Weekly News: May 11, 2020

St. Joseph’s Indian School named top-rated nonprofit

St. Joseph’s Indian School was named as a “2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit” by GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews of charities and nonprofits.

Fr. Anthony with students at St. Joe’s in pre-COVID days

“We are honored to receive a Top-Rated Charity award for the fourth consecutive year from GreatNonprofits,” said Mike Tyrell, president of the school. “For over 90 years, our mission at St. Joseph’s Indian School to care for the whole child – mind, body, heart and spirit – has not only remained intact but also grown stronger.”

St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, SD, was one of the first ministries of the Priests of the Sacred Heart (Dehonians) in the United States. Since it opened its doors in 1927, the school – which serves Native America children from throughout South Dakota – has expanded its outreach well beyond the classroom.

The Top-Rated Nonprofit Award is based on the rating and number of reviews that St. Joseph’s Indian School received from volunteers, donors and aid recipients. One reviewer writes, “I have always been amazed at all of the things that the school does for the children, from providing basic needs to education including their culture. The recent equine therapy program has me greatly excited. There are too many great features of this school to write about in this review. I just hope that more people become aware of just how fantastic this school is and decide to start donating to St. Joseph’s Indian School.”

GreatNonprofits is the leading website where people share stories about their personal experiences with more than 1.6 million charities and nonprofits. The GreatNonprofits Top-Rated Awards are the only awards for nonprofits determined by those with direct experience with the charities as donors, volunteers and recipients of aid.

Jubilee rescheduled

The Provincial Council rescheduled the annual Jubilee Celebration for Friday, September 18. Liturgy will be at 4:30 p.m. followed by a reception and dinner. As with all calendar items at this time, it is subject to change depending on the impact of the pandemic. The location will be Hales Corners / Franklin.

A reminder: the June 2020 Provincial Assembly has been cancelled. The Province Election Assembly is scheduled to take place July 26-30, 2021.

Celebrating OLG’s teachers

Celebrating teachers, opening services at OLG

In celebration of National Teacher Appreciation Day, last week parents and students at Our Lady of Guadalupe, Houston, held a parade to show support for their teachers. As with most schools in the nation, OLG had to close its doors to on-campus learning at the end of the semester due to COVID-19.

During the first weekend of May, the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston opened churches with restrictions. Our Lady of Guadalupe has offered livestream and on-site liturgies; however, only a handful of people attended church in person (the response to livestreaming continues to be very good). Starting today, May 11, the parish office reopens. Visitors are asked to wear masks and social distancing will be required.

Prayer requests

Last week, the mother of Novice Thien Nguyen, Matta, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. A few days after the initial diagnosis, doctors determined that the tumor is benign and can be treated without surgery. Please keep her and the family in prayer as she undergoes treatment.

Fr. Bob Tucker, SCJ, who has been living with significant respiratory impairment, is being tested at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, IL, to determine whether he can be placed on a lung transplant list. His doctor has become concerned about his greater need for supplemental oxygen. Please keep Fr. Bob in your prayers.


Kenneth C. Anyanwu has left the province formation program. “I wish to express my profound and sincere thanks and appreciation to the Priests of the Sacred Heart for the opportunity given to me to study and discern my vocation to the priesthood,” wrote Kenneth. “It was a great honor to be a part of this amazing community of priests and brothers whose lives and ministry inspire and motivate my own life tremendously. I strongly believe that my coming to the Priests of the Sacred Heart was never a mistake nor an accident but a design by God for me to, among other things, be equipped with the fundamental values and ideals necessary for the kind of priestly ministry He is calling me to. I am glad that I have imbibed the life of oblation, reparation and the social justice principles championed by the SCJs. I may not take the vows, but I am going to continue my life and ministry in this direction.

“I pray that the good Lord will continue to bless the Priests of the Sacred Heart with his inexhaustible treasures, blessings, and generosity. Thank you and God bless you all.”

His way is our way

The congregational website recently posted a video inspired by the motto of the General Administration for 2018-2024: “His Way is Our Way.”

“It reminds us that Jesus is not only our way, but He walks with us,” wrote Fr. Levi Ferreira, SCJ, a member of the General Council. “We know that there are many paths and that we can choose which one to follow. But He alone has the words of eternal life (Jn 6:68) and we want Him to be not only the Truth and Life (Jn 14:6), but also our Way!

