Weekly News: December 2, 2019

Advent begins

Fr. Peter

“As we know, the season of Advent-Christmas-Epiphany beckons,” writes Fr. Peter McKenna, SCJ (Canadian Region), in his reflection for the start of Advent. It is one of several reflections from Dehonians which will be posted on the general website in the weeks ahead. Fr. Peter continues:

“The season calls us to enter into one of the tenderest moments of God’s encounter with humanity: God’s desire for our well-being manifested in Jesus, God-with-us. Each year we return to this mystery of love. We touch it with our own desire for inner peace and with waiting in patience. We find it awakened in listening to the prophet Isaiah. More than anyone, he is the prophet of longing, the prophet who constantly saw signs of God’s promise.

“We see this love in the Visitation of Mary who threw open the doors of her heart and ran with haste to accompany Elizabeth. We find this same love prophetically revealed in the loving witness of confreres such as Angelo Cavagna, Marcelo Palentini, Frans van der Hoff, Bob Bossie, Johnny Klingler, Claude Bédard and so many others throughout the Congregation.

“Standing on their shoulders, today we are called to accompany those most hurting and join with others to work with the structures that dehumanize. We are challenged, wherever we may be, to continue to ‘welcome, protect, promote and integrate’ (Pope Francis) migrants from the devastated places of our Earth.

“This Advent may we ‘involve ourselves without reserve for the coming of a new humanity in Jesus Christ’ (CST. 38). Together, may we listen to the prophetic voices of migrants calling us to be God’s innkeepers: ‘Welcoming Christ in our dear neighbour’”.

Click here to access the general website to view future reflections.


Fr. Louis Mariano Fernandes has a new address:St. Gertrude Catholic Church
1420 W Granville
Chicago, IL 60660

Please remember

+Fr. Louis Siebelink, a member of the Dutch – Flemish Confederation, died November 30. He was born in 1925, professed in 1946 and ordained in 1953.

+Fr. Dino Gottardi, a member of the Portuguese Province, died November 28. He was born in 1929, professed in 1946 and ordained in 1955.

“To be a Dehonian is so amazing!”

Fr. Yuliwan

Tomorrow, December 3, is the anniversary of the day in 1923 upon which the mission in Sumatra was entrusted by the Church to the Dutch Province of the Priests of the Sacred Heart. The Dehonian commitment to Indonesia is now 96 years and growing. In commemoration of that, last week’s Dehonian Spirituality featured a reflection by Fr. Yohanes Yuliwan Maslim, SCJ. Fr. Yuliwan (an ESL alumnus) is originally from Indonesia but is now a member of the Canadian Region and serves on its council. He writes:

“I am a Dehonian since 1985, when I professed my first vows. Since then, I have experienced the beauty of being a Dehonian. During my formation years, I learned the foundation of my life as a Dehonian: spiritual life, human life, study, community life, and pastoral life. Of course, all these dimensions really help me to be a good Dehonian, even with so many challenges. I am never alone because I always live in community with my Dehonian brothers; we are one even though we are different.  I am always welcomed by my confreres wherever I go and live; this is real hospitality that I always experience, even before I became a Dehonian.

“After finishing my study, I was sent to a parish, where I tried to share my life with the people of God. I always remember Fr. Dehon’s saying, ‘Leave the sacristy and go to the people.’  So, I went to see the people of God in order to serve them and together we experienced the love of God… I always went to places by motorcycle and I brought with me all the needs for my trip because something might happen on the way and I had to be ready. I celebrated the Eucharist for the parishioners; some of them just have Mass once a month or at most, twice a month…  I bring all my experiences into my prayer and pray for those whom I have met that day.  By praying, I have a power to continue my ministry as a servant of God…

“I learn all the time that it is very important to open my heart to the Heart of Christ so I can continue my life and my ministry as a Dehonian with the spirit of an open heart to God and to others. To be a Dehonian is so amazing!”

Click here to read the full reflection as well as the rest of last Friday’s issue of Dehonian Spirituality.

Meeting in Toronto

The administrations of the US and Canadian entities gather in Toronto later this week for a combined meeting on Friday. Approximately twice a year the North American administrations get together to dialogue on shared concerns, seek ways of collaboration, and simply connect so that each is mindful of the people, ministries and issues of their neighbors across the border.

Please keep the work of the meeting in your prayers. Photos and other follow-up will be shared on the province Facebook page and website.

3rd Annual Preaching Conference

Dn. Steve

Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology will host its third annual Preaching Conference beginning the evening of January 6 and running all day on Tuesday, January 7. Note that this overlaps with the January 7-9 Provincial Conference. However, conference participants are welcome to attend Monday’s presentation, and those who are not attending the Provincial Conference are invited to consider registering for the Preaching Conference.

The theme of the Preaching Conference is “Hearing the Hebrew Scriptures with a Heart for Homiletics.”

Click here for more information and to register. If you have questions, or would like to just attend the Monday evening presentation, please contact Dn. Steve Kramer by email (skramer@shsst.edu) or phone (414-858-4767).

Possible mission in Kenya

A committee has been appointed by the general administration to study the feasibility of beginning a Dehonian presence in Kenya. Members of the committee include Fr. Ntsikelelo Bambatha, SCJ, of the South African Province (chairperson), Fr. Augustin Avochi, SCJ, (DR Congo) and Fr. Carlitos Miguel Joaquim, SCJ (Mozambique).

Giving Tuesday

Following Black Friday, Shop Local Saturday and Cyber Monday, tomorrow, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, people are invited to open up more than just their wallets, but their hearts as well for Giving Tuesday. Begun in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, it is a movement that encourages people to give of themselves – time and/or money – to others.

Several entities within the US Province are encouraging special donations for Giving Tuesday, including:

Sacred Heart Southern Missions (Your gift will help provide food, warm clothing, help with utility bills, housing, education and more for poor families in northern Mississippi)

Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology (assist with the education of seminarians)

St. Joseph’s Indian School (the school has a goal of raising $50,000 by midnight on Tuesday)

Province Development Office (the office, which funds not only province ministries but many missions around the world, is involved in a matching program)

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