Weekly News: January 15, 2024

The call for justice

In commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we are mindful of the call for justice, one also demanded by our founder, Fr. Leo John Dehon:

“Justice is the foundation of social relationships, and its purpose is to ensure individual rights.  These rights, whose violation is a crime of outrage against humanity, must be protected.  The right to life; the right to a fair remuneration for work; the right not to be crushed by excessive work; the right to the joys of family life; the right of the woman and child not to be consumed by murderous work; and finally, the right to freedom of duty and conscience: these are rights which we ask for, not as a charitable grant, but whose respect and protection we imperatively demand.”

Leo John Dehon, SCJ, Christian Social Manual, Part One, Chapter 7

Office closed

Please note that the Provincialate Offices are closed today for the commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

A new look for the new year!

The Province Development Office works to partner with our benefactors to provide for ministries such as Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, Dehonian missions around the world, the needs of our retired SCJs, pastoral and ministerial concerns, and many of the quiet but necessary costs of simply operating the US Province.

Last week the Development Office unveiled its redesigned website with easier access to Mass cards, prayer books, prayer intentions, the American Ordo, novenas, and general information about the Priests of the Sacred Heart and Fr. Leo John Dehon.

Click here to visit the redesigned site!

Lenten Hours of Recollection

David Richo, PhD, MFT, will be the presenter for this year’s Lenten Hours of Recollection. The presentation for SCJs will be the morning of March 14, to coincide with the anniversary of the birth of Fr. Leo John Dehon, and the one for employees and other collaborators will be on March 15. As in the past, both will take place via Zoom. Login information will be shared closer to the dates.

The title of the presentations: “Calling and Charism: Being Sacred Heart in the World.”  Dr. Richo writes that “The Sacred Heart of Jesus is not only an object of devotion, it is the Heart of the universe meant to become alive in everyone of us. Our calling as as Christians is to co-create with Christ a world of justice, peace, and love. For this we are given a charism, a grace to support us in our calling. This is how calling and charism are one in the Sacred Heart: afire with compassion for all beings and active in making society a kingdom of God on earth.”

He quotes Pope St. John XXIII who said that, “Jesus, I now think of myself as living solely for your Sacred Heart.”

Dr. Richo is a psychotherapist, teacher, workshop leader, and writer who works in Santa Barbara and San Francisco, CA. He combines Jungian, poetic, and mythic perspectives in his work with the intention of integrating the psychological and the spiritual. His books and workshops include attention to Buddhist and Christian spiritual practices.

Click here to access articles, books and other information from and about Dr. Richo.


During last week’s Provincial Council meeting Frater Jacob Smith, SCJ, was approved to receive the Ministry of Lector and Frater Michael Wodarczyk, SCJ, was approved to receive the Ministry of Acolyte. Both ministries will be conferred on March 14, the anniversary of Fr. Dehon’s birth.


Budget timelines

The annual budget memo has been sent to budget preparers of communities and ministries. The deadline for informing the Provincial Council of capital projects is February 2. All budgets are due to the Provincial Treasurer’s Office by April 5. The Province Finance Commission will meet to review the budgets on April 17 and the Provincial Council will do its review on May 17.


Dn. Paul Phong Hoang, SCJ, is now a member of the St. Michael Community in Nesbit, MS. Please keep him in prayer as he begins his new assignment as a member of the pastoral ministry team that serves the six parishes of northern Mississippi.

Looking ahead

Dates to note during the next year:

February 20-21:  Provincial Council meeting, Hales Corners, WI
February 22:  Senior Life Commission meeting, Hales Corners, WI
March 5-7:  Provincial Visitation, St. Joseph Community
March 11-12:  Retirement workshop, Pinellas Park, FL
March 14:  Lenten Hour of Recollection via Zoom for SCJs
March 14:  Ministries of Lector (Fra. Jacob Smith) and Acolyte (Fra. Michael Wodarczyk) to be conferred
March 15:  Lenten Hour of Recollection via Zoom for employees and other collaborators
April 2-3:  Provincial Council meeting, Hales Corners, WI
April 4: North American Councils meeting, Hales Corners, WI
April 17-24:  Provincial Visitation, Sacred Heart Monastery
May 14-16:  Retreat for those in full-time ministry
May 17:  Provincial Council meeting, Hales Corners, WI
June 5: Provincial Council meeting via Zoom for formation advancements
June 14 – July 5:  General Chapter, Rome
August 19-28: Provincial Visitation, Sacred Heart at SHML
August 27-28: Provincial Council meeting, Hales Corners, WI
September 5-11:  Provincial Visitation, Pinellas Park
October 9-14: Provincial Visitation, South Dakota
October 15-16:  Provincial Council meeting, Hales Corners, WI
October 23:  Provincial Visitation, Novitiate
December 3-4:  Provincial Council meeting, Hales Corners, WI
December 9-16:  Provincial Visitation, Houston

January 14-15: Provincial Council meeting, Hales Corners, WI
Week of June 9:  Provincial Election Assembly (TENTATIVE DATE)

Defense date set

Also added to the calendar is the doctoral defense of Fr. Joseph Mukuna, SCJ. It will take place on February 7th at Loyola University Chicago. We will share more information soon; it is anticipated that the defense will be broadcast via Zoom. Please keep Fr. Joseph in prayer as he prepares for this final stage of his doctoral studies.

Hymn for the XXV General Chapter

A hymn for the XXV General Chapter was composed by Geovan Luis Alberto, a novice from South Brazil, in collaboration with the scholastic community at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Monasteru in Brusque, Brazil. Click here to view the lyrics on the general website. Click on the image below to hear the song.

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