“The disciples on the way to Emmaus walked disappointedly, and almost forgot what they had lived with the Master in Palestine. But there was still something burning inside them. And when they heard the voice of that stranger walking with them, the ancient flame that had never gone out was rekindled. As we make our way, may our hearts remain restless and burning!”

Click here or on the image above to view the video.

A Florida hello

Last month it was SCJ Fr. Vincent Suparman’s turn to share a few words from our retired SCJs in Pinellas Park, FL. This week, Fr. Greg Speck, SCJ, gives an update:

“We at the retirement community are following the national norms [regarding safety procedures in the midst of COVID-19.] We only leave the property for essential needs. Inside the house we try to maintain social distancing in the chapel and in the dining room. We only have two people at each table in the dining room.

“Much of the daily operation of the house and property are usually attended to by the guys themselves. Our banking and purchasing are done by one of the members. The grounds, the shopping and trash removal are daily chores for our community members. We take care of the house laundry from the sacristy, the housekeeping, and the kitchen. Of course, since COVID-19 we have added the disinfection of all frequently touched surfaces to our list of chores. Greetings to the province!”

The Provincial Council meets with the help of video screens

Council meetings in the time of COVID-19

Like many who meet during these days of limited travel and social distancing, the Provincial Council held its May 5-6 meeting with the help of video conferencing. Members of the council who live in the Milwaukee area were in the meeting room at the Provincial Offices while Fr. Jack Kurps, SCJ, Br. Andy Gancarczyk, SCJ, and Fr. Christianus Hendrik, SCJ, were on video monitors.

This was the annual budget meeting in which all budgets of the province are reviewed. However, the topic that permeated most aspects of discussions was COVID-19 and its impact on communities and ministries. As noted earlier, churches and offices are beginning to reopen in Texas; plans are being made for reopening in other areas of the province in the next few weeks. In Wisconsin, the governor’s “Safe in Place” order remains in effect through Memorial Day. Staff at the Provincial Offices are staggering their on-site work hours (the building is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through the month, with the exception of Memorial Day); some staff are working at home; all are checking messages.

Dehonian bishop retires

Bishop Antônio

On May 6, 2020, the Holy Father accepted the resignation of Bishop Antônio Wagner da Silva, SCJ, as bishop of Guarapuava, Brazil; he is 76. Bishop Antônio professed his first vows in 1966 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1971. He served as professor and formator at the Dehonian Seminary of Curitiba (1972-1975), rector of the minor seminary of Terra Boa (1975-1976), rector of the seminary of the congregation in Curitiba (1977-1986), provincial councilor (1984-1988), novice master (1987-1988), rector of the philosophical institute of Brusque (1988-1993), parish priest of the Sacred Heart of Jesus sanctuary in the diocese of Joinville, and again, as provincial councilor (1994-2000).

On March 29, 2000, he was appointed coadjutor bishop of the diocese of Guarapuava. Three years later, following the retirement of the previous bishop, he assumed the full functions of the bishop’s office.

SHSST summer courses

Last week Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology released its online summer course offerings; the summer session runs from June 29 – August 14, 2020. Courses are limited to 15 students; costs are 25% off the usual credit hour price. Course offerings include Fundamental Theology, Christology and Soteriology, Person and Destiny in a Fractured World, Contemporary Philosophy, Parish Administration, Evangelization and Catechesis, and Ignatian Spirituality.

Click here for more information.

An invitation

We continue to invite SCJs, co-workers and other collaborators in ministry to share reflections about the impact of the pandemic on their lives, communities and ministries. These can be general reflections, or simply news items about you and/or your ministry.

Click here to access previous reflections.

Click here to submit your own.

Interreligious Day of Prayer

Pope Francis, joining with Muslim leaders, has endorsed the call to “the believers of all the religions to unite together spiritually on May 14 in a day of prayer and fasting, to implore God to help humanity overcome the coronavirus pandemic.”

The proposal for this worldwide day of prayer came originally from the High Committee for Human Fraternity, which was established in September 2019 as a concrete response to the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together signed by Pope Francis and Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, during the pope’s visit to the United Arab Emirates in February 2019.

Click here to read more about the interreligious call to prayer on the Vatican News website.

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