Weekly News: June 7, 2021

Feast of the Sacred Heart

This Friday, June 11, is the solemnity of the Sacred Heart. Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, will be the main celebrant of a feast-day Mass at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake. Due to pandemic protocols, attendance at the liturgy will be limited to SCJs and residents of SHML. The Provincial Offices will be closed on Friday. Also, please note that the offices are now on summer hours until September 10, closing at noon on Fridays.

Spiritual journey

All subscribers to the Fridge Notes have been included on a series of June mailings prepared by the Dehonian Associates Committee. Sent on each Thursday of the month (beginning June 3), they invite readers to go a “spiritual journey” throughout the month of the Sacred Heart. Click here to view the first mailing. Click here to add a subscriber.

Each of the mailings ends with a prayer that comes from Prayers to the Loving Heart of Jesus, a contemporary devotional booklet prepared in 2020 by David Schimmel, then director of Dehonian Associates. The 24-page publication includes an Intercessory Novena to the Heart of Jesus, a Litany of the Heart of Jesus, and a Family Consecration to the Heart of Jesus, and features images of the Heart of Jesus that either have been created by Dehonians or are prominently displayed in their chapels and residences around the world. Click here to access a PDF of the booklet.

How do we go forward?

“The celebration of the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is an opportunity to review where we are on the journey, the way we are walking and how we are sharing it,” writes Fr. Carlos Luis Suárez Codorniú, SCJ, superior general, in his letter for the solemnity of the Sacred Heart. “It is up to us to situate ourselves in this global context that has brought so much upheaval. Some, more than others, are recovering a certain regularity in life and activities. But the suffering continues, and difficulties are not lacking. In the midst of all this, while we act, it is necessary to continue, both personally and communally, to reflect and answer the essential questions: Where does all this leave us? What are we learning? How did we react? Among these and many other possible questions, one must not be missed: How do we go forward?”

Click here to read the full letter on the general website. At that link you can also find it available in French, Indonesian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish.

Fr. Jim

Returning love for love

“It’s all about love,” said Fr. Jim Schroeder, SCJ, in a column about the Sacred Heart recently published in the Milwaukee Catholic Herald.

“Returning love for love — that’s the devotion to the Sacred Heart, returning love to Jesus by loving others, especially those most needing love,” said Fr. Schroeder, a member of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, whose U.S. Province is headquartered in Hales Corners. Fr. Schroeder has studied for years the history and theology of the Sacred Heart devotion.

“Anytime we love and show love and return love in some way, we are practicing Sacred Heart devotion,” he said.

Click here to read the full article on the Catholic Herald website.

The impact of the pandemic

In the most recent episode of “Heart to Heart,” Bishop Donald J. Hying, bishop of the diocese of Madison (WI), sits down with Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, to talk about his personal experience of the pandemic, as well as the Church’s experience as a whole. During the pandemic the bishop said that he “found that I am more resilient, but also more fragile than I thought.” People can adapt amazingly well to change, even difficult change, but to do so requires hope.

“Optimism shatters in the face of deep suffering,” said the bishop. “But hope is rooted in God and he is ever faithful in his promises.”

Click here or on the image above to view the video. Click here to access all of the Heart to Heart interviews.


Alfonso Pizano was accepted as a candidate for the Priests of the Sacred Heart during the Memorial Day Weekend Admissions Board meeting. He is 41, lives in southern California and has a master’s degree in education from Loyola Marymount University. Alfonso (pictured center, blue shirt) is currently a primary school teacher; he will enter the province theology program in fall.

Auto insurance cards

New auto insurance cards for SCJs are being mailed this week; they go into effect as of June 15, so SCJs should hang on to the old cards until then. Cards are being mailed to local superiors to distribute. Those living outside of a community house will have their cards mailed individually. If you don’t receive your new card by June 15, or if you have a question, please contact Kevin Stanke at the Provincial Treasurer’s Office (414-427-4270, provtreas3@usprovince.org)

Fr. Herman

Canadian SCJ featured in Catholic Register

When Fr. Herman Falke, SCJ, turned 80, he published Sculpted Swan Songs. It was the Dehonian artist’s eighth book, and he expected that it would be his last. But the publishing has continued and at 93, Fr. Herman is working with editor Michael Walsh of Mosaic Press to complete his autobiography, Celebrating a Life in Art. It is set for release this coming fall. In an article about Fr. Herman published in the Catholic Register, Michael notes that while Fr. Herman’s art is very contemporary, his communication tools are rooted in the pre-laptop era. Fr. Herman submitted the first eight chapters of his draft on handwritten pages with pictures glued in place, indicating where he thought that they might best fit.

“(His draft) was letter perfect and grammatically perfect,” said Michael the Catholic Register article. “You name it. It was a clean cursive text. He even (later) corrected me where he said I forgot to put a comma in some paragraph.”

