Weekly News: July 15, 2019

Seeking a response to immigration in light of Catholic social teaching

“I have never heard this topic addressed at our parish; I am going to call my pastor this afternoon!”

The topic was “immigration” and the comment came in the midst of small group discussions at an initial meeting of the newly developing “Catholic Coalition for Migrants and Refugees.”

Mark Peters and Kelly Kornacki

Approximately 75 people, representing a wide variety of Catholic parishes, organizations and religious communities throughout the Milwaukee area, gathered July 11 at the Provincial Conference Center in Hales Corners, WI, to discuss immigration. In particular, how they could help to create a response to immigration issues in light of Catholic social teaching.

It was a response to Sr. Norma Pimentel, MJ, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, who called on Catholics to “do something” about the nation’s broken immigration system. She was the featured speaker at the Dehon Lecture at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology in April. Sr. Norma said that as U.S. citizens, all are “complicit” in the actions of the government, and when citizens disagree with the government’s actions they must speak out. Individuals may have little or no influence on political leaders, but, she added, “in large numbers, voices can be heard.”

Mark Peters, US Province director of Justice, Peace and Reconciliation, said that the July 11 gathering was one of the first steps in building those “large numbers,” helping the voice of Catholic social teaching be heard.

The gathering was sponsored by the Priests of the Sacred Heart; several SCJs attended the meeting including Fr. Jack Kurps, Fr. Tony Russo, Fr. Ed Zemlik and Fr. Jim Schroeder.

Click here to read more.

Click here to view a few photos from the gathering.

Br. Diego (far left) at the Brothers Conference in Brazil

Dehonian brothers meet in Brazil

Br. Diego Diaz, SCJ, was a presenter at last week’s meeting of SCJ religious brothers in Campos do Jordão, São Paulo, Brazil. Originally from Argentina, Br. Diego is now a member of the Mississippi community, where he ministers with Sacred Heart Southern Missions. Br. Diego’s theme was “Accompaniment Based in the Heart of Jesus.” Taking part in the conference were religious brothers from Brazil and Chile.

Br. Diego wrote that this third meeting of religious brothers in Latin America was born from the initiative of CLAR (the Latin American Conference of Religious) to promote spaces for religious brothers to be together. The first meeting was held in Buenos Aires in 2015 with the theme “Men, Artisans of Mercy.”

“There we reflected on the General Conference of Brothers held in Hales Corners, WI, and the names of the first brothers who were with Fr. Dehon at the beginning of the foundation,’ wrote Br. Diego. The group meet again in Santiago, Chile, in 2017, focusing on the call “to share.”

During last week’s gathering, participants “shared our experiences of being brothers, as brothers,” continued Br. Diego. They created a map that marked the many places that brothers are present. Together, the group went to Our Lady of Aparecida and “were amazed by the great work that the SCJs carry out at the San Judas Tadeo Institute. In these days we shared and understood that our congregation is alive, reaching out to the peripheries.

“We want to share with the whole congregation the joy of our vocation as brothers and continue walking as SCJs, as Dehonians, faithful to our spirit of prophetic witness.”

Click on either Spanish or English to read the concluding statement of conference.

“It was a meeting filled with the Dehonian spirit,” said Br. Diego. The next meeting of Dehonian brothers is tentatively scheduled for August, 2021, in the Brazil-Recife Province.

July 30 is World Day Against Human Trafficking

The North American Migration Committee notes that there are many ways that you can help fight the horrific global problem of human trafficking, a crime that exploits women, children and men for numerous purposes including forced labor and sex. The International Labour Organization estimates that 21 million people are victims of forced labor globally. This estimate also includes victims of human trafficking for labor and sexual exploitation.

What can you do? Stay informed and support organizations like Talitha Kum.

Continuing the theme of the opening story about the meeting of the Catholic Coalition for Migrants and Refugees, members of the NAMC add that the immigration situation at the southern US border, in particular, the detention camps that have been the focus of recent attention, calls for a response. The committee suggests several action steps: 1) pray without ceasing, but don’t stop there; 2) stay angry and shocked, keep sharing the news on social media, keep commenting, keep writing to your congressional representatives; 3) the fastest way to help immigrants is to pay their bail. Learn more here; and 5) contact your representatives and demand that they put an end to inhumane conditions.

Fr. Peter McKenna shared the above information on behalf of the NAMC. Click here to contact him directly.

Scheduling notes

Due to vacation schedules there will be no Fridge Notes published next week, July 22. The next issue will be on Monday, July 29.

