Weekly News: June 6

SCJ candidates Justin Krenke and Anthony Nguyen

Learning about “the rez”

In his blog from St. Joseph’s Indian School in South Dakota, Fr. Stephen Huffstetter recently wrote about taking SCJ candidates Anthony Nguyen and Justin Krenke to Mass at Fort Thompson.  It was an opportunity to share a bit about life on the Indian reservations.  Fr. Steve writes:

“I invited the two seminarians who are with us for the summer – Anthony and Justin – and our summer intern from Notre Dame – Anna, to accompany me to church at Fort Thompson. We left early so we could drive around the community and explore a bit. What’s striking to people seeing the Indian Reservation for the first time is how many homes are sadly in need of repair. I explained about the complicated system of land ownership and tribal housing authority. As we passed the Tribal Council headquarters, and Bureau of Indian Affairs office, it presented an opportunity to teach about the governmental structure.

“Going by the memorial flags near the river led to a lesson about the history about the 1862 Minnesota Uprising and how the families of those 38 Dakota Sioux who were publicly executed were sent to Fort Thompson, hundreds of miles west of their homelands.

“Later in our travels, when an inebriated man started to talk their ear off, they got an idea of one of the biggest challenges of working on the ‘Rez.’ When people are drinking, I try not to be enabling, but do try to be kind and understanding; hoping it opens doors to hope and help later on.

“Church was a joyful event as seven children from Fort Thompson received their first Holy Communion today. After Church, the families of the first communicants provided a meal for the whole parish – soup and frybread, which was tasty and a nice introduction to the hospitality within the culture. Our interns got to make the rounds and visit with many people at the gathering.”

Click here to view Fr. Steve’s blog.

Construction woes

As we have noted in previous Fridge Notes, road construction on Highway 100 (Lovers Lane Road) has made getting in and out of the drives for Sacred Heart Monastery/School of Theology as well as Villa Maria/Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake rather challenging.

Again, give yourself a little extra time and bring a little extra patience.  The construction won’t last forever.

Summer hours

Please note that the Provincial Office is on its summer schedule.  This means that many employees and SCJs work longer days Monday through Thursday and then take Friday afternoon off.  If you need to reach someone at the office on a Friday, it is best to call early in the day.

Of course, you can always leave a voicemail or send an email to Provincialate staff.

Jubilee invitations

Invitations for the province jubilees will go in the mail later this week.  The July 11 jubilee celebration will be the kick-off for the province assembly.  Mass is at 4 p.m. and a reception and dinner will follow.  You can RSVP either by phone or email to Mary Gorski at 414-427-4266 or marygorski@sbcglobal.net.

Those being honored this year include Br. John Monek and Bishop Joseph Potocnak for 50 years of vows, and Fr. Tom Fix (a member of the Indonesian Province originally from the United States), Fr. Tom Lind, Fr. Vincent McDonald, Fr. Richard Johnston and Fr. Charles Yost for 60 years of religious life.

From the Treasurer’s Office

Kevin Stanke, province accountant, notes that the Mass book is low at this time and that SCJs who request Mass stipends may receive fewer or lower stipends than normal.

Feast day message

Each year the general superior writes a message to the congregation in preparation for the Feast of the Sacred Heart.  This year the reflection centers on the administration of goods, in particular, the use and administration of goods in relation to religious life.

“The economy is a basic dimension of the life of every person,” writes Fr. Ornelas. “It is impossible to be unaware of the fact or to deal with it casually as if it were somehow independent of our fundamental options as believers AND as consecrated persons. Economic activities are integral to the plan of God who handed over the earth to men and women to work and look after (Gen. 2:15) and thus become collaborators in his creative work…

“The relationship between us and material goods plays a very important part in our life as consecrated persons… we have learned to live as sons of God by sharing what we have received from our heavenly Father with our brothers and sisters. The vow of poverty does not relieve us from the joy and the effort of earning daily bread for ourselves and for our brothers and sisters and to work for the welfare of humanity in generous solidarity. The vow directs us to use and watch over material goods in a new way, after the summons and example of Jesus, who being rich, made himself poor for us, so that we might be enriched by his poverty (2 Cor. 8:9).”

Fr. General’s letter to members of the Priests of the Sacred Heart has been posted on the province website.  Click here to read it in full.

Well remembered

When Fr. Charlie Bisgrove’s obituary information was published a note was included asking that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the SCJ Support and Maintenance Trust.  Br. Frank Presto reports that over $2,400 in donations have been made in Fr. Charlie’s name, most from people living in and around his hometown of Lorain, Ohio.

Religious Brothers Conference

Br. Ray Kozuch invites SCJs to take part in the 40th Religious Brothers Conference.  It will be held at the St. Louis Marriot West Hotel July 22-25 and will feature presentations by Sr. Donna Markham, Ph.D., who recently completed her term as prioress of the Adrian Dominican Congregation and is now serving as executive director of Behavioral Medicine at Mercy Hospital and Mercy Center in Chicago, and Br. Kevin Griffith, who is deputy province leader of the Christian Brothers of North America.

Honored at the conference this year will be leadership from supporting and collaborating organizations.  Fr. Tom Cassidy will be honored as president of CMSM.

Any SCJ is welcome to attend; continuing education credits from Catholic Theological Union are available for those who request them.  Graduate academic credit is also available to those enrolled in graduate level programs at CTU.

For more information about the conference contact RRC at 773-595-4023, or go online at www.todaysbrother.com.

Provincial’s time

Fr. Tom Cassidy is in South Dakota this week for a planning retreat with St. Joseph’s Indian School.  He will attend Dn. Duy Nguyen’s priesthood ordination on June 11 and then head to the USCCB’s Spring General Assembly in Seattle from June 12-20.

Upcoming meetings and events:

June 11: Ordination of Dn. Duy Nguyen to the priesthood (Sacred Heart Monastery)
July 1: Feast of the Sacred Heart, Mass at SHST, 11 a.m.
Week of July 11: Province Assembly, Hales Corners, Wis.
August 30-31: Provincial Council Meeting
October 2: Pet Blessing (SHST)
October 4-5: Provincial Council Meeting
November 14-16: SCJ Retreat, Pinellas Park
December 14-15: Provincial Council Meeting
December 18: Advent Concert, 2 p.m.