April 5, 2010

An artist's rendition of the SCJ wing of the new Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake.

Construction update

Dn. David Nagel recently shared a few updates on the SCJ wing of the newly developing Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake.  This wing will include areas for both retired and non-retired SCJs.  Construction is currently focusing on completion of the basement.

Dn. David notes that the first floor of the SCJ wing will have a large kitchen, dining room and chapel for the retired community.  On the fourth floor for the non-retired there will be a small chapel, living room, dining room and kitchen.  A large recreation room will be added to the first floor during the construction of “Stage II.”  There will also be living rooms on floors two and three.

The SCJ wing will include common areas for laundry, storage (storage areas for each unit on the same floor as the unit), office space, an exercise room, library and activity room. There will also be basement parking.

“Due to the angles of the building there are different layouts for the various units,” said Dn. David.  However, each will have its own balcony, den, storage, bedroom, kitchen, dining area, living room and bath.  The units will be cable-ready and have computer data ports (several in each unit), as well as phone jacks.  Time Warner will be providing cable, phone and data services.  Each unit will also have its own central heat and air.

The SCJ wing is expected to be completed by October 15, 2010.  Move-in should be possible soon after.  Once this wing is finished work will begin on the public chapel, community gathering room, apartments (for non-SCJs) and other public areas.

Non-SCJs who would like to receive information about Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake should call 414-409-4848 or e-mail: pmilczarski@poshusa.org.

Provincial’s Time

Fr. Tom Cassidy starts the week at Miller Park, enjoying the Brewers’ opening day game.   His next trip will be to South Dakota April 6-9 for board meetings.   On April 16 he heads to Rome for a visit to the Generalate and then CMSM meetings through April 28.  The next council meeting will be May 10-12.

Former Lay Missioner in the news

During recent months the West River Catholic in South Dakota has been doing short features on priests serving in the Diocese of Rapid City.  A familiar face was seen in the March edition:  Fr. James Hoerter.  Members of the SCJ community may remember him from his time with the now defunct Sacred Heart Lay Missioner program.  After serving with the SCJs in South Dakota the Kansas City native pursued a vocation with the Rapid City Diocese.  He studied at the Pontifical College Josephinum and was ordained in 2006.

Fr. Hoerter, 46, is now the associate pastor of St. Bernard Church, MacLaughlin and the affiliated parishes of St. Bonaventure (McIntosh), St. Aloysius (Bullhead), Assumption of the Blessed Virgin (Kenel), St. Bede (Wakpala) and St. Michael (Watauga).


Fr. Tim Gray
Cell phone: 901-490-9397

Keep in prayer

Fr. Michael van der Peet continues to be treated for issues related to bleeding on the brain.

Vietnamese continue Milwaukee’s immigrant tradition

The concept of ethnic Catholic communities is a familiar one in the United States.  The early years of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee were guided primarily by people of German descent, including German-speaking bishops, and German religious orders who taught at parish schools.

As Milwaukee became a hub for industry at the end of the 1800s a large number of Italian and Polish immigrants settled in the area.  Just as the Germans before them, the new immigrants developed ethnic parishes where they could worship in their native tongue and follow the traditions of their homeland.

Fr. Thi Pham (who will soon assume ministry for the Vietnamese community in Milwaukee), Fr. Yvon Sheehy (pastor of St. Martin of Tours) and Fr. Francis Vu Tran

Through the years, immigrants from a variety of countries have continued to flow into the city. When the Vietnam conflict ended in 1975, a small but quickly growing Vietnamese community took root in Milwaukee.

In 2007 the Priests of the Sacred Heart assumed ministry for the Vietnamese community in Milwaukee, which is now a part of St. Martin of Tours parish in Franklin, Wis.  Fr. Francis Vu Tran was the first of the province to serve the community.  This month he leaves St. Martin of Tours to prepare for studies in Rome.  Taking his place at the parish will be Fr. Thi Pham.

Click HERE to read more about the Vietnamese community and the SCJs’ ministry to it.

If the above link does not take you to the story, you can also access it by clicking on the “NEWS” tab of the province website.

New on the website

Besides the feature on the Vietnamese community noted above, the province website has a few new features including an extended archives of news and events, as well as a “search” feature.  Both are accessible in the right column of the “NEWS” page.

Become a fan!

The U.S. Province is just one of several SCJ entities with a presence on Facebook.  There are also fan pages for St. Joseph’s Indian School, Sacred Heart School of Theology, St. Gregory the Great parish in Senatobia, Miss., and Our Lady of Guadalupe School in Houston.

Fan pages from SCJ ministries will be added to the province Facebook page, as well as to the links of the province website.  If you would like to share a Facebook page or website link from an SCJ ministry, please contact Mary Gorski at marygorski@sbcglobal.net.

Remembering those who built the province

As we have for the past several months we will continue to share a bit of information about deceased members of the province on or near the anniversary of their death. This week we remember two SCJs:

Br. Francis Thomas (d. April 8, 1952):  Born March 15, 1885 in Hoven, Germany, Br. Francis Thomas came from a farming family.  In his early twenties, he left the farm after being drafted into the German army where he served as a bodyguard to Kaiser Wilhelm. Tall, with broad shoulders, his size was enough to scare off most.

When his term was up, he left the army and entered the novitiate in Luxemburg in 1912. The following year he professed his first vows. Un­fortunately, before he could contin­ue with his religious studies, World War I broke out and Francis was again drafted into the German army. After this stint he returned to the SCJ community in Sittard, Holland.  In 1922, he was transferred to Handrup, Germany, to assist in building a new school.

In 1929, volunteers were sought to help establish a new province in the United States. Br. Francis volunteered.  He  arrived in New York on September 2,1929, with five other European SCJs.

His first six months were spent in Ste. Marie, Il., after which he moved to Sacred Heart Monastery where he tended to the farm and garden. Br. Francis fell ill several months before his death. Because of his condi­tion, his work was restricted to pealing vegetables and fruit in the kitchen. He laughingly told one of the religious sisters helping him, ‘If I would have known that I was to spend my last days in America peeling apples, I would never have left Europe!”

Fr. Howard Melzer (d. April 11, 2009): A Chicago native, Fr. Howard professed first vows in 1950. He studied at Sacred Heart Monastery and was ordained to the priesthood at St. John’s Cathedral in Milwaukee in 1958.

Fr. Howard Melzer, SCJ

After studying journalism and speech at Marquette University, he served as editor of Reign magazine.  Fr. Howard was editor for five years.

Fr. Howard also taught at Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wis., and served as director of the brothers’ novitiate before entering pastoral ministry.

From 1968-1971 he was pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Dupree, S.D.  Then he served another Sacred Heart Parish, this time in Walls, Miss.  He was there for three years before moving to St. Matthew’s Parish in Corona, Calif.  From 1980-1985 he was pastor of St. Joseph Church in Brazoria, Texas.

In 1985  Fr. Howard headed back to Wisconsin where he served at Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Parish (now, St. Martin of Tours) in Franklin, Wis. until 1988. He returned to South Dakota in 1988 to be pastor of St. James Parish in Chamberlain.

In 1995 he was back in Wisconsin, helping at the province vocation office until 1997, when he returned to Texas to minister at Christ the Redeemer Parish in Houston and later, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, also in Houston.  Following a stroke, he retired and joined the Villa Maria community in 2002.