Weekly News: February 27, 2023

“What is it?”

Br. Duane Lemke, SCJ, is the superior of the Sacred Heart Community at SHML. He is also a gifted artist who recently created a series of canvas banners for the community chapel that are filled with Lenten themes. He shares a bit about the images pictured:

“I’ve continually been drawn toward multimedia and discovered that my work is Expressionist. My relationship with the viewer is to use color, media, and symbol to suggest and hint, but deliberately not to lead toward one particular thought or conclusion. The most common question is ‘WHAT IS IT?’

“Lent-themed elements are found on each of the banners. They contain ashes, sand, purple, rose, and broken pottery and glass. [NOTE: the pottery shards are from an archeological dig in the Holy Land sponsored by Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology brought back by one of our seminarians; Br. Duane emphasizes that the pieces were legally obtained.]

“There are lines both fluid/organic, and solid/firm. The solid lines themselves are made from ashes. Looking closely, one will notice bits and pieces of the Gospel incorporated into each banner. It is my hope that at different points during the season of Lent, they might inspire each of us in different ways.

“So: ‘WHAT IS IT?’ Is the pottery reminiscent of the vessel used by the woman at the well, or the fragility of life? Do the pieces of broken glass reflect our own brokenness, or sparkle with the sunlight we hope for at Easter? Is the sand the road we are walking this Lent, or suggest desert thirst? Do ashes represent mortality, or a link between Ash Wednesday and the pillar of smoke and fire of Exodus? Do the dynamic lines represent God stirring within us, or Easter radiating outward through Lent? My only attempt was to use the sacramentals present to us during Lent, put them together on canvas, add artistic license, and let them speak to each of us in our own way.”

Click here to view images of the banners.


Welcome to Fr. Floribert Dhelo Bulo, SCJ, who arrived in Hales Corners last week from the Congolese Province to join the US Province in community and ministry. He is 36 years old and recently served as provincial secretary of Congo. His first months will be in a ministry preparation program at SHSST. An SCJ mentor will be assigned to accompany him in his orientation to the US Church and American culture.

This is Fr. Floribert’s second time at Sacred Heart; last year he spent several months in the ECS program. He is pictured above on the right with Frs. Vien Nguyen, SCJ (provincial superior of the US Province) and Fr. Gustave Lulendo, SCJ (regional superior of Canada) at last year’s anniversary celebrations in DR Congo.

Please remember

+Br. Amedeo Mason, SCJ, a member of the North Italian Province, died on February 25. He was born in 1935, professed in 1963, and made perpetual vows in 1966.

+Mrs. Jacqueline T. McKee, mother of Bellefontaine graduate Craig B. McKee (1973) died November 22, 2022. She was laid to rest at Queen of Angels Catholic Cemetery in Winter Park, FL, on February 14, 2023. Presiding at the inurnment was fellow Lenox alumnus, Fr. Bob Markunas (1966). Click here to view the obituary.

Happy birthday!

Those celebrating birthdays in March include: Fr. Joe Dean and Fr. Ziggy Morawiec on March 3, Fr. Jim Brackin on March 4, Fr. Joseph Mukuna on March 5, Frater Jonathan Nguyen-Vuong on March 7, Fr. Terry Langley on March 12, Frater Michael Wodarczyk on March 13, Fr. Patrick Lloyd on March 17, Fr. Richard MacDonald on March 18, Fr. Charles Brown on March 19, and Fr. Frank Wittouck and Fr. Wojciech Adamczyk on March 23. Also, apologies to Fr. Mark Mastin, whose birthday we miss-identified last week. His birthday was on Tuesday, February 21, not Wednesday. Happy birthday to all!

Brazilian SCJ among Servants of God recognized by Pope Francis

Last Thursday, Fr. Aloísio Sebastião Boeing, SCJ, founder of the Marian Fraternity of the Heart of Jesus, was among five Servants of God whose heroic virtues Pope Francis recognized. Fr. Aloísio was born on December 24, 1913, in Vargem di Cedro, Brazil, and died on April 17, 2006 in Jaraguá do Sul, Brazil. Click here to read the citation on the Vatican News website.

Centennial preparations

Last week the Provincial Council approved a logo to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Dehonian ministry in the United States. Click on the image above to download an electronic copy of it.

The province is grateful to Ruth Markworth, Design Projects Manager for Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, for her work in creating the design.

Among the Centennial celebrations planned:

July 16:  Province Centennial Celebration with the public, Hales Corners, WI
July 17:  Internal “family” Centennial Celebration with SCJs
July 30:  Lower Brule Centennial Celebration

Creating a chain of good deeds

Fr. Jack Kurps, SCJ, is executive director of Sacred Heart Southern Missions. On Ash Wednesday, for the start of Lent, he shared the following reflection with the SHSM family:

“As I have grown older, my understanding of – and my appreciation for – the Season of Lent has changed. When I was a child, we were always asked ‘what are you giving up for Lent?”

“To give up something we enjoy for Lent for the sake of giving something up seems to suggest that either we believe that God likes to see us suffer or we believe that we can somehow undo our sinfulness by doing without things we enjoy.

“While we might treat others the same way they treat us, our God does not treat us the way we treat God. There is no action we could ever perform that totally repairs the damage of our sinfulness. But our God, through Jesus, has done that.

“All around us, creation is beginning to burst with new life. Lent is the time of year in which we allow new life to burst within us.

“During this great and holy Season of Lent, God invites us to look at our relationships – our personal relationship with God, our relationship with our spouse, our relationship with our family, our relationship with friends and neighbors, and our relationship with co-workers and others we encounter in the course of our day. If during this season of Lent each of us worked at improving at least two relationships – our relationship with God and at least one other relationship – Easter will find us and our lives to be happier and holier. We would have made at least our corner of the world a little better.

“So give up cigarettes, alcohol, desserts or whatever if you think you must. But if you do, give the money you save to the poor. But also do something positive to improve your relationship with God and the life of those around you.

“Like much of life, being a good Christian takes practice. I’m encouraging the children and staff of both of our SHSM schools to be more aware of the good they do. At the end of each day I’m asking the children and staff to remember their good deeds of the previous 24 hours. For each good deed they remember, they will add another link in a paper chain that each school will create. How long will the chains get???

“I’m not suggesting that you should start making your own paper chain to keep track of your good deeds – but I am suggesting that each of us needs more practice at doing good for others.

“May this Season of Lent bring you closer to God and those you love.”

Vocation team on the road

Fr. Henry Nguyen, SCJ, our current vocation director, and Fr. Quang Nguyen, SCJ, out-going director, teamed up last week to staff a vocation booth at the Religious Education Congress in Anaheim. They are pictured below. Fr. Quang recently began ministry as a chaplain at the University of Houston.


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