Weekly News: March 18, 2024


On Founder’s Day, four of SCJ seminarians received ministries: Frater Jacob Smith, SCJ (Lector), Frater Thuan Nguyen, SCJ (Acolyte), Frater Truc Tran, SCJ (Acolyte), and Frater Michael Wodarczyk, SCJ (Acolyte). The ceremony took place during Mass with the Sacred Heart Monastery community. The four students are pictured above with Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ.

Click here to access photos from the ceremony

Fr. Vien with Bishop John Brungardt of Dodge City, KS

Founder’s Day

Besides Reception of Ministries, many other events took place throughout the province to commemorate Founder’s Day on March 14, the 181st anniversary of the birth of Venerable Leo John Dehon.

“If we delve into the life of Fr. Dehon, we can sense a man of great humility, charity, and gentleness,” wrote Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, in his Founder’s Day letter to employees and other collaborators. “To the young people he ministered to, he’s known as a good father, or ‘très bon père.’ He genuinely cared for the factory workers who were exploited and impacted by the Industrial Revolution. The long working hours kept many workers away from their families and the church. In response, Fr. Dehon founded clubs and schools for young people. He sent his fellow priests to the factories to ensure that the workers’ sacramental needs were met. Furthermore, he challenged factory owners to implement humane working hours and conditions for their workers. Fr. Dehon was inspired by and faithful to the Catholic social teaching and wanted his fellow clergy and religious, as well as the laity to protect the dignity and rights of the vulnerable.”

Click here to download the letter. Click here for Fr. Vien’s letter to fellow SCJs.

Also, Fr. Vien was the main celebrant of the morning liturgy at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology for Founder’s Day (pictured above). Click here to access his homily. Click here to view photos from the liturgy.

In his homily at the SCJ community Mass at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake, Fr. Jim Schroeder, SCJ, reminded fellow Dehonians that “Leo united his whole life with the Ecce Ancilla of Mary, the full but passive acceptance of the action of God the Spirit, with the Ecce Venio of Jesus, the full and active readiness and willingness to work to bring about the Reign of God in souls and in societies.  Part of that work was to make reparation, to pray to God for those alienated from Him, and to work to repair the break in their relationship.  Another essential part of that work was to strive with others to Tikkun olam, to Repair the World, to remedy the sin and lack of love in the world and in the church.  Reparation in a spiritual way is nothing without reparation, or repair work, in the human world.”

Click here to read Fr. Jim’s homily.

And finally, click here to access the Founder’s Day letter from Fr. Carlos Luis Suarez Codorniú, SCJ, superior general.

Monica Misey

New Director of Dehonian Associates named

Today Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, announced that Monica Misey has been hired as Province Director of Dehonian Associates.

“Father Dehon’s charism and Sacred Heart spirituality are God’s gifts to us and the Church,” wrote Fr. Vien in a letter to SCJs this morning. “During the 2022 Election Assembly and the 2023 Provincial Chapter, SCJs strongly expressed the importance of sharing these gifts with the laity and clergy. In response, the Provincial Council has sought to find an individual dedicated to working with lay individuals to make our Dehonian charism and Sacred Heart spirituality more accessible and known, beginning with our employees and other lay collaborators.

“I am delighted to announce that Ms. Monica Misey has agreed to serve as the director of the Dehonian Associates. Ms. Misey has spent many years at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, first as a successful MA student in its Cor Unum program, and most recently, as Vice President of Institutional Advancement. She will remain in that position until May 9. She has an extensive background in marketing. In my opinion, Ms. Misey is an excellent speaker and leader. But most importantly, her passion for our charism, ministry, and mission stands out to me and other SCJs who have worked alongside her.”

Click here to read Fr. Vien’s full letter.

Monica will begin her new position on May 20, and work closely with Fr. Joseph Mukuna, SCJ, the newly appointed director of the Dehon Study Center. Welcome Monica!

Budget reminder

All province budget preparers are reminded that budgets are due on April 5. They should be sent to Kevin Stanke at the Provincialate Offices. Questions? Please contact Kevin.

Sacred music at SHSST

Dr. Benjamin Stone, Director of Liturgy & Music and Lecturer of Pastoral Studies at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, will perform a recital of music for the Easter season, including works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Heinrich Scheidemann, Johann Ludwig Krebs, and Christa Rakish. Dr. Stone will present a talk on the evening’s musical selections before the recital. The performance will feature the Berghaus organ, installed 30 years ago and restored in 2021. Dr. Stone holds both a Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Sacred Music from the University of Notre Dame. Freewill donations will be accepted.

As noted in the image above, the event is free, but you are asked to preregister. Click here for more information. 

Dr. Richo

Lenten Hours of Recollection

Dr. David Richo, a psychologist, teacher, workshop leader, and writer based in San Francisco, was the presenter for two Lenten Hours of Recollection March 14 and 15. As with previous seasonal Zoom events, one hour was for SCJs and the second was for province employees and other collaborators. Both focused on the theme of “Calling and Charism: Being Sacred Heart in the World” and were held in conjunction with Founder’s Day, the anniversary of Fr. Leo John Dehon’s birth on March 14, 1843.

Dr. Richo began each of the reflections with a quote from Pope John XXIII: “Jesus, I now think of myself as living solely for your Sacred Heart.”

“Our calling is to have the hearts of Jesus and Mary come alive in ourselves here and now and for the rest of our lives,” said Dr. Richo during the first presentation. “There couldn’t be any higher calling than that.”

He elaborated on that the next day, noting that “The calling from the Sacred Heart is to have His Heart in us. It is not supposed to be something outside that we adore, it is something that is to be a combination of adoration and interior realization that this same heart is in me, and I want to love the world in the same way that Jesus did and does.

“The way we love the world is to contribute in any way we can to having there be more justice and less prejudice, more peace and less war, more love and less hate and division…

“I am completely open to anything that might happen to me today and trusting that whatever happens to me is an opportunity to open my heart more and more. If I have a bad moment today I ask, ‘how can I come to this with heart, how can I open my heart more and more and give a loving response to everything that happens to me today no matter how triggered I am to anger?’

“This is how I show my love to everyone. And when we do this, that means that the hearts of Jesus and Mary are alive in us.”

Opening windows to the world

On March 13, four international students from our English and Culture Studies program at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology visited with residents at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake. Using their newly developing English language skills the students shared a bit about themselves and their home countries. The students included Fr. Milton Herrera FMM (Archdiocese of Milwaukee), Br. Vital Ringuyeneza CI (Brothers of Christian Instruction – SCJ scholarship), Fr. Daniel Nizigiyimana (Archdiocese of Gitega in Burundi – SCJ scholarship), and Fr. Floribert Bulo Dhelo, SCJ, DR Congo. Click here to view photos from the visit. 

Continuing stories

Br. Andy Gancarczyk, SCJ, shares another in a series of stories by Fr. Tony Russo, SCJ. “Lunch with God” is the title of this week’s installment and reflects on the many ways that God is present to us. Click here or on the image above to view it.

Founder’s Day tees

As a part of this year’s Founder’s Day celebration, the Province Vocation Office sent Dehonian shirts to the youth of our ministries throughout the United States. The red shirt includes the Dehonian cross, which Fr. Henry Nguyen, SCJ, vocation director, describes as a “heart within the cross that is empty for us to fill with our own love to give to others.”

Pictured below are young people at Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Martin of Tours, and St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Students at Our Lady of Guadalupe, Houston, in their Dehonian shirts on Founder’s Day
St. Martin of Tours
St. Joseph’s Indian School

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