The last stretch
Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, Chamberlain, Lower Brule, Pinellas Park, Houston, Walls, Southaven, Nesbit, Hernando, Chicago and finally, Milwaukee.
After three weeks of visiting SCJ communities throughout Canada and the United States Fr. José Ornelas Carvalho and Fr. John van den Hengel arrived in Hales Corners on Friday to visit with SCJs in the Milwaukee area. Today they have a meeting with the Provincial Council and tonight they will join in the province jubilee celebrations where Fr. Ornelas is the presider at the Mass.
Tomorrow the North American Continental Conference begins, bringing together SCJs from Canada and the United States. They will split their time between the Provincial Conference Center and Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake.
Photos from the visitation are available in an online photo album. Click here to view it.
Remembering September 11
Fr. Mark Mastin, a chaplain in the U.S. Army now stationed in Afghanistan, led a remembrance service there honoring those who died during the September 11 terrorist attacks, as well as the thousands who have been killed in the 12 years since.
He began by saying that “there are some 37 million plus reasons to remember why we are here in Afghanistan continuing our mission of Operation Enduring Freedom with our coalition partners.”
Fr. Mark noted the 3,497 Americans who died as a result of the September 11 attacks, and the 2,135 U.S. and 1,101 coalition soldiers who have died during the military intervention in Afghanistan. Of even greater number, Fr. Mark cited, are the estimated 16,000 Afghan civilians who have died since 2006.
But, he said, “in the end, it is not the statistics that we frankly want to read or care about. What we do care about is that behind these numbers and statistics were real human beings. They were fathers and mothers, sons and daughters who will never be able to enjoy a future life here on earth. Even though we may not know their names or have seen their faces, we continue to honor our fallen fellow Americans and coalition partners through our efforts to encourage and support the Afghan people in experiencing their inalienable and inherent God given right for freedom…
“I close with these two statements [from] two American literary icons. William Faulkner said ‘we are not free because we claim freedom, but we are free because we practice it.’
“And Abraham Lincoln remarked: ‘those who deny Freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.’”
Educating the children of Vietnamese migrants
Previously we have shared information about the Huong Tam School in Vietnam, a school funded primarily by the U.S. Province for the children of migrant families too poor to send their sons and daughters to government schools.
Br. Luong Nguyen, an SCJ in Vietnam, recently wrote with an update on the school.
“All of the students come from poor families, from different provinces, and their parents are immigrants working for local companies with small incomes,” wrote Br. Luong. “Many of them say that their salary sometimes is not enough for the food of the family. Last August we, Vietnamese SCJs together with the SCJ vicar general, Fr. John Van den Hengel, went to visit the school and some of the families nearby. One of the mothers shared with us:
“’I have four children but I already sent two of them to their grandparents in my hometown because if I keep them all here, I cannot take care of them well. My salary is just enough for food, sometimes not even enough for it.’
“The Huong Tam School community is grateful for the SCJ community, and especially for the support of the U.S. Province.”
ESL Cultural Fair offers a quick trip around the world
On Wednesday, September 25, there will be a special multicultural all-school Eucharist at 11:00 a.m. in the Sacred Heart Chapel at Sacred Heart School of Theology. Following Mass until 1:30 p.m. ESL students will host their annual “Culture Fair” at which students show off the foods and traditions of their home countries.
Participants in the North American Conference will be among those visiting the fair.
Fr. Jim Lawless, a member of the British-Irish Province, died September 20. He was born in 1917, professed in 1942 and ordained in 1948.
Keep in prayer
Fr. Tom Burns’ brother-in-law, Frank Eick had surgery last week. Cancer that had originally been diagnosed in his pancreas has since spread to the liver.
Fr. Paul Kelly’s room and office phone at Sacred Heart Monastery/School of Theology is 414-529-6962.