Weekly News: April 25, 2016

Missionaries from Europe headed to North America in 1929
Missionaries from Europe headed to North America in 1929

Happy birthday!

The North American Province of the Priests of the Sacred Heart was established on April 25, 1934 ––  82 years ago today. Fr. Richard Kiefer, an SCJ originally from the German Province, was the first provincial superior. Early ministries were in South Dakota among Native Americans (reservation ministry and St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain), Wisconsin (Sacred Heart Monastery), Illinois (Mission House and Novitiate in Ste. Marie) and Indiana (Divine Heart Seminary in Donaldson).

Pictured above are missionaries from Europe coming to North America in 1929: M. Schaefer, C. Thelen, R. Kiefer, F. Thomas, J. Hackman and C. Schmid.

As for those in North America today, many of them are celebrating birthdays in May, including: Fr. Charles Yost (84) and Fr. Mark Fortner (76) on May 4, Fr. Byron Haaland (67) on May 6, Fr. Bryan Benoit (54) and Fr. Jack Kurps (65) on May 7, Fr. Guy Blair (65) on May 8, Fr. Anthony Kluckman (69) and Fr. Elie Munzungu Ngoy (49) on May 12, Bishop Joseph Potocnak (83) on May 13, Fr. Thi Pham (41) on May 14, Frater Justin Krenke (25) on May 16, Fr. Jim Casper (77) on May 20, Fr. Bob Tucker (63) on May 21, Br. Andy Gancarczyzyk (41) on May 24, Fr. Wayne Jenkins (69) on May 25 and Fr. Stephen Huffstetter (57) on May 31.

The Dehonian Charism and the Year of Mercy

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 10.53.08 AMBy now members of the US Province should have received their invitation to the June 6-10 assembly. The theme this year is “The Dehonian Charism and the Year of Mercy.” Speakers will include Fr. John van den Hengel on “Mercy in Fr. Leo John Dehon’s writings,” Fr. Byron Haaland on “Mercy as related to reparation and our vows, ” Fr. Paul Kelly on “Mercy in our personal lives,” and Grant Silva, Ph.D on “Mercy in the contexts of migratory crises: a social analysis.”

There will also be presentations by Fr. Stephen Huffstetter on the General Administration’s Six-Year Plan, Kathleen Dahlgren (province attorney) on Power of Attorney documentation, and Mary Gorski (province communications) on resources available to SCJs on the internet.

The assembly will begin with the celebration of Province Jubilees at 4:30 pm on June 6 at Sacred Heart Monastery (PLEASE NOTE: the celebration is at the monastery, not at SHML; a separate invitation will be sent for the Jubilees) and end midday (with lunch) on Friday, June 10. Activities will take place at the Provincial Conference Center in Hales Corners, as well as the Good Shepherd Chapel and community dining area at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake.

SCJs are asked to RSVP by May 16 by either calling 414-425-6910 or by sending an email to provadm@usprovince.org. All SCJs are asked to make their own arrangements for lodging (note that SHML is full around the time of the jubilee celebration). For rooms at Sacred Heart Monastery call 414-425-8300.

You ought to be in pictures!

Time will be scheduled during the assembly for SCJs to have new photos taken. A space will be set up in the Provincial Conference Center for the pics; the time will be announced in the next few weeks.

These are to be formal photos, or at least a step or two up from a tee shirt. A few cleric collars and dark suit coats will be available to SCJs to borrow for the photo, or SCJs can wear their own clerics or shirt and tie.

Questions? Click here to contact Mary Gorski.


The Fridge Notes and Dehonian Spirituality both are sent via email through “MailChimp.”

MailChimp, as well as similar services, now recommend that the “from” or “reply to” address for e-mailings not be from a Gmail or Yahoo account since group mailings from such addresses are often identified by servers as spam.

Starting with the next issue of Dehonian Spirituality, all such emails will come from the following address: comdir@scjcommunications.org.

