Weekly News: October 25, 2021

Autumn in Wisconsin

Pictured at the top of the page are several of our ECS (English and Cultural Studies) students, along with Br. Duane Lemke, SCJ, taking part in some traditional autumn pumpkin carving over the weekend.

Fr. Greg particularly appreciates the equine therapy program at St. Joseph’s

“I knew it was what I wanted to do”

After 10 years in Mississippi serving in pastoral ministry, Fr. Greg Schill, SCJ, got to thinking that maybe it was time to think of a new assignment. Thankfully, Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, had the same idea.

“The night before Fr. Ed was scheduled to meet with me for the annual provincial visitation, I was thinking about St. Joseph’s Indian School and suddenly found myself up late that night researching, looking at St. Joseph’s web page, its Facebook page, and other online information,” said Fr. Greg.

“Early the next morning – with little sleep – it was time to meet with Fr. Ed via Zoom,” he continued. “I don’t know why, but my gut told me that the position of chaplain at St. Joseph’s was open. Before Fr. Ed even had the opportunity to ask me if I was interested in the position, or to let me know that he was considering transferring me to the school, I asked him about it.

“I will never forget his reaction. He was just about to ask me if I was interested in going to St. Joseph’s. We both had the same idea, so it was an easy conversation. Of course, I told him that I was very willing to go. The idea had only come to me the night before, but I knew that it was what I wanted to do. Providence?”

Click here to read more.

New administrations

The General Administration recently announced the appointment of several new provincial and regional administrations in the congregation:

Polish Province

Provincial superior: Fr. Slawomir Knopik (1st term)
1st Councilor: Fr. Witold Janus
2nd Councilor: Fr. Marek Borzecki
3rd Councilor: Fr. Stanislaw Gruca
4th Councilor: Fr. Wlodzimierz Platek

The new administration begins its three-year term on November 7, 2021.

Dutch-Flemish Confederation (note: the NLV will change its status from province to region as of January 1, 2022).

Regional Superior: Fr. Jacobus de Rooij (1st term)
1st Councilor: Fr. Wilhelmus Halters
2nd Councilor: Fr. Lambert Croin1ans
3rd Councilor: Br. Jos Vrancken

The new three-year term begins on January 1.

Canadian Region

Regional Superior: Fr. Gustave Lulendo N’dotony (2nd term)
1st Councilor: Fr. Maurice Légaré
2nd Councilor: Fr. Willyans Prado Rapozo
3rd Councilor: Fr. Gregory Murray

The three-year term begins on January 16, 2022.

Happy birthday!

Those celebrating birthdays in November include: Fr. Ed Kilianski and Fr. David Szatkowski on Nov. 2, Fra. Kodjovi Hubert Liassidji on Nov. 3, Br. Brian Tompkins on Nov. 4, Fr. Martin Antony Kadamattu on Nov. 10, Fr. Rafael Querobin on Nov. 13, Fr. Greg Schill on Nov. 14, Fr. Jan de Jong on Nov. 17, Fr. Tim Gray on Nov. 18, and Fr. Antonio Maria Resende Pereira on Nov. 22.

The week ahead

Among the items on the calendar this week: Provincial Council meetings will be held October 26-27 (the next council meeting will be December 14-15), and the Dehonian Associates Committee will meet via Zoom on Thursday, October 28 at 11:00 am.

The 2021 “Collegial Sharing Among Brother Bishops” will take place at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology from October 26-28. This is the second such meeting; the first was organized at SHSST by Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Christophe Pierre in September, 2019. The purpose of the meeting is to allow for dialogue between the bishops on common pastoral concerns. Most of the participants are recently ordained bishops, or bishops appointed to small or more rural dioceses. On Wednesday, the bishops will take place in a blessing of the renovations in the southeast wing of the SHSST complex.

Where are those dates?

Click here to access the online North American SCJ calendar. Click here to submit a calendar item or correction.

On this day in history

Fr. Leo John Dehon, founder of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, entered the seminary on this day (October 25) in 1865.

Baptism in South Dakota

We have begun posting YouTube “shorts” on the province YouTube channel. These are very brief snippets of people and ministries following a style that has become popular in social media. Last week, we shared a short of Fr. Christianus Hendrik, SCJ, playing country-western gospel tunes. This week, we see Fr. Jean Claude Mbassi, SCJ, doing baptism in South Dakota. Click here or on the image above to view the video.

Please remember

+ Fr. John Gaul, a member of the British-Irish Province, died on October 18. He was born in 1934, professed in 1953 and ordained in 1958.

Thinking beyond the pandemic

Members of the North American Migration Committee write the following:

In December 2020 the International Theological Commission proposed a post-pandemic project to help the Congregation think about the time beyond Covid-19. Fr. Manuel Antonio Pereira, SCJ, of the South American Theological Commission and Fr. John van den Hengel, SCJ, of the North American Theological Commission, were asked to lead the project. The North American Theological Commission asked the North American Migration Committee to spearhead a paper on migration and refugees as we move to a post-Covid situation by addressing the questions: What have we learned? What happened to migration? How were refugees affected by the pandemic? What sort of migration/refugee policy should emerge post-COVID?

