Weekly news: May 27, 2014

Participants at the Dehonian Family Conference
Participants at the Dehonian Family Conference

Dehonian Family conference ends, but work continues

David Schimmel
David Schimmel

“We, Dehonians, speak many languages and rely on translators in order to listen to and learn from each other,” said David Schimmel at the closing Mass of the May 15-20 Dehonian Family conference in Rome. “For we have decided to do God’s work, which is to proclaim God’s infinitely compassionate love and to show by example that God is as near as the person next to us.

“This, for me, has been the grace of the meeting.”

Participants at the international Dehonian Family conference concluded their gathering in Rome last week by choosing from among themselves representatives to continue their work.

“We’ve begun the process of reflection here in this meeting,” said Fr. Jack Kurps. “Now, reflection needs to move to action.”
Fr. Jack and David Schimmel represented the US Province at the conference.

One of the byproducts of the gathering is a newly established organizing committee at the general level. Its task is to address suggestions raised at the conference such as communications (website development), determining ways of sharing resources, and promoting and implementing formative programs for the laity.

The newly appointed Dehonian Family organizing committee
The newly appointed Dehonian Family organizing committee

The committee includes representatives of the lay Dehonians, consecrated women, and professed SCJs. They are: Silvia Bertozzi (Finland), Fr. Claudio Weber (liaison from the General Council), Ida Coelho (Brazil), Fr. Bruno Pilati (Italy) and Grace Escobia (Philippines).
 They have a three-year term to basically “get the ball rolling.” Part of their task will be to put in place a formal coordinating committee with an elected leadership and structure.

“This meeting is linked to everything that we have done in the past: previous meetings, previous discussions on the Dehonian Family,” added Fr. Claudio Weber, the organizing force behind the conference. “Since the earliest days of the congregation we have recognized that the charism offers a way to spread the love of God to souls and society. That continues today in many expressions that go beyond the congregation that Fr. Dehon founded.”

Reports from the meeting can be found on the general website at www.dehon.it/en.

Click here to read the final message in English.

Click here to view photo albums from the days.

“Being a lay Dehonian gives me an identity”

Grace Escobia
Grace Escobia

As noted above, David Schimmel, director of Dehonian Associates for the U.S. Province, spoke at the closing Mass of the Dehonian Family conference. He was one of four lay people asked to do so. Another was Grace Escobia, a lay Dehonian from the Philippines.

“When Father General requested me to share something about what we have been doing for the past five days, what comes to mind is my reflection on the question ‘What does it mean to be a Lay Dehonian?’” said Grace. “To me, being a Lay Dehonian gives me an IDENTITY, an identity that is both a privilege and a responsibility…

“Being involved with the SCJs and knowing their spirituality has given me a feeling of being at HOME. It is this sense of home that embodies everything about the Dehonian Spirituality that I have embraced as a way of living my faith and understanding the meaning of my existence. Dehonian Spirituality adorns and beautifies my vocation, and my duty and commitment in the secular world.”

Click here to read Grace’s full reflection.


Br. Clay is pictured on the right with Br. Duane Lemke (province formation director). Our thanks to Frater Juan Carlos Castañeda Rojas for the photo.
Br. Clay (right) is pictured with Br. Duane Lemke

Br. Clay Diaz graduated from Catholic Theological Union with a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Studies (MAPS).

“I want to thank SCJs for their support and prayers throughout my years of studies at CTU,” said Br. Clay. “I had a great learning experience and I truly enjoyed it even thought it was hard sometimes.”

Br. Clay will profess his final vows on July 8, the second evening of the US Provincial Chapter.

“One of the reasons why I joined the community was because of the charism of Fr. Dehon, the love that we SCJs have for the Sacred Heart of Jesus,” said Br. Clay when reflecting on his vocation.  “Fr. Dehon worked with the poor; I want to follow in his footsteps.”

Keep in prayer

Br. John Monek is at the Congregational Home in Brookfield, Wis. (Room 1155), after injuring himself in a fall earlier this month. Please keep him in prayer.

Celebrations, student biographies and continuing reflections from the Philippines

25 YEARS copyAs we’ve noted previously, Fr. Tom Cassidy has been posting news and reflections from the Philippines while he is there teaching English. Recent posts include interviews with several of his students. Click here to read the latest interviews with Francis S.J. Atayza and Peter Nguyen Quoc Cuong.

On the province blog, Fr. Tom recently wrote posts about celebrating Mass at a local army base and about testing day for his students preparing for entrance to Xavier University, Cagayan de Oro. Click here to read the blog.

And finally, Fr. Tom was our ace reporter in the Philippines during the region’s week of celebrations for the 25th anniversary of the SCJs’ presence in the country. Click here to read a piece on the congregational website.

Click here to view a photo album from the week of celebration.

Happy birthday!

Those celebrating birthdays in June include Fr. Vincent Suparman (51) on June 5, Fr. Ed Griesemer (84) and Br. Ben Humpfer (70) on June 9, Fr. Roger Phaneuf (76) on June 12, Fr. Yvon Sheehy (64) on June 18, Fr. Nick Brown (72) on June 22, Fr. Paul Tennyson (71) on June 23, Br. Matt Miles (75) and Fr. Francis Vu Tran (38) on June 26, and Fr. J Claude Bédard (74) on June 28.

Experiencing God’s graciousness

Fr. Paul Kelly
Fr. Paul Kelly

“Trying to reflect the love and mercy of Christ’s Heart these past 44 years, I have found that the ministry of spiritual direction has been a unique opportunity to help others (and myself) to experience God’s graciousness in the midst of struggles, decisions, triumphs, and tragedies,” wrote Fr. Paul Kelly in his reflection last week on the Dehonian Spirituality page. “The inner journey isn’t an easy one. Having a trusted companion is a great gift and mutual blessing.”

“Spiritual direction is both a grace and an art! It touches both director and directee. The unfolding of one’s life in the light of the love and mercy of God is a grace. As an art, it demands of the director a deep knowledge of self and of God’s ways, a listening heart, and a desire to help set another free. The director must become aware of his/her own journey to inner freedom.”

Click here to read the rest of Fr. Paul’s words, as well as other reflections and prayer on the Dehonian Spirituality page.

Provincial’s time

This week Fr. Stephen Huffstetter is doing a visitation with the Sacred Heart Community at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake.