Weekly News: December 10, 2012

Four SCJs were ordained in the Philippine District on November 30

Four ordained in the Philippines

Four SCJs, three from Vietnam and one from the Philippine District, were ordained November 30 at San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish in Quezon City in the Philippines. The parish is just a short walk from the Dehon Formation House.

The ordaining bishop was Antonio Tobias, DD, the bishop of Novaliches. He is a long-time friend of the SCJ community from the Pagadian Diocese.

Click here to view a photo album from the ordination on the province Facebook page.

Parish territory the size of Belgium

On December 2, Bishop Teemu Sippo blessed a new chapel in Vaasa, a small town on Finland’s Baltic seashore. It is the second chapel, or mission station, attached to Holy Cross parish in Tampere.

Finland might not be what first comes to mind when one hears about “mission stations.” But in a country where a single parish, such as Holy Cross, covers a territory the size of Belgium, such missions are vital.

Bishop Teemu Sippo, an SCJ and the first native Finn to serve as the bishop of Helsinki since the Reformation, blesses the new Sacred Heart Chapel

“There are only seven Catholic parishes in this country,” said Fr. Zenon Strykowski regional superior of Finland. “In terms of territory, Holy Cross is a midsize parish. Also in terms of numbers.” “Midsize” officially means 1,200 parishioners, but Fr. Zenon said that there are also many Catholics who are not registered.

Ministry in Finland is done amidst a multitude of cultures and languages. However, it is also done in a spirit of ecumenism. Most native-born Finns are Lutheran. Several Catholic faith communities meet in Lutheran churches.

The Diocese of Helsinki encompasses the entire country of Finland but as Fr. Zenon noted, there are only seven parishes. The Priests of the Sacred Heart have responsibility for four of those seven. Almost half of the priests in the country are SCJs. Bishop Sippo is also an SCJ and the first Finn to serve as bishop of Helsinki since the Reformation.

The Priests of the Sacred Heart are a vital part of the Catholic faith in Finland.

“It is really very exciting and challenging to serve here,” said Fr. Zenon.  “After a long period of more than three centuries of non-existence in this country, our Church is growing. There is always new inspiration for us to serve here with joy.”

Click here to read the full article about Finland on the province website.

Also on the web…

Besides the article on Finland a story was also recdntly posted on the province website about the ESL (English as a Second Language) program at Sacred Heart School of Theology.

Approximately 25 percent of the congregation has studied in the program including members of the General Curia and SCJ bishops (among them, the congregation’s most recently ordained bishop: Claudio Dalla Zuanna, SCJ).

ESL students on a field trip to Wisconsin's capital

“The ESL program is the perfect place to learn about the congregation and about living in another culture,” said Frater Jonathan Schneiders. He, and fellow Brazilian Frater Sergio Matumoto, were a part of the ESL community in preparation for their current studies and ministry in the Philippines.

“It was the best preparation I could have had for being a part of an international congregation,” he continued. “It was like a ‘little picture’ of the congregation. In the morning I would have breakfast with someone from Indonesia and at lunch I would sit at a table with SCJs from Poland.”

The ESL program began informally in 1986 when a teacher from a Milwaukee university was asked to help prepare an Indonesian SCJ for graduate studies in Chicago. “I worked with him through the summer,” said Allegra Troiano, who now works for the U.S. Peace Corps. “However, I didn’t think of it as the start of a long-term program.”

But soon she received another call and this time it was to help two Polish SCJs learn English in preparation for ministry in South Africa. One of those students went on to become the bishop of De Aar: Bishop Adam Musialek. Twenty-five years ago the then newly-ordained priest said something that has been echoed many times since then:

“We are far from home, but still at home. We are among our community. We have the same spirituality, same history of the congregation.”

Click here to read the full story.

SHST hosts Holocaust Study Institute

Sacred Heart School of Theology, home to the Lux Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies, will host a 14-week course examining the historical and theological underpinnings of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. Starting January 15, the program is a collaborative effort between the Lux Center, the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (the latter gave a grant to fund the educational program).

