“Justice is the foundation of social relationships, and its purpose is to ensure individual rights. These rights, whose violation is a crime of outrage against humanity, must be protected. The right to life; the right to a fair remuneration for work; the right not to be crushed by excessive work; the right to the joys of family life; the right of the woman and child not to be consumed by murderous work; and finally, the right to freedom of duty and conscience: these are rights which we ask for, not as a charitable grant, but whose respect and protection we imperatively demand.”
Leo John Dehon, SCJ, Christian Social Manual, Part One, Chapter 7
Next Monday, September 7, the Provincial Offices will be closed for Labor Day. There will be no Fridge Notes next week. However, please continue to check our province Facebook page for quick news items. You do not need to be a member of Facebook to view the page.
Ministering in a silent language
Many people think of picking up a new skill as they enter retirement: learn a musical instrument, start to paint, become a gardener or even learn a new language. It was the last – a new language – that Br. Leonard Zaworski, SCJ, settled on. But the language that he would learn was one that no one would hear: Braille. He recently shared his story in his own words.
“I’ve been volunteering with ABLE (Audio and Braille Literacy Enhancement) at the Main Branch of the Milwaukee Public Library since mid 2012, when I began my online Literary Braille course,” wrote Br. Lenny.
“Eight years ago I was trying to find a meaningful ministry. Entering into retirement was easy at first. After spending 12 years in India, I enjoyed being back in the United States. I knew that as I grew in age I would become more limited, so I wanted something that I would be able to continue in old age. A few years before I retired I spent a year in Baltimore when my mother’s health began to deteriorate and I took a year-ong course in Digital Media at Johns Hopkins University. One of the things that stuck with me from the course was the constant concern about how to include elements in whatever projects we worked on that would serve the needs of people who are sightless.
“ABLE started 55 years ago when Sr. Melmarie Stoll took a 6-year-old blind student into her classroom. At that time there were no materials available in Braille with which to teach. Sr. Melmarie brought together a small group of trained Braillists and Braille students and began transcribing textbooks for students in two Milwaukee area schools.
“Now with a staff of 10, and many volunteers, ABLE services the state of Wisconsin and beyond, Brailling menus for restaurants, requested books of all kinds, church bulletins and ceremonies, music, materials in Spanish, German and French… and math.
“When I discovered ABLE online and learned that it was possible to do Braille transcriptions on a computer, I called the Braille office and was invited to visit. Now here I am. It has been very challenging, but I found that I am good at it. I am very happy to have had the opportunity to work and learn alongside people who are blind, who witness to me their courage, patience, and strength of character. And I look forward to how I might continue to contribute to ABLE in more ways.”
Click here to read Br. Lenny’s full story on the province website.
Those celebrating birthdays in September include: Fr. Aegi Warsito on Sept. 1, Fr. Gustave Lulendo N’dotony on Sept. 4, Fr. Juan Carlos Castañeda Rojas on Sept. 10, Fr. Johnny Klingler and Fr. John Czyzynski on Sept. 14, Fr. Andrzej Sudol and Fr. Greg Speck on Sept. 17, Br. John Monek on Sept. 18, Jacob Smith (candidate) on Sept. 21, and Fr. Joseph-Thien Dinh on Sept. 24.
Thanks, and final issue
Last Friday, August 28, was the last mailing of the e-publication Dehonian Spirituality. Click here to read it. David Schimmel, province director of Dehonian Associates (and editor of Dehonian Spirituality), is preparing to retire in October.
“In appointing me as Director of Dehonian Associates, the province tasked me with promoting, especially among the laity, the spirituality of Fr. Leo John Dehon and the Priests of the Sacred Heart,” wrote David. “I knew that Fr. Dehon’s own words and the lived experience of those imbued with the SCJ charism would be compelling reading. In adding a fascinating exploration of Sacred Heart imagery from around the world, and reflections on the practical expression of a life of oblation, I intended the Dehonian Spirituality postings to be a weekly source of inspiration. I thoroughly enjoyed compiling these postings and grew in my own practice of Dehonian spirituality.”
“For the past six years, the weekly postings on Dehonian Spirituality have been a significant way for the province to share our SCJ heritage,” wrote Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ. “I thank David Schimmel for compiling these postings. Although with his retirement, this specific effort comes to an end, the province is committed to finding new ways to promote Dehonian spirituality.”
The weekly publication of Dehonian Spirituality may be coming to an end, but there are many Dehonian resources available on the US Province website under the “Dehonian Spirituality” section. Click here to access it directly.
Among the resources available on the page which you may find helpful:
Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation
Tomorrow, September 1, is the annual Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. September 1st was proclaimed as a day of prayer for creation by the Orthodox Church in 1989, and many other Christian churches have joined since then, such as the Anglican Church in 2012 and the Catholic Church in 2015.
Click here or on the image above to view a message from Pope Francis.
Click here to sign Pope Francis’ Laudato Si Pledge to pray with and for creation, to live more simply, and to advocate for the protection of our common home.
Br. Diego Diaz, SCJ, shares the news that “on August 25 in Catamarca, Argentina, my niece Aitana Diaz was born, daughter of my older brother Roberto (Rita). My niece and her mother are both very well.”
+Fr. Benno Hansel, a member of the German Province, died today, August 31. He was born in 1932, professed in 1956 and was ordained in 1962. Many SCJs from the US Province knew Fr. Benno from his years of ministry in South Africa.
+Fr. Kazimierz Sroczyński, a member of the Polish Province living in Switzerland, died on August 27. He was born in 1944, professed in 1961 and ordained in 1969.
Keep in prayer
Fr. Bob Tucker, SCJ, continues to work on his recovery from lung transplant surgery earlier this summer. He has had a few setbacks but it is still hoped that he can soon move out of the hospital and into a rehabilitation facility. Please continue to keep him in prayer.
Virtual Assembly, eh?
Best wishes to our Dehonian neighbors to the north; the Canadian Region is holding its annual assembly today via the internet. This morning, Canadian SCJs will have a presentation by Fr. Michel Temgo, SCJ (British-Irish Province), on challenges and perspectives of living fraternal, Dehonian life in community. In the afternoon, SCJs will share reports with each other on the various works and committees of the region including vocations, theology, migration, vocations, communications, the regional archives, and the financial picture of the region.
Speaking of Canada, happy birthday to our eldest SCJ in North America: Fr. Herman Falke. A member of the Ottawa community, Fr. Herman turns 92 today. Happy birthday Fr. Herman!