Weekly News: August 17, 2020

“Why do you want to profess vows with the Priests of the Sacred Heart; why do you choose to be a Dehonian?”

This was the question posed to Thien Nguyen, Thuan Nguyen, Hung Pham and Truc Tran a week before they professed their First Vows with the Priests of the Sacred Heart. Each spent a year in novitiate trying to answer that question for himself, a year of seminars, prayer, reflection and service. Many hours were spent learning about Fr. Leo John Dehon and Dehonian spirituality, learning about religious life, and in particular, religious life as an SCJ.

“Why do I want to profess vows with the Priests of the Sacred Heart?” wrote Frater Thien Nguyen, SCJ. “It is simple. I want to be a prophet of love and a servant of reconciliation based in the spirituality of Fr. Dehon.”

Frater Hung professes his vows

Frater Hung Pham, SCJ, said that he made the decision to profess vows because he wanted to be a Dehonian who “lives in the spirit of love with affirmation, understanding and acceptance.”

Reflecting on the SCJ Constitutions, Frater Truc Tran, SCJ, said that for him, his decision is based in Constitution No. 27: “This consecration itself already has a real apostolic fruitfulness. Like every charism in the Church, our prophetic charism places us at the service of the saving mission of the people of God in today’s world.”

And for Frater Thuan Nguyen, SCJ, the answer requires few words. Why did he become a member of the Priests of the Sacred Heart? “To love as I am loved.”

The four novices professed their first vows of poverty, chastity and obedience during a small ceremony at Sacred Heart Monastery. Due to the pandemic, the liturgy was only open to SCJs in the local area; for others, livestreaming was available on Facebook (click here to view the video). Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, provincial superior, received the vows of Frater Hung, who is now a member of the US Province, as well as those of the three novices for the District of Vietnam (Fraters Thien Nguyen, Thuan Nguyen and Truc Tran). Fr. Joseph Quang Tran, SCJ, associate pastor at St. Martin of Tours in Franklin, WI, was the representative of the district; Fr. Francis Vu Tran, SCJ, was unable to be at the ceremony in person.

The newly professed are now members of the Sacred Heart Monastery community where they will continue their formation and academic studies. Click here to read more about them.

Click here to view an online photo album of the ceremony. An album is also available on the US Province Facebook page.

Click here to view the Mass booklet from the First Professions.

Click here to read the homily given by Fr. Ed Kilianski.


Many thanks to Frater (Paul) Phong Hoang, SCJ, for running the Facebook livestream of the Profession Ceremony. Click on the image above to view it.

Keep in prayer

Fr. Bob Tucker, SCJ, continues to battle pneumonia and a viral infection. “People who receive organ transplants [Fr. Bob received a lung transplant earlier this summer] receive anti-rejection medications that weaken their immune responses and this adds to the complexity of this situation for Fr. Bob,” said Mary Balistreri, province director of healthcare. Please continue to keep Fr. Bob in prayer.

Please remember

+Fr. Osnildo Carlos Klann, SCJ, died on August 14. He was born in Brusque on September 26, 1937 and was 82 years old. He professed his first vows on February 2, 1957, and was ordained priest on June 28, 1964. At the time of his death he was a member of the community in Jaraguá do Sul. He was a member of the BRM Province.

+Fr. Constant Botter, SCJ, died on August 15. He was born in Indonesia on November 10, 1932. He professed his first vows on September 24, 1954, and was ordained a priest on September 24, 1960. At the time of his death he was living in a retirement home near the Kilwinning Community in Scotland. He belonged to the GBI Province.

Admissions Board

During its meeting last week the Provincial Council voted to re-appoint Br. Duane Lemke, SCJ, Br. Frank Presto, SCJ, and Br. Brian Tompkins, SCJ, to three-year terms to the Admissions Board.

New general website!

