Sharing our stories of migration
On March 8, the North American Migration Committee visited the Dehonian Formation program at Sacred Heart Monastery to facilitate a conversation about migration. This was part of the formation program’s First Friday Series. Joining the community were four participants on a Come and See weekend sponsored by the province vocation office.
“To be Dehonians, we must open our hearts and listen,” wrote Frater Henry Nguyen, SCJ, in a write-up about the evening. “We cannot look at individuals as migrants first, but as God’s children. The Dehonian’s emphasis is on the heart; however, often people are caught up in their heads. What drives us is the people we have seen and met…
“We shared in small groups our own stories and what was surfacing within us as we heard the stories of committee members. Novice Hubert made a good point when he said, ‘Everyone is a refugee one way or another whether it be themselves or their parents.’ Before you can help someone, you must first know what their needs are. As I heard this, this reminded me of Jesus and his parents, and their journey of finding refuge. Jesus too was a refugee.”
Click here to read the rest of Frater Henry’s text. Our thanks to him, as well Fr. Albertus Joni, SCJ, and Candidate Jacob Smith, for text and photos from the evening.
I was at home from the start
Frater Henry Nguyen shares two items this week. He reported above on the First Friday presentation at Sacred Heart Monastery; however, prior to that he wrote a reflection for the province blog about a recent retreat experience that he had with the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Movement.
“When individuals in the movement ask why I joined the SCJs out of all of the religious orders out there, I tell them, it’s simple – I felt like I was at home from the start and it is because of VEYM that I am an SCJ.”
Click here to read Frater Henry’s reflection not only on the retreat, but on his vocation as a member of the Priests of the Sacred Heart.
Ash Wednesday at SHSST
Seminarians, faculty, staff and their families came together for Ash Wednesday Mass in the main chapel at Sacred Heart Seminary / Sacred Heart Monastery on March 6. Bishop James Schuerman, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, was the main celebrant. Concelebrants included Dehonian faculty and students as well as Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, provincial superior.
Click here to view a Facebook album from the Mass.
A case for reparations
Fr. Jim Schroeder, SCJ, shares an op-ed from the New York Times that he says “helps conceptualize how one of the core elements of Fr. Dehon’s charism could be incarnate in our time.”
Click here to read writer David Brooks’ reflection on reparations.
Throughout the world March 14 is celebrated as “Founder’s Day” by the Priests of the Sacred Heart (Dehonians). It is a time not only to commemorate the birth (1878) of Fr. Leo John Dehon, but also to celebrate the vocations of all who feel called to the Dehonian charism, including members of the Priests of the Sacred Heart as well as lay and consecrated people who are a part of the wider “Dehonian Family.”
“There are occasions when we must give thanks in a very particular manner: the occasion of a conversion, for instance, or a special vocation to the priesthood or the religious life,” wrote Fr. Dehon in Crowns of Love for the Sacred Heart. “How can we avoid expressing hymns of love and gratitude at the sight of this special love of the Sacred Heart when we feel its effects in such a striking manner?
“Yet, what ought to rouse our love and enthusiasm to the highest pitch is our vocation of devotion to the Sacred Heart. By this vocation, we become a spiritual vessel through the reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus within us; a vessel of honor through the signal honor this Sacred Heart shows us by associating us with his life of reparation and stamping us with the salutary sign of the cross.”
Click here to read the general superior’s letter for Founder’s Day.
Click here to read more about the founder on the province website.
A vocation reflection
“I always think of my vocation as a love story,” wrote Fr. Willyans Prado Rapozo, SCJ, in the March 8 edition of Dehonian Spiritualty. “It all started when an old man from my home parish thought I had a call to the priesthood. He was the church’s sacristan and I was just an altar boy. One day, after serving morning Mass, he looked at me and said: ‘I think you would make a good priest!’ I was only 13 years old and not ready to even dream of such a possibility.
“So, I lived a normal life with my mom and dad, three brothers and one sister in Brazil. I had plans of studying tourism and hospitality, learning languages and, perhaps, traveling the world as a tour guide. However, the words of that sacristan would resonate in my heart as I decided to visit ‘Conventinho,’ our SCJ Seminary and School of Theology in Taubate, and begin my discernment process…
“After a whole year participating in the Vocation Club and taking Spiritual Direction, I decided to enter the minor seminary… My mother was not happy with the idea. She had dreamed of a son becoming a dentist — I still don’t know why a dentist — but in the end, she allowed me to pursue my vocation. The day before departing, I had to say goodbye to my siblings and that was another challenge. One by one they came and, all of a sudden, I was faced with a hard question: ‘Why do you have to leave us?’ Later I would understand that there is no true love without some sacrifice.”
Click here to read Fr. Willyans’ full reflection.
Mass of Thanksgiving
Yesterday, March 10, Fr. Juan Carlos Castañeda Rojas, SCJ, celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving at Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in Houston. He served there as a deacon and will continue at OLG in his first assignment as priest.
Our thanks to Br. Andy Gancarczyk, SCJ, for photos of the Mass and reception. Click here to view them on the OLG Facebook page.
Last week SCJs in North America received an email reminding them that several updates had been made to the online personnel directory. Our thanks to who responded to the email with updates of their own; they will be incorporated this week. SCJs will receive an email soon after noting the changes.
Fr. Quang Nguyen, SCJ, with participants in this weekend’s “Come and See” at Sacred Heart Monastery.