Weekly News, April 30, 2012

Fr. Tom Cassidy congratulates Fr. Jan de Jong on his retirement.

Celebrated and honored

Fr. Jan de Jong, SCJ, left his native Holland in 1969 to come to Sacred Heart School of Theology to teach. Forty-three years later, he is retiring as president-rector of the seminary. On Friday, April 27, SHST students, faculty, staff, fellow SCJs, friends and family celebrated Fr. Jan’s many years of service with a special liturgy and retirement dinner.

Although his first assignment in the U.S. Province was at SHST, Fr. Jan’s nearly 40 years of ministry in the United States has gone well beyond the seminary. In 1974, he became a chaplain at St. Luke’s Hospital in Milwaukee. It was a stepping stone to teaching in and eventually directing Clinical Pastoral Education programs (CPE) in Milwaukee and in Houston. He has also served on the ethics boards of several hospitals, something that he will continue to do in his retirement.

Before returning to SHST in 1999 as a professor of Moral Theology, Fr. Jan served as novice master for the U.S. Province for three years. In 2008, he was named president-rector of the seminary.

Click here to view photos from the retirement celebration.

Click here to read a letter from Fr. General on the occasion of Fr. Jan’s retirement.

Click here to read Fr. Tom Cassidy’s homily from the Friday liturgy.

Students and staff from Sacred Heart Southern Missions, including Fr. Jack Kurps, SCJ, executive director (standing, fourth from the left).

A taste of Mississippi in South Dakota

Twenty-three students and staff from Sacred Heart Southern Missions in Mississippi were in South Dakota, sharing a bit of Mississippi –– including GENUINE SOUTHERN COOKING –– with their counterparts at St. Joseph’s. While teachers and staff heard presentations about the history, ministries and people of Sacred Heart Southern Missions, students at St. Joseph’s learned about Mississippi history and culture from three pairs of students from SHSM’s Holy Family School in Holly Springs and Sacred Heart School in Southaven.

For over a dozen years the U.S. Province has hosted Mission Education gatherings. Held at SCJ ministry locations around the country, it is a time for staff, volunteers and others associated with the Priests of the Sacred Heart to spend time together and better learn about the community and SCJ spirituality.

While many people have been able to attend Mission Education, it is difficult (and costly) to bring everyone from a ministry to the national gatherings.  Generally, just a few representatives from each ministry attend Mission Ed on the province level.

Looking for a way to extend the Mission Education experience beyond the larger conferences, staff from St. Joseph’s Indian School and Sacred Heart Southern Missions teamed up to expand the Mission Education experience between them.

“We couldn’t bring all of our staff to St. Joseph’s so we brought St. Joseph’s to Mississippi,” said Fr. Jack Kurps, SCJ, executive director of SHSM.

In 2010, approximately 20 students and staff from South Dakota gave an in-service day to SHSM staff. This year, it was SHSM’s turn.

“This visit reinforced for me the idea that even though we live and work in very different areas, what we are doing is similar,” said one of the Mississippi staff. “It all follows the call of the SCJs’ founder, Fr. Dehon, to ‘get out of the sacristies.’”

Click here to read the full story about the Mississippi Mission Education experience.

Click here to view photos from gathering.

Teaming up

Br. Ray Kozuch, SCJ, vocation director, said that he is grateful for the help of Kevin Stanke, a member of province finance office. However, it wasn’t help with accounting for which Br. Ray is grateful. For over a year Kevin has been working with his parish, St. Gregory the Great in Milwaukee, to allow the province vocation office to organize a vocation gathering at the parish school. The months of persistence paid off. Last week Thursday, Br. Ray and Br. Long Nguyen, SCJ, teamed up with the School Sisters of Notre Dame to do a morning presentation for approximately 70 fifth through eighth grade students.

“It was a good experience with many excellent questions from the students,” said Br. Ray. “I hope that other people can help us in similar ways, opening doors to schools and other areas where we can meet with young people and talk about vocations.”

