Weekly News: May 2, 2022

Welcome Frs. Carlos and Steve!

Frs. Carlos Luis Suarez Codorniú, SCJ and Fr. Stephen Huffstetter, SCJ, start the General Visitation of the US Province this week in Pinellas Park, FL. On May 3 they will fly to Milwaukee, where they will first be with the Sacred Heart Monastery Community and then the communities at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake. While in the Milwaukee area they will take part in commencement at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology on Friday, and in SCJ Frater Henry Nguyen’s ordination to the diaconate on Saturday.

The visitation 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

Graduation and ordination livestreams

As noted above, commencement at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology will be on Friday. Click here to access the livestream. The ceremony begins at 4:30 pm on May 6. Among the graduates: Frater Henry Nguyen, SCJ, who will be ordained to the diaconate on Saturday by Bishop Joseph Potocnak, SCJ.

Click here or on the image below to access the livestream of Frater Henry’s ordination. It will be recorded for later viewing on our US Province YouTube channel.

“I give thanks to God for meeting the SCJs through the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Movement when I came to Franklin, WI in 2009 for a conference,” wrote Frater Henry, reflecting on his vocation. “My attraction to the SCJs was in how they were moved by the Eucharist to move out into ministry and the lives of people.

“Simply put, it was the spirit of availability, based in the Eucharist.”

Keep in prayer

Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, continues to be treated for damage to his left hand, the result of earlier chemotherapy. Please continue to keep him in prayer.

Fr. Bob Bossie, SCJ, will have surgery on his throat on Thursday, May 5, to treat Zenker’s Diverticulum. Keep him in prayer.

Happy birthday!

Those celebrating birthdays in May include Fr. Mark Fortner on May 4, Fr. Byron Haaland on May 6, Fr. Jack Kurps and Fr. Bryan Benoit on May 7, Fr. Guy Blair on May 8, Frater Paul (Phong) Hoang on May 9, Fr. Anthony Kluckman and Fr. Élie Munzungu Kasongo-Ngoy on May 12, Bishop Joseph Potocnak on May 13, Fr. Thi Pham on May 14, Fr. Jim Casper on May 20, Br. Andy Gancarczyk and Fr. Jerzy (George) Mordalski on May 24, Fr. Wayne Jenkins on May 25, and Fr. Stephen Huffstetter on May 31. Happy birthday!!

JPR visits Houston

From April 28 to May 1, Br. Duane Lemke, SCJ, province JPR director, and Frater Paul (Phong) Hoang, SCJ were in Houston for a visit of the JPR Committee. It was an opportunity to talk with SCJs and staff at Our Lady of Guadalupe to better learn about the work being done in the area. Fr. Rafael Querobin, SCJ, shares a bit about their time with the community:

“Friday morning they visited the school, and in the afternoon they were at Magnificat House. The SCJs have been present to this Catholic organization for many years, offering spiritual support. Fr. Frank Witthouck, SCJ, served there for over five years, and now for the past two years I have been celebrating Mass and hearing confessions at Magnificat each Tuesday.

“Besides JPR-focused visits, Br. Duane and Frater Paul had a chance to enjoy local museums and historical spots, as well as some Tex-Mex and southern food.”

Click here to view a few more photos of the visit on the province Facebook page.

We are called to do good things

“This season of Easter brings to us a message of hope and also an affirmation that we who are baptized in Christ and called to follow Christ are called to respond to this calling by exposing our goodness through acts of goodness,” writes Fr. Greg Schill, SCJ, in yesterday’s Dehonian Associates’ Easter reflection.

“I like to think that as a member of the Priests of the Sacred Heart we are going out of our way to be among the people. This is what Fr. Dehon envisioned in reference to ‘getting out of the sacristies.’ May this season of Easter inspire each of us to go out of our way to do good things as ‘companions on the journey.’”

Click here to read Fr. Greg’s full text.

Horsing around

Another item about Fr. Greg Schill: many people know that one of his favorite activities at St. Joseph’s Indian School is visiting the “staff” who make up the school’s Equine Therapy Program. Saturday, April 30, was National Therapy Animal Day. To commemorate it, St. Joseph’s released a video in which Fr. Greg talks about the Equine Therapy Program. Click here or on the image above to view it.

“Horses are very in-tune to body language — this is beneficial to the students because horses respond at a sacred level,” said Robyn, the school’s Director of Counseling Services. “Students feel connected spiritually and have opportunities to overcome challenges through means other than talk therapy.”

“As one student said, ‘You can tell a horse anything because they aren’t going to tell anyone else,’” said Fr. Greg, who is chaplain at St. Joseph’s.

Celebrating the vocation of brother

Yesterday, May 1, was the feast of St. Joseph the Worker. It is also the day upon which the Church celebrates the vocation of the religious brother. In a letter to fellow SCJs yesterday, Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, invited several brothers to reflect on their vocation.

“To be a Brother is freedom: Freedom to be available, freedom to be present to our community, our congregation, and all who need us. We become a witness to God’s love and an example to others.” — Br. Brian Tompkins, SCJ

“Our vocation is prophetic: we prepare, encourage, advocate, and meet those whom God sends us.” — Br. Diego Diaz, SCJ

Click here to read more; and many thanks to our religious brothers for their service and vocation.

Rethinking Devotion to the Sacred Heart

As noted previously, the general website has been sharing reflections on the work that went into the Rule of Life that was confirmed by the Vatican in 1982 as the congregation’s Constitutions.

“I participated in the General Chapter of 1979, which dedicated much of its work to the examination of the ‘Rule of Life’ published ad experimentum in 1973,’ wrote Fr. Alfio Filippi, SCJ, of the North Italian Province. “The chapter approved as ‘Constitutions’ a text that incorporated many changes in the 1973 text. All in all, with some modifications introduced over the years, the text approved in 1979, then confirmed by the Vatican in 1982, is the basis of our present Constitutions.

“To put it simply, I think we can summarize the work of the 1979 General Chapter above all by the elimination of the devotional aspects of the cult to the Sacred Heart, which were too closely tied to its historical and ascetical development. And, on the positive side, there was an effort to present a spirituality which was better informed biblically and theologically, centered on the person of Jesus and on the ‘history of salvation’. I remember that as we debated about the text and as it came time to vote, it was evident, on the one hand, there was a fear of losing the richness of the formulations of the past, and, on the other, the intention of linking the Constitutions to the biblical and theological perspectives that had led the Church of Vatican II to the reformulation of the missal and the liturgical rites. I well remember the tense silence that followed the voting on individual proposals.”

Click here to read the rest of Fr. Alfio’s reflection.

Click here to access all of the reflections, including texts by Fr. John van den Hengel, SCJ and Fr. Bernie Rosinski, SCJ.

Closing shot

Although he arrived in Wisconsin about a year later than planned, Fr. Son Nguyen, SCJ, did get to Hales Corners in time to celebrate his birthday. He is pictured below (far left) with guests around the St. Joseph’s Community table at SHML.

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