SCJ parish welcomes refugees
Last Thursday, December 10, 164 Syrian refugees arrived by airlift in Toronto. It was the first step toward the Canadian government’s goal of resettling 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2016.
Among the many who are stepping forward to greet the Syrians are the parishioners of Resurrection of Our Lord parish in Ottawa. Fr. Greg Murray is pastor.
The parish has already sponsored an Iraqi family of four and a family of three from Burma. Now parishioners are waiting to welcome the Al Fazaas family who are fleeing the civil war in their home country of Syria.
Four years ago Karen Mahoney, a Resurrection parishioner, brought the idea of refugee sponsorship to then pastor Fr. Paul Tennyson. He quickly embraced the idea and brought it to parish leadership. The parish then not only agreed to sponsor a family, but requested that they take one that would be particularly challenging to place.
Without knowing fully what they would be getting into, the parish community eagerly jumped in to help. As Fr. Paul explained, “You can never anticipate everything, so the only thing to do is to trust God and wade in.”
Volunteers have always stepped forward to help, and parishioners have given above and beyond their regular parish financial commitment in support of the families.
Karen believes that as people continue to hear the refugees’ stories and discover that most are “hard-working people just like us, who want a better future for our kids,” they will come to think more deeply about things like national policies and alternatives to war. Fr. Paul believes that the Post-Traumatic Stress that Syrian refugees may experience will make ministering to them more challenging, but perhaps help others become more sensitive to the reasons people are fleeing their homelands.
Click here to read more about Resurrection parish’s resettlement efforts on the US Province website.
Nancy Gray, US Province administrative assistant, mailed the latest edition of the North American Personnel Directory last week. If you need additional copies, please contact her. You can request the large (8.5 x 11) or the standard size.
Call Nancy at 414-425-6910 or click here to email her.
Contact information for SCJs in North America is also available on the US Province website in the Members’ section. If you need help in accessing the section, contact Mary Gorski at 414-427-4266 or click here to email her.
Fr. Ed Kilianski shares the following from Sr. Mary Dang Thi Chu, superior general of the Congregation of the Bacninh Dominican Sisters. The US Province has assisted the Vietnamese congregation with educational needs.
“I am writing this letter to say thank you to you and to your US Province of the Priests of the Sacred Heart,” starts Sr. Mary. “You and your province have helped my congregation through supporting our sister, Lien, as she lived and studied at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology since October, 2011. She leaves your school and comes back to our congregation this December. With my deep respect, deep gratitude and love, I, on behalf of all sisters of my congregation, thank you for all the help from your province, all fathers and brothers…
“Please keep us in your prayers… we keep you and the your US Province of the Priests of the Sacred Heart in our prayers.”
Theme for next international Dehonian theological seminar chosen
During last week’s meeting of the International Dehonian Theological Commission the theme for the next congregational theological seminar was chosen: “Charism and devotions – toward an intercultural Dehonian identity.” The seminar is tentatively scheduled for 2017. Following Theologia Cordis (2008), Missio Cordis (2010), and Anthropologia Cordis (2014), commission members note that the next seminar will continue to deepen the understanding of the relation between the founding experience of Fr. Dehon and on the lived Dehonian experience in very diverse cultural contexts.
Indonesia will host the theological seminar.
Commission members include Frs. Stefan Tertünte and Juan José Arnaiz Ecker of the Dehon Study Center, and the coordinators of the continental commissions: Frs. Fernando Rodríguez Garrapucho (Europe), Joao Carlos Almeida (Latin America), Joseph Kuate (Africa), Francis Purwanto (Asia). Fr. Artur Sanecki, the general councilor responsible for the sector of spirituality, chairs the commission.
Akta Lakota museum
The Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center at the SCJs’ St. Joseph’s Indian School was recently honored by the South Dakota Department of Tourism with the “South Dakota Great Service Star.” This is an award given to tourist spots within the state that give exceptional customer service. “We extend our congratulations to Dixie and her team at the museum for their efforts!” said Fr. Anthony Kluckman, school chaplain. “They truly do a fantastic job.”
Fr. Ed Kilianski starts the week in Chicago with meetings at the Dehon Formation Community. December 15-16 he has council meetings.
Closing shots from the weekend
Two of youngest members of St. Gregory the Great parish in Senatobia, MS., on the vigil of the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Fr. Thi Pham and Greg Schill along with Santa, getting ready for St. Gregory’s annual Christmas party.