Weekly News: June 19, 2017

The new Dehonian Associates, along with SCJs who attended the ceremony.

Becoming a Dehonian Associate

After a year of study and prayer together, nine members of the Sacred Heart Southern Missions staff and board made their first commitment as Dehonian Associates during a ceremony on June 15.

“Giving staff members the opportunity to share faith and learn more about the spirituality of Fr. Dehon will have positive effects in our workplace which will affect our relationships with each other and the people we serve,” said Fr. Jack Kurps, who led the sessions; he is SHSM executive director. “The more that we can help people experience the love and mercy of Christ, the more Dehonian we will be.”

The group utilized the Spiritual Path, a 10-session introduction to the spirituality of the Priests of the Sacred Heart. Developed by David Schimmel, director of the Dehonian Associates Office for the US Province, it is based on the congregation’s formative program on the Dehonian charism.

Barbara Caldwell, Chris Greer, Laura Grisham, Lois Harrison, Clara Isom, Steve Koepke, Bridget Martin, Joyce Moore and Kelly Tartt made their one-year commitment as Dehonian Associates during the June 15 ceremony.

Sadly, Karen Jeltz, one of the participants, died before she could make her commitment.  However, she was buried with the Dehonian cross.

Plans are underway to begin the Spiritual Path with staff at St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, SD, and with parishioners at St. Thomas More Parish in Toronto, Ontario.

Click here to read more.

Click here to view photos from the ceremony and celebration.


Paul and Celsus (far right) with volunteers in Mississippi

Summer ministry

Paul Hoang and Celsus Robert, students in formation, are currently doing their summer ministry in Mississippi. “We arrived on June 10 and were graciously welcomed by the SCJ community here as well as the people at the parishes and our ministry,” wrote Paul. “I feel inspired by the dedication of our young volunteers. We love what we’re doing here!”

Celsus wrote that “with a social service background, I feel at home. It’s been a meaningful ministry for me. I look forward to continuing work here.”

SHSST awarded grant

On Friday, staff at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology learned that the school is the recipient of a $14,700 grant from the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).

“The $14,700 in grant will enable us to bring in national speakers for our faculty development sessions during the coming year,” said Dr. Patrick Russell, SHSST chief academic officer “These speakers will enable faculty to expand and deepen their abilities in addressing the learning needs of our diverse student body, as well as hone our skills in creating dynamic, interactive learning environments in the classroom.”

Dr. Russell went on to note that in the last 18 months SHSST has been awarded five grants totaling $90,000. These will support the development of the Science of Forgiveness course, the Pastor’s Toolbox Workshop, the Lux Center, the Cor Unum initiative, and now, faculty development.

The Faculty Development Committee is responsible for writing the most recent grant proposal. “Our sincere thanks goes out to everyone who has contributed their efforts to the rather unglamorous work of writing grant proposals over the past year,” said Dr. Russell.  “Their efforts have provided additional revenue that is funding initiatives which enable us to achieve the school’s mission in serving the Church and fostering the reign of God.”

Click on the image to go to SHSST’s Facebook page about the Holy Land experience.

Also from SHSST

Once again students and staff from Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology are in the Holy Land for a summer expedition. This summer, instead of Bethsaida the group is at Magdala (the hometown of Mary Magdalene).

Michael Johnson, an SHSST seminarian from Madison, WI, writes that “it is good to step back and think about the ground we are touching. All of this area can be traced back to the 1st century, so there is no telling who may have walked where we are working, or touched what we are unearthing. Even the simplest stone may have been handled by Jesus Himself, or one of the disciples. That is the memory I wish to bring back from the Holy Land. I pray we will all make the most of the last few days we have here together.”

Click here to keep up with this year’s SHSST Holy Land expedition.

Keep in prayer

Fr. Stephen Huffstetter’s sister-in-law, Connie Behrens Huffstetter of Milwaukee, is in grave condition with internal bleeding and is being moved to hospice care. Fr. Steve is coming to Milwaukee from Uruguay on Tuesday to be with the family.

Fr. Vince McDonald’s health is rapidly deteriorating; he may be nearing his last days.

Fr. Rein van Leeuwen of the Canadian Region was hospitalized last week after experiencing significant confusion.


Our Lady of Fatima honored

On Memorial Day Weekend St. Martin of Tours Parish in Franklin, WI welcomed Our Lady of Fatima. The statue was one of three carved from the tree Our Lady appeared in to the three children in Portugal (Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia). 2017 is the 100th anniversary of the appearance. “Her holiness and beauty radiate in her presence and we were privileged to welcome her in our parish,” said a parishioner. Pictured above is Fr. Joseph Thien Dinh, SMOT associate pastor, with parishioners.

Shareholder activism

For many years the Priests of the Sacred Heart (Dehonians) have had a voice to lobby corporations to be socially responsible through shareholder activism. One way in which this is done is through membership in the Seventh Generation Interfaith Coalition, an affiliate organization of the national Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility. Mark Peters, province director of Justice, Peace and Reconciliation, chairs the Seventh Generation Board of Directors and has filed shareholder resolutions with the company that runs TJMaxx and Homegoods which were brought forward for voting.

He and Dn. David Nagel, province treasurer, share a link to an article which “helps people understand the shareholder activism that we do,” said Mark.

Click here to read “Doing good and doing well: Faith-based investing converts the skeptics” published by the Religious News Service.

After sharing the article, Mark learned that the US House of Representatives passed the Final Choice Act which “would eliminate the right of almost all investors, including hundreds of faith-based institutions like the Priests of the Sacred Heart, to file shareholder resolutions,” said Mark.  “Investors would have to own at least 1% of a company to be eligible to file, eliminating all but the largest brokerage firms.”

Click here to read a recent mailing from the Province JPR Office to learn more about this.


Fr. Frank Bursnick’s new email address is frfrankscj@gmail.com

Fr. Greg Schill’s’ new email address is gregorymschill@gmail.com

Provincial’s time

Fr. Ed Kilianski is in the office most of the next two weeks. June 29 through July 8 he will be with family in Buffalo. The next Provincial Council meeting is July 11-12.

Feast of the Sacred Heart

Sacred Heart Monastery will once again host a celebration on feast of the Sacred Heart. At 10:00 a.m. David Schimmel, director of Dehonian Associates for the US Province, will give a presentation titled “Friends of the Heart of Jesus: Mentors of the Dehonian Family.”

The feast-day Mass will be at 11:00 in the Sacred Heart Chapel, followed by a picnic lunch. If you plan to take part please call 1-866-268-0157 so the office can get a head-count for the activities.

The response of love

As we approach the feast of the Sacred Heart on Friday, June 23, we invite you to pray the following Act of Reparation which appears in This Day of God, the prayer book of the Priests of the Sacred Heart.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus by Stephen B Whatley, an expressionist artist based in London

you willed that your Son become flesh
and unite himself with our human life.
In his days on earth,
Jesus loved you
and obeyed you with a human heart.
And so, in him, we have become
your adopted children.

Loving God,
we ask you to accept the response of love
we offer you today.
Fill us with the Spirit of your Son
that we may make his attitude our own:
loving you and our brothers and sisters
and cooperating in the work you sent him to do.