After spending much of April and May in the Philippine Region teaching English, Fr. Johnny Klingler, SCJ, is getting ready to return to the States.
“The time passed quickly as my days were full,” wrote Fr. Johnny on the province blog. “It was a very good experience. I saw the progress that the students made which made all of us happy. I will never forget these fine young men. They were special in so many ways. They were eager to learn and after six weeks we could all see their improvement. Most importantly, they were kind and gentle and made my task so much easier. It was a joy to be with them.
“The afternoon of our last day a simple graduation took place. They received their certificates from me and from co-teacher, Mrs. Josephine Visande. They honored us with gifts and a presentation. At times I used popular songs in my teaching. One of them was “I Can’t Smile Without You.” They sang it karaoke style, and they did it so well. It was very touching.”
Before returning to the United States Fr. Klingler will make a side-trip to Korea to visit a Maryknoll priest whom he befriended when he served in the Army over 50 years ago.
Click here to read the rest of Fr. Johnny’s last blog entry from the Philippines.
Spending time with the “living stones”
Fr. Tim Gray, SCJ, has also been a contributor to the province blog. Last week he wrote his second reflection on his visit to the Holy Land.
“My first note about the Holy Land could have been written after almost any religious pilgrimage,” posted Fr. Tim. “However, the group I traveled with had another specific purpose. In the words of Fr. Alex, it was not only to visit churches and sites, but to spend time with the ‘living stones,’ the Arab Christians, both Catholic and Orthodox, who are the descendents of the original Christian communities of the first century…
“Because the media tends to present the situation in the Middle East as a two-sided conflict, the Palestinian Christians are usually forgotten. As Palestinians, many of them were driven off their land when the state of Israel was created and they continue to suffer from the consequences. As Christians, they are a minority in a heavily Muslim area.
“What we personally experienced during our visit to a Catholic community near Bethlehem was a small example of this situation. Bethlehem is one of the few areas where Christians make up a considerable size of the community. After touring the ancient sites, the field of the angels and the Church of the Nativity, we met with the pastor of the local Catholic Church who explained to us some of the history and the present situation of the Catholic community. Those of us pilgrims who chose to stay were put up overnight with local families so they would have an opportunity to talk and share a bit of their daily life…”
Click here to read about Fr. Tim’s experience of staying with a parish priest in Bethlehem and learning first-hand about the Christian experience in the Holy Land.
Each year the general administration of the Priests of the Sacred Heart publishes a letter on the occasion of the Feast of the Sacred Heart. Click here to read the letter on our province website, or click here to go the letters section of the general website to download it as a Word document. It is available in several languages.
A prayer service for the day has also been prepared. Click here to download the English version of the service. Our thanks to Fr. Bernie Rosinski, SCJ, who worked on the translation of both the letter and the service.
The service in languages other than English is also available at the general website.
Feast of the Sacred Heart is June 15.
Fr. Agustinus Guntoro, SCJ
Here for the summer ESL program, Fr. Guntoro will spend June 4-18 with the SCJ community in South Dakota. Besides learning about SCJ ministry there, it will also be an opportunity for Fr. Gunoro to visit with two members of his native Indonesian Province: Frs. Vincent Suparman, SCJ and Christianus Hendrik, SCJ. Both are members of the Lower Brule Pastoral Team.
Fr. Willyans Prado Rapozo, SCJ
As we noted previously, Fr. Willyans of Brazil recently joined the Toronto SCJ community. His contact information:
Sacred Heart House
58 High Park Blvd.
Toronto, ON M6R 1M8
(Res) (416) 531-1454
Fr. Antoine Pierre Verpaalen, a member of the Dutch-Flemish Confederation, died May 22. He was born in 1922, professed in 1943 and ordained in 1948.
Fr. João Hoepers, a member of the South Brazilian Province, died May 22. He was born in 1940, professed in 1963 and ordained in 1968.
Fr. Henricus Ludgardus Jacobus van Zandwijk, a member of the Dutch-Flemish Confederation, died May 23. He was born in 1932, professed in 1955 and ordained in 1961.
Province assembly reminder
The province assembly kicks off with the Jubilee Celebrations at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, July 9. Tuesday and Wednesday, July 10-11, will be full days with the assembly (with an on-site Comedy Sportz performance on Tuesday evening), and Thursday, July 12 will be a half day.
If you haven’t made room arrangements, contact Marlene at the front desk at Sacred Heart Monastery/School of Theology. Call: 414-425-8300 and hit “0.” All guest rooms at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake are now full.
Among those celebrating birthdays in June: Fr. Vincent Suparman (49) on June 5, Fr. Ed Griesemer (82) and Br. Ben Humpfer (68) on June 9, Fr. Roger Phaneuf (74) on June 12, Fr. Yvon Sheehy (62) on June 18, Fr. Nick Brown (70) on June 22, Fr. Paul Tennyson (69) on June 23, Br. Matt Miles (73) and Fr. Francis Vu Tran (36) on June 26, and Fr. J. Claude Bédard (72) on June 28.
Fr. Tom Cassidy, SCJ, remains in the Milwaukee area through the month. May 30-31 he has council meetings.
Also, Fr. Tom shares a movie recommendation from the Knights of Columbus. For the Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada opens June 1. The movie is about the Cristero War and the struggle for religious freedom in Mexico during the late 1920s. A documentary about the making of the movie is on the KC’s website.
The Provincialate is now on its summer schedule. This means that most people at the office will be working longer days Monday through Thursday and then taking off on Friday afternoons. Please keep this in mind if you need to reach someone at the Provincialate.
Upcoming meetings and events:
May 30-31: Provincial Council Meeting (budgets)
June 15: Feast of the Sacred Heart (11 a.m.)
June 28: Provincial Council Meeting (conference call re: formation)
July 3-4: Provincialate Offices closed for Independence Day.
July 9-12: Province Assembly, Hales Corners
July 16-21: General Conference, Neustadt, Germany
July 23-25: SCJ Major Superiors Meeting, Neustadt, Germany
October 12: Dedication of Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake
April 8-9: Mission Education Conference, St. Joseph’s Indian School
Week of June 3: Province Election Assembly.