Please remember

Fr. Aegidius Warsito, SCJ, received word that his brother died in Indonesia. The brother, who was 51, suffered from multiple health concerns during the last few years; recently he was hospitalized with meningitis. Fr. Aegi was able to visit his brother last November. Please remember Fr. Aegi and his family in your prayers, especially Fr. Aegi’s mother, who has been severely debilitated by a stroke. Fr. Aegi is a member of the Indonesian Province ministering in Toronto.

Also, keep Don Lirette, the husband of Marge Lirette, in prayer. Marge worked for over 20 years at Sacred Heart School of Theology, and now assists with the retirement community at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake. Mr. Lirette had surgery last week.

Memorial for Fr. Tom Fix

On Thursday, April 26, a Memorial Mass was held for Fr. Tom Fix, SCJ, who, as we noted last week, died in Indonesia on April 21.

Click here to read Fr. Charles Yost’s homily.

Click here to read the words shared by Fr. Tom’s brother, George, at the end of Mass.

Moment of fame

If you look closely,  you can see that Fr. Ed Zemlik, SCJ, is a photo that made the front page of the April 29 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He is standing behind Cardinal Timothy Dolan in a story about the cardinal’s special Mass of thanksgiving on Saturday at the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians, at Holy Hill. It was his first “official” visit back to Wisconsin since he became a cardinal.

Below, Fr. Ed is circled in the photo. Note that the picture is copyrighted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Fr. Ed Zemlik (circled in yellow) made the front page of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in its story on the cardinal's Mass of Thanksgiving near Milwaukee.

International treasurers meeting

From April 23-28 treasurers and finance personnel from around the congregation met in Rome. Dn. David Nagel, SCJ, attended as the treasurer for the U.S. Province and in his role as a member of the General Finance Commission.

“We finished our conference with Mass on Saturday, followed by pranzo (lunch),” said Dn. David.  “Fr. Ornelas [general superior] asked me to serve as deacon for the Mass; that was a nice honor. The meetings were good.  I had a chance to present my thoughts on fund raising in the United States and to introduce the topic of benefactors and donors to the conference.

“The conference ended with a great talk by a Salesian sister who is a professor of economics.

“The meetings were a good chance to visit with SCJ treasurers from other countries, especially those from Vietnam, India, Congo, and the Philippines –– entities that the U.S. Province helps to support.  Fr. Giovanni Pross from Congo talked to me about the needs of the Congolese Province, including the building project SCJs have undertaken in Kisangani.  The countries in Asia also have many needs with a growing number of vocations.”

Click here to view photos and reports from the conference on the English section of the general website.

Leasing information

As we noted last week, deposits are already being taken for apartments in the second wing of Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake. Apartments for the general public are expected to be ready for move-in on August 1.

For information about rentals, or to tour the site, call 414-409-4848 or email sacredheart@oakbrookcorp.com.

Birthday correction

In last week’s birthday listing we incorrectly stated that Fr. Vincent Suparman, SCJ, is to celebrate his 49th birthday on May 6. We aged Fr. Vincent by a month. He was born on June 5, 1963.

Provincial’s time

Fr. Tom Cassidy starts the week in Mississippi with board meetings at Sacred Heart Southern Missions. He will be back in Milwaukee on Wednesday for the North American councils meeting, which begins Wednesday evening and runs all day on Thursday.

Fr Cassidy remains in the Milwaukee area until May 24, when he visits Pinellas Park, Fl.

Upcoming meetings and events:

May 2-3: North American Councils meeting, Hales Corners.
May 15: Mass for the Anointing of the Sick, SHM/SHST (1 p.m.)
May 30-31: Provincial Council Meeting (budgets)
June 15: Feast of the Sacred Heart (11 a.m.)
June 28: Provincial Council Meeting (conference call re: formation)
July 3-4: Provincialate Offices closed for Independence Day.
July 9-12: Province Assembly, Hales Corners
July 16-21: General Conference, Neustadt, Germany
July 23-25: SCJ Major Superiors Meeting, Neustadt, Germany
October 12: Dedication of Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake

April 8-9: Mission Education Conference, St. Joseph’s Indian School
Week of June 3: Province Election Assembly.