Weekly News: May 8, 2023

Congratulations SHSST graduates!

Commencement exercises took place Friday night at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ presided at evening prayer. Fr. Paul BR Hartmann, JCL, associate secretary general, US Conference of Catholic Bishops, gave the commencement address. Dr. Barbara Anne Cusack, chairperson of the SHSST Board of Directors and chancellor of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, conferred the degrees. Frater Jacob Smith, SCJ, was the cantor for the evening, accompanied by Dr. Benjamin Stone, SHSST director of Liturgy and Music. During the ceremony, Dr. John Gallam, professor of Philosophy from 1973-2023, received Emeritus status; he retires this year (he is pictured at the top of the page being congratulated by Dr. Cusack). Fr. Raúl Gómez Ruiz, SDS, is president-rector of SHSST.

Click here to view on online photo album from the evening.

The week ahead

Among the items on note at the calendar this week are Provincial Council meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday. Top on the agenda is the annual budget review.

On Thursday, May 11, Frater Paul Phong Hoang, SCJ, makes his final profession of vows in the main chapel at Sacred Heart Monastery / Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. Mass begins at 4:00 p.m. followed by a reception and dinner. All SCJs are invited. If you plan to attend and have not yet RSVP’d, please click here to do so today.

International theological seminar on the economy begins

Presentations began this morning at the Dehonians’ international theological seminar titled “Towards an Economy for All; Inclusive, Sustainable, Just.” The seminar runs through Thursday, May 11, at the Dehonians’ ESIC University in Madrid, Spain.

Representing the North American Dehonian Theological Commission are Fr. John van den Hengel, SCJ and Fr. Gustave Lulendo, SCJ, from Canada and Fr. Ziggy Morawiec, SCJ and Fr. Francis Vu Tran, SCJ from the US Province.

Fr. Francis sent a short message from the conference, along with a few photos. He wrote that the initial presentations are giving background to the theme, showing how the economy “does not work for all people.” Many factors need to be considered to “create a real communion.”

“The speakers have great ideas about how to turn the predominant privatization model of the economy into one of shared resources, a sense of common goods,” continued Fr. Francis. “But there are so many challenges. The traditions of capitalism and even tribalism make it difficult for people and cultures to reconstruct our current economic models. But the message is prophetic.”

The presentations are being broadcast online. Click here to access them on the general website. Click here for the conference schedule. Please note that all times are local to Madrid; if the screen is not active, most likely it means that no presentations are taking place at that time.

Mary, model of availability

“As a religious brother in perpetual vows, I had the opportunity over a period of years to change my mind before final profession of the vows,” wrote Br. Brian Tompkins, SCJ (pictured left), in the May issue of As a Rule. “Mary did not, it appears, to have had that option. She responded graciously and without query; albeit puzzled that she would be chosen to be the Mother of God. Mary is an example of that availability and trust that we as religious, and in my case, as a religious brother, must channel throughout our lives in community and to the outside population that also needs us.”

As a Rule is a monthly electronic publication produced by the US Province. Each month includes reflections on a topic, with a passage from the SCJ Rule of Life as a starting point. The focus of the May issue is “Mary, Model of Availability.” Br. Brian reflected on how he lives the call to availability as a religious brother.

Fr. Juan Carlos Castañeda Rojas, SCJ, reflected on the strength that he finds in Mary, and a devotion that he shares with many. “Every place I go I find that there is always something extraordinarily in common with people I meet, and that is the presence of the Virgin Mary as an important part of their faith as well as my own faith. Despite the different names that she is known by, she is always seen as the mother of Jesus, mother of the Church, and, of course, as our mother who intercedes for all of us. The maternal care of the Virgin Mary really shapes the religiosity of many people and gives us all the strength to say ‘yes’ to our mission and our response to God.”

Click here to read the rest of this month’s issue. A subscription link is in the upper left corner of the publication. Anyone is welcome to receive As a Rule.

Please remember

Shirley Hesse was a volunteer for Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, specifically in the library. She passed away a few months ago and her family is having a Memorial Service for her on August 5th at St. Martin of Tours in Franklin.  The Mass will begin at 11:00 AM.

Graduation invitation

Frater Jacob Smith, SCJ (pictured above singing at the SHSST commencement), graduates with his undergraduate degree from Marquette University this month. The Baccalaureate Mass will be on Friday, May 19, at 3:30 p.m. at MU’s Al McGuire Center. SCJs who are in the Milwaukee area at that time are invited to attend. Those who would like to concelebrate are asked to contact Jacob ASAP. Otherwise, no RSVP is needed.

SCJs are also invited to a celebration BBQ hosted by the Sacred Heart Monastery community on May 20 at 6:00 p.m. Those planning to attend are asked to RSVP to Jacob by May 12 so that the community knows how much food to prepare.

Next Mission Education announced

Click here to read a letter from Mike Tyrell, president of St. Joseph’s Indian School, reminding SCJs and coworkers that the next Mission Education will take place October 8-9, 2023, at St. Joseph’s. In the letter, Mike asks SCJs, and those who collaborate with the province, to let him know if they are attending this year’s gathering, and to send a headcount of those who will be joining them from their ministry. The letter also includes information about hotel reservations.

Please respond to Mike at  by May 26.

Remembering, with heavy hearts

Friday, May 12, is Fr. Anthony Kluckman’s 76th birthday. The Priests of the Sacred Heart note the day with a heavy heart; it has been ten months since he went missing and still there are no clues as to what happened to Fr. Anthony or where he may have gone. The SCJ priest was last seen on security footage leaving Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake in Franklin, WI. As has been previously noted, Fr. Anthony suffered from dementia.

Countless searches by law enforcement agencies, dog teams, drones, volunteers, and most recently, members of Fr. Anthony’s family, have taken place. Alerts about Fr. Anthony have been made throughout the country, including in areas where Fr. Anthony has lived and ministered. Billboards carry Fr. Anthony’s story.

The family has offered a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the finding of Fr. Anthony. If you have any information that you think might be helpful in the search for him, please contact Butler Investigations at butlerinvestigationsllc@gmail.com, (608) 628-9568.

We are grateful for the many, many signs of support shown to Fr. Anthony’s fellow SCJ brothers and priests, and his family. We continue to live with the unknown, while we also continue to keep Fr. Anthony close to our hearts in prayer.

Together we pray:

Loving God, you call all things into being
and bring order out of chaos.

Help us who are searching for Fr. Anthony
to recognize your will in these difficult times.

Be with Fr. Anthony whom you called to service
and open the hearts of our brothers and sisters
to help us find him.

Grant us also willing hearts to be strong in hope,
that our prayers and thoughts
may guide Fr. Anthony home.

We bring Fr. Anthony to you, Lord,
entrusting him to the mercy of the Heart of Jesus.

CLICK HERE to download a copy of the flyer about Fr. Anthony; feel free to copy and distributed it.

Closing photo

Throughout the province during the past weekend young people received their First Communion. Pictured below is Fr. Rafael Querobin, SCJ, with First Communicants at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Houston, and Fr. Guy Blair, SCJ, speaking to First Communicants at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church in Senatobia, MS.

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