Weekly News: July 27, 2020

 Path to the missions began at SHSST

“Formation is key to building our Dehonian presence wherever we are, about laying the foundation for the presence of our charism,” said Fr. Amaro Vieira, SCJ, an alumnus of Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology‘s ECS program (English and Cultural Studies, formerly ESL). “Our Dehonian charism calls us to be among the least, to be present in the most difficult places, places that may feel forgotten. This is what formation is about; it is about instilling that call of our founder in the hearts of the next generation.”

Fr. Amaro (right) with Fr. Pedro Iglesias Curto, secretary general, during the anniversary celebrations in India last year.

Originally from Portugal, Fr. Amaro, 53, was a student in the ESL program from 2000 to 2001 in preparation for his first mission assignment, working in the District of India from 2001-2007. Since 2010, he has served in Angola. Most of Fr. Amaro’s years as an SCJ have been in formation, preparing others for religious life and ministry.

“I look with hope to the future,” he said. “I do believe that God is asking me to go further in my availability to fulfill his will. My struggle is to fight my worldly desire of stability. So, my prayer: May God give me the strength and the courage to listen to his call. I do believe He is calling me to always go beyond.”

Click here to read more about Fr. Amaro on the US Province website.

ECS program continues in the midst of COVID-19

Educational programs around the world are constantly trying to adapt to the challenges and restrictions created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The English and Cultural Studies program at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology (formerly ESL) is no different. Kelly Kornacki, VP of International Preparation for Ministry, emphasized that although the situation is constantly changing, ECS staff are seeking ways to continue the program’s mission of preparing international students for ministry in English-speaking environments.

Usually, the halls at SHSST at this time of the year are filled with ECS students from around the world. But, due to the pandemic, the first summer session of ECS was cancelled. Plans are being made for an in-person session at the end of August. Knowing that this does not give most students enough time to get F-1 visas (or perhaps even the possibility to travel due to pandemic restrictions), SHSST is also offering a session that will begin on October 19 and go until mid-December.

Anyone who is interested in one of these sessions, or who has questions about other possibilities for either online or in-person learning, should contact Kelly Kornacki at KKornacki@shsst.edu or 414-858-4726.

Fr. Francis (right) goes over paperwork with Fr. Paul Dong Pham, pastor of St. Paul Parish, which operates Huong Tam School.

Vietnam District enters into partnership with school

On July 18, the District of Vietnam entered into a partnership with Huong Tam School, a ministry in which Dehonians have been involved since the district’s beginnings. Being recognized as an official partner will allow the district to be a part of the planning process for the future of the school and its outreach.

Huong Tam focuses on educating the children of migrant factory workers; each year the school welcomes approximately 300 students who would otherwise have no school to go to. Fr. Francis Vu Tran, SCJ, district superior, was a member of the US Province prior to joining the Vietnamese District.

Click here to read an article about the school, published in 2013.

Please remember

Bill Kurps, the eldest brother of Fr. Jack Kurps, SCJ, died unexpectedly last Thursday at his home in South Carolina after falling and hitting his head. He was 76 and leaves his wife of 56 years and two sons.

Keep in prayer

Frater Hubert Liassidji, SCJ, asks for prayers for his father, Theodore, and his nephew, Bob. Frater Hubert writes that “My father’s health is getting very critical. He is having shortness of breath because of his lung infection. Also, my nephew was involved in car accident in Iowa on his way back home from work.”

Also, please keep Fr. Bob Tucker, SCJ, in your prayers as he continues his lengthy recovery process following a lung transplant at the beginning of July. Cards or letters can be sent to him at:

Loyola University Medical Center
2160 S 1st Avenue
Maywood, IL 60153
Attention:  Fr. Robert Tucker, MICU Room 3034

Professions to be livestreamed

Due to COVID-19, the First Professions ceremony will only be open to SCJs in the Milwaukee area. However, it will be livestreamed on the US Province Facebook page beginning at 11:00 a.m. central. On August 15. You do not need to be a member of Facebook to see the video, which will be saved on the page for later viewing.

Click here to access the US Province Facebook page. The link will also be sent to SCJs via email in the weeks leading up to the ceremony.

Happy birthday!

Those celebrating birthdays in August include: Fr. Steve Pujdak on Aug. 2, Br. Bernard Taube and Br. Peter Mankins on Aug. 8, Fr. Paulin Makiala on Aug. 9, Br. Ray Kozuch on Aug. 22, Br. Frank Presto and Br. Frank Snider on Aug. 28, and Fr. Herman Falke on Aug. 31.

Directory updates

A reminder that birthdays, as well as dates of profession and ordination, are available in the online personnel directory which can be found in the Members section of the US Province website. The most recent updates were made on July 23. Both high res and low res PDFs of the print directory, also updated on July 23, are available at the top of the online directory webpage. The low res is appropriate for use in a smartphone or other mobile device (on an iPhone it can be saved and accessed in “Books;” Androids have an app titled “Play Books).

Another COVID cancellation

The Divine Heart Seminary reunion scheduled for September 12 has been cancelled. Keith George, one of the organizers, hopes that it can be rescheduled for May, 2021.

A “new normal”?

“In this moment, nobody knows what is the ‘new normal,’” said Fr. Stefan Tertünte, SCJ, director of the Centro Studi Dehoniani in Rome. He was responding to a question about the recently completed International Dehonian Theological Seminar which moved from being an in-person conference in Cameroon to a fully on-line format due to the pandemic. Would the format be a model for a “new normal” in congregational events?

“Yes, it is possible to gather people around the world and work together via streaming, but surely there are limits,” Fr. Stefan said. “There was no time to pray together, to take coffee and discuss the topics with each other.” There were many positive aspects of the online conference, but it does not fully replace the many benefits of being physically present with others.”

Click here or on the image above to view Fr. Stefan’s full interview (English).

Click here to access the final message of the seminar (various languages).

Centro Studi Dehoniani newsletter available 

The most recent issue of the electronic newsletter of the Centro Studi Dehoniani (Dehon Study Center in Rome) is now available. Topics include the recently completed international theological seminar, the conclusion of the Dehonian Scholarship program at the CSD, Fr. Juan José Arnaiz Ecker’s move from CSD vice director to serving as the provincial superior of Spain, a reflection on the International Colloquium on Devotion to the Sacred Heart held last November, and the completion of the English translation of Dr. David Neuhold’s book on Fr. Leo John Dehon titled Mission and Church, Money and Nation.

If you haven’t already received a copy of the CSD e-newsletter by email, click here to access it online. The first half of the newsletter is in Italian, the second in English.

Students join together in song

In the video above, Dehonian students from around the world sing “Charitas Christi Urget Nos.” One of our students from the US Province, Jacob Smith, is among those featured. The video was put together by Christian Hofer, an SCJ scholastic from Indonesia. Click here or on the image above to see the video.

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