Weekly News: February 5, 2024

Welcome Corrie!

There is a new face at the Province Vocation Office: Corrie Christiaansen. As of January 29, she is the Vocation Marketing and Office Manager, assisting Fr. Henry Nguyen, SCJ, Province Vocation Director.

“I feel very blessed to be here,” said Corrie. “I have always felt called to pray for vocations; and while I may not be called to religious life myself, I am grateful to be a part of the discernment process of others.”

Corrie comes to the Priests of the Sacred Heart after serving in communications at Holy Apostles parish in Milwaukee where she did social media, email communications and maintained the parish website. She has also served in communication roles with other ministries and non-profit organizations, as well as in youth ministry and as a theology teacher.

Although she will be responsible for many of the day-to-day operations of the Vocation Office, she will also have a vital role in creating communication strategies to make the Dehonians better known to those discerning a vocation to religious life.

And while Corrie is new to the Vocation Office, she is not new to the Dehonians. She visited Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology when she served on the staff of Catholic Youth Expeditions (CYE is now based at what was once the SCJs’ St. Joseph’s Retreat Center in Baileys Harbor, WI). Also, her brother earned his master’s in theology at SHSST. “And of course, I am familiar with the community’s image of the Sacred Heart,” she said.

You can find Corrie behind the front desk at the Vocation Office or email her at cchristiaansen@dehoniansusa.org.

Click here to read more, and welcome Corrie!

Planning begins for North American conference

“Mindful of our responsibility to be stewards of God’s creation and of Pope Francis’ call to safeguard our common home, the North American Councils propose that a joint conference of the US and Canada be held on the threats of climate change and nuclear weapons. The aim of the conference is to deepen our understanding of these existential threats and promote a transformation of heart and mind on these issues.”

The quote is from a joint letter written by Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ (US provincial superior), and Fr. Gustave Lulendo, SCJ (Canadian regional superior), introducing the organizing committee for a North American “Dehonian Conference on Climate change and Nuclear Proliferation: Dual Threats to Our Existence.” The committee held its first meeting in Toronto on Wednesday, January 31.

Members of the two entities, novices, candidates, Dehonian Associates, lay leaders of sponsored institutions, staff, collaborators and parishioners will be invited to the conference. The dates and location are being finalized.

“It is easy to think ‘what difference can I make?’ in the face of these interconnected threats to the world,” said Fr. Jack. “We hope that our learning about and discussing these issues will result in a transforming of hearts and minds. Each one of us can make a difference.”

Committee members are pictured here L-R: Fr. Ushindi Kambale Sahani, SCJ, Fr. Jack Kurps, SCJ (chairperson), Lily Ooi (Canada), Fr. Bob Bossie, SCJ, Joe Tyrell (US), Sr. Cathy Bertrand, SSND (conference facilitator), Fr. Peter McKenna, SCJ and Dn. Paul Phong Hoang, SCJ.

SCJs to receive ministries

The formation community invites SCJs to the Reception of Ministries of the following:

Frater Jacob Smith, SCJ: Lector
Frater Thuan Nguyen, SCJ: Acolyte
Frater Truc Tran, SCJ: Acolyte:
Frater Michael Wodarczyk, SCJ: Acolyte

The ceremony will take place on March 14 in St. Joseph’s Chapter at Sacred Heart Monastery (SHSST). Mass is at 5:00 p.m., followed by a social and dinner in the SCJ recreation room.

If you plan to attend, RSVP to Fr. Joseph Thien Dinh, SCJ, by email or phone.


Please keep Fr. Joseph Mukuna, SCJ, in your prayers. He will do the oral defense of his doctoral dissertation this Wednesday, February 7, beginning at 10:00 a.m. (Central). The title of his dissertation: “Reading the Prologue of John’s Gospel as Midrash with a View to Examining a Local Parting of the Ways.” Fr. Joseph is a member of the Dehonians’ Congolese Province who has done his doctoral studies in the US. He is also a member of the North American Theological Committee.

Anyone is welcome to be present at his defense. It will take place at Loyola’s Cuneo Hall, Rm. 410, or you may attend via Zoom. The Zoom link is https://luc.zoom.us/j/84026657761

Br. Andy


 Br. Andy Lewandowski, SCJ, has a new phone number, which is available in the online personnel directory. The directory is password-protected. For assistance in accessing it, please contact Mary Gorski.

Br. Duane Lemke, SCJ, reports that Br. Andy, who lives at St. Camillus, enjoys receiving calls and visitors; however, visitors should be aware that Br. Andy’s short-term memory is impaired. He has very good memories of the past, can share stories well and have good conversations about past events. However, he most likely will be at a loss regarding his day-to-day activities.

Lenten Hours of Recollection

Two Lenten Hours of Recollection have been scheduled; the first is for SCJs on March 14 and the next day, March 15, will be the hour for employees and other collaborators. Both begin at 10:30 a.m. (Central). As with the previous Hours of Recollection, they will take place on Zoom. A link was sent to SCJs via email last week. It is also available on the Members page of the province website.

Click here for the link to the March 15 Hour of Reflection for employees and other collaborators.

Leading the hour is Dr. David Richo. He is a psychologist, teacher, workshop leader, and writer based in San Francisco, and the author of approximately 30 books including The Sacred Heart of the World: Restoring Mystical Devotion to Our Spiritual Life; Wholeness & Holiness: How to be Sane, Spiritual, and Saintly; When Love Meets Fear: Becoming Defense-less and Resource-full. Please click here for more information about him.

The title of Dr. Richo’s presentation: “Calling and Charism: Being Sacred Heart in the World.”

Happy New Year!

Lunar New Year is this Saturday, February 10. It is a significant event for St. Martin of Tours parish, where the Vietnamese Catholic Community in Milwaukee gathers to worship. There will be a special Mass on Saturday, February 10 at 7:30 p.m., followed by a day of celebrations on Sunday. Festivities on February 11 begin at 12:00 p.m. with an opening ceremony and entertainment, including a dragon dance. Entrance is $10 a person ($15 a couple and children under 12 are free); food and beverages will be available for purchase (cash only). The evening celebration (over 18 only) is from 7:00 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. ($50 a person in the evening).

Questions? Contact St. Martin of Tours office at 414-425-1114.

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