Weekly News: June 20, 2022

Be filled with loving gratitude and compassion

“The special purpose of the devotion to the Sacred Heart is not to imitate the Savior in His external sufferings, at least not in a direct way. The friends of the Sacred Heart do not have to impose mortifications and terrible penances upon themselves. Rather, they ought to strive to come close to the Sacred Heart and, as a consequence, they will be filled with loving gratitude and compassion. Dispositions such as these will prompt them to accept physical suffering generously, if Divine Providence sends it to them.”

Fr. Leo John Dehon
Crowns of Love, II, 3, 6

Feast of the Sacred Heart

Fr. John Czyzynski, SCJ, will be the main celebrant of the Mass for Feast of the Sacred Heart at Good Shepherd Chapel at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake on June 24 at 9:00 a.m. (central). The Mass will be livestreamed. Click here to access the link.

We invite you to send photos from your local feast-day celebrations to share in province communications. Click here to do so.

Please note that the Provincial Offices will be closed for the feast day, June 24.

Pardeep Singh Kaleka speaks to Fr. Vien Nguyen

Message of love and reconciliation

Pardeep Singh Kaleka’s life path changed dramatically on August 5, 2012, when a white supremacist opened fire on the Sikh Temple that his father had founded in suburban Milwaukee. The elder Kaleka was among those who died in the shooting.

Before the end of that day, Pardeep committed himself to finding a way to “use this horrific opportunity to go forward,” he said. “We should not be defined by what happens to us, but instead be defined by what we do.”

What Pardeep Singh Kaleka did was become a clinician who specializes in trauma care, treating survivors and perpetrators of violence. He befriended a former racist skinhead and wrote a book about their shared mission of fighting hate.

Pardeep’s message of love and reconciliation easily resonates with Dehonian spirituality. As we prepare to celebrate the feast of the Sacred Heart on June 24, we revisit Pardeep’s words about love and forgiveness, as well as a call to arm ourselves with compassion in the fight against violence. Last year he sat for a discussion with Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, as a part of the “Heart to Heart” interview series.

When Fr. Vien asked him if he gets discouraged in the daily reports of violence and civil discord, Pardeep said that “I do feel discouraged sometimes, but I find inspiration everywhere: in my faith, the faith of others, in our children. I find it when I look for it. When we think of happiness and sadness it’s not just that something good or bad has happened. A state of happiness means that you are able to see God in different moments, in different places.

“When I search for hope, I start each day with prayer. I end each day with prayer. Prayer allows me to go to a deeper place. I get discouraged; I get down. Each one of these shootings is a gut punch. It reminds you that maybe you aren’t doing enough, maybe this society is doomed. But that’s when you find the genuine part of our relationship with God, the silver lining in the midst of grief and suffering. I call it a state of happiness and bliss in a state of chaos.”

Click here to read the full interview on the province website.

Thank you from Montréal

Fr. Maurice Légaré, SCJ, a member of the Dehonian community in Montréal, writes: “I thank all of those who sent messages of condolences, thoughts and prayers after Fr. Claude Bédard’s death on May 28. I received many messages from confreres in the United States but I did not have time to respond to everyone. However, I am grateful for all these messages. Fr. Claude and I lived together for more than 30 years; his sudden death was really a shock for me, as for the entire Montréal community. We will miss his special sense of humor and his presence.”

SCJs’ general website turns 25

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Generalate’s first website. Fr. Tom Cassidy, SCJ, at the time, a member of the General Council seeking new ways to communicate the work of the 1997 General Chapter, tapped Fr. Zdzislaw Huber, SCJ, a student in Rome, to take on the technical challenge of creating a website. The Peace Communications Network (PCN) would host the site. The Dehonians –– in particular, Fr. Bernie Rosinski, SCJ, who was vice secretary general at the time –– were instrumental in creating the network that was shared by several religious communities in Rome just beginning to utilize email and the internet in general.

Fr. Zdzislaw and Fr. Tom shared their memories of the early days of the website in an article on the current website.

“At the time, it was quite a challenge to use this new technology, which combined text with photos presented in an almost instantaneous way,” wrote Fr. Zdzislaw. “A technical language had to be learned in which the written articles could be presented for reading. Digital cameras were also not that accessible. So, the photo manipulation was completely different. Perhaps comparing the old websites with the ones that exist today, they may seem primitive. However, in their time they represented a fairly high technological standard.”

Fr. Tom echoed Fr. Zdzislaw’s memories of the early low-tech site, comparing it to today: By today’s standards, it was primitive. As I write this, the IX General Conference is being held in Rome and is extensively covered with both live and daily summaries available over the Internet.” He added that videos of this year’s General Conference were also available on the Generalate’s YouTube channel, something inconceivable back in 1997.

Speaking of videos, in the photo above, note the large “state-of-the-art” video camera that Fr. Zdzislaw is holding as he interviews a chapter delegate in 1997.

Click here to read more.

St. Joe’s Akta Lakota Museum features traditional quilt exhibit

“The Quilt – Owíŋža” opened the week of June 13 at the Akta Lakota Museum. The new exhibit features quilts from 1893 to contemporary that are in the museum’s private collection.

These quilts are a testament to the powerful tradition, aesthetic, artisanship and resiliency of the Lakota culture. When the buffalo was at the center of Lakota life, beautifully decorated hides, often with striking circular patterns, were common. As colonialism brought about the near-extinction of the buffalo, the Lakota turned to quilt making to replace many of the functions — both utilitarian and ceremonial — that hides performed.

The star quilt held special appeal because of its circular pattern and rhythmic repetition. “Everything the power of the world does is done in a circle,” said Lakota spiritual leader Black Elk, expressing the centrality of the circle to Lakota thought. Today the star quilt is often the centerpiece in Lakota celebrations and ceremonies.

The exhibit runs until October 31 and can be previewed on the museum’s website. It will be open during museum hours during the school’s b on Saturday, September 17, 2022.

Please keep in prayer

Novice Jacob Smith writes: “I’d like to send out a thank you to everyone who has been praying for me and my mother. It’s something she really appreciates and has expressed gratitude to the province. I got plenty of texts and I know I wasn’t able to answer them all so I wanted to make sure a thank you got out to everyone. However, my parents called me today to let me know the situation has changed. Initially the cancer was believed to have been in early stage one and only located in a single breast. They learned however that it’s actually in stage 3, located in both breasts, and could get worse. She’ll have to go in for chemo before now having a double mastectomy.”

Summer assignments

As they are each year, our students in formation are busy in summer ministry assignments. Below are a few photos from the past week. Frater Truc Tran, SCJ, assisted Fr. Christianus Hendrik, SCJ, in cleaning up the cemetery in Stephan, SD, in preparation for the annual Corpus Christi Mass and blessing there that took place yesterday. Also pictured are Alfonso Pizano (candidate) and Frater Thuan Nguyen, SCJ, accompanying “Moses” on a visit to Vacation Bible School at Our Lady Queen of Peace in Olive Branch, MS.

Alfonso, “Moses” and Thuan
Frater Truc
Frater Truc, Dn. Steve and Fr. Hendrik

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