Weekly News: April 29, 2024

Graduation day!

Commencement exercises at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology will take place this Friday, May 3. Among the grads is Dn. Paul Phong Hoang, SCJ, who is currently doing his diaconate internship in northern Mississippi. He will be ordained to the priesthood on June 1. Please keep all of the graduates in your prayers.

Transition in leadership at SHSST

Fr. Tom Cassidy, SCJ, has been named as the interim president-rector of Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, beginning July 8, 2024. It is a position that he previously held from 2004-07 prior to being elected as provincial superior of the US Province in 2007.

The current president-rector, Fr. Raúl Gómez-Ruiz, SDS, was recently elected to leadership in his religious community, the Society of the Divine Savior – The Salvatorians.

With the announcement of Fr. Tom as interim president-rector, Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, also announced the appointment of Fr. Stephen Huffstetter, SCJ, as SHSST president-rector beginning with the 2025 academic year. Fr. Steve is currently completing his second term on the General Council in Rome. When he returns to the United States this summer, he will be a member of the Sacred Heart Monastery Community, which will allow him to familiarize himself with SHSST while taking some well-earned sabbatical time.

Click here to read more.

Click here to view a video by Fr. Vien in which he introduces Fr. Tom and talks about his appointment.

Hundreds gather for youth event

On Sunday, April 21, over 200 people gathered at St. Gregory Church in Senatobia, MS, for the annual Northwest Parishes of Mississippi Youth Event. The gathering is organized twice a year across six parishes. Spearheaded by Victoria Stirek, youth coordinator, as well as several parishioners, it provides an opportunity for young people in the area to come together “and just have fun,” said Fr. Hendrik Ardianto, SCJ (“Ardi”).

The youth gathering was sponsored by Sacred Heart Southern Missions. Fr. Jack Kurps, SCJ, presided at the Mass, Fr. Ardi was a concelebrant, and Dn. Ted Schreck served.

“The day unfolded with a wide range of activities including hula hoop contests, face-painting sessions, energetic dancing, and competitive sports like soccer, volleyball, and pickleball,” said Fr. Ardi. “There was something for everyone to enjoy. One of the highlights of the event was the abundance of door prizes. Resurrection Radio from Memphis also brought an electrifying energy. As Resurrection Radio took the stage, the crowd was swept up in a wave of excitement and joy, dancing and singing along to the beats.”

Volunteers from the parishes prepared and served the meal. “Their involvement is testimony to their unwavering dedication and spirit of community,” said Fr. Ardi.

The next six-parish youth gathering will be on October 13 at Holy Spirit parish in Hernando.

“Let us continue to celebrate our youth, strengthen our bonds of community and create lasting memories together!” concluded Fr. Ardi.

Familiar face named to leadership

The leadership team in India includes a name familiar to many in the US Province: Fr. Praveen Richard Kumar, SCJ (center), who is third councilor. Fr. Praveen studied development and fundraising in the US Province and also assisted with ministry in South Dakota. The rest of the administration includes Fr. Michael Augustine Moses, SCJ (far right), in his second term as district superior (he is also familiar to many in the US for his visits to SHSST during the initial years of the MA partnership program with the Indian District), Fr. Peter Christy, SCJ (first councilor), Fr. Abraham Lazar, SCJ (second councilor), Fr. Bala Raju Sampathi, SCJ (fourth councilor).

Please remember

+ Fr. Paulo Hülse, a member of the Brazil – Sao Paulo Province, died on April 22. He was born in 1952, professed in 1973 and ordained in 1979

+ Fr. Angelo Cavagna, a member of the North Italian Province, died on March 28. He was born in 1929, professed in 1947 and ordained in 1956.

Bringing the Dehonian charism to the world

On April 24, the North American Dehonian Theological Commission (NADTC) met via Zoom; it was their second meeting of the year.  The NADTC meets usually twice a year to discuss collaboration with the International Theological Commission, and on how the Dehonian charism and spirituality can be contextualized in North America and in the world.

Topics discussed at this meeting included: creating a First Friday service, writing reflections on current issues, leading one-hour sessions on Zoom on Dehonian topics, and considering further membership expansion. The commission addressed topics brought up by the North American administrations.

The meeting also welcomed two new members: Fr. Andrzej Sudol, SCJ (US) and Fr. Willyans Prado Rapozo, SCJ (Canada).

Our thanks to Fr. Joseph Mukuna, SCJ, NADTC secretary, for sharing the meeting summary.


Another in a series

Br. Andy Gancarczyk, SCJ, shares another in a series of stories from Fr. Tony Russo, SCJ. Click here or on the image above to view it.

Celebrating religious brothers

Religious Brothers Day is held annually on May 1, the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker (this coming Wednesday).

Join in a virtual celebration of Religious Brothers Day at 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm CDT, hosted by the “Brothers Think Tank” composed of NRVC, RBC, CMSM, and RFC members. Both events will take place on Wednesday.

Register for the 1 pm CDT event here and the 7 pm CDT event here.

Click on the image below to download the Brothers Day graphic to share in social media and other communications.

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