Weekly News: February 20, 2012

Fr. Stephen Huffstetter got into the Valentine's Day spirit last week

Busy weekend at St. Joe’s

As you can see from the photo above, Fr. Stephen Huffstetter, executive director of St. Joseph’s Indian School in South Dakota, really got into the spirit of Valentine’s Day. He wrote about getting his temporary tattoo, as well as other events of the weekend, on the school’s blog:

“Grades 1-5 gathered in the Rec Center for a Valentine’s Day Sobriety Carnival. Older students helped with the games, which included a fish pond, bean bag throw and ring toss, to name a few. We had lots of smaller prizes sent in by our donors, and the students were happy to win fun little knick-knacks, toys and games…

“One group of junior high girls staffed a face painting station, and many of the students got colorful, temporary decorations to highlight their features. I got in the act and, since it was Valentine’s Day, (or maybe because I’m a Priest of the Sacred Heart), and got a bright red heart painted on my cheek.

“After the younger students cleared out, grades 6-12 came back for a dance. Chris, a junior in high school, helped DJ. He pointed out to me that he’d edited a lot of the popular songs on his playlist so they could be marked with an asterisk denoting ‘clean,’ meaning there was no inappropriate language…

“Sunday at church, Peter from the Raphael Home (1st-3rd grade boys) introduced me to our newest first grader, who just began this week. He told me the child was both excited and nervous because he had never been to church before, and didn’t quite know what to expect. His housemates helped him figure out when to stand and when to sit, and where to find prayers in the books, and it turned out okay.

“Sunday afternoon, our junior high girls had two rounds of inter-city basketball. Afterwards, I hung around the gym when the younger grades came in for their recreation time. I worked with a couple of young girls on how to pass a basketball and shoot a layup, then took some time just walking around the gym and talking to the kids. Most of the time they seem me in black clerical attire, and they were fascinated to see me in sweat pants and shirt, learning that I do have other clothes!”

Click here to read Fr. Steve’s full entry, as well as previous posts.

Former SCJ seminarian continues Dehonian values

“My husband, Jim Marks, spent 12 years with the SCJs.  He went to Donaldson for high school, Honesdale for college, Lenox to teach for two years and Sacred Heart School of Theology to continue his studies,” writes Judy Marks.  “Although he did not get ordained, his studies prepared him to make a real difference in the world. During his time in the seminary he met many students and teachers who influenced his skills and values.

“In September he was given an award from Community Shares for his lifetime commitment to social justice.  He has positively affected the lives of the homeless, people living with HIV/AIDS, people with mental illness, and young people trying to make a difference.”

Lead 2 Change, an organization that provides grant dollars for youth-led community service projects, also gave him an award. In fact, they named it after him: The “James A Marks Legacy Award” for starting the organization.

“Jim officially retired from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation on December 31, 2011,” continued Judy.  “He still volunteers on the board of Donor’s Forum of Wisconsin, Youthatti, the Housing Authority of Milwaukee and the Planning Council Alumni organization. I am proud of his work and the moral values that shape his integrity. After attending a reunion in Hales Corners last summer at Sacred Heart School of Theology, I can see that many former SCJ seminarians have used their lives to make the world a better place.”

On February 23 Jim will be honored again, this time with a retirement party hosted by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.

If you would like to reconnect with Jim, his email is judyandjim@yahoo.com Also, an article about Jim was published in the Mukwonago Chief. Click here to read it.

Just a parish priest

Most written communication that comes to the Provincialate now is via email. So it is a treat to get an old fashioned, handwritten letter from Bishop Joe Potocnak. The retired bishop of De Aar, South Africa, Bishop Joe has been back in parish ministry since the end of last year. He writes:

“I am back to being a parish priest, this time at St. James Church in Port Alfred, South Africa. It is a town on the coast of the Indian Ocean in the Port Elizabeth Diocese. It seems to be just right for me; I celebrate Mass each day, and two Masses on Sunday.

“I visit the hospital a couple of times during the week but otherwise I have a lot of time to pray, to walk, and to rest. I just got some golf clubs, so maybe I’ll get busy with that soon.

“I was in Port Elizabeth for a priests’ meeting; there are about 50 priests in the diocese. Unfortunately, the bishop of the diocese passed away before Christmas and no bishop has yet been appointed to take his place. I will be helping out by having the Chrism Mass during Holy Week.

“Recently, we also lost Bishop Baaij. He was a wonderful priest and pastor who never thought about himself. He reached out to the rich and elite and also to the poorest of the poor. He followed Fr. Dehon’s command ‘to go to the people.’ He loved to visit the sick and dying. In 1974, before he was named bishop, I was with him in Colesburg. He prayed with and visited the poorest people. He preached the Good News not just in words but in his reaching out to the needy…

“And yes, I know that I am still living in the 1950s because I write letters and don’t use email! Somebody has to continue the tradition.”

Please remember…

Fr. Sidinei Nascimento Guarda of the North Brazilian Province died on February 19. He was born in 1974, professed in 1999 and ordained in 2007.

Grace Gentile, the sister of Fr. Ralph Intranuovo, died on February 19. She was 88; arrangements are pending in Brooklyn.


Please note that Fr. Charles Yost’s current email address is:

SCJ News on-line

The February SCJ News is now available on the province website. Click here to download a copy. The print version is in the mail.

Provincial’s Time

Fr. Tom Cassidy will be spending most of his time in the Milwaukee area until he goes to the Philippines March 8. He is going there to take part in celebrations tied to the district becoming a region.

Upcoming meetings and events:

March 5-6: Local Coordinators/Superiors Meeting (Hales Corners)
March 27-28: Provincial Council Meeting
April 15: Easter Concert at Sacred Heart Monastery/School of Theology
May 15: Mass for the Anointing of the Sick, SHM/SHST
May 30-31: Provincial Council Meeting (budgets)
June 15: Feast of the Sacred Heart
June 28: Provincial Council Meeting (conference call re: formation)
July 9-12: Province Assembly, Hales Corners
July 16-21: General Conference, Neustadt, Germany
July 23-25: SCJ Major Superiors Meeting, Neustadt, Germany

April 8-9: Mission Education Conference, St. Joseph’s Indian School
Week of June 3: Province Election Assembly