Weekly News: May 7, 2012

Borrowing hardhats, members of the Canadian administration toured the new construction at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake. Pictured are Frs. Paul Tennyson, Richard Woodbury, Claude Bédard, Maurice Légaré and Bill Marrevee.

A (brief) Canadian invasion

The SCJs of Canada and the United States have long had a close and collaborative connection. The two countries have had shared novitiates and other formation programs, and SCJs have crossed borders for ministry and studies.

During preparations for the 1991 General Chapter the administrations of each entity began a tradition of joint meetings, generally twice a year, to discuss topics of common concern, share news about members and ministries, and dialogue on issues of the worldwide congregation.

Fr. Richard Woodbury, Fr. Claude Bédard, Fr. Bill Marrevee and Fr. Tom Cassidy

Last week, May 2-3, the community at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake hosted the spring meeting. It was the first time that the Canadian SCJs had seen the new complex. During a break in the meeting they borrowed a few hard hats and toured the new construction. “It’s very well thought-out,” said a member of the Canadian administration. “It seems good for both the SCJ membership and for the lay residents who will move here. There are a lot of opportunities.”

At the meeting itself, the two administrations picked up on several topics that they discussed at their November gathering, including the idea of some type of collaborative SCJ presence in North America. The conclusion was that it is too early to have any serious discussions about it, but that it would be good to get feedback from the Franco-European Province and the Dutch-Flemish Confederation on their experiences of shared administrations. Frs. Tom Cassidy, SCJ and Bill Marrevee, SCJ, hope to speak to the provincial superiors of these entities during the July General Conference in Germany.

Both administrations shared the challenges, as well as the benefits of welcoming international members of the congregation for study and/or ministry. The application process for immigrants and long-term residents to Canada and the United States is extensive. Yet each entity is energized by the possibility of more extensive international communities in North America.

The two administrations will next meet November 13-14 in Toronto.

Fr. Johnny with Van, one of his students

Back in the Philippines

As noted earlier, Fr. Johnny Klingler, SCJ, who is teaching English in the Philippines, represented the U.S. Province at the funeral for Fr. Tom Fix, SCJ. Fr. Johnny has since returned from Indonesia to the Philippines and wrote another post for the province blog.

“I left Jakarta on a 12:30 a.m. flight to Manila. I have never taken such an early morning flight,” wrote Fr. Johnny. “I was surprised that the plane was full…

“I missed four days of the third week of school so I felt I had to teach on Friday. I made it through the day and on Saturday I was able to go with Fr. Andrew to see the Shrine of Divine Mercy in El Salvador… Fr. Andrew, two of his priest friends and I went out for a fish dinner in the evening. A small dish with two small peppers was given to each of us. I was told, or so I thought, to put lemon juice that was on the table on the peppers and eat them. I took one of the peppers and began to chew it but no sooner did I do this that my entire mouth went on fire. I could hardly talk. I gulped down beer to put the fire out but to no avail. The pain lasted about 10 minutes. What I was supposed to do was to use the sauce with the peppers as a dip for the fish I ordered.”

Muy caliente! Click here to read the rest of Fr. Johnny’s post.

End of the semester

Sacred Heart School of Theology held its graduation ceremony on Friday, May 4. Fourteen men earned  a Master of Divinity, two received their Master’s in Theology, two graduated with a Certificate in Priestly Formation, and one student was noted for “Special Program Completion.”

Fifteen SHST graduates will be ordained to the priesthood this spring. They represent the dioceses and archdioceses of Cheyenne, Milwaukee, Louisville, Springfield, Belleville, Fort Worth, Jefferson City and Portland, as well as the religious community of the Conventual Franciscans.

The May session begins on May 14.

National board meets at SCJ conference center

Br. Ray Kozuch, SCJ, vice president of the Religious Brothers Conference, hosted the spring meeting of the RBC board this past weekend. Six board members attended the meeting and spent the weekend as guests of Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake. The board held its meetings at the Provincial Conference Center across from SHML.

Hello from the Holy Land

As a part of his sabbatical, Fr. Tim Gray, SCJ, is in the Holy Land. He writes: “Here I am in Jerusalem.  I’ve been here a week and it has been a fascinating trip. During my life I have traveled quite a bit, and have even gotten used to living in two cultures, but this is so much more than that.  Three cultures, three religions, the whole political reality here, and 3,000 years of history.  It is dizzying. I’m thinking I’m too old to be challenged in so many ways! I will be thinking and praying about this trip for a long time.

“The group I’m traveling with is wonderful; not too big and very interesting.  We do a lot of praying and meditating at the holy sites.  We are spending a lot of time with the Christians who still live in this area and are being forced out, caught in the conflict between Israeli and Muslim forces.  We will go up to Galilee on Thursday.”

The importance of working as a team

“The most important thing is to learn to work as a team,” said Fr. Aquilino Mielgo Domínguez, SCJ, general treasurer. “That’s exactly what I have stressed all during the course. That’s how I see the Gospel of the multiplication of the loaves and fish. If you work together, it works, you hold things in common and they multiply. If you work alone, you are doomed to failure.”

The course that Fr. Aquilino referred to was the recently completed nine-month treasurers’ workshop for SCJs who currently are, or may in the future serve in finance. Most of the approximately 20 men who took part in it represented SCJ locations in Africa, Asia and Latin America, the “emerging powers” of the congregation, as Fr. Aquilino refers to them.

The Generalate’s website posted an extensive interview with Fr. Aquilino in which he talks not only about the course, but about the role of treasurers.

“My first idea of a treasurer was of a confrere who made the budget, shopped, and paid the bills. I learned that this is a very narrow view,” he said. “A treasurer does not only administer goods. He must also look for economic resources. Above all, he must be a person who knows what it means to be religious – all the better if he is also technically prepared – but a Minister of Health does not have to be a doctor. He must be a person who has clear ideas and is able to work in a team.”

Click here to read the full article

SCJ named dean at Catholic University of Louvain

On May 4 the Theology Department of the Catholic University of Louvain named Fr. Joseph Famerée, SCJ, to be its next dean. The university, near Brussels, goes back to the 15th century and offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs; it is also one of the more renowned research faculties in Europe. It has several sites outside of the Brussels area. The theology department grants pontifical degrees.

“This is for us a great joy,” writes Fr. Jean-Jacques Flammang, SCJ, the provincial superior of the Franco European Province, of which Fr. Joseph is a member.

May CMSM J/P Alert

The latest issue of the CMSM J/P Alert is available. Among the topics highlighted this month is child labor.

“There are 400 million children living in conditions of slavery in the world today,” states the CMSM newsletter. “International missionary organizations and NGOs have denounced this on the occasion of the World Day Against Child Labor which is celebrated on 16 April. Many of these children work manufacturing goods which are then sold to Europe and the West in general.

“Vatican news agency Fides reported that the Spanish Confederation of Religious (CONFER) has created a map of the various locations throughout the world where the phenomenon is most widespread and in its communiqué, highlighted that ‘this slavery becomes indirectly part of our daily lives as the bananas we eat and the coffee we drink could have been produced by the sweat and toil of Latin American and African children,’ states the confederation. ‘It could also be that the rugs we walk on may have been woven by little Pakistani slaves; curtains, tops, jewelry and so many other things could be the fruit of the illegal or forced work of Indian children.’”

Click here to read the article in full, as well as the rest of the Alert.

Provincial’s time

Fr. Tom Cassidy, SCJ, remains in the Milwaukee area through the month. May 30-31 he has council meetings.

Upcoming meetings and events:

May 15: Mass for the Anointing of the Sick, SHM/SHST (1 p.m.)
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.