Weekly News: December 6, 2021

A week of Marian feasts

The feast of the Immaculate Conception is this Wednesday, December 8; four days later, December 12, is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

“God has given us Mary in the Immaculate Conception; he gives us Jesus in the gracious mystery of the Annunciation,” wrote Fr. Leo John Dehon in the Year with the Sacred Heart.  “With the angel, I greet Mary, filled with grace…

“However, if we want to obtain the grace of our Lord, we must imitate the dispositions of Mary, her humility and her docility.  See how she humbles herself.  The more the angel elevates her, the more she lowers herself…

“Let us profit from the great example of Mary to submit to grace, from the moment that it presents itself.  As soon as God speaks to our soul to inspire a good deed or keep us away from a bad deed, let us follow the attraction of this grace, humble ourselves, and recognize the greatness of God and our lowliness, his authority and our dependence.  Let us say with Mary, ‘Let it be done to me according to your Word.’  Let us obey promptly and execute immediately what grace asks of us.  This is how we can have our Lord reign in us.

“Therefore, I want always to be attentive to grace: calm, recollected, and prepared to respond, without delay, to divine appeals.”

We pray…

Gracious God,
you sent an angel to the Virgin Mary
to request her collaboration with your divine plan.
By her faithful response,
“Let it be with me according to your word,”
she conceived through the power of the Spirit
and brought forth a son, Jesus.

In a similar act of availability,
Jesus offered you his life of faithfulness,
even to death on a cross.
Pleased to accept his oblation,
you raised him up on the third day
and made him Lord, Christ, and Savior.

May your Spirit also overshadow us,
that we become your faithful servants,
fulfilling your will in all things
and offering ourselves with Christ
for our brothers and sisters.

By the gift of faith we share with Mary,
may we bring forth your beloved Son in our world.
Through us,
may people hear a word of compassion,
a word of reconciliation,
and a word of good news.


Adapted from the Advent Prayer of Oblation, This Day of God (Prayer Book of the Priests of the Sacred Heart); adaptation by David Schimmel, former director of Dehonian Associates.

Pictured above: students at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Houston put on a play to share the story of Virgin of Guadalupe as a part of the parish’s feast-day celebrations. The photo is from 2019.

And speaking of OLG, Houston, there are some wonderful videos posted on the parish school’s Facebook page from last week’s early childhood (pre-K3, 4 and kindergarten) Christmas show. Click here to access the FB page and scroll through the videos of teachers and students.

Participants at the 2015 Provincial Election Assembly

A month from today!

One month from today the US Province begins its election assembly to determine the next Provincial Superior and members of the Provincial Council. As noted last week, Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, is completing his second, three-year term.

On the first evening of the assembly, Monday, January 3, the province will honor those who celebrated jubilees of religious vows in 2020 and 2021. The traditional celebrations were postponed due to the pandemic. And with the pandemic still a concern, the upcoming celebration will be limited primarily to SCJs and others in the Milwaukee area. Jubilarians from 2020 and 2021 include (not all are able to be present at the ceremony, but each will be honored):

Br. Diego Diaz and Fr. Rafael Querobin (20 years); Fr. Joseph Thien Dinh, Br. Andy Gancarczyk, Fr. Quang Nguyen, Fr. Ed Zemlik and Fr. Wojciech Adamczyk (25 years); Fr. Christianus Hendrik, Fr. Andrzej Sudol and Fr. Jerzy Mordalski (30 years); Fr. Byron Haaland and Br. Ray Kozuch (50 years); Bishop Joseph Potocnak (60 years) and Br. Bernie Taube, Fr. Richard Johnston and Fr. Tom Lind (70 years).

Election trivia: who was the first provincial superior of what is now the US Province? And, how many provincial superiors have there been? See the bottom of the page for answers.

