Weekly News: Monday, April 13, 2020

“Like Peter and John, let us run towards the risen Jesus.  This race will last as long as our short life, with temporary pauses granted by the mercy of God and the love of our Lord.  Let us run, let us leave everything behind for the greater good, and let us never look back.”


Fr. Leo John Dehon, Daily Notes, April 13-27, 1868
The Year with the Sacred Heart, “Easter Saturday: The Divine Wounds of the Risen Jesus”

He’s back!

After a three-day journey that included a nine-hour layover in Atlanta, Fr. Tom Cassidy, SCJ, arrived back home at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake on Saturday evening. He was originally scheduled to be in India for another month but as with many plans in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic – plans changed. He is now on a 14-day quarantine in his apartment at SHML, taking his temperature twice a day and keeping in frequent contact with the Franklin Health Department, as do all international travelers. Welcome home Fr. Tom!

Fr. Joni

Out of quarantine

Fr. Albertus Joni, SCJ, a member of the Indonesian Province doing graduate studies at Marquette University, returned to his American home at the end of March following a three-month visit to Indonesia. Now out of quarantine, he was able to join in the Triduum and Easter celebrations at Sacred Heart Monastery.

“There is no better moment to reflect on the meaning of suffering than Holy Week,” wrote Fr. Joni. “While approaching the sacred Easter season, I realized that both globalization and capitalism – two common ‘highways’ toward a prosperous society – cannot properly solve our problems. This COVID-19 outbreak challenges me to see the other side of the coin. This pandemic shows us that the modern world desperately needs what Jesus has revealed to us all: solidarity.

“Through the cross, Jesus entered into full solidarity with the suffering of the world, with the vulnerability of being human. As Jesus went into the mystery of human death, He showed us that we – the disciples – also need to enter into the suffering of our neighbors.

“While our society is heavily marked with social injustice and an ever-widening gap between the haves and the have-nots, we, Christians, are called to show the world that our brothers and sisters are more than calculations, predictions, and numbers. Christians see their neighbor not only as an autonomous human being with rights and fundamental equality but as the living image of God the Father, redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ and placed under the permanent action of the Holy Spirit.

“Every act of solidarity celebrates the love of God to humanity, and vice versa. It becomes an instrument of communion with God! Yes, this is a difficult time for everyone – yet, I do believe that this is also the moment to share the best of us and of what we believe in.”

Click here to read Fr. Joni’s full reflection.

Click here to access the full list of reflections by other SCJs and coworkers.

Share your own

Click here to submit YOUR OWN reflection of the impact of pandemic in your life and/or ministry.

Pictured above are SCJ Frs. Aegi Warsitoand Willyans Prado Rapozo of the Toronto community.

In Canada

SCJs from each community in the Canadian Region (Montréal, Ottawa and Toronto) have written about their experiences during the coronavirus, sharing them on the Canadian blog.

“Ministry has been a challenge, but we are learning new ways to be present to those with whom we minister and who minister to us,” write members of the Toronto community. “Yuliwan is gathering with members of the UKI in small groups to pray together online. Peter continues to reach out to all of the refugees and volunteers connected with the ministry of Becoming Neighbours. Antonio celebrated Eucharist online with members of the Brazilian community. Aegi is offering Holy Week daily reflections online for the parishioners of Thomas More and Our Lady of Rosary. Jim will preside at an online Holy Thursday Para liturgy for those who travelled with him on the February pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

“Each of us expressed concern for members of our families and how we can be supportive of them as they too live this reality. Each one of us has reconnected with people living in isolation or with people with whom we have not had contact for a long time.”

Click here to access the site to view all three community reflections in full.

Dr. Benjamin Stone

Music for social distancing

Dr. Benjamin Stone, Director of Music and Organist at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, is posting musical pieces, along with background information on them, for daily listening. Featured composers include Johann Sebastian Bach, Girolamo Frescobaldi, Matthias Weckmann, Dan Locklair and Georg Böhm.

Click here to access the selections on the SHSST website.

Greetings from Sr. Rose!

Sr. Rose Kelly, IHM, the sister of Fr. Paul Kelly, SCJ, (deceased) sent an email with a note of hello to the community, and a brief reflection. She writes:

“The world has both quieted down for many of us and sent others into a frenzy. The quieting seems good; the frenzy seems to require energies beyond what is human. In the quiet, we can pray without ceasing for those brave people on the front lines, holding them up.”

Sr. Rose is based at Marywood University in Scranton, PA.

Schedule reminder

Due to social distancing guidelines, the Provincial Offices are on limited hours, with several members of the staff working at home. However, phone messages and email are being checked regularly. Click here to send news items and photos for the Fridge Notes, the province website and other communications.

Last call!

Wednesday, April 15 is the deadline to nominate a person or organization for this year’s Klingler Social Justice Award.  Anyone can nominate an individual or a group, either for their own actions or for their leadership in inspiring others to service, social action, raised awareness and compassion, and/or deeper understanding of social problems and their root causes. Send your nominations and one or two supportive paragraphs to justdir@usprovince.org.

Frater Henry during the Vigil

Alleluia for He has Risen

“Find God in All Things (#FGIAT) was my approach for the Lenten journey in the midst of quarantine,” wrote Frater Henry Nguyen, SCJ. He, as are other members of the formation community, is spending the “Safe in Place” order at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology.

“This pandemic has really forced us to reevaluate our way of life and what is important,” he continued. “Before the academic year started, the formation directors indicated that we would be celebrating the Holy Triduum as a community, going to masses and services together. Little did they know how true that would be. We were supposed to do this and that, but God had bigger plans for us. The groups within the Sacred Heart Monastery community (such as formation, and English and Cultural Studies) split up the liturgies and services so that each day was marked by its own flair and creativity. For some of these moments we joined with the wider SHSST community, seminarians and faculty who are sheltering in place on campus.

“On Holy Thursday, as I reflected on the impending death of our Lord, I also thought about my mom. I had just entered the chapel for Adoration and I felt as if my mom was there with me; she died far too young at 24. I pray for her every day as I know she’s praying for me.

“As we continue this new normal I look forward to the Easter season as a message of hope and unity. I pray that the light of Christ shines brightly in times of darkness and uncertainty. Vitat Cor Jesu!”

Below and above are several photos from the Easter Vigil at Sacred Heart Monastery. Our thanks to Jean Carlo Mercado, SHSST administrative assistant, for the photos. Jean Carlo has been a part of the skeleton staff maintaining basic services at the seminary. More photos from Saturday, as well as Holy Thursday, are on the US Province Facebook page.

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