Weekly News: October 22, 2012

Fr. Tom Cassidy and Fr. Tom Westhoven were communion ministers at yesterday's canonization ceremony

SCJs present at Kateri Tekakwitha canonization

Fr. Tom Cassidy, and Fr. Tom Westhoven from the U.S. Province joined Fr. Francis Vu Tran, an SCJ student in Rome, at the October 21 canonization ceremony at St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. Among those canonized was Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American (also referred to as First Nation in Canada, or American Indian) saint. Fr. Cassidy wrote the following shortly after the ceremony:

“Fr. Tom Westhoven, Fr. Francis Vu Tran and I went to St. Peter’s Square to join several hundred thousand pilgrims to witness Pope Benedict XVI canonize seven men and women, including Sister Barbara Cope, a German-born American who as a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Syracuse, New York, ministered to lepers along with St. Damian De Veuster (Damian the Leper). Of special interest to us was the Pope’s raising to sainthood of Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American to be so honored. With Fr. John van den Hengel living here in Rome as Vicar General of our congregation, and a Canadian citizen, we had a lively discussion of what nation, Canada or the United States, should claim honors. In the end it was a draw as Kateri was born in what is now New York State long before the United States came into being, i.e, in 1656, and she died near present day Montreal on April 17, 1680…

“Fr. Francis was able to obtain tickets so the three of us would distribute communion during the liturgy… We were required to arrive at St. Peter’s at 8:00 a.m. and go to the Eucharistic chapel. Ceremonies like this one are commonplace at St. Peter’s. I must say they are well organized. In an area not far from us those priests and bishops who would be concelebrating were dressing. We 150 priests and deacons were quickly given surplices and stoles. Directions were given in Italian with a brief recap in English. I could sum it all up as: “FOLLOW THE MASTER OF CEREMONIES and they’ll show you what to do.”

Click here to read Fr. Tom’s full account on the province website.

If you are unable to view the slideshow above (you need Adobe Flash) click here to view the photos on the province photo site.

Preparing for SCJ ministry and religious life

The Dehon Formation Community in Chicago’s Hyde Park is a base for those preparing for ministry and religious life with the Priests of the Sacred Heart.  Its primary focus is candidates and professed SCJs in their initial years of formation, but the community also hosts SCJs, as well as priests and brothers from other communities and dioceses, who are doing advanced studies or sabbatical programs.

The autobiographies of this year’s community, including members of the formation team, have been posted on the province website.

“I have been discerning a vocation to the priesthood for a very long time, ever since I was a child,” wrote first-year candidate Gabriel Gutierrez.  “I heard about Priests of the Sacred Heart when I filled out an information request card; they were the first to reply.  At the time I was too young to move much further in my discernment process.

“When I became a junior in high school I got a call from Br. Ray Kozuch, SCJ…  After the meeting, in which we discussed school, discernment, support and mission, I truly felt that God was leading me into this direction with them.

“What has struck me the most in choosing the SCJs is their ministry of love; reaching out to those in most need through acts of charity.  I feel that is my essential motive in life, especially as a priest, to live out that motto…

“The communal life here at the formation house has been amazing.  Our life is centered, of course, around the Holy Eucharist within the Sacrifice of the Mass and within Adoration and community prayer.  Although we do not live a cloistered lifestyle, it is truly remarkable how we are able to be contemplative in our spiritual life.”

Click here to learn more about this year’s formation community.

Editor’s note: Fr. Tim Gray, who was a frequent contributor to the province blog during his sabbatical, is a member of the Dehon Formation Community in Chicago. Last week he wrote about the start of the new school year in a blog post.  Click here to read it.

ESL alumnus a part of relief efforts in Chad

Heavy rains have bombarded the African nation of Chad since mid-August. One of the areas most heavily hit is the region of Tandjile where the SCJs minister at St. Francis of Assisi parish. The parish’s substations in Baktchoro and Kolon have experienced some of the country’s worst flooding.

