Catholic schools week project
January 31 – February 6 is Catholic Schools Week in the United States. To commemorate the week, SCJ Schools in Collaboration students are taking part in a “children helping children” fundraising effort.
Students at St. Joseph’s Indian School (Chamberlain, SD), St. Martin of Tours (Franklin, WI), Holy Family (Holly Springs, MS), Sacred Heart School (Southaven, MS) and Our Lady of Guadalupe (Houston, TX) are raising money this week to assist with refugee relief efforts, especially with children, in the Rio Grande Valley. Fr. Richard MacDonald, who ministers in the Valley, is helping to facilitate the effort.
Catholic Charities in the Rio Grande Valley has already helped 25,000 refugee children who have crossed the border without their parents. Money raised by the students at SCJ schools will go toward basic necessities for these young refugees, including food, shelter and clothing.
The dual work of mercy and teaching
“This morning, as I handed the statue of the Infant Jesus to someone to carry up to the manger, I thought to myself, ‘This is each child I teach. Jesus is divine and human, body and soul, corporal and spiritual. So too are my students,’” wrote Sr. Margaret Sue Broker, a teacher at Sacred Heart School in Southaven, MS. “…The act of teaching is an amazing corporal and spiritual work of mercy.”
“When I console, encourage, or bring a child to an ‘aha’ moment, I nurture the spirit,” she continued. “When I get and give a hug; when I sit with a child and study flashcards; when I guide the hand in forming a letter; when I write out my lesson plans; when I dictate words or numbers; or when I do the thousands of acts of teaching, I am dealing with the physical or corporal. If I do it well, in a compassionate, joyful, loving, merciful way, I nurture the spirit. The act of teaching is an amazing corporal and spiritual work of mercy.”
Sr. Margaret Sue, a School Sister of St. Francis, has taught for 54 years at Sacred Heart School, first in Walls, and now in Southaven, MS. Her reflection on teaching appeared in the January 29 issue of Dehonian Spirituality. Click here to view the full issue.
As was done last year, the Dehonian Associates Office will publish (by email) one-minute Lenten reflections. This year’s theme is “The Renewal of Christian Life,” focusing on the practice of justice and charity based on the writings of Fr. Leo John Dehon. Beginning on Ash Wednesday (February 10) the reflections will be sent three times a week through Easter. Everyone who is subscribed to Dehonian Spirituality will receive the Lenten reflections.
Click here to add other subscribers to “The Renewal of Christian Life.”
The general visitations begin
Fr. Stephen Huffstetter begins his first full year as a member of the General Council with the first visitation of the new administration’s term. The former provincial superior of the US Province joins Fr. Heiner Wilmer, general superior, on a visitation of the Indian District. Fr. Steve shared some of his first impressions of India on the province blog.
“We spent our first full day with the District Council and listened in on their perspectives and ordinary business,” wrote Fr. Steve. “They face dual challenges of financing their projects, and providing well-trained people who can help those projects flourish. Many of the parishes we serve are in poor mission areas. While we are proud that they are consistent with our SCJ mission focus, they are unable to be financially self-sufficient and require support from the district and grants from abroad. Thankfully, we have had generous help from other provinces (including the US Province) and from our benefactors. A goal of the council is to work toward greater financial stability within India, which will take some time.
“Fr. Heiner encouraged the Indian District to find and articulate its own identity. As our presence develops, what will we as Dehonians in India be known for?”
Click here to read the rest of Fr. Steve’s text on the province blog.
Click here or on the image below to view a video of Fr. Steve and Fr. Heiner’s arrival in India. Another familiar face is in the background: Fr. Tom Cassidy.
Hello from Congo!
Fr. Charles Brown sends the photo below writing that “I’m with the novices of the Congolese Province. The novitiate is in eastern Congo near Butembo in a place called Kiragho. I’m giving conferences on St. Paul, St John and our spirituality and ministry. The associate novice director is to my right: Fr Joseph Kathembo Mwanga; the novices are: Dugogi, Ignace, Migache, Celestin, Emmanuel, Mbaga, Jean Pleuris, Dieudonné, Badouin and Lawrence.”
Fr. Wayne Jenkins –– Fr. Wayne is now a member of the Sacred Heart Community at SHML. His address: 7330 S. Lovers Lane Rd., Apt. 104, Franklin, WI 53132-1849.
Fr. Joseph-Thien Dinh –– His preferred email address is email@example.com
Fr. PJ McGuire –– Fr. PJ was released from the hospital last week and is now at the Congregational Home for rehabilitation. He is in Room 1278 (second floor) and his direct phone is 262-703-5552.
+Fr. Battista Caglioni, a member of the North Italian Province, died January 25. He was born in 1920, professed in 1940 and ordained in 1950.
+Fr. Leonardus Azarias Claessens, a member of the Dutch-Flemish Confederation, died January 31. He was born in 1940, professed in 1960 and ordained in 1963.
+Joseph Buckley, the brother-in-law of Fr. Bob Bossie died on January 23 in Cincinnati. He was 85 and suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. Natalie, his wife (Fr. Bob’s sister) died in 2010; they are survived by four sons.
+Jerry Marx, Br. Duane Lemke’s uncle, died last week. Br. Duane wrote that his mother (Mr. Marx’ sister) and other siblings were with him at the time of his death.
Fr. Mark Mastin asks for prayers for his uncle, George Darpel, who had a massive stroke last week.
Fr. Ed Kilianski has council meetings February 2-3. February 14-20 he will do a visitation and consultation for leadership at Sacred Heart at SHML (floors 1-3). The week of February 29 he will be with the Dehon Formation Community for a visitation.