Also, there will be no issue of Dehonian Spirituality on July 19 or July 26. The next issue will be August 2.

Br. Manish (left) will help to begin the first mission of the Indian District

Indian District begins its first mission

Fr. Tom Cassidy, SCJ, continues to keep a daily journal during his time with the Dehonian community in India. Recently, he wrote about the district’s efforts in developing its first mission:

Br. Manish Nayak, SCJ, will shortly head to Odisha to help set up our first SCJ mission in his home state. In so many ways it reminds me of the early mission days of our German SCJs in the United States when travel was difficult and roads (at least paved roads) were few and far between. Manish leaves this weekend with our district treasurer as the advance party to begin to get things organized for the arrival next week of Frs. Michael Benedict, SCJ, and Vijaya Bhaskar Reddy Yeruva, SCJ, who are the first two assigned to our Bisaguda Mission.

“To say the least, this is a remote area.  Click here to read more on the province blog.

Remember in prayer

Kevin Huffstetter, the father of Fr. Stephen Huffstetter, vicar general, died peacefully early this morning. Fr. Steve writes that the funeral will be at 11:00 a.m. at St. Paul Church in Valparaiso, IN, on Friday. He thanks SCJs and co-workers for their prayers as his father has struggled with a number of health concerns in recent months.

Fr. Ed Kilianski reports that his surgery on Friday afternoon to remove the big toe on his left foot went well. He is expected to be released from the hospital either today or tomorrow (Monday or Tuesday).

Fr. Vincent Suparman had a cardiac catheterization in which three blockages were found. Tomorrow, he will return to St. Anthony’s Hospital in St. Petersburg to address the blockages, most likely with bypass surgery. The procedure is at 11:40 a.m.

Preparing for Novitiate and First Vows

During this week, four SCJ postulants: Hung Pham, Thien Nguyen, Thuan Nguyen, and Tran Van Truc, and two SCJ novices: John Nguyen and Hubert Liassidji will be making a retreat at the Siena Center in Racine, WI.  The directed retreat runs from Tuesday, July 16, until Saturday, July 20.  This is a significant time of preparation for these men.  Please keep them in prayer.

Entrance to Novitiate ceremony

The Entrance to Novitiate ceremony will take place on August 14 at 4:30 pm at the Sacred Heart Novitiate. All SCJs and candidates are invited to attend. HOWEVER, please let them know if you are coming so that they can plan for food needs.

Click here to RSVP.

Phone update

Fr. Duy Nguyen, SCJ, has a new cell phone number. His full, updated listing is available in the online directory. This is a password-protected area of the website in the Members section; click here if you need assistance in accessing it.

Participants in this year’s Schools in Collaboration gathering

Dehonian Schools in Collaboration

Each summer, representatives from various Dehonian schools in North America gather for a “Schools in Collaboration Institute.” It’s a time for staff and students to get to know about each other and about the schools and communities they represent. This year, St. Joseph’s Indian School hosted the event from June 10-14. Participating schools included: Our Lady of Guadalupe (Houston, TX), Holy Family (Holly Springs, MS), Sacred Heart (Southaven, MS), Séminaire du Sacré-Coeur (Quebec, Canada) and St. Joseph’s Indian School (Chamberlain, SD). Each school sent four students and two chaperones.

Besides activities at St. Joseph’s, the group also had a chance to do some sightseeing in South Dakota, including visits to the Badlands, Mt. Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial. The group is pictured here at Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel at St. Joseph’s. Our thanks to Sharmel Olson, Director of Education at St. Joseph’s, and Robert Laurin of Séminaire du Sacré-Coeur, for sharing news and photos from the gathering.

Following in the steps of Fr. Dehon in the Holy Land

As we noted last week, Fr. Joseph-Thein Dinh, SCJ, of the US Province, is taking part in the general administration’s nine-month formators’ course. The group has been following in the footsteps of Fr. Dehon, reflecting on passages from the founder’s journal. They are now in the Holy Land, and pictured below in Nazareth. With the photo, they share the following:

“We came to Nazareth accompanied by the reading of the diary of Fr. Dehon, through which, we understand this place by its history and especially, in its spirituality, that for us as Dehonians, is essential to our founding. We walked through the streets of Nazareth in wonder. The solemn celebration of the Angelus and the evening torchlight procession with the Arab Christian community and other pilgrims made this day even more special. During Mass at the church of St. Joseph, we prayed for all those in the congregation who serve in leadership.”

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