US Province well represented at educators conference
Each of the schools of the US Province was represented at last week’s International Dehonian Educators Meeting in Valencia, Spain. Participants included Kathleen Whitebird (St. Joseph’s Indian School, South Dakota), Jeanne Johnson (St. Martin of Tours, Wisconsin), Adam Farnie (Our Lady of Guadalupe, Texas), Bridget Martin (Sacred Heart, Mississippi), Msgr. Ross Shecterle (Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology) and Clara Isom (Holy Family, Mississippi). Fr. Ed Kilianski, pastor of OLG and vice provincial superior, was also a member of the American contingent.
Held July 21-25, the conference was a continuation of similar gatherings in 2001 and 2008, both in Salamanca, Spain. From them developed the focus on education at the 2012 General Conference in Neustadt, Germany.
Education has been a priority of the congregation since its first apostolate: the Collège of Saint-Jean. For Fr. Dehon, education played a key role in affecting social and political change. Today, educators from SCJ institutions from around the world wrestle with how they can continue the founder’s hope: to have an impact on people and society through education.
The focus of the Valencia gathering was on networking.
“We live in an interconnected world,” said Br. Roberto Garcia, vice general secretary and conference organizer. “A colleague or confrere across the world is really only a few clicks away on the smartphone in your hand.
“Now, how do we choose to live that interconnectedness?”
Although much was said about the use of the internet as a building block of networks, over and over participants and speakers emphasized the fact that a “network” is not just websites and online applications. Networking doesn’t only happen on the internet. The most important component of a network is people.
Websites, email lists and other tools are simply that – tools for people to connect with one another. The first task of the educators who came together in Valencia, who continued the conversations begun in Salamanca in 2001, is to go home and share what they experienced and bring others into the wider network net.
But nuts and bolts are also vital. After learning about various types of networks and how to implement them, conference participants agreed to develop their own network and chose a five-person committee to get it started. The objectives of the network are threefold: helping educators get to know one another, formation in the Dehonian identity, and the sharing of resources.
“Something that we have become aware of in this week is that creating a network takes much energy,” said Fr. John van den Hengel, vicar general. “It takes people who know how and have a deep desire to communicate. It is interesting that we now see the IT person not just as a technician but as a symbol of how to develop a new kind of humanity that is growing. An international humanity. We Dehonians want to be a part of that.”
The U.S. Province welcomes Patrick Skahill as a candidate for the community. Patrick is 44, and currently lives and works in Las Vegas, NV. A veteran, he spent eight years in the military. He will join the Dehon Formation Community in Chicago at the end of the summer and attend St. Xavier University.
Sharing in a common goal
“For the past 15 years I have been a part of the ministry of the Priests of the Sacred Heart through my role as Planned Giving Director,” writes Pam Milczarski in the most recent update to the Dehonian Spirituality page.
“…My experiences interacting with the SCJs, the people they serve, and their devoted benefactors, help me to see and share our common goal. My recent travels to India opened my eyes to the love our SCJ priests and brothers share with those in need. On the day of the dedication of the new Sacred Heart Shrine Church we served 10,000 people from all walks of life and many faiths. Meeting and seeing so many people and hearing how the church has changed their lives has moved me to raise additional funds for the education of children in India…
“It is the good work of the Priests of the Sacred Heart following Fr. Dehon’s lead that inspires people to support these worthy causes. Interacting with these devoted people, listening to their stories and hearing of their deep love of God energizes my desire to share the mission and ministry of the Priests of the Sacred Heart.”
Click here to read other reflections and prayers for the week on the Dehonian Spirituality page.
Br. John Monek is now in an assisted living suite at the Congregational Home. His room number is 1174. The address:
3900 W Burleigh Rd., Brookfield, WI 53005-7623
Summer ESL students
Click here to download a photo listing of the students in this summer’s ESL program at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology.
SCJs take part in RBC Conference
Br. Long Nguyen, Br. Clay Diaz, Br. Ray Kozuch and Br. Brian Tompkins, pictured above, took part in the Religious Brothers’ Conference in New Orleans last week. The mission of RBC is to promote an awareness of the calling of Brothers in the Church and society.
Keep in prayer
Fr. PJ McGuire broke his wrist in a fall last week. With his arm in a cast from his hand to his elbow, Fr. PJ said that it is very difficult to type. He will not be responding to much of his email until the cast is off in late summer.
July JPR News and Views
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to have been an observer at the US Provincial Chapter earlier this month,” writes Mark Peters, province Justice, Peace and Reconciliation director in the July JPR News and Views. “I got to meet many SCJs whom I’d not met in person before, hear Fr. Steve’s take on ‘the state of the Province,’ and listen to the results of the ‘heart to heart’ table discussions on the various issues facing the province. It was also fascinating to hear Fr. John van den Hengel’s take on things from the international perspective as we sat at the observers table, alongside our formation students.”
The chapter passed a motion to issue a statement from the province regarding the growing crisis of the migration of children on the country’s southern border. In this month’s JPR newsletter Mark offers background information on the issue.
Click here to download a PDF of the July JPR News and Views.
New on the faculty
Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology recently announced an addition to its faculty: Dr. James Stroud as Assistant Professor of Moral Theology. He replaces Bishop John Doerfler, who left last spring to assume his appointment as bishop of the Marquette diocese.
Dr. Stroud graduated with a S.T.D. degree in moral theology from Catholic University of America (CUA). He completed his dissertation, entitled “Thomas Aquinas’ Exposition of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Developments in His Thought and Rival Interpretations,” under the direction of Dr. William Mattison in 2012. He also has an S.T.L. from CUA, as well as an M.A. in Theology and a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Dallas. Dr. Stroud has taught undergraduates at CUA and at Mount St. Mary’s University (Emmitsburg); he has also taught seminarians and graduate students at St. Mary’s Seminary and University (Baltimore), and CUA. Since 2012 he has been a Clinical Assistant Professor of Moral Theology/Ethics at CUA.
Dr. Stroud joins Fr. Javier Bustos in the Moral Theology Department.
The first shall be last
Our last news item is about Fr. David Szatkowski was the overall male winner in the two-mile walk at the annual Senatobia Optimist Club’s Five Star Races at Northwest Mississippi Community College in June. His time was 22:17. The event is a fundraiser for scholarships for students at Northwest. Congrats Fr. David!
Photo by Amber Holcomb of the Democrat-Record.