We are the Priests of the Sacred Heart – Dehonians!
We live in community, are inspired by daily Eucharistic Adoration, and in a fragmented world we believe unity to be possible.
Our ministries are diverse, as are our members. Yet our goal is the same: to work with a common heart in service to God’s people, reflecting the love of Christ as experienced by our founder, Fr. Leo John Dehon.
Are you called to a life of prayer and service based in the love of the Sacred Heart? Are you called to religious life as a priest or brother?
Have a question, ready to learn more? Email our vocation director at: email@example.com, or call us at 800-609-5559.
Congratulations Frater Henry!
Congratulations to Frater Henry Nguyen, SCJ, who received the Institution of Acolyte during the January 7th Eucharist at the 2020 Provincial Conference. Frater Henry, 30, is a seminarian at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology; he professed his first vows in 2018.
Originally from Orange County, California, Frater Henry is in his fifth year of formation. Before entering candidacy, he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from California State University, Monterey Bay.
In his third year of theology, Frater Henry did an intensive CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) program in San Antonio with CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System last summer. “With this experience, my understanding of the theology of pain and suffering grew more and more as I made myself available in order to be present with the sick and dying and their families,” said Frater Henry. He is scheduled to do his cross-cultural year in Chile, starting midsummer.
Meet our students!
Each year we ask our students in formation to introduce themselves. This year’s group includes six candidates, six professed seminarians, and four novices. They are men from a wide variety of cultural, educational and work backgrounds. Yet they all speak of their shared call to the spirituality found in the Priests of the Sacred Heart (Dehonians) and a desire to serve others.
“Religious life is a call but also a choice,” wrote Frater Hubert Kodjovi Liassidji, who just professed his first vows this year. “It is one thing to have a call but another to choose to respond to it. I chose to answer God’s call and through formation with the SCJs, I discovered and continue to discover my true identity. I recognize Christ by serving and giving myself to the poor, and further, I become a disciple of Jesus Christ through the teachings of Fr. Dehon.”
First-year candidate Steven DiNello wrote that “I have tried my hand at many different career paths, but since it has always been my dream to one day become a Catholic priest, nothing else fulfilled me nor brought me the kind of joy and peace that I am experiencing now that I have finally answered the call.” Yet, he emphasizes that those “extra years of life experiences and discernment only help me more to embody the spirituality of the Sacred Heart that is necessary to become a true Dehonian.”
CLICK HERE to read more about our novices and candidates in formation.
Candidates and seminarians for the Priests of the Sacred Heart live at Sacred Heart Monastery in Hales Corners (Franklin), WI. They do their theological studies at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology and undergraduate work at Marquette University in Milwaukee. Our novitiate is located on a rural property approximately 15 miles south of Sacred Heart.
Are you discerning a vocation to the priesthood and/or religious life? Do you feel called to a life of community, prayer and ministry based in the love of the Sacred Heart? Contact our vocation director at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-609-5559.
Come and See!
Fr. Quang with participants at the September “Come and See,” an opportunity for young men discerning a vocation to religious life to literally “come and see” the Priests of the Sacred Heart (Dehonians). Are you discerning a call to religious life, to the priesthood? Contact our vocation director at email@example.com or call 800-609-5559
Finding strength in the Eucharist during CPE
SCJ seminarian Frater Henry Nguyen reflects 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.
I did my CPE at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System in San Antonio. 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.
Four new novices!
On Wednesday, August 14, Thien Nguyen, Thuan Nguyen, Truc Van Tran and Hung Pham began their novitiate year in preparation for first vows with the Priests of the Sacred Heart. Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, provincial superior, received the new novices during a ceremony in the novitiate chapel. Fr. Byron Haaland, SCJ, is novice master, and Fr. Andrzej Sudol, SCJ, is associate novice master. Click here to read more about them. Click here to view photos from the ceremony.
Three new candidates!
Over Memorial Day Weekend, three men were accepted as candidates for the province formation program: Steven DiNello, Francis Joanness and Jonathan Nguyen Vuong. All will enter the program at Sacred Heart Monastery in the fall semester. Steve will study at Cardinal Stritch and Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, Francis will begin with ECS (formerly ESL) and transition to SHSST, and Jonathan will study at Marquette University. We will post photos of the candidates later this summer when they settle in at the monastery. Welcome!
Three receive Ministry of Lector from Fr. General
Fr. Carlos Luis Suarez Codorniú, SCJ, superior general, spent much of last week in the US Province, primarily for meetings in the Milwaukee (Hales Corners) area. During his visit, he joined the Novitiate Community for prayer and dinner on Tuesday, and on Thursday, May 2, he conferred the Ministry of Lector on three of our Dehonian seminarians: Fraters Henry Nguyen, Phong Paul Hoang and Huan Duy Pham.
“Enjoy the Word and share the Word,” said Fr. Carlos Luis to the three seminarians, who are students at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. Fraters Henry and Paul are members of the US Province and Frater Huan is from the Vietnamese District. St. Joseph’s Chapel was filled with members of the Sacred Heart Monastery community and several guests from SHSST.
“I give thanks to God for my vocation with the SCJs. I am grateful to the community for giving me an education, the gift of community, valuable ministry experiences, personal growth, and most importantly, a love for the Heart of Jesus,” said Frater Paul, 26, when professing his vows last year.
Frater Henry, 30, was Frater Paul’s novitiate classmate. About his own vocation, he said that it “calls me to do love in all things. By being ‘Henry of the Heart of Jesus,’ I feel that it is my duty to respond to the lack of God’s love in the world, by spreading God’s love to where people need it most. By becoming an SCJ, I take on a social responsibility, a tug to be present with others.”
Frater Huan, 33, did his initial formation in the Philippines and professed his first vows in 2017. “What was significant in helping me to make my decision to join the Priests of the Sacred Heart was the pierced Heart of Jesus from which I saw a true source of love, hope, and fulfillment of my life,” he said. “Dehonians, in their own charismatic way, essentially attracted and impacted me with their motto of being ‘Prophets of Love and Servants of Reconciliation.’”