Weekly News: December 1, 2014

SCJs with RTA staff in Kisangani. RTA is the archdiocese's broadcast service.
SCJs with RTA staff in Kisangani. RTA is the archdiocese’s broadcast service.

US grant keeps diocesan broadcast media in operation

“RTA is the Radio and Television network for the Archdiocese of Kisangani,” wrote Fr. Stephen Huffstetter in a recent blog post from the Congolese Province. “They invited us to tour the facilities and see how they use the media for both evangelization and development of the people. One of the technicians showed us the rough edit of last Sunday’s commemorative Mass for the martyrs.

“The main purpose of the visit was a ‘press conference.’ A while back the SCJs gave a mission grant that helped keep them going through a critical time. I felt awkward when I found myself the center of attention and appreciation, being thanked for something set in motion before I was provincial and the details of which I knew so little about.

“I mentioned that it is really our donors who deserve the thanks. We are only stewards of what they give us. They tell us to spread God’s love and use their donation where the need is great and it will do the most good. I thanked the staff for their dedication and hard work and told them I have seen good results and can assure our donors they have brought about great good.”

Click here to read the rest of this and other posts by Fr. Steve. As noted previously, he, Fr. Charles Brown and Fr. Leonard Elder, as well as Fr. Claude Bédard from Canada, are representing North America at the commemorations for the SCJ martyrs who died in 1964.

SHSM staffer recognized posthumously

Sr. Betteann
Sr. Betteann

December 1 is observed as International World AIDS Day, a day of global observance to the devastating impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

This year marks the 21st anniversary of the establishment of Sacred Heart Southern Mission’s ministry to individuals and families affected by HIV/AIDS. The program is funded, in a large part, through the Ryan White Grant administered through the Shelby County Health Department (Mississippi).

Each year the Shelby County Health Department presents the “Light of Hope Award” to individuals, businesses and organizations that increase awareness and understanding of HIV/AIDS in the Memphis metropolitan area. Today (Dec. 1) the Shelby County Health Department posthumously presents its award to Sr. Betteann McDermott in recognition of her efforts to bring awareness to and fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS in Shelby County and northern Mississippi.

Sr. Betteann died of a heart attack May 5; she had been coordinator of SHSM’s HIV/AIDS ministry since 2005.

Ed Savage, Karen Jeltz and Laura Grisham of SHSM will attend today’s ceremony; Ed will accept the award for Sr. Betteann.

“We join with the Shelby County Health Department in remembering and honoring the ministry of compassion Sr. Betteann had with individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS,” said Fr. Jack Kurps, SHSM executive director.


Several SCJs in Rome took part in the opening Mass for the Year of Consecrated Life.
Several SCJs in Rome took part in the opening Mass for the Year of Consecrated Life.

Year of Consecrated Life

Several SCJs were present at yesterday’s Opening Mass at the Vatican for the Year for Consecrated Life. Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, was the main celebrant.

“I am counting on you ‘to wake up the world’, since the distinctive sign of consecrated life is prophecy,” wrote Pope Francis in the letter issued for the Year of Consecrated Life.  “This is the priority that is needed right now.”

The observance of the year will end on the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, February 2, 2016.

Serving our senior SCJs

Br. Ben Humpfer
Br. Ben Humpfer

“It has been my privilege to serve our senior brothers for three years at Villa Maria, in Franklin, Wis., and going into my sixth year at the Sacred Heart Residence, in Pinellas Park, Fla,” writes Br. Ben Humpfer in the most recent Dehonian Spirituality update. “These senior brothers were, when I was younger, very active and vital members of our community, and now they are serving the Church and the community in a different way than they did when they were younger and more active. This is a very privileged and humbling ministry for me.

“Fr. Dehon grew closer to God by his fidelity and prayer life. When I think about these senior brothers, I see them doing what Fr. Dehon practiced. When they were younger they were often involved in an active ministry and spent time at prayer, both communal and private. Now, when they are no longer assigned a regular ministry, they continue to be faithful to community life and prayer. Time is spent, not only in communal prayer but also in daily private prayer.”

Click here to read Br. Ben’s full reflection as well as other text and prayers based in the Dehonian charism.

Click here to receive the weekly update by email.


As of Dec. 2 Fr. Leonard Tadyszak will be in room 1181 of the Congregational Home. He is moving so that he can receive increased nursing care. 

Happy Birthday!

Those celebrating birthdays in December include Fr. Chuck Wonch (68) on Dec. 5, Fr. John Strittmatter (79) on Dec. 6, Fr. Gary Lantz (79) on Dec. 8, Br. Mike Fette (64) on Dec. 12, Fr. Yulius Sunardi (45) and Br. Clay Diaz (50) on Dec. 19.



Advent begins

God of kindness,
you so loved the world that you sent Jesus, your Son,
to become one of us.
In response to your love,
we offer you our lives:
our energies, our needs, our intentions.
Receive our offering;
enable us to unite it with your Word made flesh.

During these days full of race,
inspire us with an active hope:
a hope that finds flesh in our daily lives,
a hope that heals and unites,
a hope that welcomes your Word in everyone we meet.

So, when creation reaches its destiny,
at the coming of Jesus,
may we go out to join our hearts with his
into one great prayer of thanksgiving and praise
to you, our loving God.


-This Day of God, Community Prayer Book of the Priests of the Sacred Heart