Weekly News: November 27, 2023

Advent begins on December 3, and we pray…

Lord Jesus Christ,
you once said to your disciples:
“Keep watch,
for you do not know the day or the hour.”
Your words of love amaze us all.
For you call us to welcome the light
in ways not of our choosing
and at times when we least expect it.

Lord Jesus,
as we wait for the Day of God to dawn,
we offer our hearts to you.
We promise to be available in faith
and to work for the rebirth of people.
When you come as Lord,
may we be ready to welcome you.


Prayer from This Day of God, Community Prayer Book of the Priests of the Sacred Heart

100 years in South Africa

This is a week of celebration in South Africa, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Dehonian presence in the country. Representatives from SCJ entities throughout the world are in attendance, including Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, from the US Province.

Fr Vien writes that “the Centennial celebration will take place on November 28, which marks the exact date when the first German SCJs arrived in South Africa a century ago.” On December 3, Fr. Vien will attend the diaconate ordination of six SCJs from three African entities: two from Madagascar, two from the DR Congo, and two from South Africa.

Click here to access livestreams, photos and other information about the celebrations on the South Africa Facebook page.

The image above is a picture of the letter from Propaganda Fide (now the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples) in which Fr. Dehon was informed that the new Gariep Prefecture was erected and it would be entrusted to the Priests of the Sacred Heart.

Join us tomorrow!

Fr. Emerson Ruiz, SCJ, will be the featured speaker tomorrow, November 28th, at the next ECS Lunch Speaker Series at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. A student in the ECS program, Fr. Emerson is from the Brazil – São Paulo Province. His presentation is titled “Sint Unum in the Life and Writings of Father Dehon.”

Anyone is welcome to attend! Grab lunch in the SHSST dining room and head to Classroom 2 for the presentation.

And join us on Thursday!

“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 last week, and will be sent again prior to the presentation.

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.”

And on the fifth day…

After Black Friday, Shop Local Saturday, Sofa Sunday and Cyber Monday, there is now “Giving Tuesday,” a moment to step away from the consumer side of the holidays and give financial gifts and/or time and resources to non-profit organizations. There are several ways that you can participate in Giving Tuesday with the Priests of the Sacred Heart:

Click here to donate to Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology.

Click here to help raise funds for Dehonian missions overseas, as well as the needs of retired SCJs in the US Province.

Click here to help St. Joseph’s Indian School raise funds to help with students’ winter needs, such as warm coats, and Christmas gifts.

And click here to support the ministries of Sacred Heart Southern Missions in northern Mississippi.

Please remember

+ Tom Corcoran, a former SCJ who had served in Mississippi, died on November 21. Funeral services will be on Tuesday at St. Jude Catholic Church in Pearl, MS at 10:00 a.m. Click here to view his obituary.

+ Fr. Joseph Schlarmann, a member of the German Province, died on November 21. He was born in 1932, professed in 1955 and ordained in 1960.

Keep in prayer

Fr. John Czyzynski’s sister, Kay, is transitioning into hospice care after months of cancer treatment. “I am not sure when exactly the move will come,” wrote Fr. John, “but she’ll be coming home. My family and I are grateful for all the support and prayers for my sister and for all of us.”

Remembering Fr. Aloísio Boeing 

Yesterday, November 26, was “SCJ Memorial Day.” The General Administration established the day in 2004 to remember SCJs who had given their lives as martyrs. The day has now become a general day of remembrance for all deceased members of the Priest of the Sacred Heart.

This year, the General Administration focuses on the life of Fr. Aloísio Boeing, SCJ, in its commemoration of the day. Fr. Aloísio, was proclaimed “Venerable” on February 23, 2023. Born on December 24, 1913 in Vargem do Cedro, Santa Catarina, Brazil, he began formation with the Priests of the Sacred Heart when he was 11. He made his first profession in 1934 and was ordained a priest in 1940. Fr. Aloísio dedicated much of his life to formation while also serving as spiritual director of a group of young women. In collaboration with them he founded the “Marian Fraternity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus” on August 2, 1974. He died on April 17, 2006. He is pictured above with members of the group .

Click here to learn more about Fr. Aloísio on the general website.

Gratitude and giving thanks

“Gratitude isn’t just a natural virtue,” said Fr. John Czyzynski, SCJ. “It is a supernatural virtue as well. Gratitude is the virtue that relates us to God in the most fundamental way. Gratitude acknowledges the fact that we have a God who is our creator who is totally benevolent to us, and we are creatures totally dependent upon God. So we always need to be saying ‘thank you’ to the God who blesses us so much.”

Fr. John went on to echo the words of Meister Eckhart, who said, “If the only prayer that we said was ‘Thank You’ that would be enough.”

“That so captures the fundamental basis of our religion,” added Fr. John.

The words come from Fr. John’s reflection on Thanksgiving and gratitude for the video series “A Bite of Wisdom,” produced by Br. Andy Gancarczyk, SCJ. Click here or on the image above to view Fr. John’s full reflection.

Thanksgiving at SHM

It was quite an international table gathered for the Thanksgiving feast at Sacred Heart Monastery last week. Members of the community, along with a few guests, are pictured above.

Giving thanks in Houston

Frater Hung Pham, SCJ, is pictured below, hoisting a donated turkey to give to a family in Houston. “We received 65 turkeys from a local business to share,” wrote Frater Hung. He and a parishioner from Our Lady of Guadalupe picked up and distributed the turkeys to families in the parish community.  From the look on Fra. Hung’s face it appears that they were some of the larger birds in the flock!

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