Weekly News: May 8, 2017

The congregation’s treasurers met in Rome last week. Dn. David Nagel represented the US Province.

Treasurers meet in Rome

“Managing our assets well is more than just saving and avoiding waste,” said Fr. Luca Zottoli, general treasurer, in his opening remarks to the congregation’s treasurers gathered in Rome last week. Dn. David Nagel represented the US Province; he also serves on the General Finance Commission which met the previous week. Twenty-three entity treasurers took part in the five-day meeting.

Fr. Luca spoke directly to the treasurers, but his words were intended for all members of the congregation when he emphasized that “the financial aspect of our lives cannot be lived at distance as if it were a matter that only concerned specialists in the field.” Financial stewardship is the responsibility of all members of the Priests of the Sacred Heart.

How an organization spends its money says a lot about it. Throughout the days, speakers reminded the treasurers that the congregation’s greatest resource is its people. This is why a significant amount of investment must be made in formation, including the formation of treasurers. Just as a guitar does not make a musician, a checkbook does not make a treasurer. Next year the general administration will host a lengthy training course for current and potential treasurers.

The treasurers meeting featured several reports of Dehonian projects around the world including rice cultivation and the production of palm oil in Indonesia, a hospital project in Albania, and even the US Province’s own St. Joseph’s Indian School in South Dakota.

There are several meetings in Rome this spring. Later this week Fr. Jack Kurps and David Schimmel (US Province), and Fr. John van den Hengel (Canadian Region) will represent North America at the Dehonian Family meeting.

Sacred Heart School recognized

Bridget Martin, principal and alumna of Sacred Heart School in Southaven, MS

Sacred Heart School in Southaven, MS (a ministry of Sacred Heart Southern Missions) recently received recognition from Today’s Catholic Teacher magazine. Each year the magazine holds a national competition for Innovations in Catholic Education (ICE Awards). There are four categories: 1) Total Community Involvement, 2) Technology Integration, 3) Curriculum and Instruction, and 4) Promoting Catholic Identity.

In February, Bridget Martin, Sacred Heart principal, nominated the school for the category of “Promoting Catholic Identity” for its service-learning project, “Denim Days.” Each month one of SHSM’s social service ministries is highlighted. Students learn about that ministry and pray for its workers and volunteers. On the last Friday of the month, a Denim Day is held. Students donate money to wear blue jeans and tennis shoes (instead of their usual school uniforms). The highlighted ministry for the month is then the recipient of the donations collected.

Winners were announced at the National Catholic Educator Association Conference awards banquet in St. Louis, Missouri in April. Principal Martin and several teachers attended the conference. Sacred Heart School did not place first in the competition; however, they were publically recognized at the awards dinner.

“This award is a testament to the value our parents, staff, and students place on our mission as a Catholic school,” said Bridget. “We work to provide a Catholic environment dedicated to developing young people whose actions reflect knowledge, respect and integrity. We will always strive to make certain that the students we serve value the importance of protecting and serving one another through our service learning programs, retreat offerings, and daily faith formation programs.”

So far this year, students have collected a $4,348.20 for SHSM ministries.


New MA program at SHSST

Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology was awarded a $48,500 innovation grant from the Association of Theological Schools to implement its new “Cor Unum Initiative.” Using a cohort model of education where students work together as an educational community, participants will earn a Master of Arts degree by attending classes one evening a week and engaging in online activities. “The primary goal of the program is to create leaders who can evangelize and heal a fractured world,” say organizers. SHSST has already accepted its inaugural cohort of 14 students.

Click here for more information about the Cor Unum program. Applications are now being considered for the start of the 2018-19 academic year.

Keep in prayer

Pat McDonald, the sister-in-law of Fr. Richard MacDonald, has been receiving treatment for ovarian cancer. Doctors have decided to cease treatment and focus on pain management as she nears her final days. She is 68. Please keep her in prayer.

Fr. Mac also requests prayers for Margaret Lopez, who had worked with SCJs for many years when she was Director of Religious Education at Our Lady of Guadalupe, Raymondville. She is in intensive care being treated for a number of health complications.

In Canada, Fr. Bill Marrevee, a member of the Ottawa community, suffered a TIA (minor stroke) on Sunday (May 7). After tests at the hospital he is now home recovering. Please keep him in prayer.

RSVP reminders

“Open Hearts – Coeurs Ouverts” – Registration for the first of the North American Dehonian Retreats, August 13-19 in Mississauga, Ontario, closes on May 31. For members of the US Province and Canadian Region who have not yet registered and would like to do so, click here.

US Province Assembly – The theme of this year’s province assembly is “The Joy of Community Expressed in Our Mission.” It begins with the province jubilee celebration on Monday, June 5, and runs through noon on Friday, June 9.

“The core of our gathering is to bring each of us back to our beginning, nurturing our own vocation and reminding ourselves of how community life can support and enhance our ministerial lives,” said Fr. Thi Pham, planning committee chairperson.

SCJs should RSVP for the assembly by May 18 by calling 414-425-6910 or by sending an email to provadm@usprovince.org. Individuals are asked to make their own room arrangements. All rooms with private baths at Sacred Heart Monastery are now taken during the week of the assembly. However, student rooms are still available. To make arrangements, contact Marlene at: 414-425-8300.

Provincial’s time

Fr. Ed Kilianski is in South Dakota for a visitation through the end of the week. May 18-22 he will be in Houston to for the eighth grade graduation at Our Lady of Guadalupe and to help with weekend ministry.

Closing shot

After several weeks of rainy weather, contractors were able to finish pouring the slab for the new Fr. Gregory Bezy Volunteer House in Holly Springs, MS. Each year hundreds of volunteers from around the country come to northern Mississippi to assist with the work of Sacred Heart Southern Missions.