Weekly News: January 11, 2016

“Mercy, in the Footsteps of God”

The Six-Year Plan for the congregation, written by Fr. General and his council, was released last week. Titled “Mercy, in the Footsteps of God,” it outlines three areas of focus for the congregation, all based in mercy: marks of mercy in formation, mercy connected with the poor (particularly poverty resulting from migration and globalization) and marks of mercy in evangelization.

“To form our own heart more closely after the heart of Jesus,” writes Fr. Heiner Wilmer, superior general, “we propose that in the years ahead, at all levels that are available to us, we consider anew the seven works of mercy and live them: to feed the hungry, to give drink to the thirsty, to clothe the naked, to give hospitality to the stranger, to care for the sick, to visit those in prison and to bury the dead. How can we, as brothers who seek to be formed according to the Heart of Jesus, live these works of mercy at the beginning of the 21st century? And together with the physical works of mercy, what do the spiritual works mean to us: to teach the ignorant, to give counsel to the doubtful, to comfort mourners, to set the sinner on the right path, to forgive the offender…

“As sons of Fr. Leo Dehon, we want to give real answers to the real needs of our time, and offer concrete help to the problems that arise from migration and globalization. The question of education, especially of the younger generation, the question of justice and peace, the study and implementation of the Social Doctrine of the Church are important issues on which, along with others, we want to focus our attention because of their value. We will also make sure that we are not remiss in managing our financial affairs properly, working toward just collaboration that will allow our efforts to be sustainable.”

Click here to read the full document in English.

Click here, or on the image above, to view a video introduction to the Six-Year Plan. Fr. Heiner speaks in Italian, but there are English subtitles.

Inspired by Fr. Dehon

Fr. Jan de Jong
Fr. Jan de Jong

“I firmly believe that we are true followers of the founder who was passionate for social justice,” writes Fr. Jan de Jong in the first issue of Dehonian Spirituality of 2016. “Being a young priest and the seventh curate in San Quentin, in northern France, Fr. Dehon’s heart was deeply touched by the plight of the laborers’ poor conditions caused by the industrial revolution. He became the mouthpiece of the social teaching of Leo XIII… Throughout my 58 years as a member of the congregation, both in Holland and in the United States, I have been challenged to see working for social justice as an intrinsic part of SCJ spirituality, inspired by the example of Fr. Dehon. I am grateful for this gift.”

Dehonian Spirituality is a weekly e-publication produced by the Dehonian Associates Office of the US Province. Published on Fridays, it includes prayers and reflections based in the spirituality of our founder, Fr. Leo John Dehon.

Anyone is welcome to subscribe. Click here to do so.

Click here to view back issues.

Please remember

+Br. Heinrich Bonaventura Schmedes, a member of the South African Province, died January 7. He was born in 1926 and professed in 1954.

+Fr. Gérard Lachivert, a member of the Franco-European Province, died January 6. He was born in 1943, professed in 1962 and ordained in 1974.


Medicine wheel garden at the Akta Lakota Museum
Medicine wheel garden at the Akta Lakota Museum

“Simply the best around”

The Akta Lakota Museum at St. Joseph’s Indian School continues to get high marks from visitors. “If you want a comprehensive look in a wonderfully varied series of displays, the Akta Lakota is, without a doubt, the finest Native American museum in the region,” wrote a visitor on the website TripAdvisor last week. “It tells stories with integrity and in significant detail… A great place to visit. And while you’re there, stop at the St. Joseph’s chapel too, a beautiful place just down the sidewalk.”

Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 10.25.07 AM“Make time to really explore this beautiful museum,” wrote another recent visitor. “There is so much to see and hands-on activities for both children and adults, alike. There are videos that give some insight to the Lakota people, and some breathtaking artwork on the walls. There are outdoor displays and a small museum dedicated to Saint Joseph’s Indian School. It is not a disappointment!!”

Click here to read more reviews on the TripAdvisor website.

Off to India

Fr. Tom Cassidy returns to the Indian District today where he has been assisting with formation and administration for several months each year. While there he will have a chance to connect with a familiar face: Fr. Stephen Huffstetter, former provincial superior and now general councilor. Fr. Steve and Fr. Heiner Wilmer will be in India January 22 – February 11 for the General Visitation.

Before returning to the States in May, Fr. Tom will also spend time in the Philippines, assisting with the English program there.


Circular letters of Bishop José Ornelas Carvalho – a reminder that the circular letters of Bishop José Ornelas Carvalho, general superior from 2003-16, are available in a bound, hardcover book. If you would like a copy, please contact Fr. Wayne Jenkins in the archives.

Documenta XXIII – a book containing the documents from the 23rd General Chapter, in Italian, is now available. Please contact Br. Frank Presto if you would like to have a copy.


The youth ministry program at Our Lady of Guadalupe, Houston, is teaming up with the US Province to organize a group to take part in this year's World Youth Day in Poland. Young people from the United States will be joining Dehonian youth from around the world at the gathering.
The youth ministry program at Our Lady of Guadalupe, Houston, is teaming up with the US Province to organize a group to take part in this year’s World Youth Day in Poland. Young people from the United States will be joining Dehonian youth from around the world at the gathering.

World Youth Day 2016

The Youth Ministry Office of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Houston, in collaboration with the US Province, is organizing a group of young adults to attend World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland. Br. Andy Gancarczyk is directing the effort.

“This is a big event for young Catholics throughout the world, and especially, for Dehonian youth,” said Br. Andy. “The theme chosen by Pope Francis for World Youth Day is: ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.’ We invite young people to participate in this unique spiritual experience and in doing so we will share our mission, catechize and change young lives!”

There are four spots left for the trip, which will include activities with other Dehonian youth from around the world. The registration deadline is January 27. Eligible participants must be high school graduates, age 18-29, with a connection to the Priests of the Sacred Heart (parish or other ministry). For more information click here to email Br. Andy. Click here to view a PDF with an itinerary and registration information

The SCJs leading the group: Fr. Mark Mastin, Fr. Quang Nguyen, Fra. Juancho Castañeda Rojas, Fra. Justin Krenke and Br. Andy.

Provincial’s Time

Fr. Ed Kilianski is in Texas until January 13 for a visitation and consultation for local superior. January 20-21 he is with the St. Francis Community (Woods Road) for its visitation.

US-Canadian calendar

google-calendar_logoYou can find Fr. Kilianski’s visitation schedule, as well birthdays, Provincial Council meetings, and other significant events in the US Province and Canadian Region in the online Google calendar. Click here to access it. It can also be accessed from a link at the bottom of the US Province website, on the right column of the e-mail version of the Fridge Notes (click on the Google Calendar icon), and in the Members’ section of the US Province website.

The North American calendar can be synced with others on a smart phone or other electronic device, or bookmarked for use on its own.

Have a suggestion for a significant date to add to the calendar? Click here.