Dehon inspires us to “keep trusting in the Heart of Jesus”
Fr. Albertus Joni, SCJ, a graduate student from the Indonesian Province, was the main celebrant at the March 14 Founder’s Day Mass at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. In his homily, Fr. Joni reflected on the challenges Fr. Dehon faced during his life and the founder’s trust in the Sacred Heart that helped him to persevere. Fr. Joni encouraged us to follow Fr. Dehon’s example:
“Sometimes in facing the challenges of our modern world we become afraid of everything – we are even afraid to pray!” said Fr. Joni (pictured at the top of the page). “We are afraid to ‘keep asking’ because we think that God won’t hear us sinners. So, we don’t pray. We are afraid to ‘keep seeking’ because we’ve heard that prayer creates only illusions and social-activism is more concrete and more important than sitting alone with the Word of God. Sometimes we’re afraid to ‘keep knocking’ because we really don’t know how to knock; we don’t know how to pray. I invite you, my brothers and my sisters, to keep praying and keep trusting in the Heart of Jesus – as Fr. Leo John Dehon did! Be not afraid of our struggles and suffering …
“176 years after his birth and 141 years after his Congregation was established with all difficulties and exertions, Fr. Dehon’s persistence in ‘asking, seeking and knocking’ has inspired tens of thousands of followers who have offered themselves as Oblates to the Heart of Jesus! Be not afraid! HAPPY FOUNDER’S DAY!”
Click here to read Fr. Joni’s full homily.
Click here to view photos
Invitation for North American SCJs
Last week, SCJs, novices and candidates in the US and Canada were sent an invitation letter (by email) from Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, to the June 10-14, 2019, Province Assembly.
Fr. Anthony Gittins, CSSp, will be one of the presenters. Author of the book Living Mission Interculturally, he will lead several discussions on intercultural living and ministry. The North American Migration Commission will facilitate a presentation on migration. Several other activities are in the planning process, including a brief visit with the newly named president-rector of Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, Fr. Raúl Gómez-Ruiz, SDS.
If you missed it, click here to RSVP. There is space on the registration form to indicate if you are unable to attend to help organizers with the planning process.
If you have difficulty registering online, click here or call 414-427-4266.
On March 13, the community at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology celebrated the 50th anniversary of the building that now houses the seminary and Sacred Heart Monastery. Construction of the new building began in 1966; the current structure was dedicated on December 8, 1968. Due to the winter break schedule, celebration of the anniversary was delayed until the week of Founder’s Day (March 14). Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, provincial superior, was homilist at the anniversary Mass. After, members of the seminary community joined him in blessing several newly renovated areas of the building.
“Fifty years ago, Frs. Peter Miller, Robert McGuire, Linus Merz, John O’Connor and many other SCJs recognized the signs of their times and built this seminary for the education of priests and later the laity to spread justice and peace in a world that hungers for both,” said Fr. Ed. “…The commitment to this seminary continues today in the remodeling and renovation that has taken place and will continue into the future as a sign of our commitment, our apostolate to religious, diocesan and lay alike. Ours is a commitment to the Church in this country, and the Universal Church.”
Click here to read the full homily.
Click here to view photos.
Dehonian retreats in Vietnam
Fr. Jim Schroeder, SCJ, is in Vietnam this month leading retreats based on the “Open Hearts” Dehonian retreats held in Canada and the United States in 2017-2018. He is pictured above, following the district’s Founder’s Day celebration; Fr. Jim was the main celebrant of the Founder’s Day Mass.
Keep in prayer
As we noted earlier this month, former SCJ Peter DiCresce (Br. Bonaventure) had been hospitalized for bleeding on the brain due to a stroke. His daughter writes that he is now in a rehabilitation center doing physical therapy. March 24 (next Sunday) is Peter’s 92nd birthday. If you’d like to send him a card, you can do so at:
Peter Paul Di Cresce
c/o Eaglecrest Nursing & Rehab Center
Ash Flat, AR 72513
Lux Center hosts Rabbi Abraham Skorka
The Pope and the Rabbi: A Faithful Friendship – At 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 31, the Lux Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies at SHSST will host Rabbi Abraham Skorka who will speak about his conversations and friendship with Pope Francis. Guided by their own religious convictions, Rabbi Skorka and Pope Francis have spent years talking about their understanding of God and of each other. The two co-authored a book titled On Heaven and Earth. Rabbi Skorka is a biophysicist, rabbi, seminary rector and author. After the lecture, Rabbi Skorka will be available for book signing.
Admission to the lecture is free but you must register. To do so, click here.
The Pope and the Rabbi: Finding God in Relationship – On Monday, April 1, from 12:30 – 2:00 p.m., the Catholic Jewish Conference of Milwaukee, along with the Lux Center, will host a special luncheon and conversation for rabbis, cantors, priests and deacons with Rabbi Skorka. It will take place at Ovation Communities (1414 N. Prospect Ave., Milwaukee, WI). RSVP to the kosher lunch by calling Allison Hayden at 414-390-5781. The RSVP deadline is March 22.
QUESTIONS? If you would like more information about either of the events listed above, or about the Lux Center in general, contact the center’s director, Bonnie Shafrin at: 414-529-6966, firstname.lastname@example.org
Connection is key
“One of the first things that I notice about seeing SCJ spirituality expressed in my work with the English and Culture Studies (ECS) Program is the feeling of connection that the students have with one another,” wrote ECS director Kelly Kornacki in the most recent issue of Dehonian Spirituality. “Sharing a deep love of Christ provides a firm foundation for building friendships across what could easily be barriers. The students and teachers are firmly committed to getting to know one another, and discussions both in and outside of the classroom are filled with fascinating information as new English language skills allow us to share stories of our cultures, families, countries, etc…
“The students are living examples of how the world can be united one relationship at a time. When this attitude is multiplied by the number of students who have attended the ECS program over the years and have then returned to their home countries, the impact potential is truly incredible.”
Click here to read her full reflection in Dehonian Spirituality.
Last call for nominations
The Justice, Peace and Reconciliation Commission notes that the deadline for submitting nominations for the 2019 Johnny Klingler, SCJ Social Action Award is Friday, March 29. Both individuals and groups who have shown leadership ministering to the poor or marginalized are eligible for the award. “The award and accompanying check for $1,000 will recognize efforts that raise awareness and understanding of social problems, inspire compassionate action, and hold up the principles of Dehonianism and Catholic Social Teaching,” write members of the commission. Employees of the Priests of the Sacred Heart as well as SCJs themselves are welcome to submit nominations. Click here to do so; include a brief description of the nominee and any supportive information. Questions? Call Mark Peters, JPR director, at 414-427-4273.
Happy St. Pat’s and happy birthday!
Yesterday the Sacred Heart Community in Pinellas Park, FL, celebrated St. Patrick’s Day and the birthday of their very own “Patrick.” Fr. Pat Lloyd, SCJ, turned 77 on his name day. Fr. Pat is pictured below (seated) with members of the community. Our thanks to Fr. Vincent Suparman, SCJ, superior of the community, for the photo.