Weekly News: May 31, 2011

Those who attended the North American councils meeting included Fr. Paul Tennyson, Fr Claude Bédard, Dn. David Nagel, Fr. Bill Marrevee, Fr. Ed Kilianski, Fr. Bill Pitcavage, Br. Duane Lemke (host), and Fr. Jack Kurps standing, and Fr. Richard Woodbury, Fr. Tom Cassidy and Br. Frank Presto (kneeling)

Collaboration and religious life discussed at North American meeting

On May 23-24 the Dehon Formation Community in Chicago hosted the biannual meeting of the councils of the Canadian Region and U.S. Province.   Since 1996, the North American administrations have met to share ideas on common concerns, discuss issues of the worldwide congregation, and update each other on the ministries and people of the two entities.

The last meeting of the North American councils was in Montréal in October, 2010.  Among the topics discussed were possibilities for a combined effort at making SCJ parishes in North America more “Dehonian,” and collaboration on common topics of social concern, such as immigration.

These topics were revisited at the Chicago meeting but added to them was a lengthy discussion on what it means to live as a religious, and in particular, as an SCJ religious.  Participants agreed that expectations of leadership (local and at the provincial or regional level) hinge on what it means to live as a member of an SCJ community.

“We can’t speak of leadership in a vacuum,” said one SCJ.  “The whole community has a responsibility toward our life as religious.”

Another SCJ noted that “My vows are not just between me and God; we have taken vows with this group of men, with our religious community.  How do we challenge each other to be accountable to our religious life?  How do we encourage and support each other in community?”

These were not new or unfamiliar topics to either administration.  “And they aren’t our concerns alone,” said an SCJ.  “Other religious communities are dealing with the same issues.  How do we animate our communities?”

Councilors spoke briefly about the October European Conference on Secularity and the impact of secularity in Europe compared to North America.  There are similarities, agreed several councilors, but also significant differences in how secularity is interpreted and its effect.  Frs. Tom Cassidy and Bill Marrevee will attend the conference.

The councilors also talked about the general administration’s six-year plan and each entity’s response to it.  At the next North American meeting, councilors will review the general plan and discuss possibilities for a collaborative response to it –– not a formal plan, but ways in which North American SCJs can collaborate in one or more areas of the plan.

The two administrations will next meet in Ottawa, Canada, November 8-9.

Last chance for the Church Ladies

Today is the last day for SCJs to reserve a ticket to join Fr. Tom Cassidy at the Marcus Center in Milwaukee for the comedy “Church Basement Ladies.” If you have not done so and would like to attend the show, please contact Mary Gorski by the end of today (May 31). As noted earlier, Fr. Tom will host a group for the July 13 evening show; this is on Wednesday of the Province Assembly.


The first stage of Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake is getting close to completion.  It is hoped that SCJs will be able to move into the first wing soon after the Province Assembly in mid-July.  And when they do, they will have a new address:

7340 S. Lovers Lane Road
Franklin, WI 53132

For those who may have missed it, photos from the project, taken when the Provincial Council last toured the site in May, are available on the province Facebook site.  Click here to view them.

You do not need to be a member of Facebook to view the photos.

Construction reminder

Extensive road work is taking place on Highway 100 (Lovers Lane Road) between Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake and Sacred Heart Monastery/School of Theology.  Often, you may not be able to directly cross from one property to the other or make a left turn.  Please give yourself a little extra time when leaving either property and carry a little extra patience.

New principal at Sacred Heart

Bridget Brotherton Martin has been named to succeed Catherine Warwick as principal of Sacred Heart School in Walls, Miss.  Ms. Warwick served as principal for the past six years. Sacred Heart is an apostolate of Sacred Heart Southern Missions.

Ms. Martin is a former Sacred Heart student.  She earned a bachelor’s degree at Arkansas State University and taught for eight years at Olive Branch High in Mississippi before earning her master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Delta State University.

For the past five years she has been assistant principal at Horn Lake High School.

Ms. Martin isn’t the only graduate of a Sacred Heart Southern Missions school who is back serving as a principal.  Clara Isom, principal of Holy Family School in Holly Springs, Miss., is a former student of the school she now serves.

A few more doctors in the house (or at least in the congregation)

In January, Fr. David Szatkowski of the U.S. Province successfully defended his doctorate at the Angelicum in Rome.  In recent weeks, two more SCJs from the International College have defended their doctorates.

On May 20, Fr. Gabriel Pisarek of the Polish Province defended his doctoral thesis in spiritual theology at the Gregorian University.

The title of the thesis was “The Influence of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius in Fr. Dehon. A study of this influence upon the spiritual experiences and teaching in the writings of Fr. Dehon.” Fr. Gabriel analyzed the notes that Fr. Dehon took during the ten times he underwent the exercises.

A week later, Fr. Joseph Kuate of the Cameroon Province successfully defended his doctoral thesis at the Gregorian entitled, “Les Déhoniens au Cameroun dans la dynamique missionaire de l’Église au XXe Siècle” (“Dehonians — or SCJs — in Cameroon in the dynamics of the missionary Church in the 20th century”). The thesis gives an account of the Dehonian presence in Cameroon between 1912 and 1996.

In June, Cameroon will be lead by a new administration, made up –– for the first time –– entirely of indigenous SCJs.  Fr. Joseph will serve as first councilor.

Prayer requests

On June 13, Br. Frank Snider will have an abdominal aortic aneurysm repaired by means of an endovascular treatment.  If all goes as planned, he will be in the hospital one night and then recover at home.

Also, Fr. Joe Dean is scheduled for thyroid surgery on June 20.  It is estimated that he will be in the hospital for a day or two and then need about a week of home recovery before beginning to return to his regular schedule.

Provincial’s time

Fr. Tom Cassidy is in the office this week. Much of next week he will be in South Dakota for a planning retreat with St. Joseph’s Indian School.  He will be back in the Milwaukee area briefly, taking part in Dn. Duy Nguyen’s priesthood ordination on June 11 and then attending the USCCB’s Spring General Assembly in Seattle from June 12-20.

Upcoming meetings and events:

June 11: Ordination of Dn. Duy Nguyen to the priesthood (Sacred Heart Monastery)
July 1: Feast of the Sacred Heart, Mass at SHST, 11 a.m.
Week of July 11: Province Assembly, Hales Corners, Wis.
August 30-31: Provincial Council Meeting
October. 2: Pet Blessing (SHST)
October 4-5: Provincial Council Meeting
November 14-16: SCJ Retreat, Pinellas Park
December 14-15: Provincial Council Meeting
December 18: Advent Concert, 2 p.m.