Weekly News: February 26, 2018

SHSM in-service focuses on migration

Members of the US Province Justice, Peace and Reconciliation Commission were the presenters at the February 19 in-service for staff of Sacred Heart Southern Missions in Mississippi. Continuing a theme begun at the October in-service, the JPR Commission provided an in-depth look at immigration and related issues. [Fr. Ed Zemlik, a member of the commission, is pictured above.]

The focus of Monday’s program was on the overwhelmingly human aspect of immigration, asking attendees to look at the issues not as politicians, but as Christians.

Beginning in prayer, staff members were reminded that one need only to look to the Bible to understand how to respond to immigration:

“When aliens settle with you in your land, you shall not oppress them. They shall be treated as native-born among you and you shall love them as people like yourselves, because you were aliens in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” Lev. 19:33-34

People are displaced by war, poverty, oppression and violence. However, seeking a haven in a new country, immigrants are often  met with formidable challenges and prejudices.

“So often it is fear that plays such a big part in how we respond to those seeking to enter our country,” said Fr. John Czyzynski.

Mark Peters, US Province JPR director, shared a wealth of information on immigration, including fact sheets on border security, crime statistics, green cards and waiting lists.

Fr. Bob Bossie examined the “push and pull” factors of immigration, more specifically, what causes a person to leave his country and what attracts the person to another country. “In recognizing these conditions, we are obligated as Christians, and in justice, to welcome immigrants into our country,” he said.

Concluding the day, Mark Peters suggested ways to support immigrants, including advocacy for those without a voice, offering facts to others in a respectful way, communicating concerns to elected officials, and sharing stories of real people.

Our thanks to Laura Grisham, SHSM’s communications director, who provided the information for this story. Click here to view photos that she posted from the day.

National Catholic Call-In Day

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), along with USCCB vice-president, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, chairman, USCCB Committee on Migration, have issued a call to U.S. Catholics and people of good will across the nation to take part in a “Call-in-Day” on February 26 (TODAY!) for the Protection of Dreamers.

On the USCCB website they write: “With the March 5th deadline looming, we ask once again that Members of Congress show the leadership necessary to find a just and humane solution for these young people, who daily face mounting anxiety and uncertainty.”

The bishops ask individuals to contact their Members of Congress to urge them to protect Dreamers from deportation, provide them a path to citizenship, and to avoid any damage to existing protections for families and unaccompanied minors in the process

To take part in the Call-In-Day to Protect Dreamers, please contact your Members of Congress by calling 855-589-5698

Click here for more information on the USCCB website.


Last week’s Fridge Notes gave incorrect dates for the SHSST fall symposium titled, “Discovering Pope Francis: Theological, Philosophical, Cultural and Spiritual Perspectives.” It will take place OCTOBER 8-11, not November 8-11. Presenters will include Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, as well as Bishop Robert Barron, Massimo Borghesi, Rocco Buttiglione, Guzmán Carriquiry, Rodrigo Guerra López, Austen Ivereigh, and Susan K. Wood, SCL.

March birthdays

Those celebrating birthdays in March include Fr. Joe Dean (71) and Fr. Ziggy Morawiec (53) on March 3, Fr. Jim Brackin (72) on March 4, Fr. Joseph Mukuna (42) on March 5, Fr. Terry Langley (68) on March 12, Fr. Pat Lloyd (76) on March 17, Fr. Richard MacDonald (79) on March 18, Fr. Charles Brown (64) on March 19, Fr. Frank Wittouck (80) and Fr. Wojciech Adamczyk (43) on March 23, and Fr. Frank Burshnick (81) and Fr. Jim Schroeder (74) on March 30. Happy birthday!

Fr. Charles with retreat participants in South Africa

In South Africa

Fr. Charles Brown shares a photo from South Africa where he is working with a group taking part in the the Southern Africa Catholic Bishops Conference sabbatical program for priests and religious in Port Elizabeth. “I am using the letters of St. Paul as models of church ministry for us today,” he wrote. Fr. Charles has given similar presentations to previous program participants. Note that the image of the icon behind the group is a reproduction of one painted by Fr. Charles.

SHSST newsletter

Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology recently published a 24-page newsletter for sponsoring bishops and religious communities, as well as others with ties to the school. If you haven’t seen it, click here to download a PDF of the Spring issue.

SCJ cardinal noted in newly published book about Pope John Paul II

Cardinal Nagy

Fr. Bernie Rosinski writes that he “came across four references to Fr. Stanislaus Nagy, SCJ (later made Cardinal) in the new book by George Weigel, Lessons in Hope. Weigel was the biographer of Pope John Paul II. Apparently, Fr. Nagy was making his semi-annual visit to his friend and long-time colleague Pope John Paul on the very evening George Weigel presented his then newly published biography, Witness to Hope, to the Holy Father. It seems that Weigel learned on that visit that Fr. Nagy was an old friend of the Pope, a theologian, and an interesting conversationalist. He asked how Weigel was able to complete the biography in only three years. He also asked how people in the United States and in Europe were reacting to Pope John Paul. Weigel responded that he saw The Gospel of Life (Evangelium Vitae) on sale at a supermarket checkout counter. In the print edition, Nagy is indexed on pages 228, and 229.” Thanks for the news tidbit Fr. Bernie!

Provincial’s calendar

Fr. Ed Kilianski is in the office this week, and then has the Novitiate visitation February 26 – March 1. The afternoon of March 1 he will leave for Houston, where he will work with Br. Andy Gancarczyk to finalize the State of the Province video and to do weekend help-out ministry at Our Lady of Guadalupe. He will be back in Milwaukee in time for the March 6-7 Provincial Council meetings. On March 9, he has an SHSST board meeting, and from March 11-19 he will be in Pinellas Park, FL, for a visitation. March 24 – April 2 he will be in Mississippi for a visitation and for Holy Week.

Happy Lunar New Year!

The novitiate community hosted a Lunar New Year’s party last week. Our thanks to Fr. Albertus Joni for photos from the gathering. Happy Year of the Dog!