On September 21, the feast of St. Matthew, the Sacred Heart Community at SHML honored Fr. Paul Casper (60 years), Fr. Ed Griesemer (60 years) and Fr. Johnny Klingler (50 years) for their anniversaries of priesthood ordination.
Originally from St. Paul, MN, Fr. Paul, 87, was professed in 1949. During his years of ministry he served in a variety of locations including South Dakota, Mississippi and Wisconsin. He was a teacher, a parish minister, and among his ministries in the Milwaukee area, he served as a chaplain to incarcerated youth.
Raised just a dozen miles from Sacred Heart Monastery, Fr. Ed, 87, was born in West Allis, WI. As did Fr. Paul, Fr. Ed studied at Sacred Heart Monastery and was ordained with him in 1957. Similar to his classmate, he also spent time ministering in South Dakota. For many years Fr. Ed was active in Hispanic ministry; among the places he served: Texas and Wisconsin. He continues to study Spanish and hopes to one day return to Mexico.
Fr. Johnny, 82, is from Paterson, NJ, and was professed in 1963. He has served in formation and parish ministry, but also for many years in administration, first as province director of Justice and Peace. In 1977 Fr. Johnny he was named provincial superior of the US Province and served two terms; in 1985 he was elected to a six-year term on the General Council. Fr. Johnny was also active in social justice issues; this year, an award was created in his name to honor his work in social justice.
Click here to read more about the jubilarians on the province website.
Another jubilee celebration
Earlier this summer Fr. Dominic Peluse celebrated his 50th anniversary of vows with fellow SCJ jubilarians during a province ceremony at Sacred Heart Monastery. Soon after, province development office staff came up with an idea to invite benefactors to send their anniversary wishes to Fr. Dominic (spiritual director of the office), and if they were able to do so, make a gift in his name to the SCJ retirement fund as a way of celebrating his jubilee.
The response was fantastic! Hundreds of people sent messages and over $27,000 was raised for the needs of retired Dehonian priests and brothers.
During a pizza lunch at the development office last Wednesday, Fr. Dominic was surprised with the messages and the gifts in his name. “This will be a wonderful memory for me,” he said. “I am so humbled by and grateful to the people who continue to support our mission.”
Remembering Blessed Juan Maria
Fr. Jim Walters gave the homily at Friday’s SHSST feast day Mass for Blessed Blessed Juan Maria de la Cruz, the first SCJ to be named “blessed.” Fr. Jim is director of Hispanic Studies at the seminary.
“Fr. Juan was a person who trusted not so much in his own strength but rather in the strength of the Lord, a strength he discovered as a child growing up in a simple family deeply rooted in their faith,” said Fr. Jim in the bilingual homily. “His deep and trusting love of the Sacred Heart led him to the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart. His devotion to the Eucharist and Eucharistic Adoration nourished his life of faith. On July 23, 1936, Fr. Juan witnessed men desecrating the Iglesia de los Juanes in the center of the city of Valencia. He shouted in protest. When the men heard his shouting, they said to each other, “He is a reactionary.” He responded, “No. I am a priest.” He was taken to the Modelo Jail in Valencia and subsequently, on August 23, 1936, together with nine other prisoners, was taken south of Valencia to be executed.
“Fr. Juan’s life and those many who were martyred with him challenge each of us as did the witness of Jesus and the women disciples in today’s gospel to rethink our baptismal call in radically different terms.”
Keep in prayer
Br. Ray Kozuch asks for prayers for his brother, Tom, who is hospitalized in Indianapolis due to a recent fall and serious edema complications. He has had a permanent tracheotomy for several years due to previous health issues.
Also, Fr. Walter Van As of the Montréal community was hospitalized late last week for tests after he became quite weak.
“Mud slingers” in India
Fr. Tom Cassidy’s latest post from India is about a social action project undertaken by SCJ students. The group spent the day as “mud slingers,” helping to lay and set the foundation for a mission church.
“Last Saturday was our second Social Action Day,” wrote Fr. Tom. “Br. Manish Nayak, SCJ, suggested that his group and others, if they so desired, help the villagers of Palagudem in the construction of their substation church. Manish and Br. Kiran Kumar Silarapu, SCJ, have been doing their Sunday ministry in Palagudem. He pointed out that the villagers are poor and were trying to do most of the work themselves. I believe three out of our five student meditation groups agreed to go with him to work on the church.”
Did you receive it?
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Besides the SCJ News, the US Province also publishes two electronic publications. Fridge Notes (most likely where you are reading this notice) is a weekly summary of news and updates mailed via email most Mondays, and Dehonian Spirituality is a publication of prayers and reflections based in the charism of Fr. Leo John Dehon that is sent by email most Fridays. Anyone is welcome to receive the electronic publications. To add a subscriber, click on the desired link below:
Among those celebrating birthdays in October: Fr. John van den Hengel (78) on Oct. 1, Fr. Ed Zemlik (60) on Oct. 3, Fr. Tony Russo (79) and Fr. Bob Naglich (62) on Oct. 4, Br. Leonard Zaworski (75) on Oct. 8, Fr. Tom Cassidy (75) on Oct. 13, Fr. Bill Pitcavage (75), Fr. Paul Grizzelle Reid (74) and Br. Dieudonné Tchouteu (55) on Oct. 14, Fr. Maurice Légaré (63) on Oct. 15, Fr. Christianus Hendrik (48) on Oct. 21, Fr. Bob Bossie (80) on Oct. 23, and Fr. Richard Johnston (85) on Oct. 27. Happy birthday!
Fr. Ed has meetings with the Provincial Council next week, October 3-4. October 6-9 he will be 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 year the US Province established an intergenerational Senior Life Commission to research, discuss and advise the Provincial Council on concerns regarding the well-being of senior SCJs. Members of the commission include Fr. Jim Schroeder (chair), Fr. Byron Haaland, Br. Ray Kozuch, Fr. Pat Lloyd, Dn. David Nagel, Fr. Bill Pitcavage, Fr. Vincent Suparman and Br. Brian Tompkins. The group is pictured below during their meeting last week at the Provincial Offices.