Fr. David Dagsou when he was an ESL student in 2010

“Bishop Miguel Sebastian of the Diocese of Lai was one of the first people to visit the area,” wrote Fr. David Dagsou, superior of the SCJ community in Baktchoro. “There, the bishop participated in the rescue of several women and children whom he put in his dugout canoe and got to shelter.”

“The damage to the area is extensive,” he continued. “There are 2,836 displaced people, 7,261 hectares (over 17 acres) of rice fields submerged, and the loss of goats, chicken and oxen.” Worst of all, six people drowned and another three have died of malaria.”

Fr. David is an alumnus of Sacred Heart School of Theology’s ESL program.

Click here to read more about Chad on the province website.

Please remember

Fr. Edoardo Pezzotta, a member of the North Italian Province, died October 16. He was born in 1920, professed in 1942 and ordained in 1947.

Also, Fr. Richard Johnston’s nephew, Peter Stich, recently died. Please keep him and the family in your prayers.

Archbishop Claudio Dalla Zuanna is greeted by well-wishers

Ordination photos

An album of photos from Archbishop Claudio Dalla Zuanna’s ordination as archbishop of Beria, Mozambique, is on the Generalate’s photo site.

Click here to view a slideshow of the photos.

Click here to view the gallery itself.

Cor Unum calendar correction

In the calendar section of the October Cor Unum we mistakenly noted that a Provincial Election Assembly will take place July 7-11, 2014. Please note that the Election Assembly will be the week of June 3, 2013.

July 7-11, 2014, are the dates of the next Provincial Chapter.

Open House

The library staff at Sacred Heart School of Theology are having an open house tomorrow, October 23, from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. to show off some of the changes in the library. All SCJs and employees in the Milwaukee area are welcome to attend.

Available on the website

The October SCJ News is now available as a PDF download from the province website. Click here to access it. The print version will be mailed this week.

In the Members’ section, the online Personnel Directory was updated this morning. A simple text PDF of the online directory is available both from the Members’ homepage and from the Personnel Directory page (within the Members’ section).

If you have an iPhone or iPad you can place the PDF of the online directory in iBooks, where it is easily accessible and readable. Other mobile devices have similar applications for use of PDFs.

Also, the October Cor Unum is available for download from the Members’ section.

All SCJs in North America have access to the password-protected Members’ section. For password assistance, or help utilizing the site, please contact Mary Gorski at the Provincialate.

SHST staff honored with Vatican II Awards

Dr. Steven Shippee, associate professor of systematic theology at Saced Heart School of Theology, is the 2012 recipient of the Milwaukee Archbishop’s Vatican II Award for Service in Ecumenism. Dr. Shippee not only teaches courses in ecumenism and world religions, but he is also the co-founder and chairperson of the school’s Ecumenical and Interreligious Task Force.

Fr. Melvin Michalski, professor emeriti, is the 2012 recipient of the Vatican II Award for Service to the Priesthood. Michalski served at St. Francis de Sales Seminary from 1987 to 2006 and at Sacred Heart School of Theology from 2006 to 2010.

The awards will be presented tomorrow, October 23 at a special ceremony with Milwaukee’s Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki.

Provincial’s time

As noted already, Fr. Tom Cassidy is in Rome where he took part in yesterday’s canonization ceremony at St. Peter’s. Fr. Tom will be in Rome through the end of the month.

November 5-10 he will be in Mississippi for a visitation and November 12-17 he will be in Toronto for the North American councils’ meeting.

Upcoming meetings and events:

November 13-14, North American Councils meeting in Toronto
December 18-19: Provincial Council Meeting

January 29-30: Provincial Council Meeting
March 13: Local Superiors Meeting
March 14: Provincial Council Meeting
April 8-9: Mission Education Conference, St. Joseph’s Indian School
April 30 – May 1: Provincial Council Meeting (budgets)
Week of June 3: Province Election Assembly.

July 7-11, 2014: Provincial Chapter