Weekly News: November 9, 2015

Alonso, Justin and Fr. Mark on dish duty
Alonso, Justin and Fr. Mark on dish duty at the Dehon Formation Community kitchen

Dehon Formation Community 2015-16

The Dehon Formation Community in Chicago is home to an international, intergenerational community of professed SCJs and those discerning religious life with the congregation. The community not only houses the initial formation programs but also welcomes SCJs from around the world on sabbatical or in graduate studies.

Henry Nguyen
Henry Nguyen

One of the newest members of the community is Henry Nguyen, 26. Born and raised in Orange County, CA, he is a graduate of California State University, Monterey Bay, with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Henry is currently a student at St. Xavier University taking philosophy and religious studies.

“I was introduced to the Priests of the Sacred Heart through youth ministry where I met Fr. Francis Vu Tran and Fr. Thi Pham,” wrote Henry. “After a Come and See Weekend and a long discernment, I decided to further discern my vocation by being a part of the formation house.”

Active in the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Movement as a youth leader and trainer, he is currently doing ministry at St. Henry’s parish and Queenship of Mary in Chicago.

The student community also includes Luis Alonso Barrantes, Frater Justin Krenke, Frater James Nguyen, Liem Nguyen (studying ESL at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology this semester), Frater Juan Carlos Castañeda Rojas, Patrick Skahill and Frater Joseph Vu.

Br. Duane Lemke is local superior and province formation director; Fr. Tim Gray is also a formation team member. Others in the community include Fr. Bob Bossie (retired), Fr. Joseph Mukuna (Congolese SCJ doing graduate studies at Loyola), Fr. Andrzej Sudol (missionary from the Polish Province who has previously served in India and the Philippines) and Fr. Mark Mastin, who recently joined the community to take some sabbatical time after his discharge from the US Army where he served for four years as a chaplain, including a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Click here to read the autobiographies of this year’s Dehon Formation Community.

Please remember

+Timothy O’Leary, an alumnus of Divine Heart Seminary, died October 27 in a car accident. He was 54. Fr. Mark Mastin attended the funeral, along with several other Divine Heart alumni including Bill Duffy ( class of ‘75 ), Peter Karutz (’79), Michael Finnegan (’78), Marty McDonagh (’77) and Joe Pope (’76), as well as former SCJ Fr. Bernard Galic. A member of the Chicago Fire Department for 30 years, many firefighters were also at the funeral. Click here to read more about Mr. O’Leary on the Chicago Tribune website.

+Loretta MacDonald, the mother of Fr. Richard MacDonald, died November 4 in St. Petersburg, FL. The funeral is today, November 9, at St. Jude’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg.

+Fr. Stephanus Edrakaryanta, a member of the Indonesian Province, died November 9. He was born in 1942, professed in 1965 and ordained in 1972.

+Fr. Bernardus Hubertus Maria Niekus, a member of the Dutch-Flemish Confederation, died October 18. He was born in 1936, professed in 1956 and ordained in 1963.

New Canadian administration

The new council for the Canadian Region was announced last week: Fr. Richard Woodbury (first councilor), Fr. Paul Tennyson (second) and Fr. Aegidius Warsito (third). As noted earlier, Fr. John van den Hengel is the newly named regional superior. The administration’s term begins November 16.


The new parish hall going up in Big Bend, SD
The new parish hall going up in Big Bend, SD

Reflecting on the meaning of mission

“When I was first assigned in the mission I thought that I would bring something new and change the people’s hearts and minds,” wrote Fr. Vincent Suparman on the province blog. He is an Indonesian SCJ serving in the South Dakota missions.

“I thought the people whom I served were mine,” he continued “But they are not. They are gifts and I was consecrated to be a Priest of Sacred Heart to proclaim the Good News to be with the people and to serve them. When I began to see the people as gifts, I began to change. A gift and a possession are treated differently. I believe that the work of the Spirit continues; it is an unbreakable thread weaving through life as we pray. Within the context of mission journey I will face adversity, but the power of the Holy Spirit emerges in so many ways.”

