Weekly news: October 28, 2019

We remember

This week we commemorate All Saints Day (Nov. 1) and All Souls Day (Nov. 2). As we pray for those who have gone before us, let us remember in a special way Fr. Bill Pitcavage, SCJ, who died earlier this year (March 22, 2019). May we also remember:

Mike Grieger, the husband of Mary Grieger, died on October 26. Mary is the Information Systems Coordinator for Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. As we noted previously, Mike was diagnosed with peritonitis during a trip to Mexico several weeks ago. He was brought back to Milwaukee by air ambulance and had a number of other health concerns that complicated his treatment.

Rose M. Reske, the mother of Joe Cannizzaro, a member of the SHSST food staff, died October 22. She was 71.

Fr. Mark with the newly confirmed in South Dakota

When a bishop isn’t available…

It is rare that a parish priest gets to confirm his own students, but on October 13, Fr. Mark Mastin, SCJ, did just that. The diocese of Sioux Falls is currently without a bishop following the appointment of Bishop Robert Gruss to Saginaw. Short a bishop, Fr. Mark was delegated to do the confirmation.

“It was a long 15 months of personally teaching and preparing these young 12 to 16-year-olds for confirmation,” said Fr. Mark. “The six are from two of our parishes: St. Mary’s in Reliance and St. Michael’s in Kennebec, SD. The students were energetic, rambunctious at times, and overall, a pleasure to be around. I also confirmed a 34-year-old woman from St. Mary’s parish in Lower Brule, SD. She had waited years for her confirmation and had tears of joy rolling down her face after the anointing, grateful that the day had finally arrived.”

Keep in prayer

Br. Clay Diaz, SCJ, was admitted to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee Friday night. He had been having problems with asthma. Results from a CT scan while in the ER showed that he is in heart failure (heart not pumping as efficiently as it should). He was not responding to medication to stabilize his breathing, so he was placed on a ventilator. Today (Oct. 28) his vital signs look good; doctors are slowly trying to wean him off of the ventilator. Please keep him in your prayers


Fr. Vien

Congratulations to Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, who had an article published in the The Journal of Biblical Theology, Volume 2, Number 4: October-December 2019, pp. 23-41 and The American Journal of Biblical Theology, Volume 20, No. 35, September 1, 2019. The second is an online periodical produced by the same publisher.

The article is titled “A Parallel Case of Two Conversion Stories: A Narrative Criticism of Acts 8:5-40.”

“In this narrative analysis of the two conversion stories in Acts 8:5-40, I argue that the Ethiopian eunuch is portrayed as being liberated from his spiritual marginal status, whereas Simon the Great still struggles to liberate himself from his magical worldview and practices,” writes Fr. Vien in the abstract.  “There is evidence for this in the characterization of these two characters. Details about Simon the Great become increasingly ambiguous: He converts to the faith, but when he sees the apostles impart the Spirit through the laying on of hands, he offers to pay for the authority to impart the Spirit, which leads to a harsh rebuke from Peter. The story ends abruptly, and Simon is never mentioned again. Details about the Ethiopian eunuch, on the other hand, are increasingly positive: He travels home from Jerusalem, reads the Scripture, encounters Philip, asks for an explanation about the suffering servant, and requests baptism. He continues his journey home, rejoicing.”

Click here to access the article.

Provincial’s calendar

After spending over a year close to home rehabbing from foot surgeries and other health concerns, Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, provincial superior, is getting back to his usual travels. Several weeks ago he went to Pinellas Park, FL, for a visitation, and in mid-October, he was in South Dakota for Mission Education and C-POSH board meetings. Later this week he will be in Mississippi for board meetings there and November 6-16 he will be in Rome for the major superiors’ meeting, as well as the conference on Sacred Heart Devotion at Villa Aurelia (next to the Generalate). On December 6 he will be in Toronto (Mississauga) for the meeting of the North American administrations.

Live streaming of conference on Sacred Heart Devotion

As noted above, a conference about Sacred Heart devotion will take place November 8-9 at Villa Aurelia (next to the Generalate) in Rome.  The conference is hosted by the Priests of the Sacred Heart (via the Centro Studi Dehoniani) in conjunction with several partners, including the Pontifical Council for Culture and the University of Lucerne (PH Luzern).

