Happy Victoria Day, Happy Memorial Day!
Our Canadian neighbors enjoy their unofficial summer kick-off today with the celebration of Victoria Day. Here in the US, Memorial Day is next Monday, May 30. The Provincial Offices will be closed on May 30, and there will be no Fridge Notes published. The next issue will be on Monday, June 6.
A National Moment of Remembrance is at 3:00 pm on Memorial Day. Americans are asked to pause for a minute of silence at 3:00 pm local time to remember and honor service personnel who have died while on duty.
The following prayer for Memorial Day is from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops:
God of power and mercy,
you destroy war and put down earthly pride.
Banish violence from our midst and wipe away our tears,
that we may all deserve to be called your sons
Keep in your mercy those men and women
who have died in the cause of freedom
and bring them safely
into your kingdom of justice and peace.
We ask this though Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
US General Visitation concludes
The last stop on the General Visitation of the US Province was Houston, where Fr. Carlos Luis Suarez Codorniú, SCJ, (Superior General) and Fr. Stephen Huffstetter, SCJ (Vicar General) spent time visiting with students, staff, and parishioners at Our Lady of Guadalupe over the weekend. They flew to Houston after several days in Mississippi, learning about the ministries of Sacred Heart Southern Missions, as well as Holy Family and Sacred Heart schools.
Delayed for two years by the pandemic, it has been almost ten years since the last General Visitation, done by Fr. José Ornelas Carvalho, SCJ, in 2013. Although much of the past three weeks involved ministry tours and visits with those who collaborate with the Priests of the Sacred Heart, the primary task of a visitation is dialogue. It is time for SCJs on the local level – individually and as a community – to have conversations with the General Administration. The Superior General gets a better sense of the local communities, and the local communities learn first-hand about news of the congregation at the general level.
Today, Frs. Carlos and Steve fly to Canada for the Regional Visitation there. Fr. Carlos was elected as Superior General in 2018; he completes his first term in 2024.
Click here to read more on the province website.
PHOTOS: click here to view an online photo album of the General Visitation. Many thanks to those who contributed to it, including Fr. Vincent Suparman, SCJ, Jean Carlo Mercado (SHSST), staff at St. Joseph’s Indian School, Frater Paul Phong Hoang, SCJ, Laura Grisham (Mississippi), and Catie Watson (OLG).
Fr. Wayne Jenkins honored by SHSST’s Lux Center
Congratulations to Fr. Wayne Jenkins, SCJ, who was honored last week with the The Lux Center for Catholic Jewish Studies’ Building Bridges Award “for his continuing efforts to bring religious harmony into our world,” said Bonnie Shafrin, director of the Center, which is based at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. The award was one of several distributed at the Sister Rose Thering Award Dinner. Other honorees included Dr. Steven Shippee, theology professor at SHSST, who was also a recipient of the Building Bridges Award, and Fr. David Cooper and Rabbi Ronald Shapiro with the Sister Rose Thering Award itself for their lifetime of contributions to furthering interreligious relations. Among those who spoke at the dinner was Dr. Richard Lux, SHSST professor emeritus, after whom the Lux Center is named.
“A Jew can be a Jew and a Roman Catholic can be a Roman Catholic as we share freely our faith stories with each other,” said Fr. Wayne during his acceptance speech. “Together, we can be a light in the darkness such as at Fort McCoy when we purchased new winter clothes for the Afghan refugees. More importantly, we can challenge together any acts of antisemitism and of anti-Judaism within the Greater Milwaukee area. Thank you for this award. Blessed be G-d forever!”
+ Mary Bartlett, the 85-year-old sister of Fr. Bernie Rosinski, died May 17 of complications from COVID.
+ Fr. André Perroux, a member of the Franco European Province, died on May 18. He was born in 1931, professed in 1949 and ordained in 1957. A scholar on the writings of Fr. Leo John Dehon, he worked for many years at the Centro Studi Dehoniani in Rome. Fr. Joseph Famerée, provincial superior of the Franco European Province, wrote that “I think he was the only one who read practically all the writings of Fr. Dehon, especially his handwritten correspondence. I also know that he kept an exceptional manual file of biblical quotations in the writings of the Founder.”
Click here to access obituary information about Fr. Perroux posted on the general website, including a message from Fr. Carlos Luis Suarez Codorniú, and from Bishop José Ornelas Carvalho. An English excerpt from the bishop’s message (it is written in Italian):
“[I] lived with him for several years, first as a student, immediately after the approval of our Rule of Life, where he left a decisive mark with his theological knowledge and his knowledge and development of Dehonian spirituality. Later, when I was elected Superior General, I had the joy of living with him in this house, and I keep a very grateful memory of his fraternal friendship and his decisive work, together with Fr. Rafael da Costa Gonçalves and others, in the work leading to the digitization of the writings of Fr. Dehon. I owe him a lot; we owe him a lot as a Congregation.”
