Weekly News: August 13, 2012

Fr. Dehon's desk in his study in Brussels

Remembering the founder

“For him I lived, for him I die. He is my everything, my life, my death and my eternity,” said Fr. Leo John Dehon, pointing at a portrait of the Sacred Heart just moments before his death.

Yesterday, August 12, was the 87th anniversary of the death of Fr. Dehon, founder of the Priests of the Sacred Heart. Click here to view a brief album of photos from his last residence, the SCJs’ house in Brussels, including Fr. Dehon’s study and the room in which he died. It remains as a museum and memorial to the founder.

His spiritual testament to those who went on to follow his charism, both SCJs and laity: “I leave you the greatest of all treasures, the Heart of Jesus.”

Entrance to novitiate

Reminder: tomorrow, August 14, James Nguyen and Juan Carlos Castaneda Rojas will enter the novitiate during a ceremony at 11 a.m. at Sacred Heart Monastery/School of Theology, with a luncheon following. All SCJs are welcome to attend.

Reflecting on the next year, James writes that “it is out of the desire to love and to remain in the Heart of Jesus that I want to enter the novitiate for the Priests of the Sacred Heart.  I look forward for the novitiate to be a year for me to go more deeply into the Heart of Jesus and fully be submerged in His love.  It is to see nothing with my own eyes, but only how everything reflects in His heart.

“Fr. Dehon reminds us that we do so in praise, love, thanksgiving, and reparation.  He summarizes this with a short prayer, ‘Lord, I want to serve you out of love, every day, every hour.’  This year, I wish to follow in the footsteps of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux to be a little flower that others can find simple joys in.  That way, I may one day become a bouquet of flowers for the Heart of Christ.”

More from South America

As we have noted previously, Fr. Tim Gray, SCJ, has been posting blog entries about his visits with the SCJ community in South America during the last part of his sabbatical. His most recent entry is about parishes in southern Brazil. He writes:

A parish community served by Nossa Senhora de Graca in the South Brazilian Province.

“I headed to the South Brazilian Province, in the cooler part of Brazil that still has very strong European traditions (quite a few SCJs grew up speaking German at home and only learned Portuguese when they began school.)

“However, while there may be European traditions, the church here is definitely run along the Latin American model — large parishes are composed of smaller communities, from half a dozen to 20 or 30, each community with its own chapel and facilities for religious education, meetings, and social activities. They are similar to what we would call “missions” in the United States. They range in size from tiny one-room buildings to large complexes…

“[a] surprise for me was the fact that nearly all the parishes I visited in Brazil published their own full-color, high quality monthly or bimonthly magazine, which contained not only the news which a weekly bulletin would carry, but also magazine-quality articles written by SCJ or other columnists — another indication of the SCJ commitment to education and training.”

Click here to the rest of this and other blog entries. A reminder: all SCJs, co-workers and other collaborators in ministry are welcome to write reflections for the province blog. For more information, click here.

Keep in prayer

Ken Haarstad, the brother-in-law of Fr. Joe Dean, SCJ, had a heart attack last week but was able to get to a hospital for quick treatment and is doing better. Fr. Joe asks that you keep him and his wife (Fr. Joe’s sister), Cathy, in your prayers.


Fr. Jim Walters, SCJ, is now in San Antonio for the second part of his sabbatical. His address:

Pat Guidon Center
109 Oblate Drive
San Antonio, TX 78216

If you didn’t see it last week, click here to read Fr. Jim’s blog post about the first part of his sabbatical in Spain.

Getting ready for a new semester

Two weeks from today, August 27, Sacred Heart School of Theology starts its new school year. Besides welcoming new students and faculty, the seminary will also welcome a new president-rector. And for the first time (outside of temporary appointments), the person holding the office will be someone other than an SCJ. As noted previously, Msgr. Ross Shecterle, a diocesan priest with the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, succeeds Fr. Jan de Jong, SCJ, as president-rector.

In a letter to Fr. Tom Cassidy, SCJ, about the start of the upcoming year Msgr. Ross wrote that “I am very excited to have this opportunity to work with the faculty and staff at Sacred Heart to help form good holy priests for dioceses and religious communities from throughout the United States, and of course, my own archdiocese. [Seminarians from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee do their academic formation at SHST.]

“I am working with the faculty and staff to prepare for the new academic year. I hope to bear witness to this seminary community of my love for my priestly ministry in formation and have asked the Lord to draw me ever closer to His Sacred Heart in my role as rector.”

Summer schedule

The Fridge Notes will take the second of its summer breaks next Monday, August 20. Please continue to check the province Facebook page and website for news items.

Provincial’s time

Fr. Tom Cassidy  will be in the office for much of August, with the exception of a quick trip back to Houston for the 100th anniversary celebrations at Our Lady of Guadalupe this weekend. The Anniversary Mass is at 6:30 p.m. on August 18. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston will be the main celebrant. All SCJs are welcome to attend.

Upcoming meetings and events:

August 14: Reception of Novices, 11 a.m., SHM
August 28-29: Provincial Council Meeting
October 11-12: Provincial Council Meeting
October 12: Dedication of Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake
December 18-19: Provincial Council Meeting

January 29-30: Provincial Council Meeting
March 19-20: Provincial Council Meeting
April 8-9: Mission Education Conference, St. Joseph’s Indian School
April 30 – May 1: Provincial Council Meeting (budgets)
Week of June 3: Province Election Assembly.