Weekly News: September 16, 2019

Novices past and present

Before the First Friday gathering at Sacred Heart Monastery in September, Fr. Byron Haaland, SCJ, novice master, posed for a quick photo with this year’s novitiate class (Thien Nguyen, Thuan Nguyen, Truc Van Tran and Hung Pham) and last year’s class, who professed first vows on August 15 (John Huan Nguyen and Hubert Senam Kodjovi Liassidji). They are pictured above.

Do you know of someone discerning a call to religious life, to the priesthood? Contact our vocation director at vocationcentral@wi.twcbc.com or call 800-609-5559.

Finding strength in the Eucharist during CPE 

Frater Henry

Frater Henry Nguyen, SCJ, wrote a reflection on his summer CPE experience working as a chaplain-intern at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System in San Antonio:

“Con có cầu nguyện chưa” (Have you prayed yet?) and “Con nhớ cầu nguyện” (Remember to pray!)” were words which I often heard from my dad when I was growing up. The phrases continue to echo through my head, but no more so than they did during this past summer in the midst of my CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) experience.

Santa Rosa’s stated mission is to “Extend the Healing Ministry of Jesus Christ.” I came to see how similar this mission is to that of Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology’s vision: “To conform our world to the Heart of Christ.” Both the mission and vision speak to me as an SCJ, a Dehonian, who has chosen to live a life available with an open heart and an open mind to be a prophet of love and servant of reconciliation. [SCJ Mission Statement]

Each day I met with patients and their families; I attempted to provide both emotional and spiritual support. Every day when I knocked on a door, I wasn’t sure what I would find on the other side. Would it be a patient or family member who welcomed my presence, or would there be rejection, and perhaps even anger?

About halfway through CPE, I found that I had become distant mentally and socially, but also physically. I had trouble processing things. Burnout. It seemed that there was no way out. I felt the workload increasing; I had more patients to see. I didn’t feel like I had the opportunity to really reach out to anyone. And the list continued to get longer and longer. I started to isolate myself; others said that I was becoming withdrawn.

But eventually, I found my way through the Eucharist. It anchored me. It gave me strength. I thought of my father’s words: “Remember to pray!”

Click here to read Fra. Henry’s full reflection on the US Province website.


Br. John

Happy 90th!

On Wednesday, September 18, Br. John Monek, SCJ, turns 90! Originally from Pennsylvania, he served in the U.S. Air Force before pursuing his vocation as a religious brother with the Priests of the Sacred Heart. Earlier this month, Br. John commemorated his 58th anniversary of first vows (September 8).  Most of his years of active ministry were dedicated to St. Joseph’s in Baileys Harbor, Wis. Initially, it served as a novitiate for the province, and later as a retreat center. When the center took on a new life with the diocese of Green Bay, Br. John retired and moved to the Milwaukee area. He lives at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake.

During his years at St. Joseph’s there was a project that Br. John took particular pride in: the creation of the “Silo of Prayer.”

“I got the idea when I was in the Southwest and saw an Indian kiva,” he said. “I sat inside and thought that it was so peaceful and easy to pray in; so when I got back I turned the old barn silo into a kind of kiva. I liked the idea that instead of a missile silo we had one dedicated to prayer.”

Br. John is one of two members of the US Province who turn 90 this year. Br. Peter Mankins, SCJ, celebrated his 90th birthday on August 8. Happy birthday Br. John!

Headed to Florida

After 14 months of being “grounded” to attend to health concerns, Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, flies to Florida tomorrow for a visitation with the Sacred Heart Community in Pinellas Park. He will be there until September 23.


Fra. Long and Fr. Ed


Last Tuesday, September 10, Frater Long Nguyen, SCJ, received the Ministry of Acolyte during Mass with the Sacred Heart Monastery Community. He is pictured above with Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ. As of October 1, Br. Long will be a member of the Mississippi community.

Personnel directory

Last week, SCJs in the US Province and Canadian Region were sent a draft of the North American Personnel Directory to review. The draft was a PDF attached to an email. Many thanks to those who have sent in corrections and updates. The deadline for submitting a change prior to the next printing is Thursday, September 19 (just a few days from now). If you did not receive the PDF of the directory, contact Mary Gorski.

A reminder: throughout the year the most up-to-date contact information is in the online directory in the Members section of the US Province website. The directory is password protected. Click here for assistance in accessing it or call Mary Gorski at 414-427-4266.

SHSST staff making news

Several staff members from Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology have been making news, including:

Dr. Michael Brummond, assistant professor of Systematic Theology, had a book review of Annibale Bugnini: Reformer of the Liturgy by Yves Chiron (Brooklyn, NY: Angelico Press, 2018) published in Adoremus Bulletin 25:2 (2019).

Dr. John Olesnavage, VP for Pastoral Formation, was featured in the Milwaukee Catholic Herald last week for a program that he leads called “Ask Your Powerful Question.” It is a program that received positive feedback from students in SHSST’s lay master’s program, Cor Unum. A person’s “question becomes a lens with which to view the world and make choices that are right for you,” he said in the Herald article. Click here to learn more about the program.

And finally, congratulations to Fr. Michael Ufok Udoekpo for his two scholarly efforts that recently appeared in print: May the Lord Put His Spirit Upon Them (Num 11:25-29b): Reading Moses Prayer for the Nigerian Contemporary Situation, and First Sunday Worship in the Place the Lord Has Chosen as His Own: Reading Deuteronomy 12:13-19 in Honour of His Eminence, Dominic Cardinal Ekandem, first bishop of Ikot Ekpene Diocese. Fr. Udoekpo also had two book reviews in the Theological Book Review.

Please remember

Jim McAtee, the father of Chris McAtee, SHSST VP for Institutional Development and External Affairs, died this morning (September 16).  Funeral arrangements are pending.



“Our SCJ charism is oblation,” wrote Novice Hung Pham in last Friday’s Dehonian Spiritualty publication.  “We live in the spirit of love and reparation. Our oblation has two main elements that are love and reparation. The element of love includes affirmation, acceptance, and understanding. An affirmation can help us to see the good in all things.  An acceptance can help us to make or allow room for the other. An understanding can help us to listen and be patient with others. These three elements have supported each other and worked together. If we can see the good in all things, it will be easy for us to accept and understand these things.

“The element of reparation includes a welcome to the spirit, a response to Christ’s love for us, a communion in His love for the Father, and a cooperation in His work of redemption in the midst of the world [SCJ Constitutions # 23].”

Click here to view the rest of the September 13th issue of Dehonian Spirituality.

On the lighter side

Fr. Carlos Luis Suarez Codorniú, SCJ, superior general, is pictured in the video below getting a lesson in traditional dance during a visit to Indonesia.


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