Our Mission: to be Prophets of Love and Servants of Reconciliation
It is not what the Priests of the Sacred Heart – Dehonians – do that defines who we are but how we live and what we believe in: the love of the Heart of Jesus. Nourished by the Eucharist, we live, pray and minister together, seeking to bring reconciliation to a world that hungers for the love found in the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Our ministries are diverse, as are our members. We serve in many languages and come from many countries and cultures. Dehonians seek to serve people from all facets of society, yet always with a preferential option for the poor.
Our goal is 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.
Would you like to learn more about a vocation as a priest or brother with us? Click here to contact our vocation director.
In 2017, our General Curia approved a new Mission Statement for the worldwide congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart (Dehonians):
Our vision: Love with open heart and mind
We are witnesses of God’s transforming love in souls and society. We spread God’s love around the world with open heart and mind.
Our Mission: Adveniat Regnum Tuum – Your kingdom come
We are especially for people who are most in need and for the young. Our Congregation focuses on education, social work, missions, spirituality and media to announce the kingdom of God.
We live in community, are inspired by daily Eucharistic Adoration, and in a fragmented world we believe unity to be possible.
Join us in mission!
Do you feel called to our mission? Click here to contact our vocation director.
Our Ministry: Bringing God’s Love Where It Is Most Needed
Fr. Leo John Dehon’s dream was to bring the love of Christ to the people and places society neglects, to those in the greatest need of His healing touch and compassionate care. Today that ideal continues to unite our members in the diversity of their works.
We are brothers, priests and deacons in over 40 countries on five continents. Dehonians are in parishes and schools, both rural and urban. Our missionaries are involved in humanitarian outreach, spiritual and medical care, housing and infrastructure.
We serve homeless youth in areas such as Democratic Republic of Congo, and victims of sexual abuse in the Philippines.
Through the ESIC Business and Marketing School in Spain, we form the leaders of tomorrow not only with a strong business sense, but a strong sense of what is just and sacred.
We are in areas as diverse as Albania and Angola, Moldavia and Mozambique, Paraguay and Poland, South Africa and Venezuela.
Ministry in the United States
On March 25, 1923, Fr. Mathias Fohrman celebrated Mass at St. Mary’s Church in Lower Brule, SD. Although Fr. Mathias had been in the United States since 1919 on a fundraising mission for the German Province, it was not until that first Mass that the Priests of the Sacred Heart (Dehonians) had officially begun its commitment to serve in the US.
In 2023 – 100 years later – that ministry extends from South Dakota to Wisconsin, Mississippi, Texas and Florida, reaching across ethnic, social, and economic lines.
In Houston, the Priests of the Sacred Heart are in the central city parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe, one of the oldest Hispanic parishes in Texas.
In Mississippi, Dehonians are responsible for the Church’s ministry in five northwestern counties of the state. Through Sacred Heart Southern Missions, Dehonians offer social services and emergency aid, advocacy, housing, education, job training and counseling. The Sacred Heart Auto League, which promotes safe, prayerful driving, is also a part of SHSM’s ministry.
Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wis., prepares men from around the country – and the world – for ordained ministry. It also offers master’s programs for lay students, and an internationally regarded ECS (English and Cultural Studies) program specifically designed for those in or preparing for ministry in the Church.
The Priests of the Sacred Heart minister at St. Martin of Tours parish in Franklin, Wis., where they also serve the Vietnamese Catholic community of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Just a few miles away, Dehonians operate Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake, a senior apartment community with several units reserved for those who are economically challenged.
One of our oldest ministries in the United States is St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, SD. Since it first opened its doors in 1927, the school has expanded its outreach well beyond the classroom with family counseling, healthcare, social programs, and education in Lakota traditions. Dehonians also continue to minister in reservation parishes on the Lower Brule and Crow Creek Reservations.
Throughout the Dehonians’ 100 years in the United States, its ministries and locations have evolved, always seeking new ways to respond to the needs of the times.
Dehonians, Priests of the Sacred Heart, SCJs – several names for a religious community of men with a single ministry: bringing the love of the Sacred Heart to those in the greatest of need.
Do you feel called to ministry as a brother or priest? Click here to contact our vocation director.