Weekly News: November 20, 2017

The Provincial Offices will be closed November 23-24 for the Thanksgiving holiday. Have a blessed celebration!

Congratulations Fr. Vien!

Fr. Vien Nguyen

Congratulations to Fr. Vien Nguyen who successfully defended his doctoral dissertation in Sacred Theology on November 14th! This is the last step in his doctoral program at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, Calif.

The title of the dissertation is “Extending the Boundaries of Gender and Ethnicity in the Wilderness: a Spatial Reading of the Ethiopian Eunuch Narrative in Acts 8:26-40.”

What does that mean? “Given the prominence of the temple and Jerusalem narrative settings in Luke-Acts, the author situates the encounter between Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch intriguingly not in the temple or Jerusalem setting but in the wilderness space,” writes Fr. Vien in his abstract. “To better understand the significance of the wilderness space in the narrative, I explore the issues of gender and ethnicity which the Ethiopian eunuch embodies… Ethnically, he was an ‘outsider’ who did not share with the Jews or the Greco-Romans a common shared ancestry, history, or religious practices. Among the many outcomes of cross-cultural experiences, encounters with the ‘ethnic others’ could trigger anxieties and clashes, resulting in stereotyping, marginalization, and the establishment of boundaries to keep the ‘other’ out.”

He concludes, noting that “God is not confined only to the temple and does not belong only to the people of Israel. Rather, God is present wherever the gospel is preached, and access to God is available to all.”

Click here to read the abstract in full.

Fr. Vien moves to Hales Corners in the next few weeks where he will be assigned to ministry at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. In the months ahead he will also work on preparing his dissertation for publication as a book, and on other writing projects such as book reviews and articles.

“A special shout-out to Fr. John Czyzynski,” added Fr. Vien. “I am grateful for his meticulous proofreading of the draft of my work.”

Fr. Vien with fellow classmates and school staff after the defense


DACA presentation at SHML

The North American Migration Commission invites SCJs to hear Cendi Trujillo Tena, Youth Organizer for Voces de la Frontera, speak about the potential repercussions of the elimination of the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program and the campaign for a “clean” DREAM Act.  Voces is the migrant advocacy organization that worked with the committee last year to bring two presenters to SHML to speak about why they came to the United States without papers and what it is like living as an undocumented person.

Cendi is trying to arrange to bring one or two DACA students with her to share their personal stories.  The presentation will take place in the first floor recreation room in the SCJ wing at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake on Tuesday evening, November 28, from 7 – 8:15 p.m.

Questions? Please contact Mark Peters, province director of Justice, Peace and Reconciliation at 414-427-4273

Vocation office on the road

Fr. Quang Nguyen, province vocation director, was at the National Catholic Youth Conference in Indianapolis over the weekend with SCJ candidate Alonso Barrantes. Held every other year, the NCYC brings together Catholic young people and their chaperones –– youth ministers, campus ministers, parents, catechists, priests, coaches, and scout leaders — to pray, learn, and grow in their faith.


Fr. Ed joined several SCJs for a Mass at Our Lady of Fatima in Naples; the parish is ministered to by the South Italian Province. Fr. McQueen, district superior of India, was the main celebrant.

Major Superiors gather in Rome

The Major Superiors Colloquium continues through the end of this week at the Generalate in Rome. Topics addressed last week included time management: finding balance between the demands of leadership and need to care for others while also caring for oneself spiritually and physically. Fr. Oliviero Cattani, superior of the North Italian Province, led a session on leadership in which he reminded the superiors that they must seek to create community models that are spaces for “real fraternal sharing.”

On the weekend the group took a break from the meeting room and visited the Sanctuary of the Holy House of Loreto.

Reports from the colloquium can be found on the general website, dehon.it. Photos from the days are posted on the DehoniansWorldwide Facebook page.

Also meeting

Dn. David Nagel, province treasurer, is in Neustadt, Germany, this week for the meeting of the General Finance Commission. The commission is led by Fr. Luca Zottoli, general treasurer.

Provincial’s time

Fr. Ed Kilianski is in Rome until November 27 for the Colloquium of Major Superiors. He is pictured at right during a visit to Naples over the weekend when he had the opportunity to say “hi” to two alumni from the 2017 summer ESL program: Etienne and Andry. They are SCJ students from Madagascar studying in Naples.

After the colloquium, Fr. Ed will be home for a week  before leaving for Vietnam on December 3. The US Province is developing several collaborative possibilities with the district; Fr. Francis Vu, a former member of the US Province, is district superior of Vietnam.

Fr. Ed returns to the United States on December 17, just in time for the Provincial Council meetings December 19-20.

Closing shot

Sacred Heart School in Southaven, MS, honored veterans in a special Mass earlier this month in commemoration of Veterans Day. Fr. Greg Schill, a veteran himself (US Marine Corps), was the celebrant. Citing the first reading from Zechariah, Fr. Greg’s homily focused on peace, mercy and social justice — especially for the poor and oppressed. He pointed out that defending the faith often means might and bloodshed; but mercy, peace, justice and salvation is the ultimate goal. “Remember justice.” he said.

At the conclusion of Mass, students and other members of the audience extended their hands in prayer over the service members as Fr. Greg gave a special blessing for all of the veterans gathered.