Weekly News: December 2, 2013

Prayer book wreath red

Advent begins

Lord Jesus Christ, you once said to your disciples: “Keep watch, for you do not know the day or the hour.” Your words of love amaze us all for you call us to welcome the light in ways not of our choosing and at times when we least expect it. 

Lord Jesus, as we wait for the Day of God to dawn, we offer our hearts to you. We promise to be available in faith and to work for the rebirth of people. When you come as Lord, may we be ready to welcome you.

Prayer and art from This Day of God, Community Prayer Book, Priests of the Sacred Heart

Welcome back!

Fr. Yulius Sunardi is back at Sacred Heart Monastery after completing a year-long clinical internship at the St. John Vianney Center in Pennsylvania.

Fr. Nardi
Fr. Nardi

“It was excellent!” he said “I enjoyed working with a full team representing psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers and pastoral concerns… it was a holistic way of working toward the wellness of a client.”

The internship was a part of Fr. Nardi’s studies toward a doctorate in clinical psychology from Marquette University in Milwaukee. During the next year he will be back with the monastery community, working on his doctoral thesis: “Predictive Factors for Commitment to the Priestly Vocation: A Study of Priests and Seminarians.”

A member of the Indonesian Province, Fr. Nardi has worked in formation, and in the evaluation and treatment of priests and religious who struggle with personal and clinical concerns. In 2004, he earned a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Marquette.

During the internship at St. John Vianney Fr. Nardi said that he particularly appreciated working with clients through group therapy. “The feedback and interaction of group members with each other is such an effective way for people to gain insight on themselves,” he said. “Members of the group can help a person see his blind spots and call him on things that he might not otherwise be forthright about.”

He anticipates completing his doctoral work in the next year and then returning to Indonesia.


Br. Frank Presto, provincial secretary, reminds SCJs that if they have completed training hours since July 2011 in regards to “appropriate behaviors” (necessary safe behavior training for Praesidum accreditation) to forward documentation of the training to him by December 16.

It is important that the provincial secretary’s office receives the documentation as the province prepares for its accreditation renewal.

ALSO, emergency contact sheets are due in Br. Frank’s office by January  21, 2014.

“To those who have already responded to both requests, thank you!” he adds

You can email Br. Frank at provsec@usprovince.org or call him at 414-427-4263. 

SHST Rite of Sending

On December 4, the Sacred Heart School of Theology community will gather in the main lobby at 1:30 p.m. for the Rite of Sending. Seminarians George Noel, from the Diocese of Crookston and Arthur Torres Barona, from the Diocese of Knoxville, complete their Master of Divinity degrees from Sacred Heart this month. Anyone is welcome to join them at the gathering.

Please remember

Fr. Irmundo Rafael Stein, a member of the South Brazilian Province, died November 27. He was born in 1949, professed in 1973 and ordained in 1978.

We also remember…

Today, December 2, marks the 11th anniversary of the death of Fr. Tom Garvey. The former provincial superior of the US Province was a member of the Indian District when he died. Fr. Martin van Ooij, who worked with Fr. Tom during the initial years of the SCJ presence in the country, shares a reflection about Fr. Tom on the anniversary of his passing:

Fr. Tom Garvey
Fr. Tom Garvey

“The news of Fr. Tom’s sudden death came to me via Fr. Tejo when I was In Gorontla with family. I was deeply shocked and enormously saddened because Fr. Tom was our most experienced SCJ in the field of education and seminary life. I felt a great lost for our young Indian SCJ district. But more over, Fr. Tom was such a great religious and source of information…

“I have beautiful memories of Fr. Tom: his simplicity in all things: clothes, shoes and his uncomplicated way of being with each of the brothers; his wisdom in opinion; his balanced personality; his typical smile; his happiness and joyful talks; his eagerness to share his experiences; his great patience with each of our brother religious; his example in discipline; his openness and readiness for assistance. He was well respected by bishops and the clergy of different dioceses; he was a confessor for many priests; and he had great trust in the future of India.

“When I think of Fr. Tom I remember a touching story. When a religious sister asked him what kind of gift or reward he received when he ended his job as provincial superior he said ‘My greatest reward was my appointment for the mission in India.’

“This was very touching to me.

“May Fr. Tom continue to be an inspiration for us.”

Today is also the anniversary of the death of Fr. Tony Kelly, who died in 2007. Click here to read about his life.

