Weekly News: November 7, 2022

Fr. Bernie Rosinski has died

Fr. Bernard (Bernie) Rosinski, SCJ, died on November 3 in Chamberlain, SD. Diagnosed with advanced metastatic cancer in August, he was in home hospice care. Fr. Bernie was 88.

Originally from Detroit, Fr. Bernie was ordained to the priesthood in 1952. This year, he celebrated his 70th year as a member of the Priests of the Sacred Heart (Dehonians). Fr. Bernie had degrees from the Gregorian University in Rome, Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology in Hales Corners, WI, and from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind.

Most of his years of ministry were in education and administration. He taught at Divine Heart Seminary in Donaldson, Ind., at Dehon Seminary in Great Barrington, Mass., and at Sacred Heart School of Theology. He also served in administration for the US Province of the Priests of the Sacred Heart as provincial secretary and on Provincial Council. From 1992-1998 he was on the staff of the Generalate in Rome.

Fr. Bernie retired in 2007, but it was an active retirement, assisting with ministries in South Dakota until health concerns this year kept him closer to home.

Reflecting on his 70 years of vows, Fr. Bernie wrote:

“I am happy to be an SCJ because I am surrounded by saints. There are so many of them, both deceased and still living. I find that by being with them I discover their saintliness, often hidden, but discoverable through attentiveness and observation. It’s not that my SCJ brothers don’t have faults. It’s that they seek to find them out, work on them, weed them out, and face any fault or weakness that prevents the LOVE and SERVICE to others that Fr. Dehon called for. That takes courage and guts. That SCJ tradition is bonding.”

Fr. Bernie, during a help-out visit to the Philippines

Funeral arrangements

This evening, Nov. 7, there will be services for Fr. Bernie at St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, SD. Visitation will be at 6:00 p.m. and prayer will be at 7:00 p.m.

The province commemoration will be at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake in Franklin, WI, on Friday, November 11. The wake will be at 9:30 a.m.and the Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. A link to the livestream of the funeral will made available soon via email, the province website and province Facebook page.

Dehonian education meeting

From November 3-4, Bridget Martin, principal of Sacred Heart School in Southaven, MS, took part in what has become a regular gathering in Rome of Dehonian educators.

“The International Education Committee has worked very hard over the last few years to ensure that our schools are connected in our Dehonian charism,” said Bridget. “It is exciting to come together to learn how each continental committee and each school enacts that charism in their reality and in their own ministries.”

Topics of the most recent International Education Committee meeting included the October online gathering organized by the Union of Superiors General regarding Pope Francis’ Global Compact on Education. All members of the Dehonian Education Committee took part in the gathering virtually. “We also discussed new themes for our SCJ schools to use, discussed how to help our schools make contacts and collaborate with each other, and explored how our teachers can be made more aware of Dehonian Spirituality and ensure that the Dehonian charism is put into practice,” said Bridget.

Fr. Stephen Huffstetter, SCJ, vicar general, and Fr. Levi Dos Anjos Ferreira, SCJ, of the General Council were also among those at the meeting.


Fr. John Divine Vernyuy, SCJ, of the Cameroon Province stopped for a visit to the Provincial Offices last week. His original plans were for a “Chamberlain to Chamberlain” visit –– seeing his sister graduate from Chamberlain Nursing School in Arizona, and then visiting with fellow Cameroonian, SCJ Fr. Jean Claude Mbassi, who serves just west of Chamberlain SD. However, Fr. Jean Claude will come to Wisconsin for the funeral of Fr. Bernie Rosinski later this week, so the two SCJs will visit at Sacred Heart Monastery. Fr. John will return to Arizona in about a week and then head home to Cameroon.

He is pictured here last week with Dn. David Nagel, SCJ.

Keep in prayer

Today Fr. Richard MacDonald, SCJ, is undergoing knee surgery to treat an infection. He is expected to be in the hospital for approximately two days and then do six weeks of physical therapy at home at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake. Fr. Mac extends his thanks for the prayers and well-wishes that he has received.

Please remember

Elizabeth Schlachter, the sister of Fr. Richard MacDonald, died November 2, at her daughter’s home in Groveland, Florida (near Orlando) with her six children present. She was 85 and had recently gone into hospice care. Due to his knee surgery, Fr. Mac was unable to attend the funeral yesterday; Fr. Mark Mastin, SCJ, represented the province. Please keep the family in your prayers.

St. Martin of Tours feast day

November 11 is the patronal feast day of St. Martin of Tours parish in Franklin, WI. Fr. Andrzej Sudol, SCJ, pastor, writes that the parish will “celebrate the feast during all of the Masses November 12-13. We will distribute a medallion of St. Martin of Tours after the Masses and there will be a simple reception with snacks after each Mass.”

