Weekly News: May 23, 2016

New SCJ candidate Jose Romeras with Fr. Quang Nguyen
New SCJ candidate Jose Romero-Olivas with Fr. Quang Nguyen


Jose Romero-Olivas, 32, was accepted this weekend as a candidate for the SCJ formation program. Born in Mexico, Jose has a degree in law and currently works for the Mexican Consulate in San Francisco. He will enter the ESL program at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology in July, and then transition to the Dehon Formation Community in Chicago.

“Kindness” is the greatest gift

Br. Brian Tompkins ministers to senior priests and brothers, both those at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake and others who are in nursing care. In the May 20 issue of Dehonian Spirituality he reflects on aging and ministry to seniors. Br. Brian writes:

Br. Brian Tompkins
Br. Brian Tompkins

“Aging is inevitable. It is difficult for most people to face that fact, especially in a culture that promotes youth and the cosmetic elements that are intended to slow down the process. Fear is the word that comes to mind. Aging for the young and others who cannot consciously yield to this natural progression of life see it as an assault on their own mortality. It is difficult, then, for many to reach out to and spend time with a person who is aging.

“When I visit with senior citizens in a nursing home and, more specifically and especially my SCJ confreres, I do not focus on their physical frailty or their diminished cognitive skills. [That said, I must be aware of those issues.] What is important is that I bring with me and demonstrate my care and concern, and my support and compassion. In a word: kindness. Kindness is never wasted even if the response appears muted and indifferent.”

Click here to read Br. Brain’s full reflection in the May 20 issue of Dehonian SpiritualityDehonian Spirituality is a weekly publication of reflections and prayers based in the Dehonian charism. Click here to be added to the mailing list.

Even the pencils get blessed

Fr. Tom Cassidy’s blog posts in recent weeks are from the Philippines where he is teaching English classes. Last week he wrote about celebrating Mass at the nearby cathedral:

St. Augustine Cathedral
St. Augustine Cathedral

“St. Augustine Cathedral is about a 15-minute car ride from our house and is in the center of town. It’s a big, very airy structure, as the climate would dictate. As a result, our large congregation (even though it was midweek the church was full) was joined by a much smaller collection of birds flying hither and yon. Didn’t see any dogs but they often appear in church as well. Last Sunday at Immaculate Conception, for example, there were at least three sleeping dogs (under pews) before Mass started.

“After Mass, dozens of people come up to the priest (or priests) asking for a blessing. Sometimes it is for a special occasion, such as a birthday or anniversary, or to deal with an illness or other infirmity. Other times it is just a request for a simple blessing. This happens in a Filipino church much more so than in the States. Today was no different; it probably took me 15 minutes to get back to the sacristy.

“I was also asked to bless a large collection of religious articles. Perhaps the most unusual request came from a young man and woman who said they were taking an exam tomorrow and would I kindly bless them and offer a special blessing for their pencils too?”

Click here to read his full blog post.

Calling all members of the DHS class of ‘61

Members of Divine Heart Seminary’s class of 1961 are going to meet in the lobby of Sacred Heart Monastery / Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology prior to the Jubilee Mass on June 6.

The Mass begins at 4:30. Classmates will begin to gather in the lobby about 20-30 minutes prior.


Andrzej Sudol, SCJ
Andrzej Sudol, SCJ

Fr. Andrzej Sudol is now a member of the US Province. He has lived with the Dehon Formation Community for the past two years while studying at Catholic Theological Union. Fr. Andrzej will remain with the community and continue to assist with formation.

“I have been a priest for 19 years; I was born and ordained in Poland,” he wrote last fall, introducing himself in the annual formation community biographies. “Just after my ordination I left for our new SCJ mission in India. I worked for three years in Kerala, in the south of India, as a member of the formation team. I was asked to join our mission in the Philippines where I was until recently. First I worked in a parish in Mindanao. Then I was involved with the Dehonian Youth Program, vocation promotion, and was in-charge of on-going formation of the young priests in the Philippine Region.

“The last eight years I spent at the formation house in Cagayan de Oro as a formation director of the postulants. Meanwhile, I studied formation and I earned a Licentiate of Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) in spirituality at Milltown, Dublin (Ireland).”

Welcome Fr. Andrzej!


Video clips

As we noted last week, Mark Peters, director of Justice, Peace and Reconciliation for the US Province, has posted short video clips from the March 30 Panel Discussion on Immigration held at the Provincial Offices.

Mark writes: “Two dozen short video clips (most under three minutes) have now been culled from the three hours of footage.  The rest of these will be added to the JPR website soon, but until then please enjoy this one, which helps us to understand people’s fears of migrants and Muslims via a heartwarming and funny story all parents can relate to, as well as an appeal to pastors and religious leaders to speak to those fears.”

Click on the image above to view the clip, or click here.

No Fridge Notes next week

There will be no Fridge Notes published May 30, Memorial Day; the next edition will be June 6. News items from the province will continue to be posted on Facebook in-between editions of the Fridge Notes.

Also, please note that starting in June the Provincial Offices will be on summer hours. Most members of the staff will work longer days Monday through Thursday and take Friday afternoon off. The summer schedule runs through Labor Day.

Other schedule notes

The annual Feast of the Sacred Heart Mass at Sacred Heart Monastery will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 3. It will be followed by a light lunch.

The Province Jubilee Celebrations will begin with Mass at 4:30 p.m. at Sacred Heart Monastery  on Monday, June 6.

The first full day of the U.S. Province Assembly starts on Tuesday, June 7, with morning prayer at 8:30 a.m. in the Conference Center Hall. Click here to download a PDF of the updated schedule. The schedule will also be in participants’ packets.

June e-blasts

Sun Heart 4“An Ocean of Mercy, Reflections on the Heart of Jesus by Fr. Leo John Dehon” wlll be sent as an e-blast by the Dehonian Associates office Monday through Thursday each week in June. These are similar to previous one-minute e-mail reflections sent by the office for Lent.

All subscribers to Dehonian Spirituality and the Fridge Notes will receive the e-blast. However, anyone is welcome to receive it. To add a subscriber, click here.

You ought to be in pictures!

PhotographerA photo studio will be set up near the chapel at the Provincial Conference Center Tuesday through Thursday during the assembly.

All SCJs are asked to have a new formal photo taken. A few cleric collars and dark suit coats will be available to borrow, or SCJs can wear their own formal attire. You don’t need to rent a tuxedo, but a shirt and tie, clerics or simply a nice collared shirt (namely, a least a step or two up from a collarless tee shirt) would be nice.

Mary Gorski will be taking the photos. Please see her during one of the breaks to update your photo.

A group photo of assembly participants is scheduled immediately after the Wednesday morning session.

Provincial’s Time

Fr. Ed Kilianski is on retreat May 22-27. He will have his cell phone for emergencies, but is hoping to spend the days unplugged. Please contact Fr. Quang Nguyen, vice provincial, or a member of the provincial staff if you have concerns that need to be brought to the administration’s attention.

Happy birthday!

birthday balloonsThose celebrating birthdays in June include: Fr. Vincent Suparman (53) on June 5, Fr. Ed Griesemer (86) and Br. Ben Humpfer (72) on June 9, Fr. Roger Phaneuf (78) on June 12, Fr. Yvon Sheehy (66) on June 18, Fr. Nick Brown (74) on June 22, Fr. Paul Tennyson (73) on June 23, Br. Matt Miles (77) and Fr. Francis Vu Tran (40) on June 26, and Fr. J. Claude Bédard (76) on June 28. Happy birthday!