Please update your e-mail directories to allow for the new address. If you stop receiving a newsletter (such as Fridge Notes or Dehonian Spirituality) that you had in the past, check your spam folder. If it is there, indicate that the mailing is not spam and the next one should arrive in your in-box.

If you have questions, click here to contact Mary Gorski.

A reminder: anyone is welcome to receive Fridge Notes or Dehonian Spirituality. Click on either to be taken to a subscription link.


Fr. Patrick Lloyd has a new email address: plloydscj@gmail.com

Keep in prayer

Fr. Bob Bossie will undergo a surgical procedure on May 2 to remove a cancerous lesion on his right ear. Please keep him in prayer.


The Dehon Soup Kitchen in Bahia de Caraquez (before the earthquake)
The Dehon Soup Kitchen in Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador (before the earthquake)

Raising funds for Ecuador

Several SCJ provinces have initiated fundraising campaigns to assist with relief efforts in Ecuador following devastating earthquakes in the country. The US Province has pledged $10,000. The Province Development Office created a special webpage for benefactors to make a contribution. Click here to visit the page.

Although we initially reported that the SCJ community house was damaged, in a later update we learned that none of the SCJ properties suffered significant damage.

“There are many dead and wounded; as priests we want to be present to give comfort and aid: water, clothing, food, things that people have generously given,” said Fr. Pedro Jesús Arenasm, an SCJ in Ecuador. We go with the police because people are desperate and they will do desperate things, but we want the aid to get to the most severely affected areas.”

DHS reunion coming up soon!

Remember this DHS logo?
Remember this DHS logo?

An all-class, all-faculty reunion of Divine Heart Seminary (Donaldson, IN) will be held on Saturday, May 21, at Bobak’s Signature Events and Conference Center at 6440 Double Eagle Dr, Woodridge, IL 60517.

The celebration will begin with Mass at 4:30 pm followed by a reception and dinner. The cost will be $70 per person (including open bar and the dinner).

Organizers need a final count of attendees by May 11. If you plan to attend, please contact either Keith George (krg907@hotmail.com) or Mike Whalen (michael.whalen3@comcast.net) ASAP! Mike estimates that there will be about 100 people at the reunion

There is a Facebook page with more information. Click here to view it. You do not need to be a member of Facebook to see the page.

A new church in India

On April 21, SCJs in India celebrated the blessing of a new church: Velankani Matha in Pedakakani. The church is a substation of Nambur parish. Bishop Gali Bali presided over the celebration; over 1,000 people attended the event. 

Fr. Tom Cassidy, who took part in the celebration, wrote about it in his recent blog post. Click here to read it.


Members of the Dehon Formation Community with their completed pieces of art.
Members of the Dehon Formation Community with their completed pieces of art.

Honoring each other with art

As the semester draws to an end and people prepare for new studies and ministries, members of the Dehon Formation Community in Chicago wanted to do something to commemorate their time together.

“We decided to honor each other with art,” said Frater Juancho Castañeda Rojas. An SCJ seminarian, Frater Juancho was the primary organizer behind the art evening. “Everyone was given the name of a member of the formation house. He was to then create a piece of art for that person that said something about him: qualities or a message. At the end we revealed the name of the person we had and talked about why we created the particular piece.

“It was very nice because even when people said that they didn’t know how to paint they at least tried to make something that showed that they were thinking about the other person. It was a night of fun community-building through art.”

Provincial’s Time

Fr. Ed Kilianski leaves for Mississippi on Wednesday for board meetings; he returns on Saturday. May 2 is the meeting of the North American administrations (Hales Corners) and on May 3-4 Fr. Ed has Provincial Council meetings. May 6 he will take part in graduation at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology.

May 12 he has meetings at the Province Development Office, and the week of May 22-27 Fr. Ed will be on retreat.

Closing shot

After spending most of the past week in meeting rooms, members of the General Finance Commission took a day to get out and be tourists. Here, Dn. David Nagel, treasurer of the US Province, is pictured in the famed Piazza Navona in Rome. Dn. David returns to the Provincialate Offices tomorrow (April 26).

Nagel Piazza Navona