A member of the Dehonian community in Ottawa, Canada, Fr. Herman is originally from the Netherlands, but has been a part of the Canadian Region since 1950, where he completed his studies and was ordained in 1954. From 1966-1974 he was a missionary in Uganda. He said that it was a time that transformed him as an artist. “African life is so much at the surface and so open,” said Fr. Herman in the article. “You see life which you never see in western Europe and North America. It’s right there on the street level. You see how they take care of their children, the kind of discipline and their contentment with very simple things. It was a life that was really beautiful. Their customs, their dances, life was right in front of you.”

Click here to read the rest of the article in the Catholic Register.

Padre Zezinho

A life of evangelization through music

Tomorrow, June 8, Fr. José Fernandes de Oliveira, SCJ, turns 80. For most of those years he has been known as “Padre Zezinho,” a Christian songwriter and performer who has written over 1,800 songs and 80 books, and has recorded 120 albums. His concerts have filled stadiums and his radio show in his native Brazil continues to draw millions of listeners. Shortly before his 80th birthday, he sat down for an interview to reflect on his life as a Dehonian, musician, songwriter and performer.

“People give me titles, or descriptions, such as ‘storyteller,’ ‘performer,’ ‘composer,’ and ‘writer,’ said Padre Zezinho. “I am those things, but it was never what I intended. As a child I dreamed of becoming a Dehonian priest in a parish. That was my vocation. But I never did become a parish pastor. My superiors encouraged me to evangelize with music, writing songs and performing, especially for young people…

“My greatest joy is found in the joy of the people.”

Padre Zezinho is a familiar name to many SCJs in North America not just because of his music, but because he did his theology studies here at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology and was ordained in the US Province in 1966. “I am thankful for the all that the US Province did for me in those years, 1964-67,” he said during the interview. “Many blessings to my friends in the United States.”

Click here to read the full interview.

LIVE! In honor of his 80th birthday, there will be a livestream celebration of Padre Zezinho tomorrow, June 8 on his YouTube Channel. Click here to find information about the event, as well as access videos of concerts and albums.

Please remember

+ Fr. Claudio Cappellaro, a member of the North Italian Province, died on June 3. He was born in 1923, professed in 1942 and ordained in 1951.

+ Fr. Antonius Gerardus van Dongen, a member of the Dutch – Flemish Confederation, died on June 1. He was born in 1928, professed in 1949 and ordained in 1956.

+ Fr. João Miguel, a member of the Brazil – Saõ Paulo Province, died on May 27. He was born in 1947, professed in 1965 and ordained in 1980.

+ Jerome Lynch, who was with the SCJs from 1958 to 1969, died on March 5. After leaving the community, he earned a law degree from the University of Wisconsin, married and started a family. He is survived by his wife, Marie; sons, Jeremiah (Erin), Joseph (April), Benjamin (Vanessa); five grandchildren; brothers, Roger, Michael, Dennis, Kevin; and sisters, Sharon, Anita, and Colleen. Click here to read his obituary.

Directory correction

Please note that the email address for Greg Fisher, director of the Sacred Heart Center in Eagle Butte, SD, has a typo in the personnel directory. The correct address: GFisher@shconline.org

Sharing among peers

On May 30, Br. Diego Diaz, SCJ, was one of approximately 45 men and women religious from various communities and countries who gathered on Zoom to share their faith and their experiences of religious life. Participants were from Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Mozambique, the United States and Colombia. The theme of the gathering: “Where the heart leans, the heart walks.”

Among the presentations: a community of religious who work on the border between Brazil and Venezuela shared their experience of assisting migrants, and a Redemptorist missionary who is in Mozambique spoke of his mission and what it is like to be in a remote community with just two religious.

“These intercongregational meetings were born from the need to have a space for men and women religious to be able to share their life and the Gospel,” said Br. Diego, who served as one of the organizers. “Many of us have had experiences of intercongregational formation, so we value this type of initiative.” The first meeting was in November, 2020, as a way of sharing and support during the pandemic.

“For me as a Dehonian, it is important to participate in this type of initiative since it nurtures me personally and at the same time I feel that it is part of the charism of supporting and giving formation spaces for consecrated persons,” said Br. Diego. “I really like to think that Fr Dehon would have undoubtedly used Zoom to create these meetings and these spaces for reflection.”

Among the religious communities represented in the meeting: the Augustinian Missionary Sisters, Mercedarians, Redemptorist Missionaries, Oblates of the Most Holy Redeemer, Religious of the Sacred Heart, Salesians and Marists. From the SCJs, Br. Mauricio Oyarzun of the Chilean Province, also took part.

We pray…

I am greatly comforted
knowing that you live in me;
that your Heart is truly my heart.
May all my thoughts, words, and actions
reflect the sentiments of your Heart.

With my belief in your tender love,
I come to you in confidence
asking for what I believe I need.
[Mention your request.]

Since you know me through and through,
I will wait patiently
to receive from your all-knowing Heart
what I really need for my own benefit
and that of my brothers and sisters.
May the answer to my prayer
allow me to collaborate with you
in building your reign of love, justice, and peace.

Prayer from Prayers to the Loving Heart of Jesus

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