Weekly News: July 31, 2017

With Open Heart and Mind

Who are the Priests of the Sacred Heart, the Dehonians? What are our values, our priorities? The Rule of Life, built on the foundation of the charism left to us by Fr. Leo John Dehon, answers these questions in detail. The Rule is something to be studied and cherished by SCJs from the first days of formation.

Last year the general administration, in collaboration with others, developed a Mission Statement that takes the essence of that Rule of Life and gives it focus in today’s terminology.

A website (www.openheartandmind.org) has been created to share information about the Mission Statement. On it are a variety of resources about the statement – including the logo “Open Heart and Mind” – as well as ways that the Mission Statement can be put into practice on a personal level, in a community or ministry, and on the province level.

Click here to learn more.

Dehonian Mission Statement

Mission Statement logo

Our vision: Love with open heart and mind

We are witnesses of God’s transforming love in souls and society. We spread God’s love around the world with open heart and mind.

Our Mission: Adveniat Regnum Tuum – Your kingdom come

We are especially for people who are most in need and for the young. Our Congregation focuses on education, social work, missions, spirituality and media to announce the kingdom of God.

We live in community, are inspired by daily Eucharistic Adoration, and in a fragmented world we believe unity to be possible.

Click here to read the April 15 letter from Fr. Heiner Wilmer, superior general, in which he reflects on the creation of the new Mission Statement as a part of the wider communication strategy for the congregation.


Fr. Francis with several of the ESL students from Vietnam studying at SHSST

Vietnam one year later

On August 12th the District of Vietnam will celebrate the first ordination of an SCJ within the district itself. Until now, all ordinations have been done outside of the country, often in the Philippines, where many Vietnamese Dehonians have done their formation and academic training.

“We are growing as a district, and part of that growth means being more fully accepted by the government and the Church in Vietnam,” said Fr. Francis Vu Tran, district superior. He added that such acceptance is what now allows the diaconate ordination to take place in the country.

August 12th will also be a significant day for Fr. Francis; it will be the one-year anniversary of his installation as superior. A US citizen originally from Vietnam, Fr. Francis was asked by Fr. Heiner Wilmer, superior general, to return to the country of his birth to lend support to the young district. Soon after, he was elected as its second superior.

In a year’s time much has changed in the district. A philosophy program was initiated in Vietnam which now allows SCJ candidates to do their studies in the district instead of going to the Philippines. This is no easy task in a country where pre-theology philosophy programs are at capacity.

The district opened its third community this year, Dehon House III. It is located in the diocese of Phu Cuong. This is a house for young men in college discerning a vocation with the congregation. They live in community while preparing for entrance exams for Philosophy.

Click here to read more on the province website about the Vietnam District including updates from the past year and hopes for the future.


Participants at the International Dehonian Theological Seminar

Final statement from theological seminar

The International Dehonian Theological Seminar, Charism and Devotions, finished its work last week. Participants recently released a concluding statement.

“We were more than 50 confreres from over 20 countries, an expression of a congregation that is truly international,” begins the statement. “The seminar – when put alongside those held in Lisbon (2008) on Theologia cordis, at Brusque on Missio cordis (2010) and at Taubaté (2014) on Anthropologia cordis – has succeeded in deepening the bond of our charism with the devotions which express it and give it form. We have confirmed the richness of the spiritual legacy of Fr. Dehon which needs to be re-stated each time again in new forms. At the same time, we have understood how our identity must express itself, of necessity, in plural ways in order to be in touch with different social and cultural forms.

“The seminar was prepared by the work of the continental theological commissions… It was the task of the continental theological commissions to develop the richness of the intuitions of these days. But this presupposes a broader involvement of the whole congregation…

“From Yogyakarta we send greetings to all with the wish that our Sint Unum may grow daily more strongly and that ‘with open heart and mind’ we may live for the service of the advent of the Reign of God.”

Click here to read the full statement.

Click here to view the website from the seminar (scroll to the bottom of the page to view reports and videos from the conference or click on “Resources” at the top of the page).

SHSST news

Dr. Lee

Dr. Brian Lee, assistant professor of Scripture at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, successfully defended his doctoral dissertation at Notre Dame University on July 10. Congratulations!

The seminary is busy getting ready for the next academic year. New seminarians arrive on August 12 and begin an orientation week soon after. Returning seminarians arrive on August 19. Seminarian retreats begin on August 20 and classes start on August 28.

The first summer session of the ESL program concludes on August 18; ESL Summer Session II begins on August 28.


RECEPTION OF NOVICES – If you plan to attend the Reception of Novices ceremony on August 14 please call 414-425-6910 or send an email to provadm@usprovince.org by Friday, August 4. The ceremony begins at 4:30 p.m. and will be followed by a light reception. The address and directions to the novitiate are in an invitation that was sent via email to SCJs in North America on July 19.

NORTH AMERICAN RETREAT – If you plan to attend the BBQ at the community house in Toronto on Sunday, August 13 (prior to the start of the North American retreat in Mississauga), click here or call 414-427-4266 to RSVP.

Click here to download the information sheet sent to registered participants on July 15.

Questions? Contact a member of the planning committee: Fr. John van den Hengel, Fr. Jim Schroeder or David Schimmel.

Provincial’s time

Fr. Ed Kilianski is in Arizona this week for the annual CMSM Conference. Representatives of Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology are also at the conference, sharing information about the seminary with the major superiors. For the rest of August Fr. Ed is primarily in the office. He has Provincial Council meetings August 29-30 and the Opening Mass at SHSST on the evening of August 30. Fr. Ed returns to his travels after Labor Day, going to Houston September 5-12 and then South Dakota September 15-18.

No Fridge Notes next week

There will be no Fridge Notes published next week (August 7). The next issue will be sent on Monday, August 14. Don’t forget to check the US Province Facebook page for the most up-to-date news and photos.

Closing shot

Fr. Louis Mariano Fernandes of the District of India arrived in the United States on Friday and heads to Chicago today to prepare for studies in Pastoral Counseling at Loyola University. Most of August will be devoted to brushing up on his English skills; classes at Loyola begin on August 28.

“These studies will be very helpful for our Indian District,” said Fr. Mariano. “It will be useful in our formation programs and in pastoral counseling.”

Fr. Mariano is pictured below. Welcome!

Fr. Louis Mariano Fernandes