Weekly News: June 8, 2015

The XXIII General Chapter
The XXIII General Chapter

General Chapter comes to an end

With the installation of Fr. Heiner Wilmer as the 10th superior general of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, the 23rd General Chapter came to an end on Saturday, June 6.

Fr. John receives a gift from Fr. Ornelas. June 5 was Fr. John's 50th anniversary
Fr. John receives an anniversary gift from Fr. Ornelas

The Closing Mass followed what was in many ways a day of celebration at the chapter. Friday began with Eucharist at which Fr. John van den Hengel was the main celebrant. It was his 50th anniversary of priesthood.

Then it was on to a visit with Pope Francis who set aside a prepared text to freely speak with the SCJs, noting his familiarity with the congregation, its work and its charism.

Back at the Generalate it was time for lunch and a continued celebration of Fr. John’s anniversary. Gifts, congratulations and a dining room full of laughter.

In the late afternoon the chapter gathered in the meeting hall one last time. They reviewed and approved the final message of the chapter. It is a document that summarizes and gives direction to the priorities the chapter delegates worked on during the previous days: Spirituality and Identity, Fraternal Life in Community, Formation, the Preferential Option for the Poor, and Mission.

Fr. José Ornelas Carvalho and Fr. Antonio Panteghini served as witnesses to Fr. Heiner's oath during the Closing Mass.
Fr. José Ornelas Carvalho and Fr. Antonio Panteghini served as witnesses to Fr. Heiner’s oath during the Closing Mass.

The session closed with words from superior generals past, present and newly elected. Fr. Antonio Panteghini expressed his joy at being with the chapter, one that was much different than those he had presided over when he was superior general. “It is wonderful for me to see the many colors of the world represented here,” he said. “Looking just one or two chapters back we didn’t see this diversity in the room. But here there is much youth, there is ‘color.’ It signifies the broadening of the congregation –– its active presence in the world and a great hope for the future.”

Fr. José Ornelas Carvalho spoke of the fraternal atmosphere of the chapter; he was grateful to those who spent countless hours organizing it, attributing much of the chapter’s success to their work.

“This is the last time that I will speak to you as the superior general,” he concluded. “I want to tell you what an immense gratitude I feel. It has been a great privilege for me to serve the congregation. I thank you all for your kindness.”

Reports, videos and photos from the chapter have been posted. Most can be accessed from the congregational website. Click here to view it.

The Dehonians Worldwide Facebook page has also been a good source for information from the chapter. Click here to go to it.

Click here to access photos from the General Chapter.

Fr. Ed Kilianski interim provincial superior

Fr. Ed at the General Chapter
Fr. Ed at the General Chapter

With the election of Fr. Stephen Huffstetter to the General Council in Rome, Fr. Ed Kilianski becomes the interim provincial superior of the US Province until the province election assembly August 24 -28.

“In a spirit of Ecce Venio and Fiat, I humbly accept this responsibility,” wrote Fr. Ed to members of the province. “I promise you that I will do my best to serve each of you and our province.”

Reflecting on the recently completed General Chapter he wrote that “the General Chapter was an amazing experience of our internationality and interculturality as a congregation. We are young and vibrant in many parts of the world. We can also be very proud of our new superior general, Fr. Heiner Wilmer, and his General Council.”

Click here to read more about Fr. Ed.

Please remember

+Fr. Eduardo Perales Pons, a member of the Spanish Province, died June 7. He was born in 1928, professed in 1946 and ordained in 1952.

Keep in Prayer

Tiny Bon-de Jong, the sister of Fr. Jan de Jong, has been hospitalized with a severe heart attack. Fr. Jan is in Holland with his family at this time. Please keep them in your prayers.

Bethsaida expedition

Nine students and faculty members from Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology are heading off to Israel this summer to take part in an archeological expedition at Bethsaida with the aim of gaining new insights about the cultural context of Jesus’ ministry. The group departs on June 16 for three weeks.

Visit the Bethsaida Facebook page for reflections, news about discoveries, photos and commentary throughout the trip.

Feast of the Sacred Heart

The annual Mass for the Feast of the Sacred Heart at Sacred Heart Monastery will be at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 12. Raffles will be held before and after the Mass; proceeds will benefit SCJ missions. A light lunch will be served at a noon.

Questions? Call 414-425-3383

Remembering Fr. Clancy

Fr. Richard MacDonald will celebrate a Memorial Mass for Fr. Frank Clancy at Our Lady of Guadalupe on Feast of the Sacred Heart (June 12). Fr. Frank, who died May 17, served in the Rio Grande Valley for many years.