As we noted last week, celebrations of the parish feast day at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Houston were adapted due to the pandemic. However, many of the traditions continued, including the dance of the Matachines, a spiritual dance that has its origins in the pre-Hispanic peoples of Latin America. One of the dancers is pictured above. Click here to view a video of the dance on the plaza of OLG, Houston, on Saturday.
Click here to go to the OLG Facebook page to access several other videos from the weekend’s celebrations.
Click here or on the image below to view a feature on Telemundo about the celebration; it includes a brief interview (in Spanish) with Fr. Wojciech Adamczyk, SCJ, pastor.
SHSST receives grant
Congratulations to staff at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology for their efforts in being awarded a grant from the Department of Education.
Congress set aside approximately $14.25 billion of the $30.75 billion allotted to the Education Stabilization Fund through the CARES Act for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). The Department awarded these grants to institutions of higher education (IHE) based on a formula stipulated in the legislation. SHSST’s application requested $306,500, which included $156,000 for technology (hardware, software etc.) to help facilitate online/remote learning. On December 4, 2020, the seminary learned that it had been awarded the entire requested amount!
SCJs join in hosting international livestream event
In cooperation with the Custody of the Holy Land and beginning in Bethlehem, an international group of representatives, most from religious communities, will meet virtually to share the importance of Christmas, especially during the pandemic. Fr. Sergio Rotasperti, SCJ, general communications director, will be one of the hosts of the evening.
The program will begin at 9:00 p.m. Rome time (GMT+1); 2:00 p.m. central time.
Click here for more information.
“When God calls, you answer!”
In another of a series of videos produced by our formation community, we meet Celsus Robert, a postulant who has studied with the Dehonians for three years. Although he had felt a call to the priesthood when he was young, he says that he pushed it aside to pursue other things. But a few years ago during a moment of silent prayer, the call came again “as a whisper, directing me toward the priesthood,” said Celsus. Again he tried to set the call aside, but felt that God was pushing him more strongly this time.
“When God calls, you answer!” said Celsus.
He was attracted by the charism of Fr. Leo John Dehon and the spirituality of the Dehonians (SCJs). “Especially their focus on social services; I was a social worker for 18 years and my degree is in social work… to be an SCJ priest means going to the people, not sitting in the sacristy. I like that about the SCJs.”
Click here or on the image above to learn more about Celsus’ story.
The Year of St. Joseph
With the Apostolic Letter “Patris corde” (“With a Father’s Heart”), Pope Francis recalls the 150th anniversary of the declaration of Saint Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. To mark the occasion, the Holy Father proclaimed a “Year of Saint Joseph” that began on December 8 and runs through December 8, 2021.
“I would like to share some personal reflections on this extraordinary figure [St. Joseph], so close to our own human experience,” wrote the pope. “For, as Jesus says, ‘out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks’ (Mt 12:34). My desire to do so increased during these months of pandemic, when we experienced, amid the crisis, how ‘our lives are woven together and sustained by ordinary people, people often overlooked. People who do not appear in newspaper and magazine headlines, or on the latest television show, yet in these very days are surely shaping the decisive events of our history. Doctors, nurses, storekeepers and supermarket workers, cleaning personnel, caregivers, transport workers, men and women working to provide essential services and public safety, volunteers, priests, men and women religious, and so very many others. They understood that no one is saved alone…’ [March 27 Prayer at St. Peter’s Basilica by Pope Francis]
“Saint Joseph reminds us that those who appear hidden or in the shadows can play an incomparable role in the history of salvation. A word of recognition and of gratitude is due to them all.”
Click here to read the full letter.
Update on Fr. Bob
Fr. Bob Tucker, SCJ, left the hospital to return to the rehabilitation center last week. Mary Balistreri, Province Director of Healthcare, wrote that “Fr. Bob is doing remarkably well at RML. He has been able to tolerate advancing from the pressure support setting to the trach collar setting as he progresses towards weaning from the ventilator. With the pressure support setting, Fr. Bob is still attached to the ventilator, but he controls the rate and effort of breathing in and out. The next step towards weaning is the trach collar setting. At this level, the ventilator support is off and supplemental oxygen is delivered through the tracheostomy. Yesterday he spent almost 14 hours on trach collar and is on track to make it to at least another 12 hours today! He is returned to full ventilator support for the night to allow his body rest from the demands of independent breathing. When I spoke with his nurse today, she shared that he was even feeling well enough to read a book while on trach collar. His labs look good and yesterday, he even spent time working with the physical therapist with some strengthening exercises. He has been in good spirits since his return.”
