Weekly News: October 14, 2013

Fr. Krzystof Cinal, a member of the Austrian SCJ community and an alumnus of SHST's ESL program, with the cardinal of Vienna during the celebration of the SCJs' 100th year in Austria.
Fr. Krzystof Cinal, a member of the Austrian SCJ community and an alumnus of SHST’s ESL program, with the cardinal of Vienna during the celebration of the SCJs’ 100th year in Austria.

100 years in Austria!

On September 29 the Priests of the Sacred Heart celebrated the 100th anniversary of the congregation’s presence in Austria. In 1913 the first SCJ came to Vienna to begin parish ministry in a working-class district of the city.

The archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, was the main celebrant at the September celebration.

Click here to view photos.

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving, eh?

Happy Thanksgiving to our Canadian neighbors who celebrate the national holiday today, October 14.

Canadian thanksgivingThe origins of Canadian Thanksgiving are closely connected to the traditions of Europe. Festivals of thanks and celebrations of the harvest often took place in October in Europe. It is thought that the first Thanksgiving celebration in North America took place in 1578 when Martin Frobisher, an explorer from England, arrived in Newfoundland and wanted to give thanks for his safe passage to the New World.

That was 43 years before the pilgrims landed in Plymouth!

Thanksgiving became a national holiday in Canada in 1879 and moved to its current date of the second Monday in October in 1957.

The celebration itself is similar to the holiday in the United States. Canadians get a long holiday weekend, family gatherings and eat lots of pumpkin pie and turkey.

In the United States today is Columbus Day.

Former provincial attends blessing in Poland

As noted last week, Fr. Tom Cassidy is in Poland as a part of his sabbatical. The main purpose of the trip was to attend the dedication of the province’s newly remodeled mother house and conference center.

Fr. Tom wrote the following for the province blog:

The shrine near the newly renovated Polish mother house and conference center.

“Today the Domus Mater (Mother House) was dedicated and blessed by one of the auxiliary bishops of Krakow. Originally the cardinal had agreed to be the main celebrant but at the last minute had to cancel and promised to send one of his three auxiliary bishops to fill in for him. In addition to me representing the United States both the German and Franco-European provincials were present as each had contributed to the renovation of Domus Mater as a conference center.

“The building is done in what I’d call a “Modern European” style. For anyone who has been to Italy and seen our Villa Aurelia (small hotel adjacent to the general curia) the style would be similar, but with new technological innovations such as electronic keys. There are 33 guest rooms that can accommodate up to 66 people. Of course there are several rooms for meetings and one large hall as well. Part of the building also houses the SCJ community. I believe it numbers 11. In addition there are 10 rooms for elderly SCJs, and in this case I’m thinking more along the lines of nursing care. These rooms are not quite finished.”

Click here to read the full post as well as previous items from Fr. Tom.

Keep in prayer

Fr. Zbigniew Morawiec’s father, Stanislaw Morawiec, is in a coma and near death. Fr. Ziggy flies to Poland today to be with him. Please keep the family in your prayers.

Please remember…

+Fr. Félcien Le Douaron, a member of the Franco-European Province, died September 24. He was born in 1929, professed in 1948 and ordained in 1956.

+Joan Haffner, a 17-year SHST employee and long-time volunteer in her retirement died October 7.


Three SCJs at the international formation program in South Africa profess their final vows.
Three SCJs at the international formation program in South Africa profess their final vows.

Final vows in South Africa

Two SCJs from Mozambique and one from India made their perpetual vows in Pietermaritzburg. The three are students in the international formation program there. Two will continue their theology studies in Pietermaritzburg; one will complete his in Mozambique.

Fr. Marek Przybys, provincial superior of South Africa, presided over the celebration.

Click here to view photos.

Vocation office on the road

Last week Tuesday Br. Ray Kozuch and Br. Long Nguyen took part in a combined vocation committee with St. Paul, Sacred Heart, St. Sebastian, and St. Mary by the Lake in Racine to discuss vocations and religious life.  The group talked about possibilities for the future. Br. Ray and Br. Long hope to develop more vocational efforts at SCJ parishes.


Fr. Joseph Dinh is now a member of the parish team at St. Martin of Tours parish in Franklin. He also has pastoral responsibility for the Milwaukee Vietnamese Catholic community. He is a member of St. Joseph’s community at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake.

Fr. Joseph replaces Fr. Thi Pham who is now a member of the Mississippi community serving on the multi-parish pastoral team there.

Prayer and fasting for immigration reform

Fr. Peter McKenna of the Canadian Region shares a link to the webpage for “Fast Action for Immigration Reform.” It is sponsored by The Interfaith Immigration Coalition, a partnership of faith-based organizations committed to enacting immigration reform.

This is the last week of the organization’s call for 40 days of “fasting, prayer and advocacy to “transform our own hearts and the heart of our country for immigration reform.” Many of the actions suggested at the website can be done anytime during the year, not just during the 40 days.

Click here to read more.