Weekly News: August 28, 2017

Students from Sacred Heart getting ready for the eclipse


Throughout the province people stepped outside last week Monday to view the solar eclipse. Students from Sacred Heart School in Southaven, MS, did their viewing at the Nashville Zoo, which was in the path of the total eclipse.

“What a great day!” Fr. Greg Schill wrote. He joined the students on their journey to Nashville and back. “We left on five buses from Sacred Heart School at 6:00 a.m. getting to the zoo to observe various changes in animal behavior just before the eclipse. A fun experience indeed! There were reportedly over 7,000 people at the zoo. As a participant in this experience I saw this as an opportunity for so many people to get together and enjoy fellowship while experiencing perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime event.”

Fr. Greg added that before the eclipse the temperature was 94 degrees with a heat index of 110, but that dropped down to 74 degrees during the full eclipse.

Keeping Texas in our prayers

Several people have asked how the SCJ community in Houston is doing in the midst of Tropical Storm Harvey. Fr. Tim Gray, associate pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe, writes that the church grounds have received “hard rain and wind, but not severe wind… we are located on high ground; I can walk to the church in street shoes. But the city is shut down; there are 150 confirmed places where the roads are impassible. We will probably be like this for the next two days, as the storm is barely moving.”

Please continue to keep the people affected by the storm in your prayers.


The formation community gathers after Mass. Hung, our newest candidate, is in the black tee between Frs. Louis and David.


During Mass on Friday the Dehon Formation Community welcomed the province’s newest candidate: Hung Pham. He begins the semester with studies in philosophy and theology at Catholic Theological Union. Hung is 30 and has a degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Houston. Prior to candidacy he worked as an analyst. Click here to view photos from the Mass.

Classes begin!

Classes for the fall semester, as well as Session II of the ESL Summer Program, start today at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. On Tuesday, during 5:15 Vespers, Fr. Tom Knoebel, the new president-rector, will make his profession of faith. He will be installed by Fr. Ed Kilianski during the seminary’s Opening Mass on Wednesday at 4:30 pm.

Please remember

+Roger Courts died August 23. He was the retired director of the Sacred Heart League (now Sacred Heart Southern Missions) and father of Tim Courts, SHSM director of finance. Mr. Courts worked at Sacred Heart for 42 years, during which time he was instrumental in the production of the “The Spitfire Grill,” a feature film that won the 1996 Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival; profits from the sale of the film funded the construction of Sacred Heart School in Southaven. He was also co-owner of Travel N’ Tours, a tour agency that specializes in custom tour packages for spiritual pilgrimages. Mr. Courts was 81 and died of an acute interstitial lung disease. Funeral services were on Saturday in Memphis.

+Fr. Jérome Albert Ramanantsoa, a member of the Madagascar Region, died August 26. He was born in 1970, professed in 1997 and ordained in 2006.

+ Casimir LeBeau, one of the last two surviving students from the first year of St. Joseph’s Indian School in 1927, died last week. Arrangements are pending.

Latest on the blog

‘On Monday night after supper the five meditation groups met to discuss various aspects of religious life: community, prayer, work, human relationships, etc,” wrote Fr. Tom Cassidy in one of his latest posts from India on the province blog. “One or two of the groups went to almost 11:00 pm in their discussions.

“The setting for the community meeting was the remodeled TV room which now serves as a conference hall and where we also watch our movies. A roll down screen with a ceiling mounted projector and air-conditioning were added. Christu Dehon Nivas is often chosen as a place for district conferences and ongoing formation programs. These are sometimes held in May or early June during vacation time — the hottest time of year in Andra Pradesh. A couple of years ago Fr.  Stefan Tertünte from the Dehon Study Center in Rome was the presenter. He just about wilted away in the heat and that was the genesis of looking towards providing a place where meetings could be held without worrying about temperatures approaching 120 degrees. I’m sure that Fr. Charles Brown of the US Province will appreciate an air-conditioned conference room for his presentations when he comes next May to give a course on St. Paul to our brothers.”

Click here to read the full post.

Happy birthday!

Those celebrating birthdays in September include: Fr. Aegi Warsito (52) on Sept. 1, Fr. Gustave Lulendo (44) on Sept. 4, Frater Juancho Castañeda Rojas (35) on Sept. 10, Fr. Steve Wiese (83) on Sept. 11, Fr. Tom Burns (79) on Sept. 12, Fr. Johnny Klingler (82) and Fr. John Czyzynski (80) on Sept. 14, Fr. Greg Speck (70) and Fr. Andrzej Sudol (47) on Sept. 17, Br. John Monek (88) on Sept. 18, and Fr. Joseph Dinh (48) on Sept. 24. Happy birthday!

St. Joseph’s seeing “pawsitive” results with new HAPI Homes Program

A St. Joe’s student with one of the HAPI dogs

After venturing downstairs a student at St. Joseph’s Indian School explained to his houseparent that he couldn’t sleep. Every time he closed his eyes, he could see scary red eyes on the side of his closet.

After taking the student back up to his room, the houseparent returned shortly after with Sarge, the resident dog and “sniffer-of-all-things-scary,” to look around. When Sarge was only able to find a half-eaten hotdog in the garbage, the young boy was able to relax and slept soundly for the rest of the night.

Sarge is part of St. Joseph’s Indian School’s newly launched HAPI (Houseparents And Pets In). It is a program that allows dogs to live on campus in select homes.

Dogs can be especially helpful for kids, helping them be more active, secure and responsible. After piloting the program for the past few years and experiencing immense success, St. Joseph’s decided to expand it this year.

St. Joseph’s staff worked with outside agencies to identify a stringent set of guidelines for houseparents and pets, including general parameters, health requirements and rules of conduct. Additionally, students in the HAPI homes must have the permission of their parent or guardian.

Provincial’s time

Fr. Ed Kilianski has meetings with the Provincial Council on Tuesday and Wednesday. Both days he will also be at SHSST, taking part in Vespers Tuesday evening (where Fr. Tom Knoebel will do his Profession of Faith) and the Opening Mass on Wednesday, where Fr. Ed will install Fr. Tom as the SHSST president-rector. Fr. Ed is scheduled to go to Houston September 5-12, but those plans are now tentative depending on the city’s situation (and travel options) following Tropical Storm Harvey. Fr. Duy Nguyen, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, is unable to attend this week’s council meeting because travel from Houston is limited.

Fr. Ed will be in South Dakota September 15-18.

Happy Labor Day!

The Provincial Offices will be closed on Monday, September 4, for Labor Day. There will be no Fridge Notes published next week. The next Fridge Notes will be posted on Monday, September 11. Don’t forget to check the province Facebook page in-between issues for the latest news.