Weekly News: August 21, 2023

The school year starts!

Fr. David Szatkowski, SCJ, is pictured above left celebrating the Opening Mass at Sacred Heart School in Southaven, MS, on August 15, the feast of the Assumption. Below, Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, is pictured with new faculty members at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology following a presentation on Dehonian Spirituality. Prior to his election as provincial superior, Fr. Vien was vice rector and assistant professor of Scripture Studies at SHSST.

And at St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, SD, the school continues a tradition begun at the height of the pandemic: a back-to-school parade.

Students began the route just outside Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel when they emerged from a Feast of the Assumption prayer service. They passed under a blue and yellow balloon arch (pictured above right). Along the parade route staff celebrated the return of the wakȟáŋeža (children – sacred holy ones). Some offered smiles, waves and cheers. Others blew horns and whistles or showered the students with bubbles. There were cookies and candy to sweeten the walk. Rec Center staff tossed footballs back and forth with passing students. The Bookmobile was on hand with free reading material. The school’s equine therapy horses participated, as well.

The parade was the culmination of three days of student return activities that began on August 13.

Looking ahead

Fr. Carlos Luis Suarez Codorniú, SCJ, superior general, will be the featured speaker at the October 4th Dehon Lecture at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. Schedule details are being finalized and will soon be shared.

Also, the General Finance Commission will hold its next in-person meeting September 12-14 at the US Provincialate. The commission is chaired by Fr. Luca Zottoli, SCJ, general treasurer.

Retirement workshop for SCJs

A retirement workshop will take place at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake on August 29-30. The workshop is for SCJs who are already retired. It will be led by Br. Wayne Fitzpatrick, MM, who was the presenter of the pre-retirement workshop in Arizona in April. Br. Wayne is Managing Director of Senior Care and Transition Services for the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers and serves as the Assistant Regional Superior for the Maryknolls in the US. Retired SCJs who are planning to attend are asked to contact Fr. Greg Schill if they have not yet done so.

New SHM treasurer

Frater Long Nguyen, SCJ, has been named as treasurer of the Sacred Heart Monastery community.

Keep in prayer

Fr. Roger Phaneuf, SCJ, of the Canadian Region, is at Jean-Talon Hospital in Montréal; he fell in his room yesterday and is now being monitored.

Fr. Charles Brown, SCJ, is recovering from spinal surgery that took place on August 10.

Also, last week Fr. John Strittmatter, an SCJ originally from the US Province who has lived and served in South Africa most of his life, fell and broke his shoulder in two places. Fr. Peter Surdel, SCJ, the provincial superior of South Africa, said that Fr. John is doing well, but will need to spend some time in a rehabilitation facility in Pretoria.

Fr. Peter recorded a short video of Fr. John saying hello to the US Province. Click here or on the image above to view it.

Post-chapter meeting

Delegates to the US Provincial Chapter will be asked to take part in a Zoom meeting on Tuesday, November 7, beginning at 10:00 a.m. (Central). Among the tasks of the post-Chapter meeting will be the review of the Chapter minutes. More information will be sent to delegates in the weeks ahead.

Priests who would like to concelebrate…

As has been noted previously, Mission Education will take place at St. Joseph’s Indian School October 8-9. Priests who would like to concelebrate at the Mission Ed Mass are reminded to request a “suitability for ministry” letter well before October. Click here to contact Br. Frank Presto, SCJ. Br. Frank reminds priests to always contact him well before such documents are needed.

Fridge Notes pause

The Fridge Notes will be on break until after Labor Day. The next issue will be published on September 11. Have news items to share? Click here.

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South Dakota transitions

Fr. Ed Zemlik, SCJ, is scheduled to arrive in South Dakota on September 1; he will live at the community house in Chamberlain and minister with the Lower Brule Pastoral Team during Fr. Christianus Hendrik’s year-long sabbatical. Fr. Hendrik leaves for Indonesia on September 7.  In September, Fr. Joe Dean, SCJ, will move from Chamberlain to the Sacred Heart Community at SHML. Two Theresian Missionaries of Mary from the Philippines are expected to move to Chamberlain in mid-September. Following a period of preparation for ministry in South Dakota, the TMMs will be working with the Lower Brule Pastoral Team.

Fr. Ed is pictured below during last week’s going-away luncheon held for him at the Provincial Offices.

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