Weekly News: April 15, 2024

Triduum in Belarus

Fr. Carlos Luis Suárez Codorniú, SCJ, superior general, and Fr. Levi dos Anjos Ferreira, SCJ, general councilor, spent Triduum with the Dehonian community in Belarus.

“It was a singular experience for us, given the difficult moment that the country is going through,” wrote Fr. Levi on the general website, dehoniani.org. “However, the celebrations were filled with many faithful.”

Frs. Carlos and Levi visited with all six SCJ communities in the country. Currently the district has 13 members, many of whom are Polish. The Belarus mission was begun by the Polish Province over 30 years ago. It officially became a district of the congregation in 2002.

Of the 13 SCJs who serve in the district, seven are Belarusian, five are Polish and one is Moldovan. There is also a Belarusian deacon and an SCJ priest who are currently in Poland.

“Despite the difficulties of the political situation, the communities continue their journey with creativity and perseverance, making every effort to preserve their faith and, above all, to put into practice what they believe,” wrote Fr. Levi. “They demonstrate this through the numerous social works that exist in the parishes, as well as through pilgrimages and other pastoral activities that bring together many young people and adults in an active and profound manifestation of their faith.”

Catholics in Belarus are only 10.58% of the population. The vast majority of people in Belarus belong to the Orthodox Church.

“Fr. Carlos and I returned to Rome with hearts full of hope, having seen with our own eyes how suffering people keep their faith alive and hope for improvement in the near future. We are very grateful to our SCJ brothers for the work that they are doing in Belarus and we ask God to bless and encourage them to continue serving God’s people in these lands marked by so much suffering.”

Fr. Tom

Fr. Tom Lind dies at 92

Originally from Minneapolis, MN, Fr. Thomas Lind, SCJ, died on April 11, just days before his 92nd birthday. He was a member of the Sacred Heart Community in Pinellas Park, FL. Nearly ten years earlier he had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure.

Fr. Tom did his seminary studies at Sacred Heart Monastery (now Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology). He professed his first vows with the Priests of the Sacred Heart (Dehonians) in 1951 and was ordained in 1958.

His first full-time assignment was back where he started: assisting at the Sacred Heart Novitiate in Ste. Marie, IL, from 1960-64. From there, he went to St. Joseph’s Indian School, where he served for 17 years. He would later return to South Dakota for a short-term assignment on the Cheyenne River Reservation from 1999-2000.

For nine years (1980-89) he was pastor of St. James Church in Corinth, MS. After two years at Christ the Redeemer parish in Houston, he returned to Mississippi, where he assisted with pastoral ministry from 2000-16. Since 2016, he had been a member of the SCJ retirement community in Pinellas Park.

Funeral arrangements will take place Thursday, April 18, at Good Shepherd Chapel at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake. Reception of the Body and the Wake will be at 9:30 a.m. and the Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 10:30 a.m.

“God offers us so many options”

Sr. Cathy Bertrand, SSND, is a familiar name to many in the US Province for her years of work as a facilitator of assemblies, chapters and other gatherings. She has also served on several Dehonian boards of directors, including Sacred Heart Southern Missions (which she currently chairs) and St. Joseph’s Indian School. During a recent visit to the school, Sr. Cathy sat down with Scott Woster, host of St. Joseph’s Hóčhoka podcast series, to talk about the ongoing discernment of one’s call, regardless if it is as a religious or priest, or in one of many other paths in life.

“God offers us so many options,” said Sr. Cathy.

For years she served in vocation ministry. “It was a ministry of being present to men and women who were in the process of discernment, basically trying to figure out what they were going to do with their lives…

“We miss the point sometimes, I believe. I try to invite others to consider, ‘isn’t God the god of multiple choices?’ I hope that God is taking delight in who I am and how am living this life. But I think that God would be just as happy if I had done something else with my life…

“One time driving down a highway I saw a sign that said, ‘If you are waiting for a sign from God, this is it.’ That’s great! It is what we see right in front of us that continues to help us to know that we are in the right place, that we doing what is ours to do.”

Sr. Cathy shared a prayer that she found years ago: “God, remember my younger heart’s desire.”

“If I can stay attuned to, conscious of that younger heart’s desire and what I most wanted when my heart was at its best, now with my older, more seasoned heart, with cracks and holes and hurts, where does that lead me now?” she said, adding that “We have got to somehow care about each other and trust that on any given day my word of encouragement and support may help someone else.”

Click here to listen to the full 25-minute podcast.

Save the date!

A reminder that the Canadian Region and US Province are hosting a Dehonian conference on the dual threats of Climate Change and Nuclear Weapons, beginning the evening of October 7 and running through the closing dinner on October 10. It will take place at the Whispering Woods Hotel and Conference Center in Olive Branch, MS. Invitations will go out in the next few weeks.

Closing pics

People around the country enjoyed viewing the eclipse last week. Pictured below are students at Holy Family School in Holly Springs, MS and Sacred Heart School in Southaven, MS.

Click here to subscribe to the weekly news (Fridge Notes) via email