Weekly News: August 7, 2023

Back where it all began

The last of the three Centennial celebrations was held on July 30 in the place where it all began: Lower Brule, SD. It was there in 1923 that Fr. Mathias Fohrman, an SCJ priest from the German Province, first celebrated Mass at St. Mary’s parish. The parish had just been entrusted to the Priests of the Sacred Heart by the bishop of what was then the diocese of Lead, SD.

Dehonians continue to minister at St. Mary’s but the church is too small to hold all of the people who came to celebrate the Centennial. Instead, the nearby Lower Brule Community Center was quickly turned into a church, banquet hall and stage.

Among the guests at the Centennial were dozens of Dehonian priests and brothers from around the world. Countries represented included Poland, Canada, Cameroon, DR Congo, the Philippines, Belgium, Indonesia, and Germany. Fr. Stefan Tertünte, SCJ, provincial superior of the German Province – the “mother province” of the Priests of the Sacred Heart in the United States ­– was the homilist (he is pictured at the top of the page). Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, US provincial superior, was the main celebrant.

Fr. Christianus Hendrik, SCJ, a member of the Lower Brule Pastoral Team, was not only one of the primary organizers of the celebration, but also its emcee and cantor. He was joined by a choir made up of religious sisters who have ties to the area, including Sr. Charles Palm, OSB, at the organ. Sr. Charles, now retired, is known to just about everyone on the Lower Brule and Crow Creek reservations after her 38 years of ministry at St. Joseph’s parish in Fort Thompson.

The celebration began with a Lakota smudging ceremony and drumming, followed by the Centennial Mass and a Native American song of honor. Speakers shared the history of the area and the Dehonians who have served it. Native American dancers brought the celebration to a close.

Click here to read more.

Click here to read Fr. Stefan’s homily.

Click here to view photos.

Just horsing around

While hosting Dehonians from around the world for the Centennial celebrations in South Dakota, Fr. Greg Schill, SCJ, had the opportunity to show off St. Joseph’s Indian Schools Equine Therapy Program. The school’s nine horses and ponies often graze close to the SCJ community house so that Fr. Greg can tend to them when the program’s staff are off campus. The new Equine Therapy Center is just about finished; Fr. Greg gave SCJs a tour of the center, feeding the horses after he fed the visiting SCJs.

And then on to Kansas City!

Following the Centennial Celebrations in South Dakota, Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, and several members of the Provincial Council, drove to Kansas City to take part in the annual assembly of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men. The theme of the conference was “We are the Body of Christ: Charism & Community.”

Fr. Vien is pictured above during Wednesday’s panel discussion on Interculturality; he was joined in the plenary session by Fr. Allan Figueroa Deck, SJ and Fr. Celso A. Tabalanza, CICM.

World Youth Day!

At the end of Saturday’s Missioning Mass at World Youth Day, Pope Francis announced that the next WYD will be in Seoul, South Korea. Of course, among those who heard the pope’s words firsthand were hundreds of Dehonian youth and SCJs from around the world, including SCJs and young people from the US Province. The Dehonian groups spent several days together, hosted by the Portuguese Province, before going to Lisbon for the WYD activities.

Click here or on the image above to view Fr. General’s meeting with the Dehonian youth in Porto.

More information about Dehonians at WYD is available at the general website. Click here to access it and click here to go directly to the photo albums from the days.

Click here to view a few photos from our Dehonian travelers from the US Province.

Please remember in prayer…

– Fr. Pat Lloyd, SCJ, had his gall bladder removed last week; he is now recovering at home in Pinellas Park, FL.

– Fr. Tom Lind, SCJ, is recovering from minor injuries sustained in a fall last week; he is also a member of the Sacred Heart Community in Pinellas Park.

– Fr. Tom Cassidy, SCJ, requests prayers for several relatives and friends: 1) Lynda Albers (Fr. Tom’s niece) has been diagnosed with breast cancer which will require surgery in fall after several weeks of treatment; 2) Bob Bray (brother-in-law) was recently diagnosed with a rare disease called Amyloidosis, which is affecting his heart; and 3) Dorothy Lynn Rose (a friend who has visited SHML several times) was diagnosed with bladder cancer.

Merle Stern, an honorary member of the Canadian Region, died on July 19. For many years she was on the interview commission for new candidates to the region, and took part in annual gatherings in Ottawa for the Feast of the Sacred Heart.

SCJ bishop interviewed in LaCroix

Former Superior General, Bishop José Ornelas Carvalho, SCJ, was interviewed in the July 31 issue of LaCroix. In it, the president of the Portuguese Bishops Conference says that the Church in Portuguese society “remains very present” but that it must do a better job to “make room” for young people.

“We’re aware of the decline in the number of Catholics,” continued the bishop. “What we need now is a Church that is fewer in number but more aware, capable of organizing itself in a new way and taking on social commitments. In this, youth is a beacon of hope.

“For this edition of World Youth Day, which will impact a generation, we wanted the organization to be carried out by young Portuguese people. In every parish and diocese, networks and groups of young people have done a remarkable job in preparing for this event.

“Among Catholic youth, we’re going to try to maintain and develop this way of being linked to each other, so that there’s no longer a parish in which young people don’t have a role in the community. We have to make room for them.”

Click here to read more on the LaCroix website. Non-subscribers are allowed access to a limited number of free articles.

Jubilee reminder

The Province Jubilee Celebrations will take place on Saturday, August 12. This year’s jubilarians include Fr. Jim Schroeder (60 years), Fr. Guy Blair (50 years), Fr. Francis Vu Tran (25 years) and Fr. Mark Mastin (20 years). Fr. Juan Carlos Castañeda Rojas celebrates his 10th anniversary. He professed vows in the US Province, but is currently ministering in Ecuador.

The Jubilee Mass will begin at 4:00 p.m. at the main chapel at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology / Sacred Heart Monastery.

The celebration will be livestreamed; we will share a link via email and Facebook in the next few days. You will also be able to find it under the livestream events on the province YouTube channel.

Remembering the founder

August 12 is not only the date of the Jubilee Celebration, but also the 98th anniversary of the death of Fr. Leo John Dehon, founder of the Priests of the Sacred Heart.

In preparation for the anniversary of Fr. Dehon’s death, the province will host a Dehonian presentation by Dr. Paul Monson, SHSST Vice President of Intellectual Formation and Academic Dean, as well as an Associate Professor of Church History.

“The presentation is via Zoom on Wednesday, August 9, from 10:00-11:00 am (central time), focusing on the Dehonian commitment to stability and family deeply rooted in our spirituality of availability,” wrote Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ. “I encourage you and those with whom you collaborate to take part.”

This presentation is both for SCJs and staff. CLICK HERE for the Zoom link.

Click here to subscribe to the weekly news (Fridge Notes) via email