Weekly News: January 4, 2016

The December 23 storms ravaged Holly Springs
The December 23rd storms ravaged Holly Springs

Devastation in Mississippi

Violent storms tore through Holly Springs, MS., just before Christmas. Two teachers at Sacred Heart Southern Missions’ Holy Family School, and the families of several students, lost their homes. On Christmas Eve, SHSM staff met with first responders, the Red Cross, a local alderman and the mayor to assess immediate needs. Laura Grisham, SHSM communications manager, reports that most of those displaced have emergency shelter, either with family members or at one of the local motels.

“We have provided food and clothing and some prescription replacement costs,” she added. “Extra Angel Tree gifts were also provided for a Christmas party given for the children who were displaced. The Garden Cafe remains open twice a week for those needing a hot meal. The Red Cross will remain in service for another week or so. After that, we expect an influx of people who will need some type of shelter. As clients find housing, we [SHSM] will assist with deposits and utility connect fees, as well as other immediate needs.”

St. Joseph’s Church suffered damage to the electrical wires and panels. Repairs are expected to take about a month to complete at a cost of nearly $50,000. The church will continue to celebrate Mass and conduct daytime business “off-grid” until the repairs are made.

Click here to read more about the impact of the December 23 storm and SHSM’s response to it.

Happy anniversary!

Fr. Tom Burns
Fr. Tom Burns

Last week the Sacred Heart Community in Pinellas Park, FL, celebrated the 50th anniversary of Fr. Tom Burns’ ordination; he and Fr. Richard MacDonald were ordained on December 28, 1965. Fr. Mac was to have joined in the celebration but had the funeral of his brother-in-law on the same day.

Fr. Greg Speck was the main celebrant and homilist at the anniversary Mass. Approximately 10 members of Fr. Tom’s family were present, as were Fr. Thi Pham and Sr. Emily Morgan, RSM, with whom Fr. Tom had ministered for many years. Following the liturgy, the community continued the celebration at a local restaurant.

Please remember

Bill Stein, the husband of Fr. Richard MacDonald’s sister, Bea, died December 24 in Tiffin, Ohio. He was 74.

Fr. Pierre Léopold Nguensu Nzoukou, a member of the Cameroon Province, died December 31. He was born in 1975, professed in 2005 and ordained in 2013.

Fr. Giulio Gritti, a member of the Portuguese Province, died on December 31. He was born in 1924, professed in 1941 and ordained in 1950.

Fr. Henryk Soroka, a member of the Polish Province, died on December 31. He was born in 1955, professed in 1977 and ordained in 1983.

Robert E. Elder, the brother of Fr. Leonard Elder, died January 3 at his home in El Monte, CA.

Dehon Study Center newsletter

The latest issue of the Centro Studi Dehoni (Dehon Study Center) e-newsletter is now available. Published in both Italian and English, December’s issue includes a report on documentation found in the archives of the Holy Office regarding Fr. Dehon and the congregation, work of the International Dehonian Theological Commission, an upcoming seminar in Switzerland at which Dr. David Neuhold (Dehon biographer) and Fr. John van den Hengel will be giving a presentation, expanded availability of the founder’s writings, and a farewell to Frs. Claude Siebenaler and Rafael da Costa, who after many years with the center, return to their home provinces.

Click here to view it; a subscription option is also at the link.


SHSST’s Lux Center featured

Milwaukee’s local public television station, MPTV, did a piece of Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology’s Lux Center for Catholic Jewish Studies. Click on the image above, or on the following link to view it: https://youtu.be/c1wI5qOmIXU

The segment was produced to supplement a choral concert that was held Dec. 5 at St. John the Evangelist Cathedral in Milwaukee as part of the 50th anniversary observance of Nostre Aetate. MPTV recorded the concert for a broadcast that aired Dec. 28.

DHS all-school reunion

As noted in the last Fridge Notes, details are coming together for the Divine Heart Seminary all-school reunion. It will take place Saturday, May 21, at Bobak’s Signature Events and Conference Center in Woodridge, IL.

Mass will be at 4:30 pm, followed by cocktail hour (open bar) and a full sit down dinner/banquet. The cost is $70 per person. Spouses are welcome. A block of rooms at a rate of $105 per night has been reserved (Friday/Saturday/Sunday) at the Hyatt Lisle, 1400 Corporetum Drive, Lisle, IL 60532, 630 852-1234.

Mike Whalen notes that several alumni have indicated they wanted to have an informal get together in the hotel bar on Friday night (May 20). “We cannot reserve it, but I would think that we could take it over with no problem,” he wrote. “Lew Bartlett (Class of ’78) has offered to organize a golf event on Saturday (May 21) and I know the Chicago White Sox are playing Kansas City that weekend as well.”

Organizers need a head count on March 18. If you plan to attend, please contact Mike at 847-721-5331 (Michael.whalen3@comcast.net) or Keith George at 630-327-3721 (Krg907@hotmail.com)

There is a Facebook page for the reunion; click here to see it. You do not need to be a member of Facebook to view the page.


Dragana Dragoljevic
Dragana Dragoljevic

Farewell and welcome!

Last week we said good-bye to Jacquelyn Nasby, administrative assistant at Vocation Central. Jacquelyn completed her master’s degree in Community Psychology and is leaving the vocation office to begin work at a local practice. Dragana Dragoljevic, an MATC student in psychology, started with the office last week.


New Year’s Day is often a time for resolutions. The following is a resolution that Fr. Leo John Dehon made on his birthday on March 14, 1886:

“I renounce my own glory
and from now on
I wish to live only for the glory of God.
Everything that I have I consecrate to God:
my body, soul, and intelligence,
my feelings and will,
all my material possessions and relationships.

“From now on,
I must use everything solely for God’s glory
and for the joy and the angels and saints.
therefore, I want to live in Jesus:
in his presence and in his love.
I want to live through him:
through his grace and inspiration.
I want to live for him:
for his glory and his reign.”

Our thanks to David Schimmel, director of Dehonian Associates, for sharing the quote; it appeared in the last issue of Dehonian Spirituality. After a two-week break for the holidays, Dehonian Spirituality will return to its regular Friday publishing schedule on January 8.

ANYONE is welcome to subscribe to the weekly e-publication, which includes reflections, quotes and prayers based in the charism of Fr. Leo John Dehon. Click here to be added to the subscription list.

Provincial’s Time

January 6-13 Fr. Ed Kilianski will be in Texas for a visitation and consultation for the local superior, and January 20-21 he is with the St. Francis Community (Woods Road) for its visitation.

Closing shots

The SCJ community in South Dakota invited members of the Lower Brule – Crow Creek Pastoral Team to join them for Christmas at the community house in Chamberlain. Included in the photos below are Fr. Joe Dean (top), Fr. Christianus Hendrik, Frances Jetty, Marlene McLaughlin and Dn. Steve McLaughlin (middle), and Dn. Bud Jetty.


Joe Dean


Couch at SD Christmas