Weekly News: June 2, 2014

Fr. Vien celebrating a wedding at one of the parishes at which he assists in California
Fr. Vien celebrating a wedding at one of the parishes at which he assists in California

What have I learned?

Since 2012, Fr. Vien Nguyen has been a post-graduate student in scripture studies at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkley, Calif. On break, he wrote the following:

“Two years of biblical studies passed by quickly! One question that I often have asked myself during this time is what have I learned?

“First, I have learned to delve into the vast and rich world of biblical studies, not only familiarizing myself with biblical texts, but also with history and the various methods and approaches of biblical interpretation. Yet even with all of this, it is humbling to realize that I still have so much to learn in order to be considered competent in this field.

“Second, I have learned that discipline is the name of the game. I like to use my friend’s motto whenever I sit down to write: “A good paper begins with your butt.” (Translation: Sit down and write!). The motto is crude but so true.

“Third, I have learned to be patient with myself. There were days when I accomplished much with my reading and writing, and there were days when I easily gave in to procrastination and distraction — especially with difficult subjects like biblical languages. After two years of learning Koine Greek, I can still proudly say ‘It’s all Greek to me!’”

Click here to read the rest of Fr. Vien’s reflection on the province website.

Prepping for the next assignment

Fr. Mark Mastin
Fr. Mark Mastin

Fr. Mark Mastin, a chaplain in the US Army, is getting ready to move to his next assignment: Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. After serving a rotation in Afghanistan he requested a placement that would allow him to more easily stay in touch with the province. Fr. Mark writes:

“Things are quite busy here as we have many changes in leadership and I am preparing for my new assignment.  I got word a few weeks ago from the Pentagon that not only am I to be a battalion chaplain but I will be in-charge of the garrison for the Catholic community. If there are some 34,000 soldiers there, then the estimate of the Catholic population will be at least 9000. It looks like I will be a little busy…

“Fort Leonard Wood is a major training facility for the Army for several specialized groups.  I will be part of the best and the brightest of enlisted soldiers and commissioned officers in the Army.  I also have the privilege of having a recently ordained priest be part of my team.  He was a former Anglican priest and chaplain before coming into the Catholic church. Even though his primary function will be to teach, he is excited about getting involved in the sacramental and catechetical life on post.  I look forward to that relationship and forming a prayer community that as a religious I long to have.”

Fr. Mark will be in Milwaukee for the province chapter July 7-11; he’ll begin his new assignment on July 15.

Please remember

+Pauline Humpal, an honorary SCJ and wife of former province development office director Ermin Humpal, died May 26. She was 89. Click here to read the obituary.

Auto insurance cards

A note to SCJs from the Provincial Treasurer’s Office: the new 2014-15 auto insurance cards are being sent to the membership this week. Please keep the old card until June 15 when the new cards become effective. Then, you may discard the old card. If you have questions regarding this please contact Kevin Stanke at provtreas3@usprovince.org or by phone at 414-427-4270.

Traveling archivist

Fr. Wayne Jenkins, province archivist, leaves today for Indonesia via Italy. In Rome he will continue the archival work that he did last year. And then it is on to Indonesia where he will take part in the 50th anniversary celebrations of the SCJ scholasticate in Yogyakarta June 23-25. On June 25 the Indonesian community will also join Fr. Wayne in celebrating his 37th anniversary of ordination.

Describing the scholasticate, Fr. Wayne said that it is similar to the Dehon Formation Community in Chicago. Both philosophy and theology students have lived in the scholasticate while doing their academic studies at the Pontifical Faculty of Theology of Wedabhakti.

Fr. Wayne did his theology studies in Yogyakarta and lived with the community from 1972-76.


The Sacred Heart Community in Pinellas Park, Fl., has a new phone system. The house number remains the same (727‑541‑2661). For the following, call the house number and then the extension OR use one of the direct dial numbers.

Fr. Tom Burns
x217, 727-350-0027

Fr. Frank Burshnick
x229, 727-350-0038

Br. Ben Humpfer
x239, 727-350-0023, 414-530-1003 (cell)

Fr. Ralph Intranuovo
x223, 727-350-0033

Br. Gabe Kersting
x222, 727-350-0032

Fr. Steve Pujdak
x215, 727-350-0025, 727-278-8494 (cell)

Fr. Ray Vega
x220, 727-350-0030

x212, 727-350-0022

Former IHS student ordained

Dn. Peter John Penton
Dn. Peter John Penton

“Hello my friends, I was a graduate of Immaculate Heart Seminary in 1978,” writes Deacon Peter John Penton. “I am so happy to announce that I will be ordained as a priest for the Diocese of Brooklyn on June 28 at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Brooklyn. I will celebrate my first Mass on June 29 at St. Luke Catholic Church in Whitestone, NY. Please keep me in your intentions. God Bless you all. Anyone of you is most welcomed and invited.

Happy anniversary!

On Sunday, June 8, Fr. Jan de Jong will celebrate his 50th anniversary of ordination with friends and family in the Netherlands. Click here to view photos of the anniversary celebration with his local community (Sacred Heart at SHML) that took place on April 27.

Fr. Dehon in the Philippines

The most recent update to the Dehonian Spirituality page on the province website focuses on the Philippines. The following is an excerpt from Fr. Dehon’s notes from his seven-month journey around the world:

“I arrived in Manila on December 5, 1910. Bishop Agius welcomed us graciously at his residence. I spent three wonderful days there. Bishop Agius had a difficult assignment; he had to reorganize the clergy of the Philippines, which had been decimated by the departure of the Spaniards. There are eight million Catholics there, which make it the only Catholic nation in Asia, but there are very few priests.

“Everything is made more difficult by the lack of resources. The new government confiscated the Church’s possessions. Priests are in short supply. Bishop Agius is appealing to the religious congregations, but they don’t have the resources to supply any. I went to see Bishop Petrilli. His diocese of Lipa has half a million Catholics and only seventy priests, half of whom are in poor health. The good bishop has some towns of twenty thousand souls and no priest; he finds this very distressing.”

On May 17, 1989, an international group of eight SCJs began ministry in the Philippines; 2014 is the 25th anniversary of the congregation’s presence in the country.

Click here to read the rest of the Dehonian Spirituality post for May 30.


Fr. Tom with students in the Philippines
Fr. Tom with students in the Philippines

On to Vietnam

As noted previously, Fr. Tom Cassidy spent the past six weeks helping with the English program in the Philippines. He is now headed to Vietnam to visit with and learn about the SCJs’ newest district.

Click here to read posts that Fr. Tom has written on the province blog site.

JPR News and Views

Mark Peters, province director of Justice, Peace and Reconciliation, publishes an informal newsletter about once a month in which he addresses a variety of social concerns. Click here to read the latest concerns. Click here to contact Mark directly.

Provincial’s time

Fr. Stephen Huffstetter starts the week with a belated birthday celebration at the Provincialate Offices today (his 55th birthday was on Saturday, May 31). This afternoon he’ll take part in a conference call with the Dehonian Associates committee. Later in the week he has a board meeting with St. Francis Seminary, and June 7-8 he will participate in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Synod.

Next week Fr. Steve will be in the office June 9-11, and then on retreat June 12-18. At the end of the month he will be in Chamberlain to commemorate feast of the Sacred Heart, as well as the last weekend of Fr. Guy Blair’s ministry at St. James and St. Anthony parishes.

Last week Fr. Steve took part in graduation day from the spring ESL session.
Last week Fr. Steve (far left) took part in graduation day from the spring ESL session.