Advent reflections continue

Fr. Joe

Last week we noted that Fr. Joe Dean, SCJ, was asked by the General Communications Office to write several reflections on the readings of Advent. The second is now available. Fr. Joe begins, writing that “People have long memories; national anniversaries matter. Take, for example, 26 December, 1862; 28 June, 1914; and 6 January, 2021.  At the end of the U.S.-Dakota War, thirty-eight Native Americans were hanged in Mancato, Minnesota, Many Native people in South Dakota remember that event; some make an annual pilgrimage to the site. The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand led to the slaughter of millions of people in two world wars, and to evils that still effect parts of Europe, the Middle East, and elsewhere. At the beginning of this year, a mob stormed the capitol in Washington, DC in an attempt to prevent the certification of the election of President Joe Biden. The fury about that event still haunts U.S. citizens. To borrow a literary trope, these events are not only not behind us; they are not even past…

“Such events cannot be forgotten. There are important reasons why they should not be. The truth must always be told and acknowledged. Right must always be, and seen to be done. Resentful hatred and revenge are something else again. That is why there is so much at stake in today’s Gospel… Once again, Saint Luke says, divine love has intervened in the long, tragic human story. It is necessary that we remember the coming of the mercy of God, whose ways are not ours, and that we welcome the Spirit, who has the power to gather all men and women together in a peace built on justice, and made permanent in reconciliation; and that love be answered with love…”

Click here to read Fr. Joe’s full reflection on the general website.

One more

If you missed yesterday’s Advent mailing from the Dehonian Associates Office, click here to view it. 

Please remember

Fr. Franz Hoch, a member of the German Province, died on December 1. He was born in 1942, professed in 1965 and ordained in 1970.

Fr. Léo Effting, a member of the South Brazilian Province, died on December 2. He was born in 1932, professed in 1960 and ordained in 1965.

Roger Kilianski, the 69-year-old brother of Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, died on December 2.

Keep in prayer

Paul Bossie, the brother of Fr. Bob Bossie, SCJ, has been hospitalized with kidney issues. Please keep him in prayer.

If you missed it

The Lux Center for Catholic Jewish Studies at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology offers a number of online presentations, including its recent series: “Jewish Studies Seminar for Christians: the Jewish People and the Church.” On December 1, Rabbi Noah Chertkoff spoke on the topic “Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel: Visions of the Hebrew Prophets.”

Click here or on the image above to view a video of the seminar.

Click here to access information about other seminars.

Winter SCJ News

The latest issue of the SCJ News is in the mail. The quarterly newsletter features many of the stories and photos which have appeared in online province communications, such as the province website and Facebook. Click here to download a low resolution PDF of the Winter issue which opens with a story about Frs. Greg Schill and Thi Pham who both recently transplanted from assignments in Mississippi to South Dakota. Each is ministering along the banks of the Missouri River, though about 150 miles apart. Other stories include two from the formation community, a remembrance of Br. John Monek, SCJ, and a feature on Fr. Hendrik Ardianto, SCJ.

Anyone is welcome to be on the SCJ News mailing list. Click here to add a name.

ANSWER to the provincial election trivia questions (see second story)

Immigrants were instrumental in the development of the Dehonian presence in the United States. The first Provincial Superior of what is now the US Province was Fr. Richard Kiefer, SCJ. Originally from the German Province, he was professed in 1920. Six years later he named Provincial Superior of the American Province, a role that he was reappointed to twice. His second term was cut short when he was appointed to the General Council in Rome, and then that term was cut short when he was asked to return to the United States to again serve as Provincial Superior when the sitting superior had to resign for health reasons. Fr. Kiefer’s final years of ministry were in South Dakota. After Fr. Kiefer, there have been 14  Provincial Superiors; Fr. Ed Kilianski is the 15.

Prayer For the Provincial Election

Ever faithful God,
you call us to respond with our lives
to the love, mercy and compassion
we have known through the heart of Christ

Send your Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds.
Grant us the courage of Leo Dehon:
to dream dreams,
to press forward with trust,
to live passionately,
and to draw strength from you.

Give us hearts receptive
to the healing, reconciling love of Christ.
Scatter clouds of discouragement.
Revive those who are weary,
lost or cynical.

For SCJs:
Grant us what we need as a community
in this moment of history:
a renewed vision of life
and ministry together.

Guide our election of new leadership
As we follow you on the way
As priests of the heart of Jesus.

For those praying in partnership with the SCJs of the US Province:
Grant to SCJs in the United States
what they need as a community
in this moment of history:
a renewed vision of life
and ministry together.

Guide their election of new leadership
As we join them in solidarity on their path
As priests of the heart of Jesus.

Adapted from a “Prayer Before a Chapter”, This Day of God

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