Weekly News: January 25, 2016

Members of the North American Immigration Committee: Fr. Richard MacDonald, Fr, John Czyzynski, Fr. Élie Muzungu Kasongo-Ngoy, Br. Duane Lemke, Fr. Tony Russo, Mark Peters and Fr. Peter McKenna
Members of the North American Immigration Committee: Fr. Richard MacDonald, Fr, John Czyzynski, Fr. Élie Muzungu Kasongo-Ngoy, Br. Duane Lemke, Fr. Tony Russo, Mark Peters and Fr. Peter McKenna

Continuing the follow-up

The North American Immigration Committee met last week at the Provincialate Offices in Hales Corners. Among the topics discussed was local community responses to issues regarding refugees and immigrants. See the story below to find out what the Dehon Formation Community in Chicago plans to do.

The committee also discussed continued ways in which to educate SCJs and others on immigration issues, including a March 14 workshop in Toronto on welcoming and accompanying Syrian refugees within the context of Islamic and Christian faiths.

Members of the NORAM Immigration Committee are Fr. John Czyzynski, Br. Duane Lemke, Fr. Richard MacDonald, Fr. Peter McKenna, Fr. Élie Muzungu Kasongo-Ngoy, Mark Peters and Fr. Tony Russo.

Click on any of their names to contact them. Their next meeting is March 30-31in Hales Corners.

Formation community responds to the needs of refugees

Alonso Barrantes and Fra. James Nguyen during a community meeting in Chicago.
Alonso Barrantes and Fra. James Nguyen during a community meeting in Chicago.

Br. Duane Lemke, local superior of the Dehon Formation Community in Chicago, sent an email to say that “With approval from the administration, the Dehon Formation Community is excitedly moving forward in offering a section of apartments to an organization that works with undocumented women and families awaiting court appointments. [The apartments would be physically separated from the rest of the formation community.] The organization is partnered with the Chicago Archdiocese and Catholic Theological Union. The House Council is now addressing legal and rental obligations.”

Br. Duane adds that because of recent province discussions on immigration, students are seeking exposure to ministerial opportunities that affect refugees and other immigrants. Already, students have worked with organizations such as Port Ministries, the Midwest Workers Association and Taller De Jose House.

Keep in prayer

Fr. Bob Bossie –– Fr. Bob was hospitalized with chest tightness on Saturday night. Tests have ruled out cardiac concerns but he is being held for a day or two for further testing. He is feeling better and in good spirits.

Fr. P.J. McGuire –– Fr. PJ was hospitalized last week for an infection and cardiac concerns. He received a pacemaker on Thursday and continues to be monitored. He is said to be feeling better.

Fr. Yvon Sheehy –– Fr. Yvon was hospitalized last week for a significant leg infection.


Phong Hoang
Phong Hoang

Phong Hoang –– Phong is a new candidate who just moved to the Dehon Formation Community this month. His email address: hoanglephong1@gmail.com . Welcome Phong!

Fr. Francis Vu Tran –– Fr. Francis has been transferred by the general administration from the US Province to the Vietnamese District. He will continue to live with the St. Joseph’s Community (4th Floor) at SHML until summer, during which time he hopes to complete his work on his doctoral dissertation. He plans to move to Vietnam in August.

Br. Long Nguyen –– Br. Long is now a member of the Dehon Formation Community in Chicago where he is beginning M.Div. studies at Catholic Theological Union.happy-birthday-long

Happy birthday!

Those celebrating birthdays in February include: Dn. David Nagel (65) on Feb. 6, Fr. Paul Kelly (66) on Feb. 9, Fr. Duy Nguyen (38) on Feb. 17, Fr. Quang Nguyen (51) and Candidate Henry Nguyen (27) on Feb. 18, Fr. Greg Murray (59) on Feb. 19, Fr. Mark Mastin (59) on Feb. 21, Candidate Liem Nguyen (34) on Feb. 24 and Fr. Peter Sanders (76) on Feb. 28.

A reminder: all birthdays and dates of death of SCJs in the US and Canada are listed in the “Days of Celebration and Commemoration” booklet sent to SCJs in December. Phone numbers and email addresses of North American SCJs are found in the back of the booklet. An electronic copy can be downloaded from the Members’ section of the US Province website.

Dehonian Spirituality

Fr. Dominic Peluse
Fr. Dominic Peluse

Fr. Dominic Peluse wrote the “Lived and Shared” reflection in the most recent Dehonian Spirituality. In it, he reflected on his 35 years of parish ministry, comparing them to the work that he currently does now as spiritual director of the Province Development Office.

“Through my preaching the Gospel and writing in the church bulletins I tried to share the love and devotion of the Sacred Heart,” he wrote.  “In my reminiscing of those days, there were churches of 300 families, 700, and as many as 2,000 families. Little did I realize that when I was asked to be the spiritual director of the Priests of the Sacred Heart that I would now be writing to over 500,000 families practically every other week!

“In the letters that I write, I strive to show them that our founder, Fr. Dehon, wanted them to feel the presence of Jesus in their life — that Jesus is with them when they wake up the in the morning and is there with them even when they may feel unloved, tired, or frustrated.  Just as important, Fr. Dehon wanted us to respond to Jesus’ outpouring of love, to the gift of Himself. The letters that I receive in return are so very much personal.  Accompanying their intentions, which they ask to be remembered when I celebrate Mass, are sometimes pages of how the Sacred Heart has been with them throughout their lives — especially the times of difficulty…

“Even as I write this, I received a phone call from the seminary [SHSST] that a person from out East was there and wanted to speak to me and share her story of how the Sacred Heart had been with her, especially with the death of her son.  In a real sense, the letters that are written to promote the spirituality of the Sacred Heart are seeds that are planted.  In trusted faith; we let God do the rest!”

Anyone is welcome to receive Dehonian Spirituality, a weekly e-newsletter. Click here to add a subscriber.

Beginning on Ash Wednesday, the Dehonian Associates Office will also publish “The Renewal of Christian Life,” one-minute Lenten reflections on the practice of justice and charity based on the writings of Fr. Leo John Dehon. These will be sent by email three times a week through Easter. Everyone who is subscribed to Dehonian Spirituality will receive the Lenten reflections. Click here to add other subscribers to “The Renewal of Christian Life.”


Fr. Steve is welcomed by the Indian community
Fr. Steve is welcomed by the Indian community

First general visitation

Last week Fr. Stephen Huffstetter began his first visitation as a member of the General Council. He and Fr. Heiner Wilmer started with the newest house in the Indian District, Dehon Jyothi House in Chennai. An introductory house in the formation program, there are currently six students from four states (Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Orissa) in the community.

You may recall stories from the Dehon Jyothi during the November floods in Chennai. Students got out their fishing nets and caught their dinner in the flooded streets that surrounded them. The evening fish fries stopped when the risk of bites from poisonous water snakes became too great.

Provincial’s Time

Fr. Ed Kilianski is in Pinellas Park, FL, for a visitation until January 29. February 2-3 he has Provincial Council meetings and February 14-20 he will do a visitation and consultation for leadership at Sacred Heart at SHML (floors 1-3). The week of February 29 he will be with the Dehon Formation Community for a visitation.