Our general website (www.dehoniani.org), based in Rome, has undergone a facelift. The re-design is a collaborative effort of SCJs from around the world, including: Sergio Rotasperti (Italy/Germany), Ali Ernesto Villaroel Barreto (Venezuela), Boris Signe Mouafo (Cameroun), Henry Nguyen (United States), Rodrigo Alves de Oliveira Arruda (Brazil), Tinu Thomas Padapurakkal (India) and Zeferino Policarpo (Portugal). It’s a new site, but you can find it at the same address: www.dehoniani.org

An area of the website which many people may find helpful is the “Where We Are” section that is near the bottom of the home page. From it you can access the contact information of Dehonian communities, ministries and offices around the world. They are divided by continents and by function (formation, social works, schools, parishes, etc.).

The new design was launched on August 12, the anniversary of the death of Fr. Leo John Dehon.

Students returned to St. Joseph’s last week

Back to school!

New and returning in-house seminarians at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology are arriving this week; they will self-quarantine for their first week on campus following a requested one week of home quarantine. The Formation Department has organized a retreat for the students during this week. Because of the pandemic, several events have been cancelled or postponed, including the Dehon Lecture and graduation. The new tentatively scheduled date for the 2020 spring graduation is December 11. The SHSST Opening Mass, which will only be open to those on campus and the local SCJ community, is scheduled for September 2.

There will be 10 students in the SCJ formation program at the start of the 2020-21 academic year.

Students at St. Joseph’s Indian School in South Dakota are also back on campus. “In the midst of the pandemic, the decision to return to campus was a difficult one,” wrote a representative of St. Joseph’s administration on the school’s website. “We spent hours and hours talking to staff, parents, our Parent Advisory Committee, public health officials and all other stakeholder agencies to determine if opening our campus was the right thing. [We] determined it was. Of course, parents still made the final decision whether to send their children back to campus for the school year, but we are happy to say we are open to provide quality care to Lakota children — especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Several measures have been put in place to help ensure the safety of students and staff. These include making St. Joseph’s a “closed campus;” only students attending the public high school in Chamberlain will be allowed to leave the campus and their movement will be limited. Students at St. Joseph’s will have different walking paths separated by grades. The students will wear face coverings the first two weeks and temperatures will be taken by house parents daily. A plan is in place to separate anyone who becomes ill. Employees coming on campus will be screened each day and staff are required to wear a face covering.

Click here to read more about the reopening on the school’s website.

Updated Provincial Council meeting schedule

The Provincial Council meeting dates through the rest of the current administration’s term:

  • August 19 (conference call at 1:00 p.m. central)
  • September 15-16
  • November 10-11
  • December 15-16
  • January 26-27, 2021
  • March 9-10
  • May 4-5
  • June 8 (conference call for advancements in formation)
  • Election Assembly (evening meeting to be scheduled during the week of July 26-30)
  • September 14-15 (transition meeting with new administration)


In our list of profession anniversaries in last week’s Fridge Notes we missed two: Fr. Jean-Claude Mbassi, SCJ, who professed his first vows on August 12, 2001, and Fr. Ed Zemlik, SCJ, who made his first profession on August 15, 1995. Many apologies to both for the omission.

Those celebrating First Profession anniversaries this week include: Fr. Paul Tennyson, SCJ (August 18, 1993), Fr. Louis-Marie Butari Kayamba (August 21, 1982), and on August 22: Fr. Bob Bossie (1968), Fr. Byron Haaland (1970), Br. Ray Kozuch (1970; Aug. 22 is also his birthday), Fr. Terry Langley (1969), Fr. Yvon Sheehy (1969), Fr. Jim Walters (1969) and Br. Leonard Zaworski (1968).

These and other anniversary dates, as well as birthdays, are in the online North American calendar. The calendar can be accessed from the Google icon at the bottom of any page within the province website, in the Members’ section of the website, or by clicking here.

If you notice an error or omission in the calendar, please contact Mary Gorski.

FIRST PROFESSIONS – Fr. Byron Haaland (novice master) Frater Thuan Nguyen, Frater Thien Nguyen, Fr. Joseph Quang Tran (representative of Vietnam), Fr. Ed Kilianski (provincial superior), Frater Hung Pham, Frater John Tran Van Truc and Fr. Andrzej Sudol (associate novice master)