Weekly News: March 14, 2022

We celebrate the birth of our founder

In his letter commemorating the anniversary, Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, provincial superior, writes of the challenges that the world faces today, in particular, armed conflicts around the world. He shares a reflection from Fr. Dehon on the horrors of World War I:

“War bears a great resemblance to hell. It is a daily outburst of anger, hatred, and rage. They want to see their enemies killed or wounded, their cities and towns laid waste by war.”

Fr. Vien continues, writing “On the birthday of Fr. Leo John Dehon, we pray for an end to war. We call on the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of leaders and lead them to the path of peace and reconciliation.”

Click here to read the full letter.

Click here to access the General Superior’s (Fr. Carlos Luis Suarez Codorniú) letter for letter for March 14.

Click here to read a reflection on Fr. Dehon written by a David Neuhold, the researcher commissioned by the general administration to write a critical biography of the founder.

Click here to access Dehonian vocational materials on the general website.

Remembering Fr. Johnny

“A Jersey boy living in Milwaukee. Lived in Italy for 6 years. Like wine, the Brewers, digital photography. I have a heart for the poor and social justice.”

This was Fr. Johnny Klingler’s self-description in the original word limit of Twitter. It shows a man who loved the joy of life, but above all, was guided by his compassion for the poor and social justice for all.

On Saturday, March 12, Fr. Johnny died. Originally from Paterson, NJ, he was 86, professed his first vows in 1963, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1967.

Growing up, Fr. Johnny gave no thought to being a priest. He earned a degree in communications with the idea of working in television production. When he was drafted during the Korean War, a relative suggested that he should volunteer to be a chaplain’s assistant because it was “easy duty.” This experience, together with working with Korean children orphaned by the war, led to his life-long passion for working on behalf of the poor. When he read information about the Priests of the Sacred Heart, he knew it was where he was called to be.

Fr. Johnny went on to become provincial superior of the US Province (1977-1983) and a member of the General Council (1985-1991). He was also the first director of Justice and Peace for the US Province, and was an influential force on the General Council in terms of social justice.

Click here to read more about Fr. Johnny. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Please remember 

+ Fr. Corrado Mosna, a member of the North Italian Province, died March 7. He was born in 1934, professed in 1952 and ordained in 1961.

+ Chris Martin, 60, a cousin of Fr. Jim Walters, SCJ, died on March 12. Please keep the family in prayer.

Keep in prayer

Maggie Pavelic, the mother of the fiancé (Nick) of Kevin Stanke’s son, Joshua, has been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. Kevin is a member of the Provincial Treasurer’s Office. Please keep the family in prayer.

“Where sin is powerful, God’s kindness is even more powerful”

Originally from Poland, Fr. Andrzej Sudol, SCJ, has been a member of the US Province for many years. He recently shared his thoughts on the attack on Ukraine and the efforts of so many to help its people.

“In general, this war affects me a great deal,” he writes. “With great love and care, my younger sister decided to take in three war refugee Ukrainian families into their home who obviously escaped from the war zone. Also, some of my cousins and friends did the same. I admire them for their actions. I am now motivated to reserve time to speak with them often. In those conversations, they share with me the stories of the refugees. After hearing these courageous narratives, I now have difficulties focusing and keeping my life organized. I am distracted these days during my prayers, my work, and my ministry.

“Another worry of mine has to deal with our six SCJ communities in the District of Ukraine that are ministered by confreres who are Polish and Ukrainian. These men decided to remain with the local people and serve them during the war. I know some of them well, and they are part of my overall distress and concerns. I keep them in my daily prayers. I am impressed with their radical decision to stay behind and their dedication to serve the people entrusted to them. As of this writing, they are alive and safe…

“Every Polish SCJ community and parish, as well as retreat and formation houses, are encouraged to receive as many refugee families as they can…

“Despite suffering and death, there is a lot of good work and solidarity by many countries with the suffering people of Ukraine. It is so visible these days that ‘where sin is powerful, God’s kindness is even more powerful’ (Rom 5:20).”

Click here to read Fr. Andrzej’s full reflection.

UPDATES on Ukraine and the outreach to those impacted by the invasion are regularly posted on DehoniansWorldwide, the general Facebook page.

