Three enter novitiate!

Congratulations to Jonathan Nguyen-Vuong, Jacob Smith and Michael Wodarczyk who entered the Novitiate today. The Entrance to the Novitiate ceremony took place at the Sacred Heart Novitiate in Franksville, WI, about a 20-minute drive south of Sacred Heart Monastery. Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, officiated.

“Why do I want to be a Dehonian?” said Jonathan, reflecting on why he asked to enter the novitiate.  “I want to imitate Venerable Fr. Leo John Dehon’s journey of being totally committed to the love and devotion of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. I requested entrance to the Novitiate to prepare for vows with the Priests of the Sacred Heart as a sign of continuing my faith-filled journey with the community, as well as to learn, apply, and follow the teachings, spirituality, way of life, and character into my spiritual, social, ministerial, and intellectual life. This corresponds well with my devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, my devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and my devotion to the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.”

Jonathan, who at 20 is the youngest of the novices, was born in California and raised in Louisiana. A candidate for the past two years, until his novitiate year he was a student at Cardinal Stritch University in suburban Milwaukee.

Jacob does a reading

For Jacob, it was the influence of an SCJ priest that solidified his desire to enter the Novitiate. “My request to enter had many factors, but first among them was the model of Fr. Bob Tucker, who died earlier this year,” said Jacob. “I’m so grateful for the example of the loving Heart of Christ that he gave to me as my formator and friend, and I want to be that person for others like Fr. Bob was for me. I can see that the Priests of the Sacred Heart embody the love of the Heart of Christ and I pray that through entering the Novitiate and taking vows myself, I can (with God and the congregation’s help) shape myself to be an emissary of the Sacred Heart’s love like Fr. Bob was.”

Jacob, 21, just completed his third year of candidacy, during which he has been attending Marquette University in Milwaukee. He is originally from Houston.

At 33, Michael is the eldest of the new novices. Before entering candidacy he earned a degree in accounting and worked full-time in inventory control. When asked why he was requesting entrance to the Novitiate, Michael’s answer was short and straight to the point: “I want to be Dehonian! I like daily prayer and Mass with the community. I requested entrance into the Novitiate to continue learning about the Priests of the Sacred Heart and Dehonian Spirituality so that I can be a Dehonian.” Michael is from Brookfield, WI, just a short drive from Sacred Heart Monastery.

Prior to novitiate, Michael was a seminarian at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology.

Fr. Byron Haaland, SCJ, is the novice master, and Fr. Andrzej Sudol, SCJ, is associate novice master. Fr. Andrzej also served as the postulancy director for the three new novices.

Click here to view photos of the ceremony.

Click here to view a video.