The class will meet Tuesday evenings from 6:30 – 8:30. Dr. Richard Lux, professor emeritus of SHST and director of the Lux Center, is the coordinator of the program. He is also one of an eight-member faculty for the institute.

A keynote session, open to the public, will be held February 10 at 2 p.m. at SHST. The topic will be “Catholics, Nazis, Jews: The Complexity of History.” Fr. Kevin Spicer, CSC, Ph.D, will be the main presenter.

Graduate credits are available for both the course and for a planned 14-day trip to the World Holocaust Center in Israel. The trip is tentatively scheduled for July 29 – August 11.

Cost of the course is $145; a limited number of scholarships are available. For more information about the institute, the study trip to Israel, or for scholarship information, contact Bonnie Shafrin at bonnies@milwaukeejewish.org, 414-963-2719.

“Go to the people!”

Fr. Leo Dehon told his fellow religious to “Go to the people!” meaning that priests and religious needed to get out of the sacristy and be where people are to better impact their lives. Fr. Stefan Tertünte of the German Province, quotes the line when talking about the SCJs’ pastoral care center located in a shopping mall in Oberhausen, Germany.

Fr. Stefan is featured in a five minute YouTube video produced by the German Province, explaining the ministry of the center. The video is done with an English voice over.

Click here to view it.

Holiday hours

Please keep in mind that the Provincialate Offices will be closed for several days at the end of December and the beginning of the New Year. Often, members of the staff also take a few extra days for vacation at this time. If you need to contact the office before the end of the year, please do so as soon as possible.

The Provincial Offices will be closed December 24-26, and then again December 31 and January 1.

Fridge Notes will be published as usual next week Monday (December 17). The last issue of the year will be on FRIDAY, December 28. There will be no issue the week of December 31. The regular Monday schedule will resume on January 7, 2013.

Provincial’s time

Fr. Tom Cassidy is in Houston this week for a visitation and to take part in the celebration of the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. He has council meetings next week, December 18-19.

Anniversary celebrations come to an end

As noted above, Fr. Tom Cassidy will be in Houston for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. During their patronal feast the OLG community will bring to a close their 100th anniversary year celebrations. However, even without the special events tied to the anniversary, the feast of OLG is an incredible event at the parish. It begins with a 5 p.m. Mass on the eve of the feast day followed by several more until Midnight Mass in the courtyard.

A few hours later, Las Mañanitas begin at 5 a.m. Las Mañanitas have their roots in Mexico and are sung early in the morning on special occasions, such as birthdays and anniversaries, as well as the morning of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Check the province Facebook page for photos from the OLG celebrations later this week.

Do you “like” us?

Speaking of Facebook, have you visited the province Facebook page lately? In recent weeks the province page has more than doubled its subscribers. Encourage family, co-workers, parishioners and others who have interest in the Priests of the Sacred Heart to “like” the page. Because of its immediacy, it is often the first place that news about the province is posted. Prayers for special days, such as the Immaculate Conception, Thanksgiving, election day and other events can also be found on the site.

You do not need to be a member of Facebook to view the site. However, you do need to be a member to make comments on the page.

Again, you can find the page at: www.facebook.com/PriestsoftheSacredHeart

Upcoming events

December 18-19, Provincial Council Meeting
December 24-26, Provincialate Offices closed for Christmas
December 31 – January 1, Provincialate Offices closed for New Year’s

January 29-30: Provincial Council Meeting
March 13: Local Superiors Meeting
March 14: Provincial Council Meeting
April 8-9: Mission Education Conference, St. Joseph’s Indian School
April 30 – May 1: Provincial Council Meeting (budgets)
Week of June 3: Province Election Assembly.
September: Fr. General’s visitation to North America followed by a continental conference, dates to be determined

July 7-11, 2014: Provincial Chapter