What does it mean to be a missionary?
“I never think of myself as a missionary,” said Fr. Christianus Hendrik. “I just came here to help.” On Friday, October 6, Fr. Hendrik was the First Friday presenter at the Dehon Formation Community in Chicago. Originally from Indonesia, he was asked to share what it means to him to be a missionary.
His first mission assignment was in West Papua but it was an assignment cut short when he came down with a difficult case of malaria that led to a stroke which paralyzed much of his body. After eight months of recovery his provincial superior suggested that he take a sabbatical in the United States to learn English and then go to a new assignment in the Philippines.
He was preparing to be a missionary, but instead of going to the Philippines he was asked to serve on the Lower Brule Pastoral Team in rural South Dakota. It was one of the congregation’s first missions in the United States; its first missionaries were from Germany.
“And so I am a missionary here, but again, what does that mean?” said Fr. Hendrik. “We are all preparing to be missionaries, wherever we go we are doing mission.”
He went on to talk of his vocation story, one intricately tied with family events. It is a history that taught him that “Wherever your mission is, to be a missionary you must have an open heart. You must love.”
After learning about Fr. Hendrik’s vocation journey, members of the formation community will share their own stories next week. Those in formation this year include four candidates, two SCJs preparing for final vows, two novices, and a brother in final vows studying for ordained ministry. Watch the province Facebook page for a link to the profiles. Links will also be available in next week’s Fridge Notes.
October 2-4 the Canadian Region held its annual assembly in Kingston, Ontario. Discussion topics included vocations and youth, finances, policy updates regarding abuse, and the pastoral plans of the three communities (Montréal, Ottawa and Toronto).
The North American Migration Committee presented its work and recommendations on Tuesday afternoon. It included a video of Sr. Norma Pimentel’s presentation at the U.S. Province assembly in June (she spoke of her work with refugees near the Mexican – American border) and information on Canadian immigration and refugee policies by Joe Gunn, executive director of Citizens for Public Justice. The Canadian Region has chosen the issue of migration as its primary commitment to social justice. After the presentation, three members of the committee –– Fr. Jan de Jong and Fr. Tony Russo of the US Province, and Fr. Peter McKenna of the Canadian Region –– traveled to Ottawa and Montréal to discuss the involvement of local communities in migration concerns.
On Tuesday evening the region celebrated the jubilees of Frs. Peter Sanders and Roger Phaneuf (50 years of ordination) and of Fr. Maurice Légaré (40 years of vows).
Speaking of Canada, happy Canadian Thanksgiving to our neighbors to the north! Eh?
Keep in prayer
Richard Fagon, a former SCJ, has been diagnosed with acute leukemia and is now in hospice. He taught at Kilroe, and is the artist who created the bust of Fr. Leo John Dehon as well as two bas-reliefs and the stations in the Sacred Heart Monastery chapel.
Fr. Antonius Martinus van Roij, a member of the Dutch – Flemish Confederation, died October 8. He was born in 1926, professed in 1948 and ordained in 1953.
Province creates new healthcare position
Just over a year ago, Mary Balistreri began working at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake serving as a health care resource to the SCJ community. A registered nurse, Mary has an extensive background in gerontology, health care assessment and in-place health care assistance. Now her role has extended to the entire province, serving as a resource to SCJs of all ages.
So far, much of her work continues to be at SHML. She, other members of the SHML staff, and community members share in assisting elderly members of the community, being with them at medical appointments and ensuring that they have the help they need to continue to live comfortably at home in community. She is often an advocate when an SCJ is in the hospital, and like a family member, assists in the transition process when he returns home.
In the months ahead she will be working with province leadership to develop her role beyond SHML. Fr. Ed will speak about it during the upcoming visitations.
“Preventative medicine, staying active, making sure that baseline check-ups are done as needed, ensuring that each of the members has established a relationship with a doctor, has filled out and/or updated necessary documents, these are some of the things that I expect to focus on in the months ahead,” she said. “I look forward to meeting more members of the community and am grateful to be a resource to them.”
Work on the renovation of Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology / Sacred Heart Monastery has begun. Asbestos abatement is in process, and initial work regarding the construction of the new elevator is to begin next week. Phase II of construction is to start in November. The renovation is being done to allow for the integration of the province formation program into the monastery community. As of the 2018-19 academic year theology students will study at SHSST and undergraduates will attend Milwaukee area universities.
Last week the Provincial Council approved Br. Joseph Vu for profession of final vows. The ceremony will take place the morning of Saturday, December 2, at Sacred Heart Monastery, with a luncheon to follow.
Class of 67 holds reunion
Members of Divine Heart Seminary’s class of 1967 gathered at Sacred Heart Monastery over the weekend for an informal reunion. Fr. Bernie Rosinski, one of their teachers, joined them for the festivities and was the main celebrant at Eucharist with them on Saturday.
Fr. Ed Kilianski returns today from a visit with the Pinellas Park community. The meeting of the Canadian and US councils is in Montréal, October 16-17. October 19-20 Fr. Ed meets with the SHSST Board of Directors; and from October 18-24 he will be filling in for Fr. Byron Haaland at the novitiate while Fr. Byron takes part in the meeting of the congregation’s novice masters in Rome.
Last week Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology celebrated its annual Multicultural Mass with traditions from five continents. The liturgy incorporated ten languages, including French, Portuguese, Indonesian, Spanish, Vietnamese, Bamileke‐Banunga (spoken in Cameroon), Malagasy (Madagascar), Japanese, Javanese and Italian. Fr. Jaime Ludwig, an ESL student from Brazil, was the principal celebrant. Click here to read his homily.
On Friday, the international celebration continued with the annual ESL Cultural Fair. Students and staff shared the foods and traditions of their home countries in the SHSST dining room. The photo below was taken during the fair.