Weekly News: August 12, 2019

Remembering the founder, remembering the founding of the congregation

“For Him I lived and for Him I die.” These were the final words spoken by Fr. Leo John Dehon, founder of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, before his death 94 years ago today on August 12, 1925.

In 1878, before making his first profession of vows as a Priests of the Sacred Heart, Fr. Dehon wrote and prayed the following:

My Jesus,
before you and your heavenly Father,
in the presence of Mary Immaculate, my mother,
and of St. Joseph, my protector,
I make the vow of placing myself out of pure love
at the disposal of your Sacred Heart,
and of devoting my life and energy
to the Congregation of the Priests of your Heart.
I accept in advance all the trials and sacrifices
which it will please you to ask of me.

And I beg you to touch my heart
by inflaming it with your love,
so that I may have the intention
and desire of loving you.
Through your grace
let me again feel the happiness
of having all the affections of my heart
centered on you alone.


On Thursday, 141 years later, two more men will follow in Fr. Dehon’s footsteps as thousands have before them. John Huan Nguyen and Hubert Senam Kodjovi Liassidji will make their first professions during a ceremony at Sacred Heart Monastery / Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, provincial superior, will receive the vows.

Photos and other information will be posted on the US Province Facebook page, Instagram (@DehoniansUSA) and on the province website shortly after the ceremony.

Be sure to check our online communications the day before (August 14) for photos from the Entrance to Novitiate ceremony. Thien Nguyen, Thuan Nguyen, Tran Van Truc and Hung Pham will be received into novitiate by Fr. Ed during a small ceremony at the Sacred Heart Novitiate chapel.

Vow renewals

It was a year ago this week that SCJ Fraters Phong “Paul” Hoang and Henry Nguyen made their first profession of vows. As noted previously, Fra. Henry renewed his vows at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Houston. Tonight, Fra. Paul will do his renewal during Adoration with the Sacred Heart Monastery Community.

Fr. Joseph Mukuna

And speaking of vows…

Congratulations to Fr. Joseph Mukuna, SCJ, who celebrates his 20th anniversary of vows today. A member of the Congolese Province, he has been living in the US Province for several years while doing graduate studies in New Testament and Early Christianity Studies at Loyola of Chicago.

The new administration in Vietnam along with fellow SCJs and students

New administration installed in Vietnam

Today, August 12, on the anniversary of the death of Fr. Leo John Dehon, the Vietnamese District celebrated the installation of its new administration. Fr. Francis Vu Tran, SCJ, begins his second term as district superior. Fr. Alexander Sapta Dwi Handoko, SCJ, general councilor, installed the new administration. Fr. Francis, originally a member of the US Province; was first installed as district superior in 2016.

The district also welcomed 12 men into postulancy. This is the first time that a postulancy program is being hosted in Vietnam.

SHSST accreditation process

Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology is seeking comments from the public about the school in preparation for its periodic evaluation by its regional accrediting agency. The school will host a visit on October 13-16, 2019, from a team of peer reviewers representing the Higher Learning Commission. The team will review the institution’s ongoing ability to meet HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation. Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology has been accredited by HLC since 1995.

Comments must be in writing and must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs.

Submit comments to HLC at http://hlcommission.org/comment or mail them to the address below. All comments must be received by September 15, 2019.

Public Comment on Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology
Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604-1411

Keep in prayer

David Schimmel, US Province Director of Dehonian Associates, is in Intensive Care at AMITA St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chicago. After struggling with breathing issues for the past few weeks, doctors discovered that he has multiple pulmonary embolisms.

Summer SCJ News available

Click here to access a PDF of the latest issue of the SCJ News; printed copies will be in the mail to subscribers in approximately a week. Note: starting a year ago, the newsletter went to a quarterly publication schedule. The summer issue is being released at this time; the fall issue will be released in early November.

North American Personnel directory updated

The online North American personnel directory is generally updated as soon as we receive new information; the directory is password-protected and available in the Members area of the US Province website. Contact information for SCJs and students in the US and Canada is included.

At the top of the directory web page are links to download a PDF of the printed directory. There are two options: a high resolution PDF (approximately 14 MB) that is appropriate for printing, and a low resolution (1.5 MB) that can be used on computers, tablets, smart phones and other devices. If you click on the image of the directory at the top of the directory web page, you will get the low resolution image. Links to other options are below it in red.

Both the online directory and the PDFs are current as of August 8. If you have an error or change to report, please contact Mary Gorski at the Provincial Offices.

A new hard copy of the directory is scheduled to be printed at the start of October.

Council meetings this week

The US Provincial Council meets this week Tuesday and Wednesday in Hales Corners at the Provincial Conference Center.

Participants in the Holy Land tour

An incredible journey

As noted previously, the general administration organized a trip to the Holy Land that centered on following in the footsteps of Fr. Leo John Dehon during his journey there years earlier. Approximately 30 SCJs, including Fr. Joseph Thien Dinh, SCJ, from the US Province, took part in the July 8-24 trip.

Last week, participants released a letter about the experience to the congregation.

“Certainly, from this pilgrimage to the Holy Land, we have taken many fruits for our personal life and our experience of faith,” states the letter. “Someone said that the Holy Land is the fifth gospel, it is looking with our eyes and touching with our hands the places where the founding events of our Christian faith happened, which allows us to re-read our own experience with Christ. However, being a Dehonian pilgrimage, following in the footsteps of Fr. Dehon, surely there are fruits to be taken as a Congregation from this journey. We asked ourselves many questions about the role of the Holy Land for our Founder.”

Click here to access the letter in a variety of languages.

Click here to view photos.

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