Farewell and best wishes!
As we noted previously, Barbara Haag is leaving her position as food services director at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake. She has worked with the Priests of the Sacred Heart for 18 years, much of that time at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. When SHML was being developed Barb was instrumental in setting up the kitchens, public areas and other food service needs.
Last Friday residents at SHML had a farewell reception for Barb. From the many tears shed it was obvious that she is going to be missed.
Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology holds its graduation ceremony this Friday, May 1. Eleven seminarians representing 10 dioceses and archdioceses will receive their Master of Divinity degrees. Another seven students receive their Master of Arts in Theology.
On Wednesday, April 29, the seminary will hold a Rite of Sending prayer service. Anyone is welcome to join the SHSST community as they pray for and bless graduating students.
The Rite of Sending is at 1 p.m. in the SHSST lobby.
Fr. Heinrich (“Heinz”) Westendorf, a member of the German Province, died April 26. He was born in 1927, professed in 1952 and ordained in 1957. Fr. Heinz was known by many SCJs in North America for his work on the General Finance Commission. He was present at the last General Chapter in 2009 as a member of that commission; he retired from it shortly after.
Fr. Philip Bailey, a member of the British-Irish Province, died April 21. He was born in 1927, professed in 1945 and ordained in 1951.
Keep in prayer
On April 14 Fr. Tom Burns was hospitalized with pneumonia. While being treated for that, tests revealed that he also has cancer. He was discharged from the hospital and will spend a few of weeks in a rehabilitation facility before returning to the SCJ residence in Pinellas Park. In the weeks ahead he and his doctors will explore treatment options for his cancer.
You can contact Fr. Tom at: Gulf Shore Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, 6767 86th Ave. N. Pinellas Park, FL 33782. He is in Room 504; the phone is 727-258-6504.
The Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology lobby renovation project received an “Excellence of Design” award from the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), Wisconsin Chapter. Mark Wenzel, director of facilities for the province, represented the SCJs at the awards dinner in Madison on April 23, along representatives from the with the general contractor for the project, Jens Construction, and the architect/designer, Dimension IV.
Br. Bernard Taube
2829 Moland St.
Madison, WI 53704
The latest JPR News
The most recent JPR News went to e-boxes last week. Produced by Mark Peters, province director of Justice, Peace and Reconciliation, the e-newsletter is mailed monthly. Click here to read the latest.
Fr. Stephen Huffstetter meets with the Provincial Council April 21-22. One of the main topics of April meeting? Budgets!
Share your story!
“When I hear of their [new immigrants] struggle to find a home here, I am reminded of my own father who, when he arrived in Canada, worked in a park selling soft drinks,” wrote Fr. Jim Casper in a personal reflection on the issue of immigration. “[My father] shared with us that while he was watching a baseball game in the park for the first time, a stranger sat beside him and asked: ‘What is the score?’ My father did not understand the game, and had no idea how to answer. So the stranger moved to another place.
“The message that my father received was that if you do not understand what is happening, you do not fit in here.”
Immigration is a continuing area of concern for SCJs in North America. At the 2013 North American Continental Conference it was listed as one of the “urgent realities” of society. A year later, at the 2014 US Provincial Chapter, the migration of children at the US-Mexican border was at the forefront of discussions.
A committee of SCJs from Canada and the US was established earlier this year to “strive to develop a Dehonian ACTION in response to what refugees and immigrants are experiencing,” said Fr. Richard MacDonald, a member of the committee.
Beside Fr. Mac, members of the North American Immigration Committee include Fr. Claude Bédard, Fr. John Czyzynski, Br. Duane Lemke, Fr. Peter McKenna, Fr. Élie Muzungu Kasongo-Ngoy, Fr. Zbigniew Morawiec and Fr. Tony Russo, as well as Mark Peters, director of Justice, Peace and Reconciliation for the US Province.
The group held its second in-person meeting on April 21-22 at the Provincial Conference Center in Hales Corners, Wis. Much of the meeting focused on an initiative developed by the committee earlier in the year: a community prayer service centered on immigration with an invitation to North American SCJs to share their own immigration story. These stories will be compiled into a booklet that will be shared at the US assembly in July and the Canadian assembly in August.
The initial stories received, such as Fr. Jim Casper’s, represent the many realities found in North America. There are stories of first and second-generation immigrants, as well as from SCJs whose families have deep roots in North America. They include the experiences of men in initial formation, as well as those in their senior years of religious life.
Liem Nguyen, a candidate for the US Province, wrote about his personal experience as an immigrant from Vietnam: “Immigration is not only a personal commitment, but a family one as well. For the two years before I became an SCJ candidate, I lived with a great deal of stress. Finding good work wasn’t simply for myself, but for others too. [He was supporting his immigrant family] What if I couldn’t find a job? What if I got laid off? These common questions weighed double on me because the lives of others were at stake, not simply my own. I did anything and everything I could to help my family. It was tough, not only because of the job market, but because everything was so new. Customs that were exciting were also hurdles.”
Fr. Bené Machado, a member of the Canadian Region, has spent much of his religious life as an immigrant. A Brazilian, he ministered for 20 years in the Philippines before making his way to Toronto last summer.
“When I first arrived in the Philippines we were very lucky in that PIME missionaries looked after all of our immigration documents,” wrote Fr. Bené. “We were stationed in the midst of the Muslim reality, a reality with which we had nothing in common. Anyone who did not look Muslim was called ‘Joe’ as everything about the Philippines had become Americanized. It was a real challenge to learn the culture, the gestures and the language for we were always looked upon as ‘foreigners.’
“I still remember going to a gas station to fill up the tank. Making polite conversation with the female gas station attendant I asked her ‘How are you doing?’ She responded with ‘What are you doing here? You must be either a crazy man or a priest!’ She then shared with us that she was a Christian and that she greatly admired the presence of Catholic missionaries. They always attempted to learn the language of the people and they were never there ‘to just to grab something from the people.’”
These are snippets from just a few of the stories received. The immigration committee will continue to collect personal reflections through the end of May and hopes that all SCJs in North America take the opportunity to share their story for the booklet to be published this summer. If you haven’t done so already, click here to submit YOUR story.
Questions about the project? Contact a member of the committee: Fr. Claude Bédard, Fr. John Czyzynski, Br. Duane Lemke, Fr. Richard MacDonald, Fr. Peter McKenna, Fr. Élie Muzungu Kasongo-Ngoy, Fr. Tony Russo, Fr. Zbigniew Morawiec and Mark Peters.