Weekly News: November 7, 2016

All Saints Day parade at OLG, Houston
All Saints Day parade at OLG, Houston

All Saints Day at OLG

Br. Andy Gancarczyk shares photos from the All Saints Day Parade at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Houston.

“Students in Pre-K3 through 8th grade attended Mass and marched in a colorful parade dressed as their favorite saints,” wrote Br. Andy. “They also researched their saint and presented it in their classrooms. This experience will encourage students to live lives of sanctity and holiness.

“On these days we must recognize the truth that we will someday join our ancestors. Those who come after us will pray for us. And we too will be raised from the dead in fulfillment of the promises of Christ.”

Click here to view a photo album on the province Facebook page.

Please remember

Fr. Thomas McShane of the British-Irish Province died November 5. He was born in 1930, professed in 1951 and ordained in 1956.

Necrology available

Click here to access a PDF of the updated Necrology of the congregation (1878-2016).

“A living example of religious fraternity”

November, which begins with the commemoration of All Saints and All Souls, is a time in which we remember those who have gone before us. In last week’s issue of Dehonian Spirituality Fr. Claude Bédard reflected on an SCJ, now deceased, who was instrumental in his early formation and priesthood:

Fr. Jacques van Hoek
Fr. Jacques van Hoek

“In 1909, Asten was a large village in the Netherlands.  Right across the street from where Jacques van Hoek was born stood a huge church renowned for its astronomic clock which I had the occasion to see at work, with the puppets coming out of their nest every time that the carillon would ring.

“Next to his father’s drugstore was a bell factory, or should I say foundry.  Hearing the jingling of bells any time during the day might have influenced his tendency to music.  Next to that factory was the SCJ novitiate which is presently a home for retired SCJs.

“My personal memories of Fr. van Hoek are a countless jumble of enriching experiences. To me, he was more than a priest, or a superior.  He was really a father.  After my dad’s funeral, my mom asked him to be a father to me.  I was 16.  And he had been at my side all the years of my SCJ formation and at the beginning of my ministry as a priest.

“In Canada he accepted many religious assignments at all levels.  His presence alone was kind of intimidating for people who did not know him. But when the ice was broken, the joyfully serious man would appear and he would freely share his knowledge, competence, and spirituality.

“I visited with Fr. van Hoek a few months before he died in Asten, his hometown, in September 1992.  He went to where he belongs, escorted by the three famous Archangels: Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel.  [His death, on September 29, is their feast day.]  Fr. van Hoek, thanks for your generosity.  You are a living example of religious fraternity!”

Click here to view the full issue of Dehonian Spirituality. Click here to subscribe to the electronic weekly newsletter of Dehonian reflections and prayers. 

Looking for former SCJs

As part of the Dehonian Associates program, David Schimmel, director of Dehonian Associates for the US Province, is creating a mailing list for the purpose of direct contact with former SCJs and seminarians. “Presently, there are a number of ways to keep in contact, but this list would focus on those who share the spiritual and academic formation of the SCJs in North America,” said David.

Initially, he envisions communicating with this group four times a year, perhaps with an electronic publication that would include a short reflection on SCJ spirituality, celebrations of anniversaries, death notices, and perhaps the facilitation of connections and activities requested by SCJs and alumni.

David is first reaching out to former SCJs (those who began novitiate as well as those who professed vows) and will later invite former SCJ seminarians who did not enter novitiate. He will send a personal invitation to each.

If you have contact information for former SCJs of the US Province or Canadian Region, please click here to email it to David Schimmel.


Sr. Cathy Bertrand and Sandra Kimble of SHSM during a panel discussion at Mission Education
Sr. Cathy Bertrand and Sandra Kimble of SHSM during a panel discussion at Mission Education

Reflecting on Mission Education

St. Joseph’s Indian School invited those who recently participated in Mission Education to reflect on their experience. Several of the reflections were put together in a flyer along with photos from the days. Click here to download it.

“As I walked down the path of new knowledge during our Mission Ed, I kept thinking – we are here because of one man – Fr. Leo John Dehon!” wrote Shirley Basting in the opening reflection. “He was in all our hearts and minds as we learned more about the work our sister mission does in Mississippi for the poor and needy in Delta area! I felt humbled, and I felt inspired!

“In one of our sessions we saw many different depictions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We had discussions about the one that came to our attention the most. No matter which depiction our group chose – the one word that we used most was ‘Heart.’

“’Heart’ is also a word that comes to mind to describe what we felt during our visit to the Civil Rights Museum. It touched all of our hearts and it’s a feeling we will remember in years to come.

“Thank you St. Joseph’s for this opportunity to travel with a great group to learn more about Sacred Heart Southern Missions. What they do in Mississippi we do here for our students and their families. It’s different  but the same! We are one; we are a legacy of Leo John Dehon!”


Fr. Ed and Fr. Dominic at "Ladies View"
Fr. Ed and Fr. Dominic at “Ladies View”

Provincial’s time

Fr. Ed Kilianski returns from Ireland tomorrow. He and Fr. Dominic Peluse led a pilgrimage with benefactors from the Province Development Office to various religious and historic sites in Ireland including St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Ballintuber Abbey and St. Mary’s Cathedral in Killarney.

On November 14 Fr. Ed will be the main celebrant at the Jubilee Mass for the 50th anniversary of priesthood of Bishop Joseph Potocnak, Fr. Tony Russo and Fr. Tom Westhoven. November 15-16 he has meetings with the Provincial Council and November 17 he meets with the Province Development Office Board of Directors. November 18-21 he will be in Mississippi for the 50th anniversary Mass for Christ the King parish in Southaven. And then the next day it is off to Rome for the Major Superiors Meeting. He returns to Milwaukee on December 4.


Fr. Nick Brown celebrating 40 years of ordination
Fr. Nick Brown celebrating 40 years of ordination

Happy Anniversary!

The worship community at St. Luke’s Hospital in San Antonio celebrated Fr. Nick Brown’s 40th anniversary of ordination on Sunday, October 30. “He has helped so many in the hospital as well as visitors to the chapel on Sunday,” said Carol Keller, one of those who took part. “His sermons are interesting and inspirational. He is well liked and is a good priest.” Congratulations Fr. Nick!


USA Election 2016 badge

As we conclude the election process in the United States and prepare for new leadership we pray:

Lord, send your Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds.
Grant us the courage of Leo Dehon:
to dream dreams,
to press forward with trust,
to live passionately,
and to draw strength from you.

Give us hearts receptive to the healing love of Christ.
Scatter clouds  of discouragement.
Revive those who are weary, lost or cynical.

Grant us what we need in this moment of history: a renewed vision of life together. 
Restore our hope as we follow you on the way. Amen.

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