Weekly News: June 6, 2022

A year later

Last year Fr. Andrzej Sudol, SCJ, defended his dissertation for his Doctor of Ministry from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. As were many events during the first two years of the pandemic, the defense was done remotely, on a computer screen. On May 26, Fr. Andrzej, accompanied by the novices (he is associate novice master) received his degree in-person. They are all pictured above.

“It was a wonderful experience and fun to meet some of my classmates and professors,” said Fr. Andrzej. “The diploma with the degree was handed to me by Roger Schroder, SVD, who was the director of my dissertation. I was also able to shake hands with the president of the school, Barbara Reid, OP, and many other faculty and staff members.

“Our SCJ novices – Michael, Jacob and Jonathan – were my family at the event.

“I am grateful to CTU, the SCJs, and above all to God for this wonderful experience of studying, my research, defending my dissertation as well as living and ministering in an intercultural context in the US Province. I am grateful indeed.”

Congratulations Fr. Andrzej!

Click here to read about his dissertation.

Fr. Claude

Remembering Fr. Claude

Fr. J. Claude Bédard, SCJ, a member of our Canadian Region (Montréal), died on Saturday, May 28. He was 81, professed in 1960 and ordained in 1966. Reflecting on his personal experience of religious life in the e-publication Dehonian Spirituality (January 2015) he wrote:

“My personal religious life seems to have been a stream of blessings throughout the years. I have been privileged to be appointed to communities living their vows in a family spirit. In most of the communities I found a mentor to teach and to lead me in the spirit of our common pole of attraction. They also prepared me to take over from them some responsibilities, acknowledging my limits and incapacities. In such moments, it is good to feel the complementarity in religious life. Whatever one cannot achieve, somebody else will do it for him!

“In my religious life I also learned that when ‘the call’ comes, the reply must come fast: Here I come! So I did, without hesitation or doubt, leaving the rest to Holy Providence and to the Mercy of God. That is how I was led to the Congo where I shared life in a spirit of creative abandon. I served for 15 years in many different fields, trying to establish a climate of justice and peace in the population. This is incredible to say but, especially in hardships, I felt the reality of what alliance is! It is really amazing to see how the Lord works in a religious community! Our ways are not always His. During those years, I was arrested twice and then expelled from the country. Then I could really feel the support of the community. What words cannot express, faith does!

“Along the years, the SCJ spirituality has been the lighthouse of my religious life and I appreciate every moment of it. It is now time to recommend my religious life to the great Mercy of God, especially for all the good things that I failed to do. Gratitude is not a word strong enough to cover all the graces that I received in my religious life.”

Hear this!

Actually, read this if you would like to hear better with the assistance of hearing aids. The Province Treasurer’s Office encourages SCJs who need to purchase hearing aids (either for the first time, or to replace a current set) to use Costco to do so. If you are not a member, it is worth the price of joining to use their Hearing Aid Center. Costco carries most of the name brands, such as Rexton, Phonak and Philips for several thousand dollars less than at a hearing aid center. There are audiologists on-site, and the warranty is similar to what you would receive elsewhere (three-year warranty for the hearing aids, two-year for loss or damage, and one year for the molds).

Questions? Contact Kevin Stanke in the Treasurer’s Office, who has used hearing aids himself for many years.

Car insurance

New car insurance cards for SCJs in the US Province will be distributed from the Provincial Treasurer’s Office starting on June 13. Those who live in a community house will receive the updated card from their local superior; others will have their cards sent to their individual address. Questions? Again, contact Kevin Stanke.

Keep in prayer

Jacob Smith, novice, asks for prayers for his mother: “I learned that my mother has been diagnosed with breast cancer. The doctors found it during an examination to find the source of two grand mal seizures she had back in March. Apparently the two are unrelated. At any rate, it’s in its early stages and she’s scheduled for surgery at the end of June, with radiation and chemo to follow.” Please keep the family in your prayers.

Thank you

Fr. Joseph Thien Dinh, SCJ, writes: “”On behalf of the Dinh family, I would like to express our gratitude for your prayers, thoughts, and support. Our dad’s funeral went well during the Easter season. It was a prayerful and meaningful service. Our family gathered to support each other and celebrated our dad’s life. Your presence, prayers, mass intentions, emails, texts, cards, phone calls, and flower arrangements spoke of your love and were of great value to our family. We are grateful for your loving care and for what you have done for our family. Again, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We ask you to continue to pray for Peter Chan Dinh.”Happy birthday!

A belated happy birthday to Fr. Vincent Suparman, SCJ, and Frater Truc Tran, SCJ, who both celebrated birthdays yesterday. And, a happy birthday to Fr. Louis Marie Kayamba Butari, SCJ, (Montréal) whose birthday is today! Other May birthdays include: SCJs Fr. Ed Griesemer (June 9), Fr. Roger Phaneuf (June 12), Alfonso Pizano (candidate) and Fr. Yvon Sheehy (June 18), Fr. Nick Brown (June 22), Fr. Paul Tennyson (June 23), and Br. Matt Miles and Fr. Francis Vu Tran (June 26).

Directory updates

Note: we received a few updates to the North American Personnel Directory after a link to the PDF was sent to SCJs last week. A link to an updated PDF will be sent in several days.

Welcome the Holy Spirit

“As Dehonians, we believe that our vocation begins as a welcome to the Holy Spirit,” writes Br. Duane Lemke, SCJ, in yesterday’s Dehonian Associates’ reflection for Pentecost. “Welcoming the epiclesis, the work of the Holy Spirit, in the midst of our lives, in the midst of the societies and groups we form. The Dehonian calling is to turn that gift, with the addition of our labor and response, into a return gift to God. Our lives thus mirror the work of the Spirit at Mass.

“May this day of Pentecost –– its readings, its Eucharist –– bring us each closer to the Holy Spirit, closer to God active and present in the midst of human life and human interaction. And may we respond with a welcome to the Spirit.”

Click here to read Br. Duane’s full reflection.

Br. Duane is a member of the Provincial Council, local superior of the Sacred Heart Community at SHML, and province director of Justice, Peace and Reconciliation.

Many thanks!

The Dehonian Associates Committee thanks all who wrote reflections for the Lent/Easter mailings that were sent via e-mail on Sundays throughout the two seasons. Among those who contributed reflections: Fr. John Czyzynski, SCJ, Fr. Guy Blair, SCJ, Fr. Peter McKenna, SCJ, Bridget Martin (principal of Sacred Heart School in Southaven, MS), Fr. Joseph Mukuna, SCJ, Fr. Jack Kurps, SCJ, Fr. Gustave Lulendo, SCJ, Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, Monica Misey (SHSST Vice President of Institutional Advancement), Fr. Greg Schill, SCJ, Christine Greer ( Administrative Assistant at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Hernando, MS), Fr. Joseph Thien Dinh, SCJ, Joe Tyrell (Director of Mission Integration at St. Joseph’s Indian School), Fr. Christianus Hendrik, SCJ, and Br. Duane Lemke, SCJ.

Click here to access all of the mailings.

Good-bye and safe travels!

Two of our international ECS students stopped by the Provincial Offices this morning to say “good-bye and thanks” for their months in the United States. Fr. Josimar Baggio, SCJ (left) and Fr. Silvano Borba, SCJ, are pictured below with Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ. The students will soon return to Brazil. Safe travels!

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