Weekly News: February 15, 2016

Fr. Bernie celebrating Palm Sunday in the Philippines
Fr. Bernie celebrating Palm Sunday in the Philippines

20 Questions

Favorite color? What makes you happy? What are you good at? What is your greatest fear…

“Twenty Questions” is a new feature on the province website in which SCJs and those with whom they minister and collaborate share a bit about themselves in an informal Q&A format, each answering 20 questions.

Fr. Bernie Rosinski, our first 20Q feature, is a member of the SCJ community in South Dakota where he is a very active retiree. Among his previous jobs: vice general secretary in Rome and provincial secretary here in the US Province.

Writing Q&A, Questions and Answers on a blackboard.How did he first learn about the Priests of the Sacred Heart? “I don’t think I knew anything about the SCJs when I entered their seminary,” wrote Fr. Bernie. “I had only met their rep and spokesman, Fr. George, and he seemed like a good enough priest and that’s about all. I did most of my learning about the SCJs right in the seminary, observing how they treated each other, watching their fidelity to prayer, to work, to service, in the classroom, etc.

“I was impressed. For one teacher I had an old German missionary priest who had been expelled from his mission at the end of WW I and I was greatly awed by his dignified conduct and behavior. More than anything else what stood out about the SCJs was their sense that even high school boys are capable of a spiritual life and the entire seminary program was witness to that as were the religious members of the SCJ community. I came away with a firm conviction that I was meant to love God with my whole heart, my whole soul, my whole mind, with all my strength and my neighbor as myself. That has stayed with me and I still have that same sense today about my fellow SCJs: they too act and feel that this is our main purpose in life. I have been fortunate enough to have lived among saints.”

What book has he read over 30 times (and listened to on CD another dozen)? Pride and Prejudice. “I have all the movie versions on DVD and like to watch them in sequence, sometimes with a copy of the novel in my hand,” said the Jane Austen fan. “If you were to ask me why, I would say to you that Jane Austen is an absolute master of the English language. Part of her mastery is due to the fact that she understood the Latin roots of the language. I also see and appreciate its great message: gratefulness leads to love.

“Nowhere is this truer than in our relationship with God. The better we grasp his goodness to us, the more we are moved to love him and see his love for us.”

Click here to read the rest of Fr. Bernie’s answers. A new Twenty Questions (20Q) will be posted approximately every two weeks.

Mark your calendar!

Calendar graphicMembers of the Provincial Council finalized the dates of their meetings for the rest of the year. They are:

March 14-15: Annual meeting with Local Superiors
March 16: Provincial Council Meeting
May 1-2: Meeting of North American administrations (Hales Corners)
May 3-4: Provincial Council Meeting
June 28: Provincial Council conference call, 11 a.m. (central)
July 12-13:  Provincial Council Meeting
September 13-14: Provincial Council Meeting
November 15-16: Provincial Council Meeting
December 14-15: Provincial Council Meeting

Other dates to note:

June 6: Province Jubilee Celebration
June 6-10: US Province Assembly
October 9-11: Mission Education, Mississippi

Click here to view the online calendar for the US and Canada. Have an event to add? Click here. The Google calendar can be synced with most mobile devices.


Fr. Heiner and Fr. Steve in India
Fr. Heiner and Fr. Steve in India

Fr. Steve shares his experiences in India

Fr. Stephen Huffstetter shared his journal from India where he and Fr. Heiner Wilmer did their first visitation of the new general administration.

“With the help of US benefactors, the SCJs have built a vibrant, colorful parish,” writes Fr. Steve of one of the district’s parishes near the novitiate. “Our reception included acrobats and tight rope walkers, and a woman who could lift a five gallon metal bucket of water with her teeth. We had dancers, flower wreaths and even some fireworks, which drew the wrath of a neighbor worried that his thatch roof might catch on fire. Inside parishioners presented accounts of their activities, including active youth groups, neighborhood outreach and scholarships that allow girls who might otherwise be married very young to stay in school.

“We encountered a new wrinkle to the welcoming ceremony when we arrived at the minor seminary in Gorantla. Besides the flower wreathes and sandalwood paste, they washed our feet in memory of what Jesus did. It was very fitting on a day where four priests and two deacons were ordained in an outdoor ceremony on the grounds.

“First though we visited a two-room schoolhouse for 60 neighborhood children that doubles as a chapel on Sunday. And we met with the bishop of Guntur, Gali Bali, who stayed with us in Rome not long ago. He greeted us as old friends.

“The ordination was a joyful celebration, three hours long with song and dance, and a drum procession. Most of the mass, including the homily was in local language. Since I could not understand the words, I paid more attention to the ritual, which made it more reflective. I like that about our Catholic practice.”

Click here to read Fr. Steve’s full journal entry on the province blog.

Frs. Steve and Heiner are now in South America, continuing their visitations.

Retreat reminder

Fr. Ed Kilianski will be giving a retreat at the Sacred Heart Community in Pinellas Park, FL, March 8-10. Any SCJ is welcome to attend. Contract Fr. Greg Speck for more information at 727-252-3855 or email gmsscj@aol.com.

Provincial’s Time

On Sunday Fr. Ed Kilianski began his visitation and consultation for leadership at Sacred Heart at SHML (floors 1-3); it will continue until February 20. February 24-27 he will be in Mississippi for meetings; the week of February 29 Fr. Ed will be with the Dehon Formation Community for a visitation.

As noted above, Fr. Ed will lead a three-day retreat in Pinellas Park, FL; he’ll be there March 6-11 (the retreat is March 8-10). March 14-15 he takes part in the Local Superiors Meeting in Hales Corners, and March 16 is the Provincial Council meeting. At the end of March he returns to Houston; he will be there March 30 – April 7.

Closing shots

Fr. Charles Brown sends a few photos from South Africa where he attended the blessing of the new Divine Mercy Center at St. Joseph parish in De Aar. The center includes a preschool, hospice for the homeless, and a school for handicapped children. The center is funded in part by the US Province.

Fr. Charlie is pictured with Bishop Adam Musialek of De Aar (alumnus of SHSST’s ESL program) and Fr. Ntsikelelo Bambatha. Fr. Ntsikelelo was a student of Fr. Charlie’s when he taught at St. Joseph’s Theological Institute in Cedara (South Africa). “What a joy to see him in active ministry!” wrote Fr. Charlie.

The other photo is Fr. Charlie with Fr. John Strittmatter. An American SCJ who served for many years in South Africa, Fr. John is retired and lives at the provincial residence in Aliwal North. “Fr. John sends his greetings and blessings to SCJs in the United States,” wrote Fr. Charlie.

Bishop Adam, Brown and Tsekelelo

Strittmatter and Brown