Click here to read Fr. Vincent’s full text.

Prayer for Immigrants and Refugees

St. Frances Cabrini, patron saint of immigrants
St. Frances Cabrini, patron saint of immigrants

Friday, November 13, is the feast day of Mother Frances Cabrini, MSC, the patron saint of immigrants and refugees. The North American Committee on Immigration encourages SCJs and others “to celebrate the life of this remarkable woman and of her congregation, but also to celebrate our own prayer, presence and solidarity with immigrants and refugees.”

Writing about Mother Cabrini, the committee notes that “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. In 1917, at the time of her death in Chicago, 70 orphanages and hospitals for the poor, the abandoned, the uneducated and the sick, and schools and adult education classes for formation to the Catholic Faith had been established in eight countries in Europe and North, South and Central America.”

In 1946 Mother Cabrini was the first United States citizen to be canonized.

Click here to download a prayer for immigrants and refugees prepared by the North American Committee on Immigration.

Training hours

If you are an SCJ in the US Province who has acquired continuing education hours in the diocese in which you live and/or minister you are asked to send documentation of them to Br. Frank Presto at the Provincialate Offices (P.O. Box 289, Hales Corners, WI 53130-0289). The documentation must include the title of the training session, when it took place and the number of hours involved. Br. Frank reminds SCJs in the US Province that each member must document five hours of training before the next accreditation site visit in October, 2019.

Reminder from OLG

Fr. Duy Nguyen, administrator of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Houston, extends an invitation to SCJ priests for “help with the marathon of Masses on December 11-12” for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

If you can help, please email Fr. Duy at: zwee00@yahoo.com

First issue published

A new publication from the Dehon Study Center in Rome
A new publication from the Dehon Study Center in Rome

The first issue of the Centro Studi Dehoniani (Dehon Study Center) newsletter was sent by email last week. Published in both Italian and English, it includes information about two young SCJs sponsored by the center who are taking part in an intensive study program on the founder, new items recently added to dehondocs.it, information about the first meeting of the Dehonian Theological Commission of Africa and other updates on the center and its work.

Click here to view the issue online.

Click here to be added to the subscription list.

The newsletter is edited by Fr. Stefan Tertünte, director of the center. SCJs in the US and Canada may remember Fr. Stefan from his presentation at the 2013 North American Conference.

Keep in prayer

Br. Brian Tompkins was hospitalized last week with chest pains and significantly high blood sugar levels. He had two stents put in and is now recovering at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake.


Fr. Roger Phaneuf of the Canadian Region has a new address: Les Appartements du Square Angus, 307-3200 Omer Lavallée, Montréal QC  H1Y 3P5, Canada.

Provincial’s Time

Fr. Ed Kilianski has council meetings this week Tuesday and Wednesday. On November 13 he celebrates the Spanish Mass at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. Next week Monday – Wednesday he does a visitation and consultation with the St. Joseph’s Community (fourth floor of SHML). November 21 he will take part in the diaconate ordinations at SHSST, and during Thanksgiving week Fr. Ed will have some vacation time with family in Buffalo. He will be there November 24-29.

Please note that his visitation calendar is on the US – Canada online calendar and in the right panel of the email version of the Fridge Notes.


Last week we gave the incorrect address for Br. Gabe Kersting. Please note that he is at: The Inn at Freedom Square, 10801 Johnson Boulevard, Seminole, Florida 33772.

Taking action in response to climate change

“Climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation,” said Pope Francis during his visit to the United States in September.

Just hours before world leaders meet at the Paris Climate Summit on November 29, over 1 million people are expected to take part in a Global Climate March.

In response to that, the Global Catholic Climate Movement is calling for a global month of action on climate change. Click here to learn more about the movement and possibilities for action.

Click here to hear Pope Francis speak about the Climate Summit.

Mark Peters, US Province director of Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation, recently emailed information about the pope’s call and the work of the Global Catholic Climate Movement. Click here to view the information online.