Thank you

Fr. Gary Lantz writes with thanks toward his fellow SCJs and others who expressed their support following the recent death of his sister, Carole Davis.


Four SCJs were ordained to the priesthood last week in the Philippines.
Four SCJs were ordained to the priesthood last week in the Philippines.

4 ordained in the Philippines

On November 26, 2013 –– SCJ Memorial Day –– the Philippine Region celebrated the priesthood ordination of four Filipinos: Elpidio Luza, Niño Etulle, Joseph Butlig and Marlo Piloton.

Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ, of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro, presided at the celebration. In his homily he expressed his gratitude to the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart. He recalled the first time he met SCJ missionaries in the Prelature of Ipil and mentioned the remote parishes and missions where the SCJs work, as well as the projects they operate. And, he thanked them for their help to victims of such calamites as the recent typhoon, as well as the earlier one (Sendong) in Cagayan de Oro.

Click here to read more about the ordination on the general website. 

The “Year of Consecrated Life”

During his meeting with the Union of Superiors General last week Pope Francis announced that 2015 would be named as a year dedicated to consecrated life.

“Thank you for what you do and for your spirit of faith and your service,” said the pope to the 120 major superiors gathered. “Thank you for your witness and also for the humiliations through which you have had to pass.”

Read more about Pope Francis’ meeting with the superiors at the following links:

Vatican News

Video report on YouTube

New exhibit

Fr. Wayne Jenkins, province archivist, shares the following about recently found documents from Fr. Dehon:

“The Catholic Archivist Group held its annual conference at St. Albert in Alberta from September 23-26.  During the visit to the Edmonton Archdiocesan archives I asked the archivist whether there were any letters between Bishop Legal and Fr. Dehon.  She said that she would look into the matter after the conference.  Thirteen letters arrived at the Provincialate prior to the meeting of the major superiors in Rome. I sent them to Rome with Deacon David Nagel.  Fr. Rafael Gonçalves da Costa from the Dehon Study Centre informed me that the center did not have these letters.  The first three letters give insight into the initial presence of the SCJs in North America.

“While Fr. Dehon studied in Rome, he met Louis Nazaire Begin, who became the Cardinal Archbishop of Quebec, and Emil Legal, who became the Bishop of St. Albert in 1902.  Fr. Dehon, in his letter of Janury 28, 1904, mentions to Bishop Legal the work of the congregation in Belgium, Holland, Congo and Brazil.  He also states that the Cardinal Archbishop of Quebec informed him of the need for French-speaking priests for the Diocese of St. Albert.  Moreover, the founder is willing to send priests.  The reply to Fr. Dehon’s offer is in his letter of February 6, 1910, when the founder expresses his gratitude to Bishop Legal for opening the doors to his diocese.  On May 9, 1910, Fr. Dehon informs Bishop Legal that two or three priests with a young man to assist them are ready to depart from Alberta.”

Exhibits about these letters, as well as recently discovered correspondence between Fr. Dehon and Fr. Andre Prevot (novice master of the congregation for 30 years), are on display outside of the province archives during Advent. Regarding the Prevot documents, Fr. Wayne discovered them during his work in the general archives earlier this year.

Provincial’s time

Fr. Stephen Huffstetter shares the following:

“At the CMSM meeting provincials were asked to put in a good word at this time of year in support of the special collection to benefit the retirement needs of religious orders. Our community is fortunate to have a trust fund that is meeting our needs. Many other religious face tremendous financial difficulties now and this collection is literally a lifesaver. It’s also a good chance to ask the people we serve in SCJ ministries to keep the needs of our own seniors in their prayers, and thank them for the dedicated service they have given, and continue to give, to the people of God.”

Click here to learn more about the Retired Religious Collection.

Fr. Steve will be in the Milwaukee area until December 6, when he goes to Washington, D.C., for the CMSM new leaders workshop. He will also take time for a retreat while there; returning December 12.

December 18-19 he has meetings with the Provincial Council.

Happy birthday

And finally, those celebrating a birthday in December include: Fr. Chuck Wonch (67) on Dec. 5, Fr. John Strittmatter (78) on Dec. 6, Fr. Gary Lantz (78) on Dec. 8, Br. Mike Fette (62) on Dec. 12, and Br. Clay Diaz (49) on Dec. 19. Happy birthday!