Weekly News: March 7, 2022

In solidarity with Ukraine

“Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the Dehonian communities in Poland have opened their hearts to help the refugees with great commitment, providing materials (clothes, medicine, food, etc.) and arranging the accommodation [in religious houses],” wrote Fr. Slawomir Knopik, SCJ, provincial superior of Poland.

Dehonians in Poland have welcomed refugees in several communities, and are collaborating with a variety of organizations, including Caritas and the John Paul II Foundation, to support the Ukrainians coming to them. “Dehonian communities in parishes [Belchatow, Weglowka] have organized places for refugees in the homes of parishioners,” said Fr. Slawomir. “Other parish communities collect the most needed items and deliver them to those in need…

“On behalf of our entire Polish Province of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, I would like to express my great gratitude for every gesture of solidarity and help. First of all, thank you for your prayers, but also for the material support that some provinces have already provided. We hope that this war will end soon and that Ukrainians will return to their homes to live and work to rebuild their damaged properties. And then our help for them will be just as important and necessary.”

The US Province initially pledged $10,000 to assist the Polish Province during the refugee crisis. The Province Development Office is inviting benefactors to join in support. Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology is one of several province ministries collecting donations from within its own community to help support the Polish Province. If your ministry would like information about sending funds in support of the Ukrainian crisis, contact the Provincial Treasurer’s office.

The following video about the Ukrainian situation was put together by the Polish Province. It highlights the support of the Polish Dehonians and volunteers, as well as first-hand images from Ukrainian SCJs. Click here or on the image below to view it. Note: the image at the top of the page (SCJ logo amid the colors of Ukraine) is also from the Polish SCJs.

Please remember

Greg Davis, the nephew of Fr. Gary Lantz, SCJ, was found dead last week, presumably of a blood clot in his head. Please keep the family in prayer.

Also, we recently learned that Mary Aileen Pelrin, the sister of deceased SCJ Fr. Tom Garvey, died November 20, 2021. Click here to view her obituary.

Budget reminder

The Provincial Treasurer’s office reminds budget preparers that the budgets are due on April 8. Community houses are to provide one copy of their budget either as a hard copy or as an electronic file to Kevin Stanke (provtreas3@usprovince.org). Ministries and other offices are to provide 15 print copies of their budget to the Provincial Treasurer’s office. Questions can be directed to Kevin Stanke, John Kuxhause or Dn. David Nagel.

Fr. Steve anointed Fr. Ed during the Election Assembly


As reported previously, Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the end of 2021. After four chemotherapy sessions there has been an adjustment in his treatment. Fr. Ed developed significant complications from the chemo, including neuropathy in his hands. If the chemo treatment were to continue, he would most likely lose the use of at least one hand.

This week he will begin an intensive radiation regimen: five weeks of radiation, five days a week. He will also take a once-a-week chemotherapy pill or injection; this is different than the chemo treatment that caused the neuropathy.

The focus of Fr. Ed’s cancer treatment is on temporary remission. For various reasons, he is not a candidate for surgery. It is hoped that at the end of the five weeks of radiation that he will be in remission. If not, after a brief break, he will continue with radiation.

In the midst of his treatment, there is positive news. The tumor on his pancreas has slightly reduced in size. Also, after having it cancelled twice previously, Fr. Ed is once again scheduled for an epidural shot to treat the spinal stenosis that has kept him wheelchair bound.

He thanks everyone for prayers and concern.

Centennial Committee named

In 2023 the Priests of the Sacred Heart celebrate 100 years of the Dehonian presence in the United States. Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, recently appointed a Centennial Committee to help the province plan for various ways to commemorate the year, including a province gathering in 2023.

The SCJ committee: Fr. Christianus Hendrik, Frater Paul (Phong) Hoang, Fr. Yvon Sheehy, Fr. David Szatkowski (chairperson), and Fr. Ed Zemlik.


Frater Hung Pham, SCJ, will receive the Ministry of Lector tomorrow, March 8, during Adoration at Sacred Heart Monastery.


Fr. Jean Claude Mbassi, SCJ, is now officially a member of the US Province. Originally from Cameroon, Fr. JC (as he is known) came to the United States to study in the English and Cultural Studies program at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology in 2019.

Fr. JC is 47, professed his first vows in 2001, and was ordained to the priesthood in 2009.

Active in social concerns, he served as the chaplain of the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission for the diocese of Bafoussam in West Cameroon (2009-2017), as a prison chaplain (2009-2017), as director of the Jeunesse en Difficulté, a training center for at-risk youth (2009-2017), and as the Catholic representative to the Commission for Interreligious Cooperation in Bafoussam (2011-2017). From 2011-2018 he was also a member of the Provincial Council of the Cameroon Province.

“I am pleased that working in the Lord’s vineyard is a service of reciprocal exchange,” said Fr. Jean Claude after receiving his assignment in South Dakota. “I am pleased to share with people of other cultures my world vision, my heritage, and my lived experience. At the same time, I am pleased that they will add their pieces of cloth to the quilt that is my life, my commitment, and my ministry.”

Fr. JC is pictured above with Fr. Christianus Hendrik, SCJ, doing something that he never had the chance to do in Cameroon: remove snow from a church parking lot.

Have we “gotten” Lent yet?

Fr. Guy Blair, SCJ, wrote yesterday’s Dehonian Associates’ Lenten reflection. His question? “Have we ‘gotten’ Lent yet?”

“Lent is like a door that we open to remember we have been given the gift of forgiveness and salvation,” he wrote.  “The grace of that realization can be enough to jumpstart a change in our lives.   Alas, we have been taught that we must perfect ourselves in some way through Lenten practices to be made worthy of those gifts freely given. Jesus Christ ends up being a secondary issue. We are always in the spotlight.

“Whatever you decide to do for Lent — whether praying more deeply, disciplining yourself from addictions, being more generous with your time — whatever you do, if you do not become more loving, more patient, more forgiving, you are wasting your time.”

If you missed yesterday’s mailing, click here to read Fr. Guy’s full reflection.

Click here to add a subscriber to the Lent / Easter e-blast. The reflections are sent each morning of the Lent and Easter seasons. Many thanks to the SCJs and co-workers who assisted with the project!

Ash Wednesday at OLG

The following are a few photos from Ash Wednesday services at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Houston. The SCJs included in them are Fr. Jerzy Mordalski, Fr. Rafael Querobin, Fr. Tim Gray and Fr. Richard Johnston.

Click here to subscribe to the weekly news (Fridge Notes) via email