Frater James Nguyen and candidate Henry Nguyen were in Toronto in late May to take part in the annual youth and young adult retreat with the Indonesian Catholic community of Toronto. ““I am grateful to our confreres in Toronto who always graciously show me what it means to be hospitable and pastoral,” wrote James. “I had a wonderful weekend with an awesome group of people. We laughed, we lived, we dared and inhaled all that happened. In the end it was all grace!”
“Through my work with the SCJs I’ve become a more prayerful, accepting and giving person,” said Mary Jane Alexander. “St. Joe’s has given me the opportunity to become a better person than I was 45 years ago, to fulfill my dream of working with children and now adults and families. What I have given to them is in no way what I have gotten from them in return.” The former St. Joe’s volunteer, teacher and administrator was honored by the school at a special assembly.
New candidate welcomed; Br. Brian Tompkins reflects on aging and ministry to seniors; Fr. Tom Cassidy’s latest blog post from the Philippines; Divine Heart Seminary class of ’61 gathering at Province Jubilee; Fr. Andrzej Sudol joins US Province; JPR video clips; schedule notes; June Dehonian Associates e-blast; and June birthdays.
“When I visit with senior citizens in a nursing home and, more specifically and especially my SCJ confreres, I do not focus on their physical frailty or their diminished cognitive skills,” wrote Br. Brian Tompkins in the May 20 issue of Dehonian Spirituality. “What is important is that I bring with me and demonstrate my care and concern, and my support and compassion. In a word: kindness. Kindness is never wasted even if the response appears muted and indifferent.”
Frater Joseph Vu earns his MDiv; new editions of the Spiritual Path are added; Fr. Jan de Jong is focus of latest 20 Question interview; video clips from immigration presentation available; Fr. Tom Cassidy writes from the Philippines; SCJ NEWS available; SHSST graduation
Fr. Jan de Jong, 78, professed his first vows with the Priests of the Sacred Heart in 1937. Originally from the Dutch Province, he came to the United States in 1969 to teach at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. Eventually, he went on to be the seminary’s president-rector. He has also served as a CPE supervisor (Clinical Pastoral Education) and as novice pastor. Now retired, he is a member of the Sacred Heart Community at SHML. Take a look at his responses to our “Twenty Questions” interview.
North American administrations discuss shared issues and explore ways of collaboration; Fr. Francis Vu Tran named superior of the District of Vietnam; prayer requests and updates; Fr. General’s letter for the Feast of the Sacred Heart is released; ordination jubilee date set; Fr. Tom Cassidy heads to the Philippines; history comes alive in Mississippi.
“Fr Dehon tuned up his sensitivities so as to be able to feel the heartbeat of Jesus in order to make Jesus’ heartbeat his own and to make Jesus’ vision his own,” wrote Fr. Heiner Wilmer in the General Council’s letter for the Feast of the Sacred Heart. “He wanted to respond in such fashion as to be able to think like Jesus and act like him, with passion. What the Industrial Revolution meant for Fr. Dehon at the end of the 19th century is similar to what migration means for us at the beginning of the 21st century.”
Congratulations to Fr. Francis Vu Tran, SCJ, who has been named district superior of the Vietnamese District. The appointment was made by Fr. Heiner Wilmer, SCJ, superior general, with the consent of the General Council, on May 3. “Our congregation calls us more and more to have a missionary spirit, and a spirit of internationality,” said Fr. Francis in an article published about his return to Vietnam. “This is an opportunity for me to live my vocation as an SCJ missionary.”
Twice a year the administrations of the US Province and Canadian Region come together to talk about shared concerns, explore areas of collaboration and simply spend time together in fellowship and prayer. The group had its first meeting of 2016 on May 2. There were some new faces in the meeting room since the last gathering, along with some familiar ones in new roles. Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, is now provincial superior of the US Province following Fr. Stephen Huffstetter’s election to the General Council. And Fr. John van den Hengel, after completing his term on the General Council last year, is back as the Canadian regional superior, a job he held when elected as a general councilor in 2009.