Mission Education in South Dakota
Held approximately every three years, Mission Education is a time for employees and other collaborators in SCJ ministry to learn about Fr. Leo John Dehon, founder of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, as well as the congregation that carries on his dreams. It is also a time for co-workers across the country to get to know one another and learn how they are a part of the worldwide mission of the Priests of the Sacred Heart.
This year’s gathering is hosted by St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain; it began yesterday (October 13) with a Mass infused with Lakota culture, and concludes today (October 14). The theme is “Sacred Bridges,” the bridges that we build between cultures, peoples, religions and other communities.
Celebrating 25 years in India
The first Dehonian missionaries arrived in India on October 6, 1994. For two days, October 5-6, the Indian District celebrated the 25th anniversary of their arrival. The days were filled with prayer, performances, historical sharing, reflective words, and of course, food! Dehonians from around the world, including Fr. Carlos Luis Suarez Cordorniú, superior general, and Fr. Pedro Iglesias Curto, secretary general, were present. Other visitors included Patrick van Ooij, the nephew of one of the founding SCJs of the district, Fr. Martin van Ooij, as well as former missionaries. And from India, just about every member and candidate of the district made their way to Christu Dehon Nivas in Eluru.
North American SCJs at the gathering included Fr. Tom Cassidy, Fr. Dominic Peluse, Fr. Quang Nguyen, Fr. Gustave Lulendo and Br. Leonard Zaworski. Pam Milczarski of the Province Development Office and Mary Gorski (province communications) were also there.
The US Province has had a significant role in the development of the Indian District, both financial and personnel resources. With his photo prominently displayed in front of the stage during the weekend’s events, Fr. Tom Garvey is considered one of the founding fathers of the district. But many others have given significant contributions, including Fr. Charles Bisgrove, Fr. Tom Fix and Fr. Richard DiLeo (all three are now deceased, as is Fr. Garvey). Br. Leonard Zaworski spent 12 years in the country, developing social outreach; Fr. Tom Cassidy continues to assist with the formation program. Fr. Charles Brown and Fr. Jim Schroeder are among those who have taught in the district.
Click here to read more about the anniversary celebrations.
Click here to view photos from the days.
Click here or on the image below to view the anniversary video. It was produced by the district’s first Lay Dehonian: Dr. V. Mrudula Raj (“Pinky”).
Click here or on the image below to see a video of the theme song for the jubilee, “In Souls and Society.” It was written by Fr. Michael Augustine, SCJ.
Bishop Joseph Potocnak, SCJ, was recently honored by the Department of Veterans Affairs for his 1,250 hours of volunteer service at the VA Medical Center near the Sacred Heart Community in Pinellas Park, FL. This is his fifth year volunteering at the center.
Save the Date!
On November 18, the North American Migration Committee will host a presentation on Human Trafficking by Dn. Steve Przedpelski, executive director of Franciscan Peacemakers in Milwaukee. For over 24 years Dn. Steve has ministered to women involved in street prostitution. He will talk about how the sex trade is connected to human trafficking and what can be done to address the issue, especially by ministers and faith communities.
The presentation will take place at the Provincial Conference Center in Franklin, WI (Hales Corners) from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. All SCJs, co-workers, members of the SHSST community, St. Martin of Tours parishioners and Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake residents are welcome to attend.
Questions? Contact Mark Peters, US Province director of Justice, Peace and Reconciliation at 414-427-4273, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seeking Award Nominations
The US Province JPR Commission is seeking nominations for the annual Klingler Social Action Award. In its third year, the award is given to a person or organization (SCJ or lay) who has responded to the call of Catholic social teaching and the example of Fr. Leo John Dehon in “contributing to the establishment of the reign of justice and Christian charity in the world.” (SCJ Constitutions #32)
With this award, the JPR Commission recognizes efforts that touch people’s hearts, transform personal attitudes, and spur others to greater social action, whether it be direct service, advocacy for the voiceless and support for systemic change at the governmental or institutional level, empowerment of the marginalized or formation and education for justice.
Nominations can be submitted until April 15, 2020. The winner will be announced in May; the award includes a $1,000 donation to the recipient’s charity or organization of choice.
Send nominations to: email@example.com or call 414-427-4273 for more information.
New jobs, but at what price?
“I think this is all about ‘restoring human dignity’ but it seems like a ‘win-lose’ situation,” wrote Fr. Richard MacDonald, SCJ, in a recent reflection on the province blog.
“Today the local media announced that there would be a job fair with 200 jobs available,” he continued. “The jobs are tied to a migrant children’s shelter that is opening by December of this year. So far, 300 jobs have been filled, meaning that it will bring a total of 500 jobs to the area. The federal government will have a payroll budget of between $20 and $24 million dollars to run the facility. The location will be an abandoned Walmart on the edge of Raymondville.
“The newspaper article expresses joy at the creation of 500 jobs. I personally know many of the families who now have jobs and are giving thanks to God that that life will be a bit easier. The wages start at about $12 to $14 an hour; more than Walmart paid and the benefits are better!
This migrant children’s shelter in Raymondville will house another 500 minors, held in captivity, without any contact with parents or family. It is one of many we are aware of in cities such as Harlingen, Brownsville and Weslaco.
“It is difficult to know what to think about all of this. We need wisdom. I am happy for those who have jobs. But what is the real price to society?”
Click here to read Fr. Mac’s full reflection.
Fr. Bertino Schappo, a member of the Brazil – São Paulo Province, died September 26. He was born in 1935, professed in 1959 and ordained in 1964.
Fr. Tomás Fernández , a member of the Spanish Province, died October 7. He was born in 1933, professed in 1952 and ordained in 1960.
A trip around the world in the SHSST dining room
The ECS program (English and Culture Studies, formerly ESL) at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology held its annual Culture Fair on October 10 in the SHSST dining room. It’s a time for students and staff from around the world to share some of the foods and traditions of their home countries. South America, Africa, Europe and Asia were all represented at the fair.
More photos are on the US Province Facebook page. You do not need to be a member of Facebook to view the page.