Weekly News: July 26, 2021

“This is not just something happening elsewhere”

This Friday, July 30, is World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. The theme for 2021 is “Victims’ Voices Lead the Way,” highlighting the importance of listening to and learning from survivors of human trafficking.

Human trafficking is a crime that often goes unnoticed, as Br. Duane Lemke, SCJ, learned in 2008. The SCJ grew up in South Dakota and ministered there as an adult. It was a place that he thought that he knew well, until he learned that two employers in Oacoma, a town just across the river from St. Joseph’s Indian School, had been prosecuted for enslaving Filipino workers at a hotel, as well as farming them out to area fast food restaurants.

“Human trafficking is often met with surprise by people,” said Br. Duane in a presentation on the topic. “Oacoma is a town that SCJs in South Dakota know well and visit multiple times during the week.” Yet even he, a native South Dakotan, had no idea that human trafficking was taking place practically at the doorstep of the Dehonian community. “This is not something happening somewhere else, but in the very areas served by the Priests of the Sacred Heart.”

Click here to visit the United Nations website to learn more about this global issue, including survivors’ stories.

Click here to access an information sheet on human trafficking, including suggested steps for action, prepared by Becoming Neighbours in Toronto. Fr. Peter McKenna, SCJ, is on the staff of the immigrant and refugee outreach program.

Additions to the calendar

Last week we noted that SCJ Fraters Phong (Paul) Hoang and Hung Pham will renew their vows on August 7 at Our Lady of Guadalupe, Houston. Added to the calendar are the vow renewals of SCJ Fraters Henry Nguyen and Hubert Liassidji; their renewals will take place at Sacred Heart Monastery on August 12.

As a reminder, here is the list of upcoming calendar items of note:

July 27-28: US Provincial Council meeting
August 7: Vow renewals of Fraters Phong (Paul) Hoang, SCJ, and Hung Pham at OLG, Houston.
August 12: Vow renewals of Fraters Henry Nguyen and Hubert Liassidji at Sacred Heart Monastery.
August 14: Entrance to Novitiate
August 30: Fall semester classes begin at SHSST
September 14-15: US Provincial Council meeting
September 29: Dehon Lecture (SHSST)
October 26-27: US Provincial Council meeting
December 14-15: US Provincial Council meeting
January 3-7, 2022: US Provincial Election Assembly
January 7: Brief US council meeting with new administration
February 1: Combined meeting of in-coming and out-going US provincial administrations
February 2: Installation of new US provincial administration (proposed date)

Happy birthday!

Those celebrating birthdays in August include Fr. Steve Pujdak on August 2, Fr. Praveen Kumar Richard on August 3 (back in his home district of India, Fr. Praveen served at St. Joseph’s Indian School for the past two years), Br. Bernard Taube and Br. Peter Mankins on August 8, Fr. Paulin Makiala on August 9, Br. Ray Kozuch on August 22, Br. Frank Presto and Br. Frank Snider on August 28, and Fr. Herman Falke on August 31. Happy birthday!!

Click here to access the online North American calendar. If you notice an error, or would like to submit an item for inclusion in the calendar, click here.

SCJ “Caught in Providence”

Usually when the words “priest” and “donation” are in the same sentence, the assumption is that the priest is seeking a donation for whatever ministry he is involved in. But when Fr. Mark Mastin, SCJ, showed up in a courtroom with a $1,000 check, it was to give a donation to someone else: Judge Frank Caprio. Since 1985, Caprio has served as Chief Municipal Judge in Providence, Rhode Island (USA). His compassion, kindness and humor have made him a local legend, and in recent years through videos and television, a national example of justice and mercy.

Inspired by Judge Caprio’s sense of “mercy and judging fairly,” Fr. Mark decided to pay a visit to the judge’s courtroom and offer a donation of $1,000.

“The court system is about mercy and judging fairly… journeying with somebody and pulling them out of the depths of despair. You represent what the justice system should be about, real justice,” said Fr. Mark.

Click here or on the image above to view the video of Fr. Mark and Judge Caprio interacting with each other in the courtroom.

Please remember

+ Fr. Herbert Henslok, a member of the Indonesian Province, died on July 19. He was born in 1942, professed in 1959 and was ordained in 1967.

+ David Gorski, the husband of Mary Gorski (communications director) died July 23 of congestive heart failure. Click here to access the obituary.

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