Weekly News: January 21, 2019

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, January 21, 2019

Today we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the efforts of all who work for justice by sharing a quotes on the topic from Dr. King, as well as one from our founder, Fr. Leo John Dehon:

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“All people are deserving of respect and justice, and they have a basic right to enjoy, here on earth, the conditions which nourish their intellectual, moral, and spiritual life. They have a right to daily bread for their family. They have a right, equally and even more so, to humane treatment, to a sufficient degree of education and liberty, and to the opportunity to worship and serve God.”

-Fr. Leo John Dehon, The Christian Social Manual, 3-4

Please note that the Provincial Offices are closed today in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. We reopen on Tuesday, January 22. Provincial Council meetings will be Tuesday and Wednesday.

Prayer for Christian Unity

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day falls during the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This year’s theme for the week: “Justice and only justice shall you pursue.” It is inspired by the words of Deuteronomy.

“Again, this year we are called to pray so that all Christians may once again be a single family, according to God’s will ‘so that they may all be one,’” said Pope Francis. “Ecumenism is not something optional.”

Click here to access materials for the week

Br. Meghanand and Fr. Michael

Mischievous monkeys and a new MA program in India

“When the monkeys played with the cables the internet often went down, but now that we have moved to a satellite system the online classes are going well.”

The quote is from Fr. Michael Augustine, SCJ, rector of the Dehonians’ theology program in the District of India. He was speaking about the first year of the “Adveniat Regnum Tuum Pathway.” The program – a partnership between the district and Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology – allows Indian seminarians to earn a master’s degree in theology through a mix of online courses, classwork in India, and on-site classes at SHSST.

Earlier this month, the first Indian seminarian, Br. Meghanand Bandanadham, SCJ, arrived at SHSST for his on-site coursework. Fr. Michael traveled with Br. Meghanand to both get a first-hand look at SHSST, and to work out details of the newly developing master’s program with faculty and administration.

“Immediately I felt welcome here,” said Fr. Michael. “There is a Dehonian spirit that unites us wherever we go, but the seminary itself, not just the SCJ community, extended the same sense of hospitality, fraternity and generosity.”

He said that he is impressed by SHSST, especially the smaller student to staff ratio as compared to schools in much of India, and the involvement of laity. “It is so good to see so many lay people involved not just in administration but in teaching,” he said. “It gives a good perspective, a sense of diversity. These are professionals well-versed in their disciplines; I am very happy to see the involvement of lay people in such positions.”

Click here to read the full article.

Members of the Canadian Region with Fr. Gustave and the council

New administration in place

As noted last week, the Canadian Region has a new administration. Fr. Gustave Lulendo, SCJ, was installed January 16 for his first three-year term as regional superior. The Regional Council: Fr. Yuliwan Maslim, SCJ, Fr. John van den Hengel, SCJ,  and Fr. Richard Woodbury, SCJ.

“This new role that I am called to exercise in the Canadian Region remains under the mark of service and not of power,” said Fr. Gustave in an interview published on the US website following his installation. “I consider myself simply a confrere, first as a member of my community in Montréal and then a guide for the needs of the Canadian Region.”

A naturalized Canadian citizen from the Democratic Republic of Congo, he added that “I do not consider myself a missionary in Canada but instead, as a member of a large religious family, a Dehonian among Dehonians. I do not represent Congolese culture in Canada, but live Dehonian values, as a Congolese and a Canadian, in a North American context…

“What binds us is our common heritage as Dehonian religious, which has no particular face or color except to the extent that we are worthy spiritual sons of Fr. Leo John Dehon.”

Click here to read the full interview.

Click here to access a reflection that Fr. Gustave gave at the end of the installation. From it, you can also access Fr. John van den Hengel’s homily at the installation Mass.


Br. Diego Diaz, SCJ, is returning to Sacred Heart Monastery this week while waiting for the rest of his immigration paperwork to be finalized.

Also, all SCJs in North America should have received an email last week with an information sheet about travel to Colombia for Dn. Juan Carlos Castañeda Rojas’ priesthood ordination. Missed it? Click here to download a copy.

Closing shot

Music is an important part of prayer. Our novices – Hubert Liassidji on piano, John Huan Nguyen and Angel Romero – receive music lessons from Sr. Rose Marie, OP.

SUBSCRIBE to our weekly electronic newsletter