A diverse congregation!
On September 26, three Dehonian ESL students – Fr. Tomasz Flak (pictured above), Fr. Sugi Sugiarno and Fr. Praveen Richard – spoke with staff from the Province Development Office about their home countries. It was a way of connecting the work done at the office with the many places SCJs serve around the world.
Fr. Tomasz talked about his home country of Poland, a country that is both very traditional but also very modern. Dehonians are involved in a wide variety of ministries, including work with corporate leaders to help them develop a strong sense of justice both as business owners and as employers. SCJs serve in parishes, schools, and retreat ministry, especially with youth. They are involved in media and publishing, as well as mission work in Eastern Europe, places were poverty is a challenge for many.
“Loresa,” said Fr. Sugi, is a word used by Indonesians to express how they serve others. It stands for having a spirit of LOve, REadiness and SAcrifice. In Indonesia, SCJs minister to orphans and immigrants. They run schools and serve in parishes. There is a strong Lay Dehonian movement. The Indonesian Province has an extensive youth ministry and works in mass media.
Fr. Praveen was the last to speak, and in talking about India he said that “I am actually a stranger to my own country.” It was a way of highlighting the many cultures of India. “We have no national language in India,” he said. Each state has its own language. The Indian District is one of the youngest Dehonian entities in the congregation and much of its mission is simply being an example of how the voices of many can live together as one. Ministry is primarily in parishes centered on the poor, but there are also several social outreach programs, including bringing the basics of clean water and toilets to those who are without.
This week the Canadian Region is holding its Assembly at the Providence Spirituality Centre in Kingston, ON. “It is an opportunity to tell each other what is happening in each of the communities,” said Fr. John van den Hengel, SCJ, regional superior. “Each shares an assessment of the community spirit and prayer life, finances, the mission of the local community, events that have been celebrated in the past year, and plans for the next year.”
Members of the region will also hear reports from various committees – with a particular focus on vocations – as well as a financial report of the region. Fr. Paul Tennyson has taken on the regional treasurer’s work in recent weeks and will present the report.
The region will also honor its SCJ jubilarians: Fr. Jim Casper and Fr. John van den Hengel for 60 years of vows, Fr. Peter McKenna with 40 years of vows, Fr. Paul Tennyson on 25 years of vows, and Fr. Yohanes Yuliwan Maslim and Fr. Aegidius Warsito for their 25th anniversaries of ordained ministry.
On September 24, Fr. Richard Woodbury, SCJ, of the Canadian Region was presented with the “Médaille de l’Assemblée nationale” (National Assembly Medal of Québec) by Yves St-Denis, the outgoing member of Parliament from Argenteuil. Members of Parliament award the medal to people of their district who stand out due to their social involvement. Fr. Richard received the medal at the Séminaire du Sacré-Coeurin Pointe-au-Chêne for his over 50 years of service to youth.
September 4 marked the 60th anniversary of Fr. Richard’s arrival at the seminary as a student. He has held several positions at the school, including teacher, chaplain and director.
In receiving the award, Fr. Richard emphasized that it is an honor that reflects on the entire team at the school and testifies to the importance of addressing education with an open heart and mind.
Fr. Artemio López Merino of the Spanish Province died September 28. He was born in 1939, professed in 1956 and ordained in 1965.
North American Necrology
A reminder: a North American Necrology is available in the Members section of the US Province website. Click here to access it directly.
Those celebrating birthdays this month include Fr. John van den Hengel (79) on Oct. 1 , Fr. Ed Zemlik (61) on Oct. 3, Fr. Tony Russo (80) and Fr. Bob Naglich (63) on Oct. 4, Br. Leonard Zaworski (76) on Oct. 8, Fr. Quang Tran (40) on Oct. 9, Fr. Tom Cassidy (76) on Oct. 13, Fr. Bill Pitcavage (76), Fr. Paul Grizzelle Reid (75) and Br. Dieudonne Tchouteu (56) on Oct. 14, Fr. Maurice Légaré (64) and Br. John Hung Dinh (30) on Oct. 15, Fr. Christianus Hendrik (49) on Oct. 21, Fr. Bob Bossie (81) on Oct. 23, and Fr. Richard Johnston (86) and Candidate Kenneth Chidozie Anyanwu (46) on Oct. 27. Happy birthday!
October 3 deadline
Last week SCJs in the US and Canada received an email with a draft of the North American Personnel Directory. Many thanks to those who reviewed their contact information and sent in corrections and/or updates.
The deadline make changes is this Wednesday, October 3. To do so, click here or call Mary Gorski at 414-427-4266. An updated PDF is available at the top of the phone directory page in the Members’ section of the US Province website. Note: the directory is password protected. If you need assistance accessing it, again, please contact Mary Gorski.
Home parish celebration
After celebrating his 50th anniversary of ordination with Dehonians at Sacred Heart Monastery on September 14, Fr. Mark Fortner, SCJ, went to his home parish of St. John’s “Gildehaus” in Villa Ridge, MO, for another celebration on September 23.
“The parish went all out for the celebration, as they did for my First Mass, as well as my 25th anniversary,” said Fr. Mark. “Family and friends from various parts of the country gathered to make it both a very joyous and memorable event. I am filled with a deep sense of gratitude for the gift of my vocation: gratitude to God, to my family, to my religious community, to my teachers, and to my friends who have loved and supported me through these 50 years of ordained ministry.”
Congratulations to SCJ Fraters Haja Gérard Éric Razafison and Ferdinand Rasoloarimanana, ESL students from Madagascar, who renewed their vows on Friday, September 28. Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, received the vow renewals during Adoration with the Sacred Heart Monastery Community. Pictured below are Fra. Gérard Éric, Fr. Ed, Fra. Ferdinand, and Fr. Justin Razafindrakoto, SCJ (a fellow ESL student from Madagascar). Our thanks to Fr. Albertus Joni, SCJ, for providing the photos!