Weekly News: February 23

Lent upper

Way of the Cross

During the Fridays of Lent, the community at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology will pray the Vía Crucis/Way of the Cross in both Spanish and English beginning at 6:15 pm in the Sacred Heart Chapel.  Anyone is welcome to take part.

Also, the most recent Dehonian Spirituality update focused on Fr. Leo John Dehon’s regular practice of meditating on the Way of the Cross.

“I always love voyages and I make a beautiful one every day, in the best of company,” wrote the founder in his Daily Notes. “I make the Way of the Cross with Jesus, Mary, and John. Oh, what a beautiful voyage! What a beautiful pilgrimage full of emotion, grace, and tears!”

Click here to view the most recent Dehonian Spirituality mailing where you can read more from the founder on the Cross, as well reflect on the “Scriptural Way of the Cross,” which Pope Benedict XVI approved for public use in 2007. Questions for further reflection follow.

Four ordained deacons in India

SCJ students sing at the diaconate ordination in India
SCJ students sing at the diaconate ordination in India

Fr. Tom Cassidy took part in the diaconate ordination of four SCJs in India on Saturday. He wrote about it yesterday on the province blog:

Saturday was a day of celebration, even though we are at the start of Lent. The reason for our joy was the ordination of four SCJs who, having completed their year of regency, and making their final (perpetual) profession of vows in December, were ordained by Bishop Gali Bali of the diocese of Guntur. This is at least the third or fourth time I’ve met the bishop. My first encounter with him was in 2011 for presbyterial ordinations at his cathedral and that, by the way, was the year of my introduction to India.

“The ordination ceremony was slated to begin at 5:30 pm at our Gorantla minor seminary. It’s about a 20 to 30 minute drive from our novitiate house in Nambur. The ordinations were held there since all four deacons are from the state of Andhra Pradesh. That made it easy for family and friends to attend, as I believe all four are from around the Guntur area.

“I know each of the deacons but not to the same degree. I am most familiar with Dn. Ravi Kumar Dasari who did his regency at our minor seminary in Kumbalanghi. Ravi was very helpful to me during each of my stays in his community. He was the essence of SCJ hospitality in making me feel at home and a part of his community.

“Three of the deacons will soon get pastoral assignments in the diocese of Guntur. We currently have very few SCJ parishes and with Guntur being close to both Nambur and Gorantla (as well as only about an hour-and-a-half to two hours from Eluru) using local Guntur parishes makes sense. All four deacons will be assigned as deacons through Holy Week of 2016, after which their priestly ordination will take place.”

Click here to read the rest of this and other blog posts.

Please remember…

Fr. François le Penven, a member of the Franco-European Province, died February 22. He was born in 1914, professed in 1935 and ordained in 1943.

Fr. Piero Todesco, a member of the North Italian Province, died February 20. He was born in 1937, professed in 1960 and ordained in 1966.

Theresa Sutch, the sister of Br. John Monek, died February 16.

Bob Tria, the brother-in-law of Fr. Richard Woodbury (husband of Fr. Richard’s sister, Annette) also died February 16.


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Pray for peace in the Holy Land

Mark Peters, province director of Justice, Peace and Reconciliation, notes a recent update regarding the Holy Land from the organization “Catholics Confront Global Poverty:”

For several years, our Church has worked tirelessly to halt Israel’s confiscation of land to build a proposed security wall in the Cremisan Valley located near Bethlehem in the Holy Land… Now, our Church is taking another step in protecting our brothers and sisters living in the Cremisan Valley. Just last week, Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, sent a letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, urging them to intervene with the Israeli government regarding a plan to reroute the separation barrier through the Cremisan Valley in the West Bank. The plan, he said, ignores the rights and needs of the local community and would have ‘devastating consequences.’”

Check the province JPR website for updates on this situation.

Click here for a prayer for peace in the Holy Land 


Lent mailing artADuring Lent the Province Dehonian Associates Office is offering one-minute meditations on the significance of the Cross. Sent by email, the reflections come from the writings of Fr. Leo John Dehon. There will be 14 total, sent each Wednesday and Sunday, with a final meditation on Easter. The mailings began on Ash Wednesday.

Everyone who is on the subscription list for Dehonian Spirituality will also receive these email meditations, “The Royal Road of the Cross with Leo John Dehon, SCJ.”

If you are not on the email subscription list and would like to be, click here.

Biblical archeologist to give SHSST’s Lux Lecture

How were the motivations of 1st century Jewish movements rooted in their responses to Greek and Roman authorities, and how did this shape the reaction of the Judeans to the ministry of Jesus?

Creighton University’s Dr. Nicolae Roddy will explore these questions, how they relate to the works and words of Jesus, and the important ways this context influences the Christian and Jewish faiths today, in the Lux Center’s March 10 lecture at SHSST.

The lecture is open to the public free of charge, but advance registration is required. Register here.

“Jesus’ life and the Jewish response to his ministry are easily misunderstood if not seen in the context of the religious structures and political situation of the time,” Roddy notes. “Our work aims to shed new light on context of the day.”

Trinitarian grounding of “Mercy”

Fr. Fernando Rodríguez Garrapucho is the final member of the SCJs’ European Theological Commission to share a reflection on the General Chapter motto: “Merciful, in Community, with the Poor.”

“When we as Dehonians reflected on the motto of our General Chapter ‘Merciful, in community, with the poor’ in these past days, I reflected on ‘God as Love’, ‘God as Mercy’, that is, the Trinitarian foundation of mercy,” says Fr. Fernando. “The first thing I discovered was that the theological manuals often forget to speak about the concept of mercy as the principal attribute of God.”

Click here to view his presentation and/or to access his text in English or Spanish.

Provincial’s time

Fr. Stephen Huffstetter starts the week with the Dehon Formation Community in Chicago; Feb. 28 – March 7 he will have a visitation in Texas.

March birthdays

birthday balloonsThose celebrating birthdays in March include: Fr. Joe Dean (68) and Fr. Zbigniew Morawiec (50) on March 3; Fr. Jim Brackin (69) on March 4; Fr. Terry Langley (65) on March 12; Frater Joseph Vu (29) on March 13; Fr. Pat Lloyd (73) and candidate Patrick Skahill (45) on March 17; Fr. Richard MacDonald (76) on March 18; Fr. Charles Brown (61) and Fr. Anthony Purwono (41) on March 19; Fr. Frank Wittouck (77) on March 23; Br. Gabe Kersting (93) on March 27; and Fr. Frank Burshnick (78) and Fr. Jim Schroeder (71) on March 30.

Happy birthday!