Why am I a brother?
May 1, the feast of St. Joseph, was the second annual Religious Brothers Day. Br. Diego Diaz (pictured above on the left), a Dehonian from Argentina studying ESL at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, wrote on the province blog about his vocation.
“Many ask me why I am a brother and not a priest,” he began. “On this day dedicated to the vocation of religious brothers, I’d like to share my responses to the question.”
Br. Diego notes that his initial response is that “I am a religious brotherbecause the first call of Jesus is to create in the world a universal brotherhood where we are all brothers and sisters in the same God.”
What are his other responses? Click here to read Br. Diego’s full reflection on the province blog.
A new website
As of tomorrow, May 8, the US Province will have a new website with the address www.dehoniansusa.org(Dehonians USA). The old addresses, www.sacredheartusa.organd www.scjusa.net, will redirect to the new site, but users are encouraged to replace them in their bookmarks.
The new site incorporates the official “popular” name of the community, “Dehonians,” as well as the logo for the new Mission Statement, “Open Heart and Mind.” Although it works well on a laptop or desktop computer, the new design is specifically mobile-friendly, allowing a person to easily thumb through stories and resources.
Much of what is available on the current province website is also found in the new design. From the homepage, users can access the weekly news (Fridge Notes), feature stories, a “Meet Our Members” section, Dehonian Spirituality, photos, and several vocation-related links.
The Members section is accessible from a link at the top of any page within the site. This is no longer a password-protected area. Only the SCJ personnel directory is password protected. In the next few days SCJs in the US and Canada will receive more information about utilizing this section. Among the items found in the Members’ area are the Rule of Life, Necrology, letters from Fr. Ed Kilianski, Cor Unum and other resources as needed.
Scroll down the homepage of the Members section and readers can view a calendar of SCJ events (including birthdays, meeting dates, jubilees and other items of note). The Google calendar can also be accessed from the icon found at the bottom of all pages within the site.
At the top of all pages are links to the Dehonian Social Justice website, the province blog, the Canadian Region’s blog and a donate button. In the mobile version, these are accessed in the navigation box.
One of the new features of the site is an interactive prayer section. This is found near the bottom of the homepage. Anyone will be welcome to share a prayer request in this moderated section of the site.
As with anything new, there are bound to be a few bugs to be worked out in the first days. Please have patience as the site becomes operational. Note that it may take 24 hours before all of the items on the site are fully functional. However, if you do note something of concern, please contact Mary Gorski.
The US Province has had a formation program in Chicago for 47 years; this summer, that program will move to Sacred Heart Monastery in Hales Corners, WI. On Tuesday, May 15, the community will have a commemoration of these years. Prayer will begin at 4:30 p.m. and a social will follow.
“We invite you to join us in celebrating these years of blessings and to pray with us as we journey to a new story,” said Fr. Bob Tucker, SCJ, a member of the formation team.
There will be a social following the prayer service. All SCJs are welcome to attend. However, if you plan to be there, Fr. Bob asks that you let a member of the community know so that they have a sense of how many to plan on for the reception.
For many years, Fr. Bob Bossie, SCJ, has been a member of the Dehon Formation Community in Chicago. As noted above, the community will soon move to Sacred Heart Monastery. Fr. Bob will remain in Chicago so that he can continue to care for his brother. As of July 1, Fr. Bob’s new address will be:
Presence Resurrection Retirement Community
7264 W. Peterson Ave.
Chicago IL 60631
Cell phone: 773-494-1421
Bishop-elect meets with the pope
On Thursday, May 3, Fr. Heiner Wilmer, SCJ, former Dehonian superior general and now bishop-elect of the diocese of Hildesheim, visited with Pope Francis. Soon after, Fr. Bernd Hagenkord of the Vatican News did an interview with him.
In German, the two spoke about the meeting with the pope, and about Fr. Heiner’s new assignment. Fr. Heiner told the reporter that he asked the Holy Father what he had in mind when appointing him as bishop. The pope “smiled at me and said that ‘I wanted a real pastor, a shepherd who is close to the people, the young, as well as those who are older,” said Fr. Heiner, adding that the pope told him that a real pastor is one who is accessible and present.
Fr. Heiner will become one of three religious bishops in Germany. Asked about this, the former superior general said that it will certainly be a big change. At the Generalate in Rome he lives and works with fellow Dehonians from many countries. “We have grown together well… I have been in community for almost 40 years and I love this community [Dehonians]. Now, I am going to Hildesheim, moving into the bishop’s house… but I go there with confidence and trust in God.”
Luis Alonso Barrantes, a postulant who had been preparing for novitiate, is leaving the formation program. He writes:
“As I carefully discern in my spiritual journey through the postulant and pre-novitiate processes, and with the support of my spiritual director, I came to discover that living in a religious community is not my calling…
“I take with me a heart full of gratitude for all the love and support. I can honestly say that my time here was not wasted and I take with me a new platform to expand on and be able to serve God’s people wherever it is that God wants me to be. Thank you both [Fr. Ed Kilianski and Fr. Quang Nguyen] and the formation team for your generous hearts and the support that I have received within the last three-and-a-half years.
“I will continue to keep you and everyone in my prayers and I ask that you please keep me and my journey in your prayers.”
On Friday, May 4, Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, took part in graduation exercises at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. He is pictured above with the M.Div. and M.A. graduates.
This week he is at the North American retreat at the Siena Retreat Center in Racine, WI. May 12-21 he will be in Texas for a visitation, returning to Milwaukee on May 23. However, before he leaves he will receive the vow renewal of Frater Huan Pham Duy, a member of the Vietnamese District studying at SHSST. Fr. Ed was delegated by the district to receive his renewal. It will take place during morning Mass in the St. Joseph’s Community chapel at SHML May 12.
On May 23, Fr. Ed has a meeting with the SHSST board. The next council meetings are June 5-6.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic School has a 106-year history of serving Houston families. Br. Andy Gancarczyk, SCJ, shares a video shown at the school’s recent “Boots and Bling” fundraising event. Included is historical information, personal testimonies from students, messages of thanks to the school’s benefactors, volunteers and staff, and LOTS of images of students at work and play. Click here or on the link below to view it.