Weekly News: May 9, 2022

A busy weekend!

These have been busy days for Dn. Henry Nguyen, SCJ. On Friday, May 6, he graduated from Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology with his master’s in divinity. The next day, May 7, Henry was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Joseph Potocnak, SCJ, bishop emeritus of De Aar, South Africa.

Reflecting on his ordination, Dn. Henry said that “My life changes forever as I take this next step in my journey of faith to say ‘yes.’ Preparing for my diaconate ordination confirmed my vocation because I know that I am called towards a life of service and to be among the people.

“I am excited to start my ministerial experience at St. Martin of Tours next month. I am excited to put into practice what I have been learning these last seven years. I am excited to share the Good News of the Lord with all.”

Dn. Henry is assigned to St. Martin of Tours parish in Franklin, WI, as of June 1.

“I am grateful to have received an overwhelming bundle of support from family and friends, near and far, and from the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Movement which fostered my religious vocation,” added Dn. Henry. “I continue to be in awe of all the love that is bestowed on me. I will transpose it onto others, to truly be a prophet of love.”

Click here to read more about Dn. Henry.

Among those present at the ordination were Fr. Carlos Luis Suárez Codorniú, SCJ, Superior General, and Fr. Stephen Huffstetter, SCJ, Vicar General, who are in the United States for the General Visitation.

Photos and video

Click here or on the link above to view a video of Dn. Henry Nguyen’s ordination. Click here to view an online photo album. All photos are free to download.

Finding a balance, finding harmony

In his homily during Dn. Henry Nguyen’s diaconate ordination, Bishop Joseph Potocnak spoke of the need for ministers, in particular, a Dehonian, to find a good balance between prayer and action.

“We as Priests of the Sacred Heart try to go to the people, but Fr. Dehon, like Christ, realized that you need a balance in your life… Prayer, Adoration and the Eucharist: these are the essential elements of our spiritual life,” said Bishop Joe.

“We should be men of the people,” he continued. “But also men of prayer. There is no conflict in this harmony; it is a wonderful harmony between being a man of the people and a man of God. We need both, they go together. If we follow this harmony, if Henry follows this, he’ll have a happy, harmonious diaconate and priesthood.

“Priests who make time for prayer always seem to have time for the people. Priests who say that they are too busy to pray, they don’t seem to do much with the people either.

“As a Priest of the Sacred Heart we ask that he has this happy harmony between ministry to the people and being a man of prayer, a man of God.”

Congratulations graduates!

Fr. Carlos Luis Suárez Codorniú, SCJ, Superior General, was the presider at the May 7 Commencement at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology in Hales Corners, WI. Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nunico of the United States, gave the commencement address.

“The presence of the Risen Lord, he is at work in the hearts of the believers, said the Archbishop during the commencement address. “Thus, the Christianity which our new graduates will propose is a way of life and a changed humanity diametrically opposed to the type of moralism which seeks to control behavior and seeks to reduce life to the keeping of rules. One can follow the rules without being transformed by the knowledge and love of Christ…

“Sometimes the Church does this directly and other times she educates her children to act personally and responsibly. The time spent here at Sacred Heart has been a time principally dedicated to education, to an integrated formation which respects the values and beliefs of the Catholic community, and to nurturing an awareness of belonging to a community of believers in which communion with the Church is an indispensable guiding factor in pastoral activity.

“Often members of the church seek to change the conditions of the world through political and ideological means. Perhaps the better approach would be to encounter Christ anew and experience his love in prayer and community allowing yourselves to be so transformed by the encounter so that we face the problems of our world differently.”

Click here to view a video of the commencement ceremony and hear Archbishop’s full address.

Click here to view some of the photos taken at graduation. These and other photos will be made available to graduates by SHSST staff.

Happy birthday!

Our apologies to Fr. Jean Claude Mbassi, SCJ, whose birthday we missed in last week’s Fridge Notes. Fr. JC celebrates his 48th birthday tomorrow, May 10. He is a member of the Lower Brule Pastoral Team in South Dakota. Happy birthday Fr. JC!

General visitation

Fr. Carlos Luis Suárez Codorniú and Fr. Stephen Huffstetter began the US Provincial Visitation in Pinellas Park, FL, last week. On Tuesday, May 3, they headed to Milwaukee where they spent their first few days with the Sacred Heart Monastery community, and then moved across the street to visit with the communities at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake, as well as the Sacred Heart Novitiate. Tomorrow morning, they will meet with Fr. Vien Nguyen and the Provincial Council. On Thursday, they leave for South Dakota. Fr. Steve will make for a good tour guide there: prior to being elected as Provincial Superior in 2013, and later, as General Councilor, Fr. Steve spent many years ministering in South Dakota. His last assignment was as Executive Director of St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Frs. Carlos and Steve go to Mississippi on May 19, and conclude the visitation in Texas, May 20-22. On May 23, they go to Canada for the regional visitation.

The Superior General is pictured above (right) visiting with Archbishop Christophe Pierre before SHSST commencement.

Please remember

Peter Chan Dinh, the father of Fr. Joseph Thien Dinh, SCJ, died on May 4. The visitation will be on May 13 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. with community prayer at 6:00 p.m. at Dracut Funeral Home (2159 Lakeview Ave., Dracut, MA 01826), and the Mass of Christian Burial will be on May 14 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Rita Catholic Church (158 Mammoth Rd., Lowell, MA 01854).

SCJ artist’s work on display

Tomorrow, May 10, from 6:30-7:30 p.m., is the opening reception for the artwork of Fr. Guy Blair, SCJ, at the Tobin Library in San Antonio. During the reception, Fr. Guy will will discuss his work with the homeless community and how it is reflected in his art. The artwork will be on display through the end of June. Click here for information about the library.


Chris Greer

“On our own we cannot find Jesus, but he can find us!” wrote Christine Greer, in yesterday’s Dehonian Associates’ reflection for the Easter season. “Our Shepherd knows His sheep.  He knows each and every one of us. Jesus speaks to us in many ways.  We hear it in prayer, when we sense a word of encouragement, comfort or guidance.  Sometimes, we hear His voice in the words of another person or as we are reading scriptures…

“As we continue our journey this Easter Season, let us remember Jesus is calling each one of us by name. Slow down, listen to His voice, turn away from the voices that are pulling you away from God.  He longs to be our Good Shepherd.  It takes a lifetime of listening and responding to our Good Shepherd to saying YES to his call for us to be lead to the springs of life-giving water, where God will wipe away every tear from our eyes.  ‘Jesus my Shepherd, help me hear you call my name. Speak Lord, I am listening.’”

Christine Greer is the Administrative Assistant at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Hernando, MS, and a Lay Dehonian (she served on the Province Dehonian Associates Committee for several years, and was one of two lay representatives from the US Province to a Dehonian Family gathering in Rome in 2000). She and her husband, Don, just celebrated their 50th anniversary. They have three children and six grandchildren.

Click here to read her full reflection in yesterday’s mailing.

Closing shot

There were actually two commencement celebrations at Sacred heart Seminary and School of Theology last week. Before the evening graduation exercises, where seminarians and lay students received their degrees, students completing their studies in the ECS program (English and Cultural Studies) were recognized for their work. The photo below was taken of the group following their closing Mass.

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