Christmas is in the air!
Last Thursday members of the Sacred Heart Monastery community, including students in formation and ESL, had a tree-trimming party. Pictured above are Jacob Smith, a first-year candidate, and Frater Huan Pham, SCJ, a seminarian from the Vietnamese District. They ALMOST could reach the top of the tree.
The Provincial Offices will be closed December 24-26 for Christmas, and December 31 and January 1 for New Year’s. Officially, the office is open December 27-28, but keep in mind that some members of the staff will be taking vacation days at that time. If you have business with the office, especially financial concerns, it is best to take care of it by the end of the day on Thursday, December 20.
Vatican II and other memories
The Dehonian Esprit de Coeurs is an initiative of the Dehonian Associates Office, which, according to the office’s director, David Schimmel, aims to “facilitate spiritual and social fellowship among SCJs, former SCJs and SCJ seminary alumni.”
Quarterly, an Esprit de Coeurs electronic newsletter is sent to SCJ alumni, as well as current SCJs in North America. In the next edition, to be mailed tomorrow, December 11, former SCJ Tom Tucker reflects on his years as a student in Rome. One of his memories is of the Second Vatican Council.
“Vatican II was in its fourth and last session when I arrived in Rome,” wrote Tom. “It was truly an historic event which I’ll never forget. I recall the first time that I was in St. Peter’s Square on a weekday when the bishops were arriving for the daily session, which lasted from 8:00 am until 1:00 pm: 2,200 bishops, all dressed in episcopal cassocks, arriving in the square and entering the basilica. It was ablaze in crimson.
“I heard stories of how one could actually attend one of the private sessions of the Council. I found that it was relatively easy. All one had to do was to get a bishop to sign a form in which he sponsors the person… I got the necessary form and Bishop Hermellinck, a Dutch SCJ from Indonesia, would happily sign for anyone…
“[The bishops] all sat according to seniority: cardinals were closest to the papal altar, then archbishops and bishops. Bishop Paul Verschuren, SCJ, a Dutch bishop who was the bishop of Helsinki, was literally the youngest bishop in the world at one of the sessions so he had the dubious distinction of being seated in the last section on the highest row of seats in St. Peter’s.
“The experience of seeing and feeling like a very small cog in this historic Council was overwhelming.”
SCJs and alumni are reminded to check their e-mail boxes tomorrow for the Dehonian Esprit de Couers newsletter for this and other stories and information. To read the rest of Tom Tucker’s story, click here for a PDF.
Want to learn more about the Dehonian Esprit de Couers? Click here to contact David Schimmel.
Esprit de Coeurs reunion
Speaking of the Esprit de Coeurs, plans are coming together for a reunion June 10-11, 2019, in Hales Corners, WI. The first day will begin with a morning of reflection facilitated by Fr. John Czyzynski, SCJ. There will be tours of the renovated Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, and a remembrance ceremony at the Sacred Heart Mausoleum. In the evening, SCJ alumni are invited to take part in the province jubilee celebration of vows.
On Tuesday morning, reunion participants will join North American SCJs for the opening session of their assembly. Together, SCJs and alumni will reflect on “How has knowing Fr. Dehon and the SCJs affected your values and the way you live your life?” In the afternoon, SCJs will continue with their assembly, and alumni will have opportunities to learn about the congregation’s current ministries in the United States and throughout the world.
Questions? Want to be added to the Dehonian Esprit de Coeurs mailing list? Click here to contact David Schimmel.
The challenges of immigration
During a recent meeting of the North American Migration Committee in Toronto, Fr. Willyans Prado Rapozo, SCJ, shared his experience of immigration in Canada.
Fr. Will, originally from the Brazil – Sao Paulo Province, arrived in Canada in October, 2012, and was granted a Religious Workers Visa. He served as associate pastor of St. Thomas More and Our Lady of the Rosary parishes in suburban Toronto. In 2016, he helped to chaperone a group of young people from St. Thomas More who attended World Youth Day. Coming back, he had difficulties reentering Canada and had to return to Brazil for a month to submit a new application (which was granted one month later).
Now, he once again faces immigration challenges as he tries to apply for a student visa to pursue studies for a master’s in theology at St. Regis College. Click here to read the full story on the DehonCanada website.
JANUARY – Members of the US Province under 70 and in active ministry should have received their invitation from Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, to the January 8-10, 2019, Provincial Conference in Hales Corners. It is a continuation of last year’s conference: “Our Future Together in Community and Ministry.” Attendance at the provincial conference is mandatory for all SCJs 70-under who minister in the US Province (as well as novices). To ensure that all who have been invited are making plans to attend, Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, asks that they RSVP to Br. Frank Presto, SCJ, ASAP. If you are from outside of the Milwaukee area, please indicate in your response when you will arrive and where you are staying (or if you need a lodging assignment).
The conference will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning (January 8) and conclude with Mass, followed by lunch, on Thursday, at 1:00 pm (January 10).
ALSO IN JANUARY – For those who are not taking part in the Provincial Conference, SHSST is sponsoring its second annual Preaching Conference, January 7-8, 2019. This year’s theme: “Preaching Profound Possibilities in the Lukan Gospels.” The keynote speaker is Fr. John Rausch. Fr. John, a Catholic priest with the Glenmary Home Missioners, coordinates a Ministry of Appalachian Justice Education. Fr. John was named the recipient of the 2007 “Teacher of Peace” award presented by Pax Christi, USA.
Our own Fr. Mark Mastin, SCJ, will give a presentation on “Preaching the Parables to Military Families.”
Click here for more information and a registration link.
Note: SCJs who are participating in the Provincial Conference are welcome to attend the Monday evening session of the Preaching Conference. For more information, contact Dn. Steve Kramer at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 414-858-4767.
Lux Center seminar features Seton Hill professor
Dr. Tim Crain, director of the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education and an assistant professor of history at Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania, was the featured speaker at the December 2 Lux Center Seminar at SHSST. His topic: “Reflections on the Holocaust: the Legacy of Catholic-Jewish Relations.”
Click here to view a video of the presentation.
“The rain is hard but the faith is stronger!”
Our thanks to Omalee Lopez for sharing photos on Facebook of the December 7 Healing Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe, Houston. “Dn. Juan Carlos Castañeda Rojas said it best: ‘The rain is hard but the faith is stronger!’” On a rainy evening many were present for the Mass at OLG.
Dn. Juancho is pictured below along with parish administrator Fr. Francois Tsanga, SCJ.