Chapter comes to an end
On July 11th Provincial Chapter delegates held their final vote on an issue that was on the minds of many (not just in the meeting room, but throughout the country): the rapidly growing number of child migrants on the U.S. – Mexican border.
“We ask that the Provincial Superior and Council issue a scripture-based statement in the name of the chapter regarding the migration of children,” was the text of the final proposal.
Not only did the proposal come out of concerns that have captured headlines in recent weeks, but also out of one of the key issues identified at the North American Continental Conference last September. It was there that SCJs from the U.S. and Canada surfaced immigration as an “urgent reality” that needs to be addressed by the congregation in North America.
Besides revisiting the September conference, the chapter delegates spent much of their time reflecting on Fr. Stephen Huffstetter’s “State of the Province” report. In table discussions the delegates reviewed topics such as community life and mission, vocations, youth, “living simply” in the context of SCJ religious life, the Dehonian charism and how it can be shared more widely, internationality, and the life and needs of senior members.
Of course, another task of the chapter was the election of delegates to the 2015 General Chapter in Rome. Fr. Ed Kilianski and Fr. Duy Nguyen were elected as delegates and Fr. Charles Brown and Fr. Greg Schill were elected as alternates. Fr. Stephen Huffstetter automatically serves as a delegate in his role as provincial superior.
The chapter concluded midday on Friday, July 11.
Photo albums from the chapter, including pictures of Fr. Leonard Tadyszak’s jubilee celebration and Br. Clay Diaz’ final vows ceremony, are available on the province Facebook page.
Fr. Larry Rucker dies
Fr. Larry Rucker, 80, died Sunday, July 13. In recent weeks he had been hospitalized for internal bleeding; his condition worsened on Saturday, necessitating a return to ICU. He soon died of complications.
Born in New York State, Fr. Larry professed first vows in 1953 and was ordained in 1966.
His first assignment after ordination was at St. Joseph’s parish in Cherry, Creek, SD; it was the start of a nearly 30-year commitment to ministry in South Dakota.
Following that first year at Cherry Creek, Fr. Larry did ministry at All Saints Church in Eagle Butte, St. Martin in Murdo and Sacred Heart in Dupree.
In 1983 he moved to Sioux Falls and began a 12-year assignment at the Kateri Indian Center, where he ministered not only to the area’s Native American community, but also to the nearby hospital and prison.
Before retiring in 2001 he served as pastor of St. Joseph parish in Holly Springs, Miss., for five years.
Fr. Larry was a member of the Sacred Heart Community at SHML with residence at the Congregational Home.
Funeral services are pending but will be held at Good Shepherd Chapel at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake.
Br. Clay Diaz, 49,started candidacy with the Priests of the Sacred Heart in 2003. On July 8, the second day of the Provincial Chapter, he made his perpetual profession of vows with the community.
“Being a religious brother, an SCJ brother, is a blessing and a great joy,” he said. “One of the reasons why I joined the SCJs was because of the charism, the love that we have for the Sacred Heart of Jesus, but also because Fr. Dehon, our founder, worked with the poor. When I visit our ministries I realize that I want to continue to follow in his footsteps.
Br. Clay did his undergraduate studies at Saint Xavier University in Chicago, and this past May, he earned a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Studies (MAPS) from Catholic Theological Union, also in Chicago.
Bilingual, Br. Clay is fluent in English and Spanish, including sign language in both languages. Hearing impaired, Br. Clay said that his disability gives him an advantage in reaching out to people with special needs, “I have an understanding of the challenges they face,” he said.
Br. Clay will join the Mississippi community where he will work with Sacred Heart Southern Missions.
Click here to view a photo album from Br. Clay’s ceremony.
Social justice is the theme of the July 11 Dehonian Spirituality update.
In his reflection Fr. Bob Bossie wrote that it was while using something many of us take for granted – hot water – that he came to understand what “Fr. Dehon meant when he instructed us to work for the ‘reign of the Sacred Heart in souls and societies.’ Whatever your or my concern, be it immigration or care for the most vulnerable and the earth itself, we have a personal stake in the status quo to which we cling tenaciously, even if we refuse to acknowledge we do so. Thus, we are confronted by our very own personal call to conversion, to work for the reign of the Sacred Heart in souls and societies. Fr. Dehon knew very well that the work for social justice is essentially a spiritual activity.”
Click here to read this and other reflections and prayers on the Dehon Spirituality page.
Fr. Guy Blair
c/o Prudence and Ron Ruckman
629 W. French Place
San Antonio, TX 78212
Br. Mike Fette (as of July 24)
The Bay Club Apartments
9350 S. Padre Island Dr.
Corpus Christi, TX 78413
Lower Brule, SD
The physical address of the SCJ community is 521 Gall St. The physical address of St. Mary’s Mission is 508 Gall St. The post office boxes for both remain the same.
No Fridge Notes next week
The Fridge Notes (weekly news) will NOT be published next week, July 21. The next publication will be on July 28.
Keep in mind that news items will continue to be published on the province Facebook page, including news from the Dehonian Education Conference in Valencia, Spain. Representatives from all of the province’s schools will take part in the international gathering which is a follow-up to the 2012 General Conference.