The devotion to the Sacred Heart in a variety of perspectives will be the central focus of the international and pluri-disciplinary conference,” write organizers on the conference website. “Speakers from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, the United States, Canada and Indonesia will focus on iconography, memory, emotion and body in the language, imagery and rituals of the Sacred Heart… Theologians, historians, religious scientists, sociologists and art historians will present and discuss their research and reflections.”

Organizers plan to offer live streaming of speakers in the three languages of the conference (English, French and Italian). Details will be posted on the conference website at www.sacredheartconference.org (click here to go directly to the English site.

Dr. Austen Ivereigh

Dehon Lecture

The next Dehon Lecture is set for Wednesday, November 13, at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. Austen Ivereigh is the featured speaker. His topic: “Wounded Shepherd: the Sacred Heart and the Reform of Pope Francis.” A journalist and the author of The Great Reformer, a biography of Pope Francis, Ivereigh was the opening presenter at last year’s SHSST symposium “Discovering Pope Francis.”

The lecture will begin at 9:00 a.m., Eucharist will be at 11:15 a.m. and the Response Panel will begin at 1:00 p.m. Respondents include Fr. Stefan Tertünte, SCJ (director of the Centro Studi Dehoniani in Rome), Kurt Martens (Catholic University of America) and Peter Casarella (University of Notre Dame). The afternoon session ends by 4:00 p.m.

Click here to register.

A pastoral response to human trafficking

Dn. Steve

“Human trafficking is a crime against humanity,” said Pope Francis. “We must unite our efforts to free victims and stop this crime that’s become ever more aggressive, that threatens not just individuals, but the foundation values of society.”

On November 18, the North American Migration Committee is sponsoring a presentation by Dn. Steve Przedpelski, executive director of Franciscan Peacemakers in Milwaukee. Dn. Steve will speak about his 24 years of ministering to women involved in street prostitution, how much of the sex trade is connected to human trafficking, and what can be done to address this problem, especially by pastors and those involved in pastoral ministry.

The presentation will begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Provincial Conference Center in Franklin, WI. It is free and open to the public. Click here to access a flyer with more information; feel free to share it with others.

A few more calendar items

Besides the events noted above, there are a few more items that you may want to place on your calendar:

Advent Concert –– Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, in collaboration with the Province Development Office, is hosting an Advent Concert on December 8 at 3:00 p.m.  The concert will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Berghaus organ.

2020 US Provincial Conference –– “Our Future: Together in Community and Ministry, Part III,” will take place January 7-9, 2020, in Hales Corners. The focus of the 2020 conference will be ministry, building on the work done in the previous two conferences. Sr. Cathy Bertrand, SSND, will serve as facilitator. Registration and program information will be sent to SCJs by Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, in the next few weeks.

2020 US Provincial Assembly and Jubilee Celebration –– The 2020 US Provincial Assembly will be June 9-12, beginning Tuesday morning and concluding midday on Friday. The Province Jubilee Celebration will be Monday, June 8. Among those celebrating jubilees in 2020: Fr. Joseph-Thien Dinh, Fr. Quang Nguyen, Br. Andy Gancarczyk and Fr. Ed Zemlik (25 years), Fr. Christianus Hendrik and Fr. Andrzej Sudol (30 years), Fr. Byron Haaland and Br. Ray Kozuch (50 years), and Br. Bernard Taube (70 years).


November birthdays

Among those celebrating birthdays in November: Fr. David Szatkowski (46) and Fr. Ed Kilianski (65) on November 2, Frater Hubert Kodjovi Liassidji (39) on Nov. 3, Br. Brian Tompkins (63) on Nov. 4, Fr. Martin Antony Kadamattu  (38) on Nov. 10, Fr. Rafael Querobin (40) on Nov. 13, Fr. Greg Schill (44) on Nov. 14, Fr. Albertus Joni (34) on Nov. 16, Fr. Jan de Jong (82) on Nov. 17, Fr. Tim Gray (71) on Nov. 18, and Fr. Antonio Maria Resende Pereira (31) on Nov. 22. Happy birthday!

Closing shot

Bishop Joseph Kopacz of Jackson celebrated Mass and visited with students at Sacred Heart School in Southaven last week. He is pictured here giving a homily in the school gymnasium. Fr. Jack Kurps, SCJ, executive director of Sacred Heart Southern Missions, concelebrated.

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