Weekly News: November 13, 2023

A “Detour Home”

Many participants at the recent Mission Education Conference at St. Joseph’s Indian School went home with a new book in their bag. Titled A Detour Home, it was written by the St. Joseph’s president, Mike Tyrell (pictured above). It is contains a series of fictional stories loosely based on his experience as a young man moving with his wife, Kim, to St. Joseph’s Indian School to become a houseparent. About the book, Mike writes in the Author’s Notes:

“The year is 2022 and I find myself in the seventh year as president of St. Joseph’s Indian School. I always said I wanted to write a story about our experience as houseparents. Like many people who plan to write a book, life and procrastination got in the way. Things changed over the past couple of years in different ways. First, COVID-19 stirred our world into uncertainty. Second, Kim and I have attended the funerals of former students who died too young. Third, I am now in my 60s and friends my age are starting to have medical issues. The realization that I am not getting any younger kicked in.

“Thirty-seven years ago, a young, naïve, newly married couple decided to take a detour in life and move to South Dakota. Now, with five kids of our own, three grandchildren and after Kim’s courageous eleven-year battle with breast cancer, we are still here. Over the years, my family continues to greatly respect and support the important work of  St. Joseph’s Indian School.

“’Back in the day’ Kim and I lived and worked as houseparents for three years…Of the actual students who lived in the Pinger Home many years ago, we have lost tourch with some and kept in contact with others. The group has seen difficulties, tragedies, as well as loss of life. Still, when we see each other, the stories flow and we realize the blessing of shared memories. The impression the students made on us will never be forgotten.”

You can get the book from the Akta Lakota Museum on the campus of St. Joseph’s. Or, you can order it through Amazon. It is available both as a paperback and as a Kindle download: Click here.

Sr. Barbara Reid, OP

God With Us

“God With Us” is the theme for the November 30 Advent Hour of Recollection presented by Sr. Barbara Reid, OP, President of Catholic Theological Union and past president of the Catholic Biblical Association. Sr. Reid has an extensive curriculum vitae. She received an honorary doctorate from the University of Graz, Austria in 2019 and was inducted into Aquinas College Hall of Fame in 2016. She has received the Yves Congar Award for Theological Excellence from Barry University (2017), the St. Martin DePorres Award from the Southern Province Dominican Friars (2016), the Jerome Award from Catholic Library Association (2012), the Theological Award for Distinguished Women Theologians from the College of Mount St. Joseph (2010), and the Sophia Award from Washington Theological Union (2000). Click here to read more about her on the CTU website.

Held via Zoom, the Advent Hour of Recollection is primarily for employees and other SCJ collaborators, but anyone is welcome to attend (including SCJs). It will begin at 10:00 a.m. (central). The Zoom link:


There will be a separate Hour of Recollection for SCJs on Tuesday, December 5, also at 10:00 a.m. (central). The link is in the Members section of the US Province website.  It was sent to SCJs in the US Province via email by Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, this morning.

Sr. Reid will also lead the SCJ session. She describes the theme as a “ reflection on the gift and virtue of accompaniment, beginning with God’s accompaniment of Israel in Old Testament times, culminating in the Incarnation: ‘God-with-us’ in human flesh. Jesus’s companionship with those who are most vulnerable shows the way for us to make visible God’s ongoing accompaniment with humankind and with the whole of the cosmos.”


Looking ahead

Besides the Advent Hours of Recollection, other calendar items to note:

December 9: Frater Paul Phong Hoang’s diaconate ordination, 10:00 a.m., SHSST.

January 9-10: Provincial Council meeting, Hales Corners, WI

February 20-21: Provincial Council meeting, Hales Corners, WI

NEW – The Senior Life Commission meeting will be on February 22. Br. Wayne Fitzgerald, MM, will be present to help commission members review the province Senior Life policies.

NEW – March 11-12: A retirement workshop with Br. Wayne Fitzpatrick, MM, has been scheduled in Pinellas Park, FL. This will be similar to the workshop held at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake.

April 2-3: Provincial Council meeting, Hales Corners, WI

NEW – May 14-16: Sr. Dianne Bergant, CSA, will lead a retreat for SCJs in active ministry at the Siena Retreat Center in Racine, WI. Details are still being finalized.

NEW – May 17: Provincial Council meeting, Hales Corners, WI

June 5: Provincial Council meeting via Zoom for formation advancements

June 14 – July 5: General Chapter in Rome

International travels

Next week Tuesday, November 21, Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, will travel to South Africa to take part in the centennial celebration of the Dehonian presence there. While visiting the province, he will have the opportunity to meet with Fr. John Strittmatter, SCJ, a retired American Dehonian who has spent most of his religious life in South Africa. Fr. Vien is scheduled to return to the United States on December 6.

Thank you

Fr. Bob Bossie, SCJ, writes: “Please accept my most heartfelt ‘thank you’ for all your love and support these many years of my brother Paul’s life and following his transition to new life. Your words, presence, cards, prayers and so much more comfort me in my journey. Paul’s encouragement fits here: ‘Try your best and be kind to everyone.’ I can only believe that he rests in God’s loving arms now. May the souls of all the departed rest in peace.”

“Love unites us”

Students from two Dehonian schools, one in Brusque, Brazil and the other in Quebec, Canada, have developed a partnership. Early this year, the Séminaire du Sacré-Coeur in Quebec hosted volleyball players and their coaches from Brusque, and in October, Colégio São Luiz hosted a group of Canadian students and teachers.

Fr. Silvano João da Costa, SCJ, principal of Colégio São Luiz, said that the exchange has created a good relationship between the schools.  “It’s a feeling of gratitude for everything we’ve experienced in the presence of students and teachers from Quebec. We shared our way of being and educating in Brazil, and it all comes down to hospitality… These are unforgettable marks in the history of our institution, which is celebrating its 120th anniversary. It’s when we realize that smiles, hugs, and hospitality are the same in all cultures, it gives us the certainty that love unites us.”

Click here to read more on the general website.  :

Today at noon!

TODAY (November 13), in recognition of Native American Heritage Month, the Leo John Dehon Library at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology is hosting a lunchtime presentation by Fr. Yvon Sheehy, SCJ, and Fr. Jim Walters, SCJ. The two SCJs will talk about their experiences of ministry among the Lakota people in South Dakota.

The presentation will take place in Classroom 2 from noon to 1:00 p.m. You are invited to pick up your lunch in the dining room and bring it to Classroom 2 where there are tables and chairs.

Rec Center taking shape

Mission Education participants saw a lot of construction vehicles in the center of the campus of St. Joseph’s Indian School during their October visit. The equipment was there as a part of the Rec Center remodeling project. The final stages of the foundation for the new gym are being completed. This includes backfilling and insulation and grading. The structural steel for the north side of the building, as well as other walls where the new offices will be located, are going up. The Rec Center is a vital part of the campus, not only hosting sports events, but a wide variety of social and cultural activities for students and staff.

Click here to subscribe to the weekly news (Fridge Notes) via email