Weekly News: July 29, 2013

Novice Juan Carlos Castañeda Rojas (L) with Fr. Tim Gray
Novice Juan Carlos Castañeda Rojas (L) with Fr. Tim Gray

Learning TWO languages

Fr. Juan Carlos (“Juancho”) Castañeda Rojas is just about at the end of his novitiate year. He is scheduled to profess his first vows on August 15. Recently, he reflected on the TWO new languages that he has learned in the United States: English and the “Dehonian Language of the Heart.” He writes:

“When I came to the United States, the first thing I had to do was study English. That is why I was part of the ESL program (English as a Second Language) at Sacred Heart School of Theology. It was a really good and challenging time for me. Learning a new language and a new culture was not easy, but here I am with my education in philosophy at Xavier University (Chicago) and getting ready to continue with my studies in theology at Catholic Theological Union (also in Chicago).

“Well, my novitiate is almost over and I have had many great and powerful experiences. I will keep them always in my heart. It has been an amazing journey exploring the history and constitutions of the congregation, growing in faith, and strengthening my vocation and my desire to become an SCJ. As I told Fr. John Czyzynski, our novice master, after our trip through the different missions and ministries in Mississippi, Houston, South Dakota, Florida and Milwaukee, I recognize the importance of studying our constitution and history.

“But I also learned a lot by listening to all the members of the SCJ community in our visits.

“Today, because of one of those people who shared his experience as an SCJ, I realized that I was not only learning English but was and am learning another language, one that I now call DLH (Dehonian Language of the Heart). Thank you Fr. Byron [Haaland], you made me realize that in your sharing. ‘I speak Dehonian’ were the words Fr. Byron spoke that had a huge impact on me.”

Click here to read the rest of Juancho’s blog post.


Liem Thanh Nguyen
Liem Thanh Nguyen

Liem Thanh Nguyen, was admitted as a candidate for the Priests of the Sacred Heart this weekend. He is 31 and will join the Dehon Formation Community in Chicago and study at DePaul University.

Originally from Vietnam, Liem currently lives in Garden Grove, Cali., where he has been taking English classes at Santa Ana College for the past year.

Please remember…

• Dorothy Catherine (Coley) Brown, the mother of Fr. Charles Brown, died on July 25. The funeral will be noon on Saturday, August 3, at St Theresa Church in Houston (622 Haskell Street). There will be no vigil.

Br. Clay Diaz’ Aunt Mary died last week and was buried on Friday in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. She was 75 and had been ill for quite a while. “My mom was present when she passed away and she is doing okay within her means,” writes Br. Clay.

Jim Lale, a member of Divine Heart Seminary’s class of 1967, died last week in hospice care. Classmate Ron Sutter shared the information and noted that Jim’s family was with him praying the rosary when he died.

“Challenging and deeply reflective” summer

“My fabulous summer experience is moving on,” writes Fr. Tim Gray. “These classes at Creighton University have been an incredible and life-changing experience. I’ve been hearing for 35 years of this summer program and have always wanted to go.  Here I am.

“It is much more than just academic — challenging and deeply reflective.  WOW.”

At the beginning of his program, Fr. Tim wrote that “Creighton offers a FANTASTIC program of renewal and study for people who work in church ministries. I am taking two courses, Spirituality and Social Justice, and the Foundations of Church Doctrine.  Although the second course has been very interesting — studying the situation and challenges of the early Church which developed and wrote both the New Testament and the Creed — the first course is challenging me to put my faith into action in a way I have not felt for many years. The courses are demanding — my brain has not been so sore since I studied Spanish in Mexico in 1984 — but very good.”

Fr. Tim will now head to Houston to help out at Our Lady of Guadalupe parish for two weekends while Fr. Ed Kilianski, pastor, is away. “It will be a chance to visit with old friends,” he wrote. Fr. Tim ministered at OLG for many years.

After the visit to Houston, Fr. Tim will be back at the Dehon Formation Community in Chicago.

Thank you

Fr. Richard MacDonald writes: “Please convey my message of gratitude to so many SCJs in the province for the cards, calls and emails expressing their support and prayers for me and my family following the loss of my sister, Eva Mae.  It is not possible at this moment to thank them personally but I hope to do so in the coming months.

“All is well here in the Valley. This weekend we are beginning the furniture sale [furniture from the SCJs’ former house in Raymondville] including many other treasures, as you can imagine!”


Dehonian Youth in Brazil

Dehonians at WYD

Leading up to World Youth Day, Dehonian youth from around the world gathered for prayer and fellowship in Taubaté and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, beginning July 10. Click here to view photos from their days, as well as from World Youth Day itself.

Click here to read journal posts, view videos and see other items from WYD, posted by our Brazilian SCJs.

Hello from Afghanistan

“I am well,” starts Fr. Mark Mastin’s email from Afghanistan, where he is serving as an Army chaplain.  “It is once again HOT – 108 degrees.  I am quite busy flying seemingly everywhere.  I leave in an hour for another trip.  It is obviously dangerous here. Seven weeks ago, our brigade lost soldiers from a suicide bomber at a bus stop.  They are far south of us. We are always on alert.  Here, we are fairly safe.  I have made several friends with many of our coalition forces, especially the German and Croatian priests.”

Fr. Mark’s new address:
524 CSSB
Camp Marmal, Afghanistan
APO AE 09368

Recently published

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Fr. Bill Marrevee’s ordination to the priesthood, a group of parishioners from the Archdiocese of Gatineau (Québec) produced Sharing the Word of God. It is described as a “book of notes” that guided Fr. Bill’s homilies and parish bulletin inserts.

Archbishop Durocher of Gatineau wrote in his foreword: “Fr. Bill brings to his ministry a deep theological and pastoral reflection, as well as his personal interest in the lives of his parishioners and a zeal for the preaching of the Good News; all wonderful qualities to be wrapped up in the same man.”

Click here to order the book online. Fr. Bill is regional superior of Canada.

Back home

Speaking of Canada, Fr. Claude Bédard is back home in Montréal after breaking his hip in France.

New faces

Fr. Stephen Huffstetter, provincial-elect, arrived at the Provincialate Offices early Monday morning with an armload of boxes. He will take a few days to settle in before the combined council meeting on Wednesday and the first meeting of the new council on Thursday. The installation of the new administration is also on Thursday.

Fr. Wayne Jenkins isn’t new to the office, but it has been several months since we have seen the provincial archivist in Hales Corners. Fr. Wayne is back home after being on loan to the Generalate.

Upcoming events

Fr. Stephen Huffstetter and the new council will be installed during a 4:30 p.m. liturgy on Thursday, August 1, at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake.

 At 10 a.m. on Sunday, August 4, Br. Clay Diaz will renew his vows at St. Joseph’s Church in Holly Springs. SCJs are welcome to attend. For more information, contact Br. Clay at claydia@hotmail.com.

– On August 14 Justin Krenke will be received into the novitiate during a 5 p.m. Adoration service at Sacred Heart School of Theology. All SCJs are welcome to attend; no formal invitations will be sent.

– James Nguyen and Juan Carlos Castañeda Rojas will make their first profession of vows during a 10:30 a.m. Mass at Sacred Heart School of Theology on August 15. SCJs received mailed invitations and are asked to RSVP by August 1 to either Juan Carlos at 414-477-1485, biglionjk@yahoo.es, or James at 206-658-7192, jsnguyen07@gmail.com