As we noted last week, Fr. José Ornelas Carvalho, superior general, and Fr. John van den Hengel, vicar, are doing a visitation of North America. After time with the communities in Montréal, Ottawa and Toronto (including an opportunity for Fr. Ornelas to celebrate Mass in his native Portuguese at the SCJs’ new parish of St. Thomas More in Toronto), the two arrived in South Dakota yesterday.
They will meet with SCJs and tour ministries in and around Chamberlain and Lower Brule Monday and Tuesday before flying to Florida to visit with the retirement community in Pinellas Park.
September 13-16 Frs. Ornelas and John will be in Houston, and September 16-18 they will be in Mississippi. From there, the two fly to Chicago to visit with the formation community. September 20 they are in the Milwaukee area for the last part of the visitation.
September 24-27 is the North American Continental Conference, the concluding moment of the visitation. SCJs from throughout North America will come together, splitting their time between the Provincial Conference Center and Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake.
Fathers Ornelas and John are coming to South Dakota just as the new semester begins at St. Joseph’s Indian School. The school maintains a blog to which SCJs, students and staff contribute. One of the more recent posts was from one of the young teachers, Joe Tyrell, reflecting on a never-ending to-do list and why he is thankful for the reasons he keeps at it:
“The beginning of the school year is always an exciting time! You are gearing up for the school year by setting up your classroom, reorganizing your office, and finishing up on some lesson planning… you find yourself not panicking.
“But just when you think you have everything done, you look around the corner and are greeted with another item to add to your ‘To Do List.’
“This happened to me while I was getting ready for the Lakota boys and girls to return to St. Joseph’s Indian School. I felt I had everything ready for the school year and I was going to be ready to rock ‘n roll for the first week of classes!
“But then, I was then greeted with another item on my list. I left the first day of school feeling a little overwhelmed. My head was spinning and I was thinking, ‘Wow, there is just so much more I have to do!’
“As I was walking to my car, I heard shouts from the playground. My students were asking if I could join them on the swings.
“God quickly reminded by me what an amazing place St. Joseph’s is. The happy shouts of the children reminded me that, no matter how long my list was, the main reason that God has me at this school is to build relationships and touch the hearts of the Native American students who attend this wonderful place.
“If you are ever feeling overwhelmed during the day and are wondering what in the world is going on, take a deep breath. Look around and be thankful for what God is doing in your life.”
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International team for international parish
On September 7th Bishop Vincent Nguyen, auxiliary bishop of Toronto, installed Fr. Jim Casper as the new pastor of St. Thomas More and Our Lady of the Rosary parishes in Toronto. The parishes were entrusted to the Priests of the Sacred Heart in May.
Among those at the installation were Fr. José Ornelas Carvalho, superior general, and Fr. John van den Hengel, vicar. As noted above, the two were in Canada for the North American visitation.
“The parish is one of the most ethnically diverse in Toronto,” said Fr. John. “It was obvious to see just by looking in the pews.”
St. Thomas More has 7,000 families and is practically a United Nations outpost with liturgies filled with people from the Philippines, Grenada, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and many African nations. There are Masses in Spanish and Portuguese.
Fr. Jim is the pastor but ministry is really done out of the context of community. Frs. Aegi Warsito and Willyans Prado Rapozo are also members of the ministry team that serves the two parishes.
“Needless to say, the parishes are quite a challenge, but Frs. Jim, Aegi and Will are very generous and quite committed to the project.” said Fr. Bill Marrevee, regional superior. “They have begun their ministry with enthusiasm and dedication.”
Fr. Quang Nguyen successfully defended his dissertation last Wednesday, September 4. He will be awarded a Ph.D. in Economics/Political Science from Claremont Graduate University in California. The title of his dissertation is “Doi Moi (Economic Renovation) Revisited: The positive economic outcome(s) and a negative externality, especially in the service sector of Vietnam.”
Congratulations Doctor Nguyen!
Keep in prayer
Frank Eick, the brother-in-law of Fr. Tom Burns will be having surgery on September 30 for pancreatic cancer.
Gloria Pocius, the sister of Fr. Robert Tucker, died September 5. She had just gone into hospice care in the final stages of brain cancer.
Fr. Jim Schroeder’s office information has changed (the Saint Louis Consultation Center recently moved):
1750 S. Brentwood Blvd. Ste. 602
St. Louis MO 63144
Personal office 314-504-1045