A new Dehonian priest!
“To all of those who are in formation, to those who are trying to discern God’s call, and to those who are thinking about a vocation I say: ‘Do not be afraid to say Yes to God!’ My decision to do so has been one of the best choices I have made in my life.”
The quote is from Fr. Juan Carlos Castañeda Rojas, SCJ. On February 16, he was ordained to the priesthood in his hometown of Rionegro, Colombia, at the Cathedral of Saint Nicolas el Magno. Bishop Fidel Leon Cadavid Marín of Rionegro, was the ordaining bishop.
Thousands of miles from the place he now calls home – the US Province – the ordination brought Fr. Juancho full circle back to where his vocation first took root.
“It meant a lot to me to have my ordination in Colombia because it was there where my vocation began, my journey in answering God’s call,” said Fr. Juancho. “It was there where I said to my family and friends that I wanted to become a priest and dedicate my life to God.”
Those family and friends filled not only the cathedral for Fr. Juancho’s ordination, but also his home parish of San Juan Bosco the next day when he celebrated his First Mass.
Fr. Juancho, 36, professed his first vows with the Priests of the Sacred Heart (Dehonians) in 2013 and was ordained to the diaconate in June, 2018. He earned his M.Div. from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.
Fr. Juancho will continue in ministry at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Houston where he served as a deacon. On Sunday, March 10, the parish will host a Mass of Thanksgiving, followed by a reception in the parish hall. Mass will begin at 1:30 pm. Click here to view the Facebook invitation or call 713-222-0203 for more information.
Click here to read more from Fr. Juancho about his ordination.
Those celebrating birthdays in March include Fr. Joe Dean (72) and Fr. Zbigniew Morawiec (54) on March 3, Fr. Jim Brackin (73) on March 4, Fr. Joseph Mukuna (43) on March 5, Fr. Terry Langley (69) on March 12, Candidate Michael Wodarczyk (31) on March 13, Fr. Pat Lloyd (77) on March 17, Fr. Richard MacDonald (79) on March 18, Fr. Charles Brown (65) on March 19, Fr. Frank Wittouck (81) and Fr. Wojciech Adamczyk (44) on March 23, and Fr. Frank Burshnick (82) and Fr. Jim Schroeder (75) on March 30.
Fr. Carlo Ceccato, a member of the North Italian Province, died February 13. He was born in 1928, professed in 1948 and ordained in 1956.
Also, two former SCJs recently passed away. Fr. John Van Damme, a former member of the Canadian Region, died on February 13, and David Emerick, a former member of the US Province, died on February 3. Please keep them and their families in prayer.
SHSST establishes multi-parish ministry institute
Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology has established an Institute for Pastoral Leadership in Multiple Parishes, addressing the trend of multiple parish ministry of priests in the United States, Canada, and worldwide. The Institute will start with a conference for parish pastors on May 13-16 at SHSST that will provide training, resources, research, and best practices.
Organizers note that today, bishops worldwide are increasingly assigning priests as pastors to faith communities at more than one site. These pastoral assignments include: pastors of multiple parishes, pastors of parishes and missions, and pastors of merged parishes at multiple sites.
“In consultation with my peers, it has become evident that our Church needs to educate priests for the realities of today’s Church, and to prepare them to serve in multiple parishes as pastors,” said Fr. Thomas L. Knoebel, SHSST president-rector.
Only 5% of dioceses in the United States provide specialized training for pastors being asked to undertake this ministry.
Alumni of Immaculate Heart Seminary are holding a celebration in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the closing of the seminary. “We are seeking to find as many faculty members as possible to attend this special event,” wrote Mark Turcio, one of the celebration’s organizers. He noted that Monsignor Michael Shershonovich said that former faculty can stay at the rectory of St Joseph’s in Pittsfield, MA. Click here for the website.
The reunion is June 28-30, 2019. “We will have the Bellefontaine picnic on June 29th at 1:00 pm at The Marians,” wrote Mark. The National Shrine of The Divine Mercy is at 2 Prospect Hill Road, Eden Hill, Stockbridge MA. 01262. There will also be a tour of the school at 91 Kemble St., Lenox, MA on Saturday morning. Mass will be celebrated at St. Joseph’s on Sunday morning.
The dates were picked to coincide with the feast of the Sacred Heart on June 28.
Alumni and other guests are invited to stay at the Berkshire Plaza Hotel. Book early for the best rates.
Questions? Click here to email Mark Turcio.
Meetings and visitations
The Provincial Council meets February 26-27 (Tuesday and Wednesday this week).
After that, the provincial visitations continue. Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, will do the Sacred Heart Monastery Community visitation March 3-8. The Mississippi visitation (facilitated by Fr. Quang Nguyen, SCJ) will be March 14-17, the Novitiate visitation will be March 18-21 (Fr. Ed), and the visitation of the Texas community will be April 22-27 (facilitated by Fr. Christianus Hendrik, SCJ). Fr. Jack Kurps, SCJ, will conduct the South Dakota visitation; details are in the process of being finalized.
Note that the dates of these and other province events are in the US – Canada online Google calendar. A link to the calendar is at the bottom of the Fridge Notes e-blast, as well as the bottom of each page of the US Province website.
Four candidates – Hung Pham for the US Province, and Thien Nguyen, Thuan Nguyen and Truc Tran for the Vietnamese District – were received into postulancy during a small ceremony at the Novitiate on Friday, February 15. Our thanks to Fr. Albertus Joni, SCJ, for photos from the ceremony.