Weekly News: July 18, 2022

32 people make one-year commitment as Dehonian Associates

During a prayer service yesterday (July 17) in the chapel at Holy Spirit church in Hernando, MS, 32 lay people made their one-year commitment as Dehonian Associates. Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, led the service. Twenty-six people made their first commitment; six renewed their continuing commitment as Dehonian Associates. Six others will make their first-time commitment at a later date.

“My husband and I have both very much enjoyed and appreciated our experience in becoming Dehonian Associates,” said Roxanne McIngvale, who made her first commitment. “We have both grown up and raised our family being a part of the family of the Sacred Heart priests. However, I was not aware of who Fr.Dehon was. His commitment to serve the needs of the poor I found to be very inspirational. Learning this has further explained the mission of the SCJ community and how they have worked to carry out the purpose established by Fr. Dehon.”

“This journey helped me to better understand not only the struggles Fr. Dehon went through to create the Priests of the Sacred Heartbut it also helped me dig a little deeper into and strengthen my Catholic faith,” said new Associate Leonard Temple. “One of my favorite experiences in this program was learning about how different cultures around the world celebrate the Sacred Heart of Jesus.”

Our thanks to Dehonian Associate Laura Grisham for writing about yesterday’s ceremony and sharing several photos. CLICK HERE to read her full text and view more photos on the US Province website.

Fr. John Czyzynski blesses Fr. Ed prior to interment. On his left is Br. Frank Presto, provincial secretary, and on the right is Fr. Quang Nguyen, Fr. Ed’s vice provincial superior.

Sharing stories and saying good-bye

Fr. John Czyzynski, SCJ, was the homilist at the Mass of Christian Burial for Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, last Wednesday. Reflecting on the first reading (Wisdom 3:1-6,9; all of the readings were chosen by Fr. Ed), Fr. John said that “The author of the book of Wisdom goes on to declare that in this life, at times, the just seem to be punished but in reality they/we are being purified by God, as gold in the furnace, and God finds us worthy of Himself (really God makes us worthy of Himself) and takes us to Himself.  The furnace that was purifying Ed was all that he had to go through in his life:  the many surgeries he had to endure, the hardship and responsibilities that he carried as provincial superior.  Then when his term was ending and he was looking forward to some much deserved respite, he found that he had to battle pancreatic cancer.  You would think that all of that would tend to drag him down, but instead, it seemed to me that he would be more discouraged when Notre Dame or the Buffalo Bills lost a football game. The reason that he was able to carry on as he did was that he tried to accept all that was going on in his life in the spirit of oblation which is central to his and our life as Priests of the Sacred Heart.  He always said that he was accepting the cross in his life in that spirit. Ed has been purified as gold in the furnace and God has taken him to Himself.”

Click here to access Fr. John’s full homily.

Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, was the main celebrant at the Funeral Mass. Alongside him at the altar were Dn. Henry Nguyen, SCJ and Fr. Jack Kurps, SCJ (vice provincial). Among the other concelebrants were Archbishop Jerome Listecki of Milwaukee, Bishop Joseph Potocnak, SCJ (retired bishop of De Aar, South Africa), Fr. Gustave Lulendo, SCJ (regional superior of Canada), and Fr. Peter Schessler, SDS (vicar provincial of the Salvatorians).

Click here to view the video of the Wake and Funeral. Note: the funeral itself begins at about one hour into the video. Previous to that are stories that were shared during the Wake. Following the Wake there is a gap from about 39:20 in the video to the start of the Funeral during which a “Mass will start at 10:30” graphic is displayed.

Click here to view photos from the funeral.

Marlene speaks at her retirement

Please remember

+ Marlene Zapecki, long-time receptionist at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, died July 16, surrounded by her children. Funeral arrangements are pending. Marlene is pictured above in 2019 during a retirement party held for her at SHSST.

Keep in prayer

Fr. Steve Pujdak, SCJ, was taken to Largo Medical Center (Largo, FL) late yesterday afternoon (July 17) after he fainted in his chair in his room. He is on oxygen and being monitored.

Becoming Neighbours and the Synod

For many years, Fr. Peter McKenna, SCJ, of the Canadian Region has been on the staff of “Becoming Neighbours,” a Toronto-based ecumenical outreach program focused on assisting and welcoming immigrants to Canada. Fr. Peter and Fr. Gustave Lulendo, SCJ, recently teamed up on a reflection about Becoming Neighbours and how it parallels the spirit of synodality called for by “Synod 21-23.”

“The road of the synod and the road of Becoming Neighbours is made by walking,” write Frs. Peter and Gustave. “The challenge is not to fall into the temptation of thinking that talking about synodality is the same as practicing it. We cannot study synodality without experiencing it. We are called to “welcome, protect, integrate and promote” (Pope Francis) our sisters and brothers and to create opportunities to work towards communion. We have much to receive and learn. Refugees, our neighbours, urge us to see the tragedy of prolonged uprootedness.  It is not a question of assimilation but rather a question of enrichment and a path toward transformation of all those others in the journey. It is only when the voice of refugees is at the table that Synod happens.”

Click here to read their full reflection on the general website.

St. Joseph’s students lifting the spirits of fellow children

For a hospitalized child, receiving a message from children their age can be extra special. It brightens their day. It lets them know someone is thinking about them. For a moment, it lifts their spirits as they undergo their unique battles.

Surely, messages with words are wonderful. However, the thing about art is it is a universal language. There are no words to comprehend — only a feeling to be shared.

Recently, the children at St. Joseph’s Indian School shared art projects with children benefitting from Arts for Little Hearts, an organization that collects artwork from volunteers and distributes them to hospitalized children around the world.

Rachel, the art teacher at St. Joseph’s, discovered Arts for Little Hearts and knew her students would jump at the opportunity to share their artwork with others — especially those in a challenging season of life.

“I had several students who wanted to create art specifically for this cause,” said Rachel, an art teacher at the school. “Some students even wanted to send their favorites — they were happy to send it to a kid a world away.”

Arts for Little Hearts loved the art from St. Joseph’s students and quickly sent the pieces on their way to hospitalized children. A few of the images even made their way to the Cairo Children’s Hospital in Egypt!

Calendar corrections

Last week we shared a listing of meetings and events recently added to the North American SCJ calendar. Please note two corrections/additions:

  1. September 7: a meeting of SCJs in pastoral ministry,10:00 am – noon via Zoom.
  2. September 20-21, the meeting of local superiors in Pinellas Park, FL.

Updated calendar:


August 15 – First Professions
August 16 – Province Jubilee Celebrations
August 16-18 – Province Assembly
September 7 – Meeting of SCJs in pastoral ministry (10:00 a.m. to noon, central, via Zoom)
September 12-14 – International Fundraisers meeting in Hales Corners, WI (organized by the General Treasurer’s office)
September 20-21 – Meeting of Local Superiors in Pinellas Park, FL
September 27-28 – Provincial Council meeting, Hales Corners, WI
October 19 (tentative) –  Dehon Lecture, SHSST (Cardinal Peter Turkson)
November 9-10 – Provincial Council meeting, Hales Corners, WI
December 20-21 – Provincial Council meeting, Hales Corners, WI


July 16 – Centennial celebration in Lower Brule, SD
July 24 – Start date of the 2023 US Provincial Chapter


June 14 – July 5 – General Chapter, Rome

SHSST highlights video

Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology recently posted a highlights video from the past year. Click here or on the image below to view it.

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