“In all circumstances, give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18
The Provincial Offices will be closed Thursday and Friday this week (November 24-25) for Thanksgiving. We will reopen on Monday. Have a blessed holiday weekend!
SCJ Memorial Day
In 2004 the General Administration established November 26 as “SCJ Memorial Day,” a time of remembrance for members of the Priests of the Sacred Heart who gave their lives as martyrs. It was on November 26, 1964, that Bishop Joseph Wittebols, along with six other SCJs, were martyred in Congo. They were among 28 members of the community who were killed during the country’s Simba Revolution. In total, there are 49 SCJ martyrs.
The day of remembrance has evolved into a more general moment for giving thanks for all of the SCJs who have died, who have devoted their lives to the congregation, and in particular, the Dehonian charisn.
This year, the congregation remembers in a special way another SCJ who died on November 26: Fr. André Prévot. Born in 1840 in southern France, he died in 1878. Fr. André was ordained a priest for the diocese of Aix, in southern France, but with his ordination soon came a desire for religious life. In 1885 he professed his first vows with the Priests of the Sacred Heart and then served as the SCJs’ first novice master. In a letter dated March 21, 1923, Fr. Leo John Dehon wrote that “Father Prévot was more the founder of our Congregation than I was.”
During Fr. André’s 22 years as novice master, approximately 600 men moved through the novitiate, most of whom professed their first vows and lived the rest of their lives as SCJs. Fr. André also served as the first Provincial Superior of what was then the Western Province of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, and in 1913 he was named assistant general superior alongside Fr. Dehon.
Click here to read more about Fr. André Prévot on the congregational website, where there is also a prayer service for Dehonian Remembrance Day.
Click here to read a 2014 article in Dehoniana about Fr. Dehon and Fr. Prevot written by Fr. John van den Hengel, SCJ.
Come and visit!
Fr. Vincent Suparman, SCJ, local superior of the Sacred Heart Community in Pinellas Park, FL, writes that “We have guest rooms and are ready to welcome any SCJ who may want to travel to Pinellas Park to take some vacation time, make a private retreat, or have a quiet place to do research.”
He adds that the community has been busy updating the property. “In the last four weeks we remodeled a couple rooms in Building 100,” he wrote. “If everything goes smoothly, the work will be completed at the end of this month. Once we are finished with the remodeling in the first section, we will continue to work in Building 200. Work includes replacing the air conditioning units in several rooms. We are on schedule, but things do not always work as planned due to unpredictable weather.”
Click here to email Fr. Vincent if you are interested in planning a visit to the Pinellas Park Community.
Just in time for Thanksgiving, Fr. Tom Cassidy, SCJ, is back at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake following several months in Asia, including the past four weeks in Vietnam where he helped teach English. His month-long mantra with his students: “You can’t learn English speaking Vietnamese!” meaning that while it is much easier to slip back into one’s mother language outside of class, getting out of a person’s comfort zone and trying a new language in daily life is the best way to learn it. And since Fr. Tom doesn’t speak Vietnamese, his students always had someone with whom to practice their English.
Fr. Tom is pictured above (back row with turquoise shirt) visiting Fr. Loc Nguyen’s family, along with several other SCJs who were near the family home for a retreat.
Update on the search for Fr. Anthony
Often people contact the Provincial Offices asking for updates on the search for Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ, who disappeared from Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake on July 21. The province, and Fr. Anthony’s family, are grateful for the support of so many people.
Franklin police recently returned to the SHML property to renew the search. Using a variety of methods, they combed the property, including both bodies of water, hoping that with the leaves now down a clue about Fr Anthony’s disappearance might surface.
Unfortunately, nothing was found, yet authorities remain vigilant in their search.
Thank you for your continued support. Fr. Anthony is not physically with us, but he is always present, always remembered in our prayers.
Virtual hours of recollection
Advent Hour of Recollection for staff and collaborators – As we noted last week, The US Province will host an Advent Hour of Recollection via Zoom on Tuesday, November 29, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (Central). Sr. Nancy Schreck, OSF, will speak on “The Challenge of Making Room for Jesus During the Busyness of the Holidays.” The reflection is designed especially for employees of province ministries and other Dehonian collaborators.
Sr. Nancy is a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Dubuque, Iowa. She has served extensively in formation and leadership, including as president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and as a US delegate to the International Union of Superiors General.
Click here to join us November 29.
Advent Hour of Recollection for SCJs – On Tuesday, December 13, Pardeep Kaleka will lead a one-hour presentation for SCJs via Zoom. SCJs will gather virtually at 10:45 a.m. (central) and the presentation will be from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
A Zoom link will be sent to SCJs within a week of the presentation; the talk will be also recorded and available for later viewing for those who cannot be present when it is given.
Pardeep Kaleka’s life path changed dramatically on August 5, 2012, when a white supremacist opened fire on the Sikh Temple that his father – Satwant Singh Kaleka – had founded in suburban Milwaukee. The elder Kaleka was among those who died in the shooting. Pardeep has since devoted his life to reconciliation and finding ways to address hate and violence.
He is a hate and violence prevention senior advisor and the co-director of Not In Our Town, and is a de-radicalization and trauma specialist with Parents4Peace, assisting individuals offramp from violent ideologies. He serves as a lecturer on Peace Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Pardeep is the author of The Gifts of Our Wounds and an award-winning columnist with Milwaukee Independent. As a first-generation immigrant from India, Mr. Kaleka has spent more than 25 years in the public arenas of law enforcement, education, social services, counseling and assisting hate crime survivors, and has worked with communities and perpetrators across the United States with recovery.
Last year Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, did an interview with Pardeep. Click here to read it
Preparing for WYD 2023!
Youth from Christ the King, Holy Spirit and Queen of Peace parishes in northern Mississippi will be joining other Dehonian young people on a pilgrimage to Portugal for World Youth Day (WYD) next August. Each month, the Mississippi youth have been meeting to prepare for their trip. In November, they gathered at a youth Mass on Saturday with Fr. Jack Kurps, SCJ (pictured above), A few days later they held their first fundraiser at Christ the King with a food sale. Fundraisers are planned for all three parishes. Fr. Hendrik Ardianto, SCJ, is leading the effort to organize youth from the entire US Province to go to WYD.
We begin the extended holiday weekend with the celebration of Thanksgiving on Thursday, and end it with another beginning, the beginning of Advent on Sunday, November 27.
During these days full of grace,
inspire us with an active hope:
a hope that finds flesh in our daily lives,
a hope that heals and unites,
a hope that welcomes your Word in everyone we meet.
Prayer taken (in part) from This Day of God, Community Prayers of the Priests of the Sacred Heart