Weekly News: April 30, 2018

Native Hope 1st recipient of Johnny Klingler Social Action Award

The Provincial Council has affirmed the selection of Native Hope in Chamberlain, SD, as the recipient of the 1st Annual Johnny Klingler, SCJ, Social Action Award. The award was created last year at the recommendation of the Justice, Peace and Reconciliation Commission to honor Fr. Johnny as he retired from the commission for his decades of commitment to social action and to recognize individuals or groups who exemplify the Dehonian charism of dedication to “ministry to the lowly and the humble, the workers and the poor” (Rule of Life #31).

In creating the award, the JPR Commission hopes to lift up efforts that touch people’s hearts, transform personal attitudes, and spur others to action through direct service, education, advocacy for the voiceless, or empowerment of those who are marginalized.

Through its funded partners, Native Hope does all these things. Established in 2015 as an apostolate of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, its mission is “to dismantle barriers and inspire hope for Native voices unheard.” That includes a Fellowship Program to empower creativity and leadership in Indigenous Peoples and their communities, celebrating education as a lifelong undertaking that raises self-esteem and opens new horizons for youth, honoring and embracing Native culture, and addressing the real issues of teen suicide, domestic abuse, and sex trafficking that plague life on the reservation.

Click here or on the image above to learn more about Native Hope on its website.

The Klinger Award and a check for $1,000 will be presented to the organization in October in Chamberlain.


Bishop Kopacz speaks at the dedication

Volunteer House dedicated

The Gregory Bezy Volunteer House in northern Mississippi was dedicated on April 27. Among those who took part in the ceremony were Bishop Joseph Kopacz of Jackson, Fr. Ed Kilianski (US Provincial Superior), representatives from the SHSM Board of Directors and SHSM staff, and our two novices, who were in Mississippi on a ministry visit.

Each year SHSM hosts hundreds of volunteers from all over the country. Many are high school and college students who want to make a difference in the lives of the poor. Often, volunteers find that those whom they have helped have made a difference in their lives as well.

“In volunteering, they find that they too have been changed,” said Fr. Jack Kurps, SHSM executive director. “Their hearts have been changed by their experience. They learn what it means to be a Christian.”

A few finishing touches are still needed before the house can host its first visitors, but these should be completed within the next few weeks.

More photos from the ceremony and of the house itself are available on the SHSM Facebook page.

Planning for the General Chapter

Sr. Nicla

As noted last week, members of the Planning Commission for the XXIV General Chapter have been meeting in Rome to quickly prepare for the July 14-27 gathering.

The two-week chapter will be divided into three parts: a time of discernment and discussion, elections, and time dedicated to indicating guidelines for the new government.

The chapter will begin with a reflection prepared by Sr. Nicla Spezzati, ASC, Undersecretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. Sr. Nicla gave a well-received analysis of the Dehonians at the congregation’s theological seminar in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, last year.

The first straw votes for the election of the new general administration are to be held July 19; it is hoped that a new Superior General can be elected by July 20. Following the election of the General Council, the chapter will focus on reviewing guidelines for various sectors of the congregation.


Fr. Nick Brown is joining the Sacred Heart Community at SHML. His room number is 106.

Please remember

Albert Mitchell, a former SCJ known as “Brother Damien,” died on April 17. A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Matthew Church in San Antonio on May 8 at 10:00 a.m. Click here to view the obituary.


May birthdays

Those celebrating birthdays in May include Fr. Mark Fortner (78) on May 4, Fr. Byron Haaland (69) on May 6, Fr. Bryan Benoit (56) and Fr. Jack Kurps (67) on May 7, Fr. Guy Blair (67) on May 8, Novice Phong (Paul) Hoang (26) on May 9, Fr. Anthony Kluckman (71) and Fr. Élie Kasongo-Ngoy (51) on May 12, Bishop Joseph Potocnak (85) on May 13, Fr. Thi Pham (43) on May 14, Fr. Jim Casper (80) on May 20, Fr. Bob Tucker (65) on May 21, Br. Andy Gancarczyk (43) on May 24, Fr. Wayne Jenkins (71) on May 25, and Fr. Stephen Huffstetter (59) on May 31. Happy birthday!!


Sr. Mary and Fr. Tom at the SHSST retirement dinner

Four retire from SHSST

On April 25, the community at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology honored four staff members who are retiring at the end of the school year: Sr. Mary Carroll, SSSF (Lecturer, Systematic Studies and Associate Director, Pastoral Formation), Fr. Steve Malkiewicz, OFM (Associate Director, Human Formation), Kate McConville (Administrative Assistant to the President-Rector, Human Formation and Spiritual Formation), and Sally Smits (Vice President for Finance). Congratulations, and thank you for your years of service to the Dehonian apostolate.

Mark your calendar!

Frater Juan Carlos Castañeda Rojas will be ordained to the diaconate on Saturday, June 16 at 10:00 a.m., at Sacred Heart Monastery / Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. Bishop James T. Schuerman, DD, auxiliary bishop of Milwaukee, will be the ordaining bishop. Invitations will be in the mail soon.

As noted last week, Barbara Graham, Director of Legal Services for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese Milwaukee, will speak on the current state of immigration policy and faith-based responses on Tuesday, May 29, from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. at Provincial Conference Center.  She will explain the role of ICE (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement) and how the Church is responding, as well the “New Sanctuary Movement” among churches. The program is sponsored by the Priests of the Sacred Heart and is free and open to the public.  For more information, call 414-427-4273 or click here.

Another event to note on your calendar is the Pope Francis Symposium scheduled for October 8-11 at SHSST. This symposium will feature groundbreaking presentations and panel discussions by world-class scholars examining the pastoral theology of Pope Francis from his European and Latin-American roots to his Papacy today. Speakers include:

Bishop Robert Barron, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries; Massimo Borghesi, professor of moral philosophy at the Department of Philosophy, Social, Human and Educational Sciences at the University of Perugia (Italy) and author of Jorge Mario Bergoglio: Una Biografia a Intellettuale, an authoritative intellectual biography of the pope; Rocco Buttiglione, a member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, professor of political science at Saint Pius V University in Rome, and author of Risposte amichevoli ai critici di Amoris Laetitia (Friendly Answers to Critics of Amoris Laetitia); Cardinal Blase Cupich, archbishop of Chicago; and Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Early bird registration is $175 until July 1; the cost will be $195 after that.

Click here to learn more.

Provincial’s calendar

After a few days in Mississippi Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, is back in Milwaukee. He will take part in graduation exercises at SHSST on May 4, and then the North American retreat from May 6-11. May 14-21 he will be in Texas for a visitation, returning to Milwaukee on May 22.  May 23 he has a meeting with the SHSST board. The next council meetings are June 5-6.

Closing shot

Human Resource directors from around the province met in Hales Corners last week to review the employee medical plan and discuss general HR concerns. The group meets with the Provincial Treasurer’s Office yearly. Through its ministries, the US Province employs hundreds of people throughout the United States. The HR directors are pictured below at their meeting.

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