Weekly news: March 20, 2017

Local superiors and members of the US Provincial Council

A “superior” meeting

Local superiors of the US Province and Canadian Region gathered for their annual meeting at the Provincial Offices in Hales Corners, WI on March 14, Founder’s Day.

Most of the discussion was on community life. How can communities best welcome new members, but also help all members to fully interact with each other and take collaborative ownership for the workings of the community? Local communities throughout the congregation are becoming much more international; how does a community allow itself to be changed and enhanced by welcoming international SCJs?

How does the community establish and nurture a common prayer life? Is there transparency in the community regarding financial concerns?

Noting that medical emergencies are not limited to retirement communities, the superiors talked about health information. How much medical information should a superior have about members of his community? When medical emergencies happen it is vital that current information be available about an individual, including medications and allergies.

Some of the superiors are among the youngest in their community, which they said can at times feel awkward.  Fr. Ed Kilianski said that he felt similar apprehension when he became provincial superior. “I am now meeting with my seminary teachers as their superior,” he said. “It does take some getting used to, but it is a transition most of us face eventually.”

The superiors ended their gathering with a Founder’s Day celebration with the community at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake.

Click here to view a few photos from the meeting on the province Facebook page.

Final vows

Congratulations to Frater Joseph Vu who, last week, was approved by the council to begin his final vows program. Br. Ray Kozuch is his final vows director.


Fr. Mark with the bishop and confirmation students

Rediscovering the seven gifts

In a recent post on the province blog Fr. Mark Mastin, a chaplain with the US Army serving at Fort Gordon, wrote about how teaching a confirmation class reminded him of something he learned during his own confirmation preparation and how it has helped him during Lent.

“Through my confirmation class I rediscovered how the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit can help me get spiritually grounded again for Lent, especially in the practice of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving,” he wrote. “I likewise saw how Dehonian this discerning process was. As a child of the sixties, I was confirmed in the 7th grade. By my adulthood, I had relegated the gifts of the Holy Spirit (wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord) to some ethereal realm never to be called upon again. However, I now saw a deeper connection of these gifts in conjunction with our SCJ Rule of Life. I began to see these gifts of the spirit in a very real and practical human way for my Lenten practices and managing my ministerial life as well.”

Click here to read the full post on the province blog.

Important Reminder

Br. Frank Presto, provincial secretary, reminds members of the province that they need to have an up-to-date Power of Health Care for Medical Concerns document on file at the Provincialate. Make sure that the person named is still able to fulfill his duties as POA. Contact Br. Frank or Nancy Gray at the Provincial Offices if you need a copy of the form or have questions about it.

Celebrating green

Congratulations to Fr. Zbigniew (Ziggy) Morawiec who, after many years of ministry in the US Province, received his Green Card, which allows him permanent residency in the United States. Fr. Ziggy is originally from the Polish Province; he has served at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Houston and for the past year with the pastoral team in northern Mississippi.

Dehonian retreat prep

Members of the coordinating committee for the North American Dehonian Retreats – Fr. Jim Schroeder, David Schimmel and Fr. John van den Hengel – met on Wednesday, March 15 at the US Provincialate Offices. The first of the three retreats will be given in Mississauga, Ontario (near Toronto), August 13-19; there will be 37 participants.

It is still possible to sign up for one of the retreats. Please click here to be taken to the registration page. The retreat options are August 13-19, 2017, at the Apostles Retreat Center in Mississauga and May 6-12, 2018 at the Siena Center in Racine, Wis.

There will also be a retreat for the formation community August 5-12, 2018.

Questions about the retreat? Click here to contact a member of the planning committee.


Founder’s Day in Vietnam. Br. Leonard Zaworski from the US Province is on the far left.

Founder’s Day in Vietnam

Fr. Francis Vu Tran, superior of Vietnam, sent photos from the district’s celebration of Founder’s Day.

“This year’s celebrations were especially significant for the district because it was also a ‘welcome home’ for eight of our students who have been away for more than two years for philosophy studies,” said Fr. Francis.

“Fr. General wrote that it is through the daily devotion of his mother that Fr. Dehon first learned about God and the Sacred Heart,” he continued. “It is through our family that we first learned of our faith. It is through a simple act yet powerful devotion that we have our vocation. May the Sacred Heart reign in the heart of each Dehonian so that we in turn bring his love and mercy to those whom we minister to and meet in our lives.”

Br. Leonard Zaworski, a member of the US Province assisting in Vietnam for several weeks, joined in the district celebrations.


Leo Dehon Library lecture

Fr. Charles Brown was the first presenter for this year’s Leo Dehon Library “Spirituality of the Heart” Lenten coffee break presentations. He briefly spoke about Fr. Leo John Dehon, his charism and the spirituality of the Priests of the Sacred Heart.

Click here or on the image above to view a video of his presentation.

Tomorrow’s speaker is Sr. Mary Carroll, SSSF, professor of systematic studies and associate director of pastoral formation. It will be from 10:15 – 10:30 at the Leo Dehon Library at SHSST.

A bit more on the founder

Last week we noted that Fr. John Czyzynski gave a presentation on Fr. Dehon at the Province Development Office as part of its commemoration of Founder’s Day.  During his talk he spoke about the early days of the congregation. Clarifying what was written about the presentation, Fr. John said that “Fr. Dehon never intended to found a community dedicated solely to the practice of Adoration, but some of the early members wanted the community to be more about various spiritual exercises connected with devotion to the Sacred Heart. Fr. Dehon, however, was moving in the direction of working for social justice as intimately connected with true devotion to the Sacred Heart.  A tension developed in the community and members of the former group wanted to oust Fr. Dehon from his own community. Others, led by Fr. Prevot, agreed with Fr. Dehon and gave him their full support.

“Fr. Dehon was re-elected as the superior general and the community continued its focus on social justice.”

Budget reminder

The Provincial Treasurer’s office reminds budget preparers that March 31 is the due date for getting those budgets to the office. Community treasurers should note that SCJ Medical is increasing to $1,255 per SCJ, per month and that SCJ retirement contributions increase to $400 per SCJ per month. Narratives are expected for budget items that fluctuate by plus or minus 10% from the previous year or are in excess of $7,500.

Questions? Contact Kevin Stanke, John Kuxhause or Dn. David Nagel.

Provincial’s time

Today Fr. Ed Kilianski is finishing a visit to California where he met with Fr. Vien Nguyen, who is completing his doctoral studies. March 22 he has meetings with the Board of Directors of Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. His next visitations are in Texas April 6-17 and Houston April 6-17 (he will spend Holy Week and Easter with the Houston community).

Happy anniversary!

Fr. Leonard Elder celebrated his 50th anniversary of priesthood on March 17 with Mass at St. Joseph parish in Holly Springs, Miss., followed by a southern-style catfish and chicken dinner. Congratulations Fr. Leonard! Click here to view more photos from the celebration.

Fr. Thi, Fr. Leonard, Fr. Ziggy, Fr. Greg and Frater Justin at Fr. Leonard’s 50th celebration