You can write to Fr. Bob at: RML, 5601 S. County Line Rd., Hinsdale, IL 60521
+ Fr. Evaristo José Martínez de Alegría Oroquieta, a member of the Spanish Province, died on December 5. He was born in 1939, professed in 1956 and ordained in 1964.
+ Fr. Stanisław Dadej, a member of the Polish Province, died December 7. He was born in 1933, professed in 1951 and ordained in 1959.
+ Fr. Ilario Cavaliere, a member of the North Italian Province, died on December 10. He was born in 1933, professed in 1953 and ordained in 1980.
+ Fr. Sebastianus Budiwinoto, a member of the Indonesian Province, died on December 12, his birthday. He was born in 1942, professed in 1974 and ordained in 1977.
Ratio Formationis Provincialis now available
The Ratio Formationis Provincialis was approved by the Provincial Council at its November, 2020, meeting. Click here to download a digital copy; a hard copy will be mailed to SCJs before the end of the year. The digital edition can also be found in the Members area of the US Province website.
A note about the digital edition. All topics in the Contents on pages 7-8 are linked to their specific section in the booklet. For example, if you would like to access the “Program for Perpetual Formation,” you click on the heading in the Contents and are then taken to the appropriate section in the booklet.
Last Friday, Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, finished the first of the provincial visitations at St. Joseph’s Community at SHML. On December 17, he will be at the Sacred Heart Novitiate. After a break for the holidays he will visit with the Sacred Heart Community at SHML January 4-8. The rest of the schedule: Sacred Heart Monastery from January 18-22, St. Michael Community in Mississippi from February 2-4, South Dakota from February 8-10, Sacred Heart Community, Pinellas Park, from February 22-25, Texas from March 1-4, and from March 15-17 meetings with individuals who were not covered in the community visitations.
Visitations in the Milwaukee area are a mix of in-person and virtual meetings; most others will take place virtually.
International Theological Commission meets virtually
Most years, members of the International Dehonian Theological Commission meet in Rome in late fall. But as with many other gatherings during the pandemic year, this one also went virtual. Sitting in front of their computer screens around the world, coordinators of each of the continental theological commissions met with Fr. Stefan Tertünte, SCJ (director of the Centro Studi Dehoniani in Rome) and Fr. Artur Sanecki, SCJ (general councilor). Fr. Carlos Luis Suarez Codorniú, SCJ (superior general) opened the meeting, encouraging the commission to “help the congregation walk in the way of our charism today in this world – so different from even a year ago,” said Fr. John van den Hengel, SCJ, coordinator of the North American commission.
The continental coordinators updated each other on the activities of their commissions. Asia has focused on exploring reparation in the Asian context; Europe has undertaken a study of Fr. Dehon’s Couronnes d’amour.
Fr. Stefan gave an overview of some of the recent work of the Centro Studi Dehoniani. Of note: 1) The papers of the Sacred Heart Congress held at the Generalate in November, 2019, have been published in a volume with the title Sacred Heart Devotion. 2) David Neuhold ‘s biography of Fr. Dehon has now been translated into Italian, Spanish and English; the English version will also appear in digital form on the website of the CSD. 3) The CSD website will publish the biography of Fr. Dehon by Bishop Joseph Philippe, the second Superior General. The biography is noteworthy because it provides a perspective of Fr. Dehon by someone who was very close to him. 4) The CSD website updated the publication of the letters of Fr. Dehon; the CSD has uncovered and transcribed more than 10,000 letters. So far, letters dating up to 1901 are on the site.
Other topics of discussion at the meeting included the congregation’s Constitutions; some SCJs have indicated a desire to reread and revitalize them. There was a review of the International Theological Seminar on Sint Unum, held virtually for the first time. Participants also reflected on the impact of COVID-19, and discussed possibilities for the next General Conference, which will most likely be held as a virtual event in 2021.
Click here to read more about the meeting on the DehonCanada website.
Presentation by former SCJ
Former SCJ John Madden writes that “This coming Wednesday, December 16, I will offer another one-hour Zoom seminar on ‘The Birth of Jesus in Art and History’ through Holy Family Church in South Pasadena, CA. If you would like to attend this seminar, please register by contacting Andrell Panconi, the parish point person, at email@example.com”
Hello from Pinellas Park!
Members of the Sacred Heart Community in Pinellas Park, FL, send a few photos along with their Christmas greetings to the province. The photos below were taken during several liturgies during the past few days (along with a quick snapshot in the dining room of Frs. Ralph Intranuovo, SCJ, and Steve Pujdak, SCJ). Fr. Vincent Suparman, SCJ, is local superior of the community. Besides Frs. Ralph, Steve and Vincent, community members include SCJ Fathers Tom Lind, Pat Lloyd and Greg Speck, as well as Bishop Joseph Potocnak, SCJ.