincial treasurer, serves as a de jure member without vote.
Congratulations to Fr. Francis Vu Tran whose doctoral thesis theme was recently approved. The title: “The Dark Nights of Agur’s Soul: the Words of Agur in Proverbs 30:1-9.”
Fr. Francis, who earned his licentiate in scripture last year from the Gregorian Pontifical University in Rome, will spend the rest of this year focusing on language study (German in particular). He plans to return to the United States early next year to bring his research together and write his thesis.
Practicing English through homilies
Fr. Daniel Antônio de Carvalho Robeiro of the Central Brazilian Province was one of three SCJs in the ESL program at Sacred Heart School of Theology last summer doing studies in preparation for a new mission in Asia.
“After about six months living in the United States, and now in the Philippines, to study English and prepare myself to my new mission, many things have changed in my life,” he wrote. “I know that God has been with me along with many friends who don’t forget me in their prayers… I am living the best time of my life. I have never felt so free and at peace.”
As a way of further practicing his English, and to keep in touch with friends and family in Brazil, Fr. Daniel started a website to share the homilies he gives at a parish where he celebrates Saturday evening Mass.
“The content is simple, I make some mistakes, but I continue preaching what I am daily trying to live,” he writes.
Click here to go to the site.
+Fr. Giovanni Bonalumi, a member of the Mozambique Province, died April 7. He was born in 1922, professed in 1940 and ordained in 1949.
+Fr. Victor de Vega Turienzo, a member of the Spanish Province, died April 8. He was born in 1930, professed in 1950 and ordained in 1957.
+Br. Rutgerus Joannes Verbeet, a member of the Dutch – Flemish Confederation, died April 8. He was born in 1927 and professed in 1949.
This week’s “postcard” from Fr. Charles Brown is with the SCJ novices and postulants and St. John Novitiate in Gisting, Sumatra, Indonesia. The novices are dressed in white.
As noted previously, Fr. Charlie is in Indonesia to give presentations to students during Holy Week.
Dehonian Spirituality update
“If a picture is worth a thousand words, then unconventional images of the Heart of Jesus can serve to awaken a new consciousness, expand understanding, and deepen faith,” writes David Schimmel, province director of Dehonian Associates, in the latest update to the Dehonian Spirituality page on the province website.
The unconventional image? Jesus is sitting in a cross-legged or lotus position. This “supports meditation by encouraging proper breathing and bodily alignment,” continues David. “His eyes remain open, but focused downward. His left hand, resting on his lap, depicts a traditional gesture of meditation, while the open palm of his right hand, raised at chest level and facing outward, indicates fearlessness, spiritual power, and a blessing of deep inner peace. Jesus is simultaneously meditating and sharing the benefits of his prayer.
“The pose is one of a guru or teacher, so highly revered in the culture of India. With a simple outline of the heart on his chest, this image calls to mind Jesus’ words to his disciples. ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls’ [Matthew 11:28-29].”
Click here to read the full post for the week. Previous reflections and prayers can be accessed from the menu on the left side of the Dehonian Spirituality page.
Fr. Stephen Huffstetter starts Holy Week in Chicago with the formation community.
Below is a photo he snapped during last week’s board meeting at St. Joseph’s Indian School. It is of Sr. Mary Thomas, PBVM, who was thanked with a handmade Native American quilt for her service on the board.