Celebrating ministry; remembering a martyr
Fr. Jim Walters, SCJ, was the main celebrant and homilist at the September 18th bilingual Mass at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. The liturgy was dedicated to the memory of Blessed Juan María de la Cruz Garcia Mendez, SCJ. A martyr during the Spanish Civil War, Juan María was beatified by Pope John Paul II on March 11, 2001. His memorial is celebrated by the Church on September 22.
“Fr. Juan’s life and those many who were martyred with him challenge each of us to ask ourselves the question: what is really of value and of substance in our lives?” said Fr. Jim. “What is the truth that supports my ‘witness of faith’ in the ‘household of the living God’? Martyrs are ordinary men and women like us who are so convinced and deeply moved by the message of the gospel that they are willing to put their lives on the line. They are the ones who challenge us to reexamine our values in light of the gospel. They are the ones willing to risk their reputations and public opinion to speak and live the truth.”
Following the homily, there was a Rite of Commissioning for six SHSST seminarians involved in pastoral service this semester. Among them were two members of the Dehonian formation program: Frater Paul Phong Hoang, SCJ, and Candidate Kenneth Anyanwu. Each appeared before the seminary community with their ministry supervisors (they are pictured at the top of the page). Both Paul and Kenneth will work with Catholic Charities of Milwaukee.
Click here to read more on the province website.
Click here to view photos from the Mass.
Click here to read Fr. Jim Walters’ homily.
On Saturday, St. Joseph’s Indian School held its 43rd Annual Powwow; 109 students registered as dancers, the most ever! Also 18 students participated in the Chalk Hills Singers drum group. Hundreds of visitors from around the country came to Chamberlain, SD, to be a part of the weekend.
Click here to visit St. Joseph’s Facebook page to view photos and videos from the weekend; more will be posted throughout the week. You do not need to be a member of Facebook to visit the page.
Fr. Mathieu Ceyssens, a member of the Dutch-Flemish Confederation, died September 19. He was born in 1934, professed in 1954 and ordained in 1960.
World Day for Migrants and Refugees
September 29 is World Day for Migrants and Refugees. It is a day on which “we are invited to revisit the story of our own families, each one being a migration story, some recent and others in the distant past,” write members of the North American Migration Committee. “On this day we are urged to engage in prophetic actions to welcome, protect, promote and integrate migrants, refugees, survivors of human trafficking.
“Listening to the cry of migrants and refugees and the cry of the Earth, let us promote LIFE in harmony with our common home.”
Click here to download a PDF of a prayer service for September 29 that was prepared by the committee. It is appropriate for either personal or communal reflection.
Click here to access more resources from the Vatican’s office on Migrants and Refugees.
Faith and Action at the border
On October 30, Sr. Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, and Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, president and dean of Valley Beit Midrash, will speak regarding faith-driven advocacy for migrants at the US – Mexican border. The presentation will take place at 7:00 p.m. at Congregation Beth Israel Neer Tamid (6880 N. Green Bay Ave.) in Milwaukee. Attendance is free, but organizers ask that you RSVP at MilwaukeeJewish.org/JCRC or contact Allison Hayden at 414-390-5781, AllisonH@MilwaukeeJewish.org
The US Province donated $2,000 towards expenses of the presentation.
Save the date!
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.
Keep in prayer
Please keep in prayer all those affected by flooding in Texas, the result of Tropical Depression Imelda. It is estimated that over 40 inches of rain fell in 72 hours in Jefferson County, about 80 miles from Houston. In Houston itself, there were over nine inches of rain on Thursday, breaking the record for wettest day in September.
Br. Andy Gancarczyk from the SCJ community at Our Lady of Guadalupe Houston said that “thankfully, the parish is safe.” School was closed for several days; the parish office reopened on Friday.
An autumn prayer
Today, September 23, is the first day of autumn. The following prayer is by Teresa Burns of Catholic Family Faith:
O God of Creation, you have blessed us with the changing of the seasons.
As we embrace these autumn months,
May the earlier setting of the sun
remind us to take time to rest.
May the crunch of the leaves beneath our feet
remind us of the brevity of this earthly life.
May the steam of our breath in the cool air
remind us that it is you who give us your breath of life.
May the scurrying of the squirrels and the migration of the birds
remind us that you call us to follow your will.
We praise you for your goodness forever and ever. Amen.