Weekly News: April 17, 2023

Congratulations Jacob!

On Friday, April 14, Frater Jacob Smith, SCJ, was honored with Marquette University’s Contemplative in Action Leadership Award. Fra. Jacob is an undergrad student at MU.

“Because Marquette is a Jesuit institution, studying here has been a constant interaction with God through the lens of Cura Personalis and Ignatian Discernment,” said Fra. Jacob upon receiving the award. “These Jesuit concepts are fused with an aspect of my own Congregation’s spirituality: Reparation. We Dehonians understand this concept as ‘a welcome to the Spirit, as a response to Christ’s love for us, as a communion in His love for the Father and as a collaboration in His work of Redemption in the midst of the world’ (Constitutions 23).  My service here at Marquette is an act both for my own spiritual care as well as an act of Reparation impelled by the spirit to work towards Redemption.

“The Campus Ministry team has embodied these values for me and I have always felt at home in the office. My time working with them has been filled with laughter, jokes, intense debate, personal vulnerability, shared hardship, and lots and lots of discernment. Through these aspects I’ve felt my own soul be nourished and my person cared for. The natural response to such a thing, my Spirituality teaches, is to spread it. This was manifested through my time cantoring at Masses, serving as an Acolyte, working with Liturgical Choir, and generally assisting wherever and whenever I could.

“Leadership is, for me, not anything more than receiving the fruits of the Spirit and the Love of God, and imparting them to those who seek after them. When we receive this gift of Divine Love, we find ourselves unable to resist the Lord’s beckoning. I did nothing more than follow Him and His call. As a Dehonian, as a Priest of the Sacred Heart, I hope and pray that my time in Campus Ministry has borne authentic witness to the love of the Sacred Heart, both human and Divine.”

Joining Fra. Jacob at the ceremony were his Aunt Michelle and Uncle Jeff, as well as Fr. Duy Nguyen, Br. Brian Tompkins and Postulant Alfonso Pizano. Fra. Jacob is pictured above with Dr. Xavier Cole, MU’s vice president of student affairs.

Ground-breaking for rec center renovation

On April 13, St. Joseph’s Indian School held a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the start of the renovation of the school’s Recreation Center. Board members, including Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, and Fr. Greg Schill, SCJ, were among those wielding shovels.

Renovation plans include updates to make the facility more current, and improvements to enhance future use: more storage space and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act; a second gym allowing for more activities; and a layout that accommodates gymnastics, wrestling, archery and cheer. The current gym will be dedicated to basketball and volleyball. The new addition will include a second basketball court. There will be individual offices, more restrooms, a multi-purpose room and exercise spaces for students and staff.

“Today is not only about the future possibilities for this building but also the tremendous possibilities in your future,” said Mike Tyrell, school president, to students. “As you watch this new construction, you will see the time it takes to build a strong foundation. Use this Rec Center, your campus homes, your counselor’s office and all of the good things at St. Joe’s to build a solid foundation for yourselves.”

Please remember

+ Fr. Manuel Fernando Ribeiro, a member of the Portuguese Province, died April 10. He was born in 1936, professed in 1956 and ordained in 1962.

+ Fr. Ernest Budyn, a member of the Polish Province, died on April 14. He was born in 1935, professed in 1952 and ordained in 1960.

+ Fr. André Papineau, SDS, died on April 12; he was 85. Fr. André taught preaching and homiletics at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology for many years, and published several books on the topics. He had been a professed Salvatorian for 64 years.

Sr. Maria Rose Kelly (Judy), the sister of deceased SCJ Fr. Paul Kelly, died April 9. Click here to read her obituary.


After a 15-hour trip, Fr. Vando Marsques Gomes, SCJ, arrived in Canada on April 13 from Brazil. He joins the Dehonians’ international community in Toronto, where he will first enroll in an ESL program while assisting with Portuguese-speaking parishes in the archdiocese. Born in Arcoverde/PE, Brazil, and a member of the BRE Province, Fr. Vando is 34 and was ordained to the priesthood in 2018. He has a master’s degree in Biblical Theology from the Catholic University of Pernambuco.

Fr. Vando is pictured here (middle) with Fr. Willyans Prado Rapozo, SCJ (left) and Fr. Antonio Maria Resende Pereira, SCJ, who met Fr. Vando at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Bom dia!!


