Weekly News: June 21, 2023

Uncommon holiness

In their letter for the feast of the Sacred Heart Fr. Carlos Luis Suárez Codorniú, SCJ, superior general, and his council focus on the theme of “Lo poco común,” [“The uncommon”]

“How are we doing in the exercise of ‘uncommon holiness’?” asks Fr. Carlos. “This question, far from seeing ourselves as an isolated group distanced from our realities and contexts, leads us to recognize that our vocation is united to those of so many men and women –Sint unum!– who from the Christian faith recognize themselves associated with the project of God for the world to believe and have life:

“With all our fellow Christians
we are drawn to follow closely in the footsteps of Christ
to arrive at holiness (cf 1 Thessalonians 4:7). (CST 13)

“When Fr. Dehon calls us to live the holiness of the Heart of Jesus, he exhorts us to make our own what in Jesus was uncommon in the eyes of so many, even scandalous and sacrilegious… following the path of the uncommon reveals holiness to us as the most radical way of being human and, at the same time, the most humble way of recognizing ourselves as children and collaborators of the good God that Jesus reveals to us…

“What uncommon thing do you find in Jesus that you need to make more your own, more of your community, more of your family, more of us?”

Click here to read the full letter.

Office closed on Friday

The Provincial Offices will be closed on Friday, June 16, for commemoration of the feast of the Sacred Heart. Those in the Milwaukee area are welcome to join in a feast-day Mass at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake at 9:30 a.m. Fr. John Czyzynski, SCJ, a member of the SHML community, will be the main celebrant in the Good Shepherd Chapel.

Please remember

+ Giuse Maria Vũ Văn Công, SCJ, a member of the Vietnamese District, died June 9. He was born in 1994 and had just professed his first vows on January 1 of this year. He died while traveling by motorcycle; the road became quite slippery and he is said to have slid in the difficult conditions.

+ Thomas Kozuch, the brother of Br. Ray Kozuch, SCJ, died late Saturday evening, June 10. Br. Ray asks for prayers for the family.

Safe travels

Today, Fr. Tom Cassidy, SCJ, leaves for an extended stay in Asia. He will be with the SCJ community in India until mid-October, and then with SCJs in Vietnam until his return to the States on November 16. Safe travels!

Guess who stopped for a visit?

“What a surprise!” wrote Fr. Christianus Hendrik, SCJ, “While I was working at the cemetery, preparing it for the Corpus Christi celebration, Bishop Donald E. DeGrood stopped by to visit us! Such a great honor!”

The bishop was in-between informal visits to a few parishes in his diocese (Sioux Falls). When he stopped at St. Joseph parish in Fort Thompson, he found Dn. Steve in the office who told him that Fr. Hendrik was with two parishioners mowing the lawn and cleaning up the cemetery.

“At first I didn’t notice him because I was busy with the weed trimmer,” said Fr. Hendrik, pictured next to the bishop, holding the trimmer. “But when I turned it off, I heard a familiar voice, looked and saw our bishop standing next to my pick-up truck. We had a wonderful conversation together with Mr. Donald Louder, one of our senior veterans who was at the cemetery fixing up his wife’s gravesite. It was such an honor to visit with our bishop. Since he grew-up in a farm family he is very familiar with our rural area and knows the efforts we make to keep our earth, our environment, fruitful and healthy.”

Yesterday the parish held a Corpus Christi Mass at the cemetery, followed by an outdoor meal. “Covid hit us badly in this area,” added Fr. Hendrik. “More and more people have joined us in these times of prayer at the cemetery, being with the living and remembering our deceased. It is good to receive the Body and Blood of Christ together as we remember.”

“My life as a seminarian”

Last week’s “Cocktails and Catholicism” speaker, hosted by the Catholic Parishes of Northwest Mississippi, was Frater Michael Wodarczk. Fra. Michael, an SCJ seminarian at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, talked about his own vocation and what his life is like in the formation community.

“In the summer of 2016 I went on a walking pilgrimage from St. Francis de Sales [seminary program for the archdiocese of Milwaukee] to Holy Hill,” said Fra. Michael. “It was 54 miles and took four days. During that time, I was introduced to the Liturgy of the Hours. As a result of that pilgrimage, I started praying more and more… I started seeing a spiritual director, and began to discern religious life. I looked at the Franciscans, the Jesuits and the Priests of the Sacred Heart. With the SCJs I really liked what I saw, applied, and entered formation in January 2019.”

Click here or on the image above to view Fra. Michael’s presentation; it runs just under 40 minutes and includes a Q&A at the end. Fra. Michael is in Mississippi doing summer ministry.

Mission Education Reminder

The next Mission Education Conference will take place Sunday and Monday, October 8-9, at St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, SD. The theme of this year’s gathering is “Your Kingdom Come  ~ Óhiŋniyaŋ (eternally, forever).”

If you haven’t done so already, SCJs and coworkers are asked to let St. Joseph’s Indian School know as soon as possible approximately how many people will be attending from your ministry. Click here to do so.

Organizers will ask for specific names later in the summer. Click here to read the letter sent by Mike Tyrell, president of St. Joseph’s, on May 4.

Rooms can be reserved at:

Arrowwood Resort at Cedar Shore / Phone: 605-234-6376 / $119 per night
1500 Shoreline Drive, Oacoma, South Dakota 57365

AmericInn by Wyndham Chamberlain / Phone: 605-496-9493 / $123 per night
1981 E King St, Chamberlain, SD 57325

Be sure to mention that you are with St. Joseph’s Indian School.

If you are a Provincial Chapter delegate…

Don’t forget that all Provincial Chapter delegates are to take part in a Pre-Chapter meeting via Zoom tomorrow morning, June 13, from 9:00 a.m. to noon (participants are asked to sign on by 8:50 a.m.). Delegates should have received meeting materials and login information from Fr. Jack Kurps, SCJ, last week (June 6). If you did not, please contact Fr. Jack directly.

Prayers for and from World Youth Day

The group from the US Province going to World Youth Day invites people to send prayer requests to take with them during their pilgrimage. Fr. Henry Nguyen, SCJ, vocation director, is collecting the requests. Click here to send him a prayer request.

You are also invited to join in prayer for those traveling for WYD. The official event is in Lisbon, Portugal, August 1-6, but young people from Dehonian entities around the world will gather several days earlier to take part in activities hosted by the Portuguese Province.

Click here to view the prayer for World Youth Day 2023.

On this feast day, we give thanks

As we commemorate the feast of the Sacred Heart this year (June 16) we give thanks for 100 years of Dehonian ministry in the United States. Feel free to click on and download the graphic below for use in local ministries.

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