Weekly News: October 29, 2018

Fr. Paul Kelly, long-time spiritual director, dies

After a lengthy illness, Fr. Paul Kelly, SCJ, died October 26 surrounded by members of his community at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake. He was 68. Originally from Carbondale, PA, Fr. Paul was 18 when he became a candidate with the community. He professed first vows in 1970 and was ordained in 1977.

Fr. Paul

Fr. Paul served in parish ministry, and was the spiritual director of the Province Development Office, the public face of the Priests of the Sacred Heart for many people in the United States.

However, one of his greatest passions had been spiritual formation. For many years he served as a spiritual director at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology and as vice president for Spiritual and Human Formation.

“I have found that the ministry of spiritual direction has been a unique opportunity to help others (and myself) to experience God’s graciousness in the midst of struggles, decisions, triumphs and tragedies,” wrote Fr. Paul. “The inner journey isn’t an easy one. Having a trusted companion is a great gift and mutual blessing.”

On October 18, Fr. Paul was honored by SHSST for his many years of ministry to the seminary.

One of the last written pieces that Fr. Paul did was for the Province Vocation Office’s 2017 Advent reflection booklet. His topic? Hope.

“Hope is so necessary for living life more fully,” he began. “It seems to me that these times of ours test our hope in so many significant ways. Natural disasters seem to be so frequent. Tensions between nations seem to be escalating. Climate change and diseases appear to be adding to the picture. How do we continue to hope?

“Hope may not change disastrous realities around us, but it does change us. People with hope bring light into the darkness. Small thoughtfulness and kindness should not be dismissed. It has been my experience that the living Lord and my hope in Him continually renews my strength!”

Click here to read more about Fr. Kelly.

Funeral arrangements

The funeral arrangements for Fr. Paul Kelly will be at Sacred Heart Monastery/ Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology on Friday, November 2.

A wake service will be at 9:00 a.m. followed by visitation until the Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m.

Dehonian Esprit de Coeurs reunion

David Schimmel, province director of Dehonian Associates, is organizing a “Dehonian Esprit de Coeurs” reunion for former SCJs and SCJ seminarians. It will take place June 10-11 in Hales Corners. A full day of activities is scheduled on June 10, concluding with the Province Jubilee of Vows Celebration.

On the morning of Tuesday, June 11, reunion participants will join SCJs for the start of the US Province Assembly. There will be a sharing session around the theme of “How has knowing Fr. Dehon and the SCJs affected your values and the way you live your life?”

More information will be available in mid-December.

November birthdays

Among those celebrating birthdays in November: Fr. David Szatkowski (45) and Fr. Ed Kilianski (64) on Nov. 2; Novice Kodovi Hubert Liassidji (38) on Nov. 3, Br. Brian Tompkins (62) on Nov. 4; Fr. Greg Schill (43) on Nov. 14; Fr. Jan de Jong (81) on Nov. 17; and Fr. Tim Gray (70) on Nov. 18. Happy birthday!

Question for SCJs: Do you use the “Birthday Calendar,” the small printed calendar with birthdays and dates of death of SCJs in North America? Currently we note all birthdays in the online Google calendar, accessible from any page on the US Province website. Dates of death are available in the online Necrology, as well as the printed North American Personnel Directory. Is this sufficient?

Click here to give your input on the Birthday Calendar; please do so by November 19 (two weeks from today). Thanks!

Latest SCJ News

The most recent SCJ News (Fall, 2018) is at the printer and will be in the mail soon; click here to download a PDF. Click here to access previous issues.

As of the summer issue, the SCJ News is now published quarterly (winter, spring, summer and fall). The eight-page newsletter generally includes highlights from features that have appeared on the US Province website. For the most up-to-the-minute news, be sure to check the site regularly, as well as the province Facebook page.

Want to be added to the SCJ News mailing list? Click here to send your name and mailing address.

Fr. Peter McKenna of the North American Migration Committee

We can make a difference

“With the work of the North American Migration Committee, I am reminded that as a single Dehonian, yes we can make a difference, but it is together as North American Dehonians that we can have a collective presence and voice and can join with others to build the reign of God in souls and society,” said Fr. Peter McKenna, SCJ, co-chair of the committee.  “The social dimension of our charism is not an appendix to our charism.  It is a constitutive part of who we are as Dehonians and traces of it is to be found in every ministry that each and every SCJ undertakes.  One of our challenges is to make it more explicit.”

Fr. Peter reflected on the work of the committee in a recent interview with Mark Peters, US Province director of Justice, Peace and Reconciliation, on the province’s social justice blog.

“What I appreciate most about working with NAMC is the passion of the members of the committee,” continued Fr. Peter. “This passion is unleashed each and every time we spend time with a refugee or with someone living with no documentation.  What was especially moving was being with Sr. Norma.  We seem to function as ‘people of the head,’ but in reality we really are ‘Dehonians with open heart and mind.’”

Click here to read the full interview on the Dehonian Social Justice website.

Susan Koepke with her husband, Steve, and son, Jeff

Susan Koepke retires

Long-time Sacred Heart Southern Missions employee, Susan Koepke, recently retired. Susan began her days with SHSM as a volunteer in 2004. She worked with Sr. Linda Fuselier, then HIV/AIDS coordinator, and helped at Sacred Heart School. Susan officially joined the SHSM staff in 2005, first working in the kitchen at Sacred Heart School, and then as Sr. Betteann McDermott’s assistant in the HIV/AIDs program.

When Sr. Betteann passed away suddenly in May, 2014, Susan stepped in and took on the program’s responsibilities.

Unbeknownst to Susan, her husband Steve (SHSM director of Donor Relations) and son Jeff, made arrangements for her brother, sister and daughter to join SHSM in a surprise celebration of Susan’s retirement, as well as her birthday.

“I will miss the clients and the camaraderie with my fellow coworkers,” said Susan.

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