Fr. Guy Blair, SCJ, is now a member of the Mississippi SCJ community with residence in Holly Springs. He will be a part of the pastoral team that serves six parishes in Northern Mississippi.

Words of thanks

Each year the US Province sponsors several scholarship students in the ECS program (English and Culture Studies) at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. “At the end of the recent session, I received several heart-felt thank you notes from our scholarship students that I would like to share,” said Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ. These students may not be members of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, but they have been influenced by Dehonian Spirituality during their time at SHSST. Comments from two of the students:

“At the conclusion of this rich, powerful training that allowed me to discover and to learn about the American cultures I feel obligated to express my happiness and my heartfelt gratitude for the opportunity that you have given me to enhance my knowledge as a man and priest,” wrote Fr. Bertholy Cherubin, SPSJ, of Haiti “I learned so much from your community and the people of the dioceses that I have met during this time of formation. Your kindness and everything you have done are priceless. I’ll cherish this experience forever. Once again, thank you for what you have represented for the ECS program and for who you are for the Universal Church and the world.”

Fr. Carlos Augusto Azevedo da Silva of the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil wrote:”Thank you for this period of study in the ECS Program. This experience has been good for me. It helped me learn better communication skills. It also helped me understand English for my research in my doctorate. I know it is very expensive but it is for the service to the Church. I will remember this service and I will always have a grateful heart. I will pray for you, for the program, and for everyone who collaborates with it.”

Fr. Bertholy is pictured above, second from the left, and Fr. Carlos is on the far right with fellow ECS graduates from the Spring 2023 semester.

Learn more about our international students

Each semester the ECS program at SHSST hosts a Lunch Speaker Series in which an ECS student shares a bit about his background and the cultural realities of where he is from.

This Thursday, April 20, Samson Tesfaye, a seminarian of the archdiocese of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, studying at the Catholic University of Eichstatt in Germany, will talk about his personal journey from an Orthodox childhood into a Catholic adulthood and how this journey informs his philosophies of healing and unity.

Anyone is welcome to attend the presentation. Grab a lunch in the SHSST dining room and head to Classroom 2 at noon.

Questions? Contact Ryan Stubbs,  Director of English and Culture Studies, at 414-858-4726, rstubbs@shsst.edu

There is always hope in the resurrection

“In practice, resurrection simply means for us that there is no situation without a way out,” wrote Fr. Ziggy Morawiec, SCJ, in the April issue of As a Rule. “For if it is possible to come out of the grave, then everything else is all the more possible. It is the source of the greatest human hope because it disarms the most terrifying bomb of life – death. And the sin that leads to death…

“Perhaps you are now scratching along your own private way of the cross. Perhaps someone is hammering more nails into your private cross. Perhaps you are rotting in a musty grave waiting for some power to breathe the reviving Spirit into you and roll away the gravestone. To all those who have this I say – PATIENCE.”

Sr. Cathy Bertrand, SSND, a member of the Dehonian Associates Committee, was the second of this month’s writers. She reminds readers that “Jesus is quick to point out time and again that death and resurrection seem to go hand in hand, as much as we would like to skip the ‘death’ part of it all.  The liturgical cycle reminds us that Easter is understood in a deeper way, if we can embrace what Lent is about as well.  And these days, none of us need to look very far to experience the challenges and suffering that life entails.

“Writer Clarissa P. Estes, recognizing that ‘timing is everything’ offers this invitation: ‘Ours is a time of almost daily jaw-dropping astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.  Do not lose heart. I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is – we were made for these times.’”

As a Rule is a monthly electronic publication which uses a passage from the Dehonian Rule of Life as a starting point for reflection.

Anyone is welcome to receive As a Rule. Click here to add a subscriber.


The final document for the Continental Stage of the 2021-24 Synod is now available in English, French and Spanish. Twelve virtual assemblies were held in the United States and Canada (seven in English, three in Spanish and two in French) between December 2022 and January 2023. In total, 931 delegates and 146 bishops from North American shared their responses and reflections to the Document for the Continental Stage from the Holy See’s General Secretariat of the Synod. The North American final document concludes the continental stage of 2021-24 Synod process.

Click here to access the document.

Try to parallel park that vehicle!

Our closing photo is from Fr. Vincent Suparman, SCJ, from our senior community in Pinellas Park, FL. He writes that “Our community has a temporary easement to allow work on the Water Channel Construction project. We will be sharing our parking lot with a few of the project’s vehicles, including the large crane being unloaded in this picture.”

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