Mass times are Saturday at 4:00 p.m., and on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and 10.30 a.m., as well as the Vietnamese Mass at 12:30 p.m.

“All are invited and I would be encouraged and honored to see my Dehonian brothers and sisters joining us for this celebration,” added Fr. Andrzej.

As a Rule reboot

For 20 years, beginning in 1992, the US Province published a simple, two-page newsletter titled As a Rule. Starting with No. 1 and concluding with No. 144, the publication featured reflections by SCJs on each of the Constitutions.

Introducing the current version of the Rule of Life, Fr. Antonio Panteghini, SCJ (superior general at the time of the Rule’s release), wrote that “The Constitutions trace the lines of our spirituality. They sketch the manner of living our religious life as Priests of the Sacred Heart, and they indicate our apostolic orientations. They are for us ‘This Day of God’ (144). They tell us how to ‘make this charism effectively live by responding to the urgent needs of the Church and of the world’ (1). For each of us, they are the book which, after the Gospel, reminds us of what is essential if we are to live our religious consecration faithfully.”

Last week the US Province initiated a reboot of As a Rule. Similar to the first version of the publication, it will feature a passage from the Constitutions along with one or more reflections. However, instead of going sequentially, each issue will focus on a topic. Reflection questions, a prayer and occasionally other text related to the theme will be included.

As with the Fridge Notes, As a Rule will be an electronic publication sent by email and available in an online archive for future reference.  It will begin as a monthly publication. .

The theme of the first issue is “Beginnings,” with a focus on Constitutions No. 15:

“For each of us, and for our communities, religious life is a story: beginning with the grace of its origins, it develops by nourishing itself on what the Church, enlightened by the Spirit, draws continually from the treasury of its faith.”

Many thanks to Fr. Byron Haaland, SCJ, and newly professed SCJ Frater Jonathan Nguyen Vuong, who wrote our first reflections.

If you missed the first issue, click here to view it online.

Click here to add a subscriber. If you want to be removed from the mailing, there is an unsubscribe link at the bottom of each issue.

Congratulations, and hello to Fr. John!

Congratulations to the South African Province, which celebrated the ordination of Fr. Zachaeus Tembo. He is the first SCJ priest from Zambia, and the first ordination for the RSA Province since 2009. He was ordained with two diocesan priests by Bishop Joseph Maria Kizito of Aliwal.

The newly ordained priest is pictured here with American SCJ Fr. John Strittmatter, who is now retired after serving for many years in South Africa. Fr. Bernard Sompane, SCJ, former RSA provincial superior, is on the right.

Mother Frances Cabrini (image: St. Frances Cabrini Shrine)

Remembering the Patron Saint of Immigrants and Refugees

Sunday, Nov. 13, is the feast day of Mother Cabrini, the Patron Saint of Immigrants and Refugees. “To celebrate not only the life of this remarkable woman and of her congregation, but also to celebrate our own prayer, presence and solidarity with immigrants and refugees, we offer you the following Prayer for Immigrants and Refugees,” write members of the North American Migration Committee.

In a new world, another culture, without contacts, not knowing the language, Mother Cabrini began her ministry to the immigrant community in New York City. Today the Missionary Sisters, their lay collaborators and volunteers work as teachers, nurses, social workers, administrators and members of institutional boards of trustees. They can be found on six continents and 15 countries . In 1946 Mother Cabrini was the first United States citizen to be canonized.

Prayer for Immigrants and Refugees

Jesus, together with Mary and Joseph, you were forced to flee the persecution of Herod.
You continue to unite yourself with all those forced to flee their homes and live in exile.
Today, we entrust to your loving care all women, children and men
who live as migrants and refugees.

Grant us the grace to welcome them with Dehonian HOSPITALITY,
so that these sisters and brothers of ours
may experience SOLIDARITY and HOPE on their journey.

in the migrant who labors to bring food to our tables,
in the refugee fleeing from violent conflict, persecution, and famine,
in the woman and child who are victims of human trafficking,
in the asylum seeker imprisoned for fleeing without documents.

May all those who are far from their place of birth
find in us a home where all are welcomed.
With your grace, may we “involve ourselves without reserve
for a coming of a new humanity in Jesus Christ.” (CsT. #38).
United with Mother Cabrini, we ask this in your name, Jesus. Amen.

Members of the North American Migration Committee: Br. Diego Diaz, Fr. Jan de Jong, Fr. Richard MacDonald, Fr. Peter McKenna, Dn. Henry Nguyen, Lily Ooi, Fr. Tony Russo, and Fr. Ushindi Kambale Sahani

Prayer for the election

In the United States, tomorrow, November 8, is election day. Please keep all those involved in and impacted by the election process in your prayers.

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