Apostolic nuncio main speaker at Dehon Lecture
Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, was the main presenter at the Dehon Lecture November 8th at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. His topic: “The Heart of the Priest.”
“Today, the Church needs joyful, missionary disciples – heralds of the Good News, formed after the Sacred Heart of Jesus,” said the archbishop. “This was also the desire of the Venerable Leo John Dehon, the founder of the Priests of the Sacred Heart. It might seem strange to think of priests as disciples rather than as leaders, but the new Ratio Fundamentalis, issued in December, 2016, emphasizes just that: It is particularly necessary for the priests today to understand themselves as missionary disciples.”
The Ratio Fundamentalis is a document that outlines the formation of Catholic priests. “This integrated formation prepares the seminarian and priest to make a gift of himself to the Church – to go out of himself, to not be self-referential but to look to the essential needs of the flock,” said the archbishop. “Indeed, the Holy Father wishes priests not to be managers or mere functionaries of the sacred, but rather to be priests with inclusive and compassionate hearts, who show forth the tenderness of God.”
After spending a full day with the SHSST community, including being the main celebrant at the Mass for the Rite of Admission to Candidacy for Holy Orders, the archbishop returned to the airport the next day to fly to his next engagement. Fr. Tom Knoebel, SHSST president-rector, was his chauffeur.
In the car, Fr. Tom said that the archbishop “commented at length about how pleased he was with his visit. He was impressed by the spirit of the seminary, pointing out in particular how impressed he was with the way everyone – faculty, staff, seminarians as well as administration – pitched in to help make the day a success. He mentioned that in many other places he visits, this is not the case. People there often do not care what other people in the seminary are doing, and I was happy to say that has never been the case here at Sacred Heart. We all care deeply about the mission and success of the school.
“The Nuncio also mentioned how impressed he was with the faculty. He saw that all of the faculty were engaged in the topic, no matter what their field of specialization, actively seeking to learn more about the subject matter, invested in the Ratio, in the kind of priests God is calling and how He is forming us all for ministry. He mentioned how greatly they care about preparing good priestly ministers for God’s Church.
“He left Sacred Heart, having observed us for the first time, full of admiration and respect for all of us.”
+Paula MacDonald, age 76, died at her home on November 9, in Sandusky, Ohio. She was the wife of Fr. Richard MacDonald’s brother John, who died in 1991. Paula died of lung cancer, which became very aggressive in the past two months. Their four children were at her bedside when she died.
+Muzio Ventrella, a member of the South Italian Province, died November 11. He was born in 1929, professed in 1945 and ordained in 1954.
+Mario Busana, a member of the North Italian Province, died November 3. He was born in 1920, professed in 1937 and ordained in 1946.
Fr. Mark Mastin is now a member of the South Dakota community, living in Lower Brule. His address: PO Box 185, Lower Brule, SD 57548-0185.
Also, please note that Nancy Grzesiak (province administrative assistant) completed and sent the printed personnel directory last week. If you have questions regarding it, please contact her at: email@example.com or call 414-425-6910.
A reminder: SCJs can also access an online personnel directory in the Members section of the US Province website. For assistance in doing so, contact Mary Gorski.
Fr. Tom Cassidy returned from India last week; he anticipates being in the States through the end of the year.
Remembering Dn. Marion
As noted last week, November is a month of remembrance. For Dehonians, it culminates with SCJ Memorial Day on November 26. Throughout the month, Dehonian Spirituality, a weekly e-publication from the Dehonian Associates office, is sharing reflections on several SCJs who have gone before us. Last Friday, David Schimmel (director of Dehonian Associates), wrote about Dn. Marion Quagliariello, who died in 2001:
“Br. Marion was already a fixture at Divine Heart Seminary when I arrived as a freshman in 1964. Only years later would I learn that his desire to be a priest had been squelched by those in authority, who deemed him not up to the academic requirements. Whatever disappointment dwelled in his heart was undecipherable to me, who could see only a religious going about his daily tasks with regularity and a dry sense of humor.
“I first encountered Marion in typing class. Each of his magisterial pronouncements began with the exclamation, ‘Boys!’ In teaching us, ‘the basics,’ I watched in amazement as he took apart a manual typewriter and put it back together. His constant chatter, including, ‘Fleet flat on the floor!’ and ‘I’m dropping it in the circular file under G for junk,’ certainly kept the class lively. To this day, I’m not sure if his malapropisms were unconscious or studied. Daily, he drove into town to pick up the mail. Once, he invited me to go along, but as we drove through Donaldson he warned, ‘Don’t blink or you’ll miss it!’
“By the mid-1970s, Marion saw clear to request and receive permission to study for the Permanent Diaconate. He pursued his studies and exercised his ministry with relish. To those confreres who fell easily into the familiar habit of addressing him as ‘Brother Marion,’ he firmly replied, ‘Brother Marion is dead! I am Deacon Marion! I can do everything a priest can do except say Mass and hear confessions!’
“Perhaps his greatest contribution to community was a compassion shaped by his own experience of a dream deferred but not extinguished. To any frustrated or disheartened confrere he would advise, ‘Don’t let them get you down.’ Deacon Marion certainly didn’t.”
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Mother Cabrini, patron saint of immigrants and refugees
Today, November 13, is the feast of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, widely known as Mother Cabrini. An Italian immigrant, she dedicated much of her life to serving fellow immigrants and refugees.
Last week SCJs in the US and Canada received a prayer service to honor Mother Cabrini. Click here to download a copy.
Also, SCJs are reminded that the North American Migration Committee has invited them to share what they and/or their community have done to concretely address migration concerns. Click here to send your input. “These stories will be shared with others so that we can continue to be aware of how we, as Dehonians in North American, are making migration a priority,” wrote Fr. Peter McKenna, speaking for the committee.
Want a copy?
The Centro Studi Dehoniani (Dehonian Study Center) in Rome has two new volumes of Studia Dehoniana. The first (No. 62) is titled Re-Reading Léon Dehon. In English, it is a collection of writings by Fr. John van den Hengel on the issue of Dehonian Spirituality.
The second (No. 63) is Carisma e devozioni: verso una identità dehoniana inculturata, a gathering of the contributions and discussions held at the international theological seminar in Indonesia last summer.
If you would like a copy of either of these volumes, please let Mary Gorski know by Thursday, November 16, so that they can be included in the order for the province. The publications will be distributed in several weeks.
Fr. Ed Kilianski is in Rome until November 27 for the Colloquium of Major Superiors. “We started the day with Mass celebrated by Fr. Carlos Enrique, vicar general,” wrote Fr. Ed. “After that we began a retreat on the Service of Authority; it is being given by Fr. Bruno Pilati, the superior of the community at the Generalate. His first talk was on Fr. Dehon as ‘Disciple of the Heart of Christ.’ After each presentation there is an opportunity for personal reflection.
“The retreat will continue through tomorrow (Tuesday). It is a good way to begin our time together. There are approximately 25 participants, including members of the General Curia. There is a good spirit of fraternity among us.”
Fr. Ed Kilianski and Fr. Quang Nguyen practically tagged off as one left Rome as the other arrived. Fr. Quang was at the Generalate last week for a meeting of the organizational committee for the 9th General Conference which will be held in the Philippines next summer. Fr. Quang is chairperson of the group. During last week’s meeting the group defined the specific objectives of the conference; the theme will focus on Dehonians in the sphere of social commitment.