As noted last week, on November 26 the South African Province celebrated the jubilees of Bishop Joseph Potocnak and Fr. Anthony Austin (50 years of vows), and Fr. John Strittmatter (50th anniversary of priesthood). Bishop Joe and Fr. John are originally from the U.S. Province; Fr. Anthony is South African.
Fr. Tom Westhoven, former mission secretary for the U.S. Province, represented the province at the celebration. From Sacred Heart Monastery in Aliwal North, South Africa, he wrote the following:
“On a beautiful spring day SCJs of the South African Province gathered in Aliwal North for a 10:30 a.m. Liturgy of Thanksgiving at Sacred Heart Cathedral.The Mass included hymns by the elementary “learners” (as students are called here) of Holy Cross School under the direction of Sr. Bridget, the principal. As the Liturgy of the Word began students processed to the altar with incense using traditional South African dance moves. One of the SCJ seminarians carried the lectionary. At the offertory, eight brightly dressed fifth graders brought up the gifts.
“Four of our SCJ seminarians and candidates served, along with a deacon of the Aliwal North Diocese. Bishop Joe was the principal celebrant; he was joined by Frs. John and Anthony, as well as Bishop Michael Wustenberg of Aliwal North, Bishop Adam Musialek of De Aar, Fr. Peter Surdel, provincial superior of the South African Province, and approximately 20 other priests.
“The Mass was followed by a luncheon and program at the cathedral hall. Students from Holy Cross presented a multicultural song and dance performance including beautiful a cappella singing. Dressed in a variety traditional styles, the students did traditional dances and songs of the Sotho and Xhosa tribes.
“At the dinner Fr. Zolile Mpambani served as master of ceremonies. Following dinner the congratulatory speeches started. Ten speakers were scheduled and a few others were then added to the mix.
“As we entered into the third hour of the post-Mass program, the SCJ candidates and seminarians did skits and songs to honor and thank the jubilarians. Sixteen young men from the SCJs’ pan-Africa formation program in Pietermartizburg were there. The formation program includes students from South Africa, Mozambique, Cameroon, Congo, Madagascar and India.
“What a wonderful day, filled with the recognition of God’s powerful presence in the lives and ministry of our fellow SCJs!”
National Youth Conference
Br. Ray Kozuch and Br. Long Nguyen joined over 26,000 people at the National Catholic Youth Conference November 17-19. Held in Indianapolis, Ind., the conference, titled “Called to Glory” included over 23,000 youth.
The National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) is a biennial three-day experience of prayer, community and empowerment for Catholic teens and their adult chaperones. The schedule included keynote addresses, workshops, recreation, concerts, exhibits, and opportunities for liturgy, reconciliation and prayer.
“One of the opportunities presented was Vocation Village where about 70 religious communities were available to meet with young people,” said Br. Ray, province director of vocations. He and Br. Long represented Vocation Central and the Priests of the Sacred Heart at the conference. “It was an opportunity to share what religious life is about and to simply talk to young people about a variety of issues.”
“Both of us felt that it was well worth the many hours of walking with and talking to young people, as well as handing out small gifts that might get some teens thinking outside of their day to day experience of Church,” said Br. Ray.
“If nothing else, thousands of items marked with the SCJs’ vocation office information fell into the hands of young people, parents, teachers and even other religious,” he added.
Phase two taking shape
The second phase of Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake is beginning to take shape. The elevator tower is up, as is much of the support structure of the wing.
The section now being built will include apartments for rent to the general public age 55 and older, as well as common space for both SCJs and non-SCJ residents. A few photos, taken on November 23, are posted on the province Facebook page. Click here to view them.
Completion of the second wing is slated for summer, 2012. For information about the rental units, call 414-427-4230.
First, we have to acknowledge that today, November 28, our province accountant, Kevin Stanke, turns 49. This means that today is the first day of his FIFTIETH year. Happy birthday Kevin!
Those celebrating birthdays in December include: Fr. Chuck Wonch (65) on Dec. 5, Fr. John Strittmatter (76) on Dec. 6, Fr. Gary Lantz (76) on Dec. 8, Br. Mike Fette (60) on Dec. 12, and Br. Clay Diaz (47) on Dec. 19.
Fr. Tom Cassidy is with the Pinellas Park community this week and in Texas next week. He will be back in Hales Corners for meetings with the Provincial Council the week of December 12.
Happy New Year!
Yesterday marked the beginning of the new liturgical year, and in many English-speaking countries, the first use of the new missal.
Upcoming meetings and events:
December 14-15: Provincial Council Meeting
December 23 and 26: Provincial Offices closed for Christmas
December 30 and January 2: Provincial Offices closed for New Year’s
February 7-8: Provincial Council Meeting
March 27-28: Provincial Council Meeting
April 15: Easter Concert at Sacred Heart Monastery/School of Theology
May 15: Mass for the Anointing of the Sick, SHM/SHST
May 30-31: Provincial Council Meeting (budgets)
June 15: Feast of the Sacred Heart
June 28: Provincial Council Meeting (conference call re: formation)
July 9-12: Province Assembly, Hales Corners
July 16-21: General Conference, Neustadt, Germany
July 23-25: SCJ Major Superiors Meeting, Neustadt, Germany