Sharing each other’s faith

On Monday, March 7, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Houston, hosted approximately 60 students and four staff from Emery Weiner Jewish School. As a part of the senior class’s Comparative Religions Week, the Jewish students are learning about other faiths.

“They were amazed by the history of Our Lady of Guadalupe, especially because it was built for the Hispanics who were not accepted in other Catholic Churches in the Houston area at the time,” said Fr. Rafael Querobin, SCJ, parish administrator. “Our parish staff helped me to welcome the visitors from Emery Weiner and to give information about our parish. The visitors asked that we talk not only about parish history, but also about devotion to Our Lady Guadalupe and the Stations of the Cross. Elizabeth Torres (business officer manager), Micaela Gomez (Officer assistant), and Anna Gonzalez (coordinator of the Liturgy Committee) supported me during this visit.”

The collaborative visit was organized by Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston


Congratulations to Frater Hung Pham, SCJ, who received the Ministry of Reader on March 8 during Adoration at Sacred Heart Monastery. Frater Hung is a second-year student at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. Prior to candidacy with the Priests of the Sacred Heart, he earned a degree in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Houston and served as a Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon analyst. He professed his first vows in 2020.

Many thanks to Frater Truc Tran, SCJ, who took photos at the ceremony. Click here to view more on the province Facebook page.

A “second look” at Pope Pius XII

The title of the Spring Lux Center Lecture at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology is “Hitler’s Pope or Someday a Saint? A Second Look at Pope Pius XII.” The featured speaker will be Fr. Dennis McManus, who, in 2021, was appointed Senior Research Fellow at Georgetown University to investigate the Vatican Archives and the question of Pius XII and the Holocaust. He has served as the delegate for Jewish Affairs for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops since 2010.

The lecture will take place at 3:00 pm on March 27 both in-person and online. Click here for more information.

Happy birthday!

Last week the Novitiate community celebrated Jonathan Nguyen-Vuong’s 21st birthday and last night, the candles came out again for the celebration of Michael Wodarczyk’s 34th.. Happy birthday!

Visitation schedules

This week, Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, begins the 2022 Provincial Visitations in Texas. The full schedule for the year:

  • March 15-18, Texas
  • April 11-14 or 15, Sacred Heart Community at SHML
  • April 19-22, Sacred Heart Monastery
  • June 14-16, Sacred Heart Novitiate
  • June 22-27, South Dakota
  • July 13-18, Mississippi
  • July 19-22, Florida
  • August TBD, St. Joseph’s at SHML

The General Visitation of Fr. Carlos Luis Suarez Codorniú, SCJ, and Fr. Stephen Huffstetter, SCJ, will take place in May. The schedule:

  • April 30 – May 3, Pinellas Park, FL (arrive April 30, rest May 1, depart May 3)
  • May 4-6, Sacred Heart Monastery (SHSST commencement on May 6)
  • May 7-11, Sacred Heart Community at SHML (on May 10 Fr. General will meet with the Provincial Council in the morning, and visit with the Novitiate in the afternoon; on May 11 he will visit with the St. Joseph’s Community)
  • May 12-15, South Dakota (depart for SD on May 12, leave SD on May 16)
  • May 17-19, Mississippi (depart on May 19)
  • May 20-22, Texas
  • May 23, depart the US Province

Click here to access the online North American calendar.

General Conference final message 

The Final Message from the IX General Conference is now posted on the general website. Click here to access it. The conference took place February 13-18 in Rome with the theme, “Dehonians in Social Commitments: The Impact of God’s Love for Our Society.”

“In these days of fraternal sharing we have seen and heard how we Dehonians wish to respond to the challenges raised by the environment in which we live,” wrote conference participants. “Responses are very different, depending on the situations which our entities and communities are a part of. But what inspires and unites all these initiatives is the same concern: restoring dignity to wounded persons and communities in a society that ignores or discards them.

“Thus, in this effort and service, in the style of Father Dehon and for the good of persons and communities, we want to continue the work of Christ who called us to undertake his mission of love and reparation as servants and friends, collaborating with him so that ‘they may have life, and have it to the full’ (Jn 10:10).”

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