Weekly News: December 4, 2023

Sint Unum and Fr. Dehon

“It is the capacity to embrace disparate realities,” said Fr. Emerson Ruiz, SCJ. The “it” he was referring to is “Sint Unum” (“May they be one”) which is one of the three primary mottos of the Priests of the Sacred Heart (the other two: “Ecce Venio” and “Aveniat Regnum Tuum”). In one of a series of lunchtime presentations at the Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, Fr. Emerson spoke November 28th on the topic of “Sint Unum in the Life and Writings of Fr. Dehon.”

“Ecce Venio [Behold, I come to do your will] and Sint Unum are a constant element of our vocation,” said Fr. Emerson. “They define us as a Dehonian community, they articulate and support each other. Sint Unum requires a personal openness… There is no unity without going outside of oneself; there is no Sint Unum without Ecce Venio.”

Fr. Emerson noted how the theme of Sint Unum is found in the current Synod on Synodality.

“When he spoke of Sint Unum, Fr. Dehon included the laity,” added Fr. Emerson. “He referred to the whole Dehonian family, not just SCJs… The paschal fruitfulness of Sint Unum impels us to push the boundaries of charity through care for our common home and ecumenical and interreligious dialogue.”

Closing his presentation on Sint Unum, Fr. Emerson invited those gathered to join him in a prayer of unity:

O God, Trinity of love,
from the profound communion of your divine life,
pour out upon us a torrent of fraternal love.
Come, Holy Spirit, show us your beauty,
reflected in all the peoples of the earth,
so that we may discover anew
that all are important and all are necessary,
different faces of the one humanity
that God so loves. Amen.

Fr. Emerson completes his studies in the English and Culture Studies program at SHSST this semester and will soon return to the Brazil – Saõ Paulo Province, where he has taught theology. Fr. Emerson has also studied and served on the staff of the Dehon Study Center in Rome.

NOTE: A text from Fr. Emerson’s presentation will be available later this week. We will link it to the US Province website, and send it via email to SCJs.

Please remember

+ Kay Chaney, the sister of Fr. John Czyzynski, SCJ, died last night, December 3. She was in home hospice; Fr. John had anointed her before she passed and said that she was peaceful and maintained her humor in her last hours. At Kay’s request, funeral services will be just for family. Fr. John thanks everyone for prayers and support during Kay’s illness.

+ Riet Marrevee, the sister of Fr. Bill Marrevee, SCJ, died on November 25 in the Netherlands. Fr. Bill is a member of the Ottawa Community.

+ R. Luigi Cicconlini, a member of the South Italian Province, died on December 2. He was born in 1946, professed in 1963 and ordained in 1973.

Advent: a time to pause and reflect

“It may seem counterintuitive because it is such a busy time of year, but this is precisely the time when we hear the invitation to pause, stop and reflect,” said Sr. Barbara Reid, OP, talking about Advent. “Decide on a particular time of day and particular place. Carve out even five minutes of silent listening, pausing, and reflecting to let in what God is trying to say to us in this very special time.”

Sr. Barbara, President of Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, and past president of the Catholic Biblical Association was this year’s speaker for the Advent Hour of Recollection for province employees and other collaborators. Held by Zoom, the presentation took place November 30 and included participants from throughout the province.

“We are entering into Year B, focused on the Gospel of Mark,” Sr. Barbara continued. “I invite you to sit down sometime in the next week and read the whole Gospel in one sitting. One of the things that typically happens to us is that we only hear snippets of the Gospel on Sunday. If we read the full Gospel, we will have a sense of how these pieces fit into the whole story.”

The Gospel of Mark, continued Sr. Barbara, describes a “very human Jesus, and very human and fallible disciples. In some ways, I like this Gospel the best because when we think of our own frailties and our inability to be as faithful as we would like to be I find great comfort in knowing that the disciples in Mark’s Gospel also had those struggles but kept on following Jesus…

“What I see in the Advent readings is a pointing to God who is already in our midst, Christ already in our midst. The Eucharist is the most powerful expression of celebrating Christ being in our midst. It reminds us and gives us the grace to see clearly how Christ is already here, has never left us… the Reign of God that he proclaimed is not fully complete in our midst. What we celebrate now is a foretaste of the conclusion for which we long and hope.”

Besides serving as President of Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Sr. Barbara is an accomplished educator, author and speaker.

CLICK HERE or on the image above to view a recording of the Zoom event.

Tomorrow, December 5, Sr. Barbara will present a second Hour of Recollection that is for SCJs. It begins at 10:00 a.m. (central). SCJs received the Zoom link in an email this morning; it is also available on the front page of the Members section of the province website.

Diaconate ordination

This Saturday, December 9, Frater Paul Phong Hoang, SCJ, will be ordained to the diaconate in the main chapel at Sacred Heart Monastery / Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. The ordaining bishop will be Bishop Donald J. Hying of the Diocese of Madison. A link to the livestream will be made available later this week via Faceboook and email. You can also access it from our YouTube livestream section:

Please keep Frater Paul in your prayers this week as he prepares for his ordination.

Still space left for the Preaching Conference

From Tuesday, January 2 (evening) through Wednesday, January 3, 2024 (all day) SHSST will host its Annual Preaching Conference.  Each year the seminary hosts priests and deacons from around the country to talk about ways in which to enhance preaching. Among those speaking at the next conference: Fr. Charles Brown, SCJ. He will give a presentation on icons.

There is NO COST for SCJs, or SHSST students and staff.  However, participants do need to register to take part. Click here to do so. Look for the special registration button for SCJs and members of the SHSST community.

Questions? Contact Dn. Steve Kramer: SKramer@shsst.edu

Keep in prayer

Fr. Yvon Sheehy, SCJ, was taken to the hospital on Friday after he had collapsed in a store. Doctors installed a temporary pacemaker while they determine the best approach to address a heart valve issue. Fr. Yvon also has a broken rib(s) as a result of the fall. Please keep him in prayer.

Closing shot

Fr. Henry Nguyen, SCJ, is in Houston, where he met with the Dehonian Young Adult ministry for an Advent talk. “Last night was the second night of the novena in preparation for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe,” he wrote. “The young adults led the rosary that happened before Mass.” The photo below is from the Mass. Included with the young adults are Fr. Henry, Fr. Rafael Querobin, SCJ (pastor) and Frater Hung Pham, SCJ.

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