In 2014, Fr. Stefan Tertünte did an interview with Fr. Perroux regarding the development of the new Constitutions. It was published Dehoniana. Click here to access an English translation of the original French.
New CSD director
Fr. Stefan Tertünte, director of the Centro Studi Dehoniani for over eight years, left Rome for Germany last week, where he will assume his new role as the Provincial Superior of his home province. Fr. Victor de Oliveira Barbosa of the Brazil-São Paulo Province has been named as the new CSD director.
“With joy I take on the task entrusted to me by the General Government because I passionately believe in the importance and value of the mission of the CSD,” said Fr. Victor, who previously served on the center’s staff. “I count on your prayers so that I can carry out the coordination service of the CSD in the best possible way.”
Introducing himself, Fr. Victor writes that “I am Brazilian, a Dehonian religious for 17 years, a member of the BSP Province. I have been in Rome for seven years and I am doing my doctoral studies in Spiritual Theology. I did the specialization in Dehonian studies promoted by the Dehonian Scholarship project between the years 2015-2020; since then, I have been a collaborator with the CSD.”
You can contact Fr. Victor at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Christ is with us
“Saying goodbye is hard,” wrote Joe Tyrell in yesterday’s Dehonian Associates weekly reflection for the Easter season. “Whether you are saying goodbye to a loved one who has passed away, saying goodbye to a friend as they move to another part of the country, or simply saying goodbye to a child as they start their college experience…
“In this scripture passage we see, ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled, do not be afraid.’ Easier said than done, right? We are human. We are going to worry about our family, our friends and those who are away from us. However, we are reminded in the next verse where we see Christ saying, ‘I am coming back to you, and again we are reminded when we see, ‘That the father is greater than I.’
“When we hear those words ‘I am coming back to you,’ there is a sense of comfort… This is what Easter is all about. It is being reminded that when we are filled with desolation, we can always put our faith in Christ and know that he is with us, that he is coming back, that his peace will be with us. So, throughout this Easter season do not worry. There is no need to worry. Christ is with us. He has risen!”
“SCJ Formation has shaped me to become what I am today”
Last year Hubert Liassidji left the US Province formation program to help care for his parents. However, he continued to work toward the degree that he had begun as an SCJ student attending Marquette University in Milwaukee. This past weekend, Hubert received his degree. Celebrating with him were his former community members.
“It has been a bumpy journey,” wrote Hubert about his path to completing his degree. “In 2017, I joined the religious community of my choice, the one that really resonated with my spirituality, the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
“I started first with a major in Philosophy and minor in Religious Studies at Saint Xavier University (Chicago, IL), then I transferred to Marquette University and ended up with a double-major – Philosophy and Theology – though it was not an easy journey with my ‘broken English.’ [Hubert is originally from Togo]
“There are so many wonderful people in this world, and I know the influence of many in my life. I would like to thank those who have supported me in this journey. First and utmost, I would like to thank the SCJ community for their support and generosity, my SCJ brothers in one way or another who have helped me with my understanding; they often read and corrected my papers, helping me to be better.
“My journey has not ended with the SCJs. Though I asked for the dispensation of my vows to take care of my sick parents, I still hold the SCJs in my heart. SCJ formation has shaped me to become what I am today, to be of service to others, and always strive to create a more just society.
“It is never too late to go after one’s dreams. I continue to believe in myself and to make a difference. I’m grateful to God, my SCJ brothers, friends and family who helped make this happen along the way. Thank you all!”
Laudato Si’ Week 2022
This week, May 22-29, is “Laudato Si’ Week.” The theme: Listening and Journeying Together.” It marks the seventh anniversary of Pope Francis’ landmark encyclical on creation. The global celebration invites Catholics “to listen and respond together to the cry of creation, rejoice in the progress we have made in bringing Laudato Si’ to life, and intensify our efforts through the dynamic Laudato Si’ Action Platform, walking the ‘Synodal’ path,” write organizers on the Laudato Si’ Week website.
Click here to learn more.
Congratulations DOCTOR Francis!
Congratulations to Fr. Francis Vu Tran, SCJ, who defended his doctoral thesis in Rome last week. The title: “The Word of Agur in Proverbs 30:1-9.” Fr. Francis, originally a member of the US Province, is district superior of the Vietnamese District. He is pictured below with his advisor and several SCJs who attended the defense, including Fr. Vincent Sri Herimanto, SCJ, general councilor (second from right) and Fr. Fr. Victor de Oliveira Barbosa, SCJ, the newly named director of the Centro Studi Dehoniani (far right).