Numerous papers in addition to that of migration will be published in the completed project, however, given what migrants are currently experiencing, we felt that it is important to present to you the conclusion of our paper on migration. Please find below an excerpt from the paper of the NAMC submission. We strongly encourage all of us to read the full set of submissions when they are published. Our reflection includes the contributions of Fr. Bob Bossie, Heather Brinkerhoff, Br. Diego Diaz, Fr. Jan de Jong, Br. Duane Lemke, Fr. Richard MacDonald, Fr. Peter McKenna, Fr. Quang Nguyen, Lily Ooi, Fr. Anthony Russo, and Fr Ushindi Kambale Sahani. An excerpt:

“Towards an Ever Wider WE” is Pope Francis’ theme this year for World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

Our former Superior General, Bishop Virginio Bressenelli, SCJ, at the 1997 General Chapter spoke the words “We the Congregation” that seem very apt and even prophetic at this moment. He reminded us to think more expansively, but now it is even more “We the World”. The climate crisis and COVID-19 (and its variants) do not know any boundaries. The lesson learned is that we are in a small world. We now more fully understand how behavior in one country affects another. If we want to affect this globally, act locally. Each one of us must re-double efforts to ensure confreres, friends, members of our families and staff of our Dehonian ministries are vaccinated. We must urge elected representatives in our various countries to make COVID-19 vaccines available, accessible and affordable to all, especially the most vulnerable and the most needy regions of our planet. It is an “Act of Love” for our neighbor, the migrant, and is part of our moral responsibility for the common good [Pope Francis “Unity Across the Americas].

With Fr. Dehon, we must clamor for the respect of the human dignity of  all.

“Let us dream, then, as a single human family, as fellow travelers sharing the same flesh, as children of the same earth which is our common home, each of us bringing the richness of his or her beliefs and convictions, each of us with his or her own voice, brothers and sisters all.” [Fratelli Tutti #8]

May our Sint Unum guide us “towards an ever wider WE”.

Continuing series of “Jewish Study Seminars for Christians”

A reminder: the Lux Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies at SHSST will host two Wednesday evening webinars as a part of its “The Jewish People and the Church Webinar Series.”

The first is on November 17 and is titled “What Jews Do When They Pray.” The presenter is Rabbi Scott Shafrin. On December 1 the topic is “Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel: Visions of the Hebrew Prophets,” led by Rabbi Noah Chertkoff. The webinars run from 7:00-8:15 p.m. CST. Click on the desired date to register. You must register for each event individually to take part.

November 17, 2021
December 1, 2021

Bonnie Shafrin, director of the Lux Center, notes that the first seminar will be held via Zoom. “We will decide about the December 1 session when we are nearer to that date in consideration of COVID-19 protocols in place at SHSST. If it is safe, we might be able to offer the December 1st program as a hybrid that can be both in-person and via zoom.”

You may find interesting…

Last week SCJs in the US Province received an email from Br. Duane Lemke, SCJ, in which he wrote that “As I’ve been settling into my new position as US Province Director of Justice, Peace and Reconciliation, I want to find a way of keeping in regular contact with you that does not overly add to your inbox, and that you might find helpful.”

Br. Duane’s first province mailing as JPR director included brief summaries and links to the following articles:

America Magazine:  Pope Francis’ 9 Commandments For A Just Economy

Summary: The title of this article is something of a misnomer.  It is a summary of Pope Francis’ address to a conference of Argentinian business leaders.  He speaks of universal basic income, work week length, popular movements, and offers nine calls to different sectors of the economy.

The Pillar:  How a New York Catholic School Hopes to Transform Education for Students with Disabilities

Summary: For those of us whose ministry intersects with Catholic education.  One school’s approach to dedicated special education, along with a survey of special education curricular and pedagogical needs, maintaining Catholic identity amid diversity, and a very brief look at special education in Catholic vs. public schools.  The article is informative, though there were a couple moments I was unsure if they were reporting or advertising.

New Republic:  The Revenge of the Essential Worker

Summary: An article which tackles the question of what happens to salaries, benefits, and worker self-image and confidence when their work has shifted from being described as “unskilled” to being “essential”.  As some unions call for better wages, it might evoke a chuckle or two by the experience at John Deere when those with salaries and desk jobs are asked to take on the “unskilled” work of their lower-paid coworkers.

“I welcome your feedback on this, or suggestions for future JPR communications,” wrote Br. Duane. Click here to contact him directly.


Congratulations to Fr. Willyans Prado Rapozo, SCJ, of the Canadian Region who was installed as pastor of St. Helen’s Parish in Toronto by Bishop Robert Kasun, Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto. Fr. Willyans is pictured below on the far left. The ceremony took place on October 17; among those present was Fr. Gustave Lulendo N’dotony, SCJ, regional superior of Canada. Click here to view the ceremony.

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