WEEKLY NEWS: November 8, 2010

Carrying supplies to the shelter established at the SCJ community near Mt. Merapi.

Province donates $25,000 toward relief efforts

The SCJ student community in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, has become a refugee center for the physically and mentally disabled, as well as elderly residents of a nursing home, following the November 5 eruption of Mt. Merapi in Indonesia.

A state of emergency has been declared for the area which is now covered in volcanic ash. “During morning prayer and Eucharist the ash continued to rain down and even entered the chapel,” wrote Fr. Sigit Pranoto of the Indonesian Province.  “Some wore masks.”

As of November 5, approximately 100 refugees were being hosted by the SCJs.

“Meanwhile, the families of our several of our SCJs have also been displaced,” said Fr. Sigit.

The U.S. Province is donating $25,000 to the Indonesian Province to assist in relief efforts. Click here to read more about the situation.  More information will be posted to the site as it is available.

Relic on exhibit at SHST

A first class relic of St. Damien of Molokai, minister to the lepers, is on exhibit at Sacred Heart School of Theology until December 3. The priceless item is on loan from the Diocese of Honolulu in recognition of the seminary’s service to the diocese. The relic consists of several bone chips of the recently sainted priest, contained in a reliquary made of native Hawaiian koa wood.

Those interested in venerating the relic may do so by appointment between 8 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. To make an appointment call 414-425-8300.

St. Damien died of Hansen’s disease (leprosy) in 1889 after spending 16 years providing for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of Hawaiians with the disease who were quarantined to a colony on the island of Molokai. He was canonized on Oct. 11, 2009.

The Diocese of Honolulu is one of 37 dioceses and religious orders across the United States and Canada that sends candidates for the priesthood to Sacred Heart for their formation and training. Two seminarians are currently preparing at Sacred Heart to serve as priests for the Diocese of Honolulu.

Fr. Paul Grizzelle Reid with SCJ and diocesan priests from Aliwal and De Aar, South Africa. Fr. Paul directed the clergy's annual retreat.

American SCJ gives retreats in South Africa

Fr. Ziggy Chwaja, a member of the South African Province, wrote with news about a recent retreat given by Fr. Paul Grizzelle Reid of the U.S. Province. Fr. Paul directed what has become an annual retreat for SCJ and diocesan clergy of the dioceses of Aliwal and De Aar.  This year’s retreat was at Assisi Farm near Bloemfontein.

“The main theme of the retreat was about was ministry in respect of becoming ‘seeds of hope’ in the South African context,” wrote Fr. Ziggy. “In a good, relaxed atmosphere Fr. Paul presented his conferences and led our daily prayers and the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The retreat ended with Eucharist concelebrated by all the priests present.”

ESL students reflect on their experiences

Students in Sacred Heart School of Theology’s ESL (English as a Second Language) program recently published “ESL Times,” a newsletter filled with student reflections about their time in ESL.

“The sharing of our cultural experiences, of the Gospels, the Eucharist celebrations, and the trips, permitted us every time not only to verify our level of advancement in English, but also to live moments of intense fraternity,” wrote Fr. Jean Marie Ngombou of the Cameroon Province.  “If it is true that the environment contributes to the formation and the fulfillment of learners, it goes without saying that the fraternity lived at ESL and the perfect elaboration of the program more than met our expectations. In such a climate, studying English has become a real pleasure and a place of solidarity.”

You can read the rest of Fr. Jean Marie’s text, as well those of other ESL students, in the most recent “ESL Times.”  Click here to download the PDF.

Please remember

Fr. Augustin Ihwa Litindi, a member of the Congolese Province, died November 5.  He was born in 1967, professed in 1991 and ordained in 1999.  Fr. Augustin had been a canon law student in Rome when diagnosed with meningioma, which causes brain tumors.  Delegates at the 2009 General Chapter spent time with Fr. Augustin following one of three surgeries done to treat the disease.  He never left the hospital following the last surgery in April.  Fr. Jose Ornelas Carvalho and Fr. Albert Lingwengwe of the general administration administered the anointing of the sick shortly before Fr. Augustin died.  Funeral arrangements were at the Generalate.

Also, please remember in prayer, Rhonda Burshnick, the sister-in-law of Fr. Frank Bursnick. Mrs. Burshnick died October 31; she had been hospitalized the week prior for what was thought to be complications from an ulcer.

Thank you

Fr. Jim Walters writes that “My father’s surgical procedure to remove a large kidney stone in the left kidney was successful. Due to a heart condition and complications from diabetes, there was concern about the procedure which lasted two hours.

“My father has returned to a local rehab/nursing care facility where he will be evaluated for home care. During my visit, I was able to meet with his primary care physician and specialists that are evaluating other medical issues. I was also able to celebrate with my mother her 81st  birthday.

“My sincere thanks for all your prayers and support!”

Healthy eating for the whole community

After several weeks in the hospital where he was treated for complications from diabetes and a heart condition, Fr. Peter McKenna is back in the SCJ community house in Toronto.  He is said to be weak, but gaining strength daily.  A visiting nurse comes to the community house daily to assist with his care.

Fr. Jim Casper writes that  “the hospital does not promote a specific diabetic diet; they recommend following the Canada food guide. So at our community meeting we decided to follow the Canada food guide more faithfully for the benefit of the whole community.

Remembrance service

A few photos from the All Souls Day commemoration service hosted by Sacred Heart Monastery were posted on the province Facebook page. You do not need to be registered with Facebook to view the photos.  To view them, click here.

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

Frs. Paul Kelly and Dominic Peluse of the Province Development Office are among those joining benefactors on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land this week.  Approximately 35 people will be a part of the trip, which runs from November 9-18.  The group will take part in masses at the Garden Beneath the Basilica of the Nativity, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Basilica of the Visitation, St. Peter’s in Capernaum, the Chapel of the Beatitudes, and at St. Peter’s in Jaffa.  There will also be visits to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, the Old City, Masada, Tiberius, Capernaum, Haifa, Caesarea and Tel Aviv.

As seen on TV!

Dorothy Brown, the mother of Fr. Charles Brown, was featured on KTRX Channel 13 in a story about a study concerning the use of B12 in combating memory loss.  Mrs. Brown has had significant difficulty in recent years with memory issues. Click here to read about the study and see the video that features Mrs. Brown.

Calendar updates

November 20: Frater Greg Schill’s diaconate ordination at Sacred Heart School of Theology.

December 14-15: Provincial Council Meeting

Provincial’s time

Fr. Tom Cassidy leaves for Washington, D.C. on Tuesday for meetings with CMSM and LCWR  November 10-12.  He remains in Washington through November 18 for meetings with the USCCB.