Weekly News: October 15, 2012

Fr. Francis Vu Tran and Fr. Jan de Jong at the opening ceremonies for the Year of Faith and the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of VII.

SCJs attend Year of Faith opening Mass

Fr. Jan de Jong writes that “together with Fr. Francis-Vu Tran I attended the Mass for the opening of the Year of Faith at St. Peter’s Square. It was held on the 50th anniversary of the opening of Vatican II. It was an impressive celebration with several elements that reminded us of the Council, such as the exposition of the Book of the Gospels used at Vatican II. The Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowen Williams, were present.

“I am meeting many old friends here in our Rome community, including ESL students who were at SHST when I was there as rector. Yesterday I went to an exhibition of the 17th century Dutch painter Jan Vermeer here in Rome together with my classmate, Fr. Gerardus Pieterse. We have also discovered the newly renovated Church of the Frisians near the Vatican so we will attend a Mass in Dutch [Fr. Jan’s mother tongue].”

As noted last week, Fr. Jan is in Europe on a vacation following his retirement from Sacred Heart School of Theology.

An invitation to SCJs

Br. Ben Humpfer, superior of the Pinellas Park retirement community, invites SCJs to join the community in a three-day reflection and retreat lead by Fr. Paul Kelly, SCJ. It will take place at the Sacred Heart Community House in Pinellas Park December 17-19.

For more information, contact Br. Ben at 414-530-1003 or email him at broben3@juno.com. He said that there is room for seven people to join the community; spots will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis.

Archbishop Listecki opens the Mass of Blessing for SHML with a few lighthearted comments. Fr. Tom Cassidy is on the right.

Archbishop main celebrant at SHML blessing

Last Friday, October 12, Archbishop Jerome Listecki of Milwaukee blessed Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake, the new community for members of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, as well as a senior community for the general public.

Joining SCJs at the celebration were lay residents of the complex, as well as civic representatives (including the mayor of Franklin), and personnel from the Province Development Office and Provinicialate Offices.

Photos from the ceremony were posted on the province Facebook page. Click here to view them.

Fr. Carlos Lobo, provincial superior of Mozambique (left) and Fr. Peter Surdel, provincial superior of South Africa, with the new archbishop (center).

Archbishop’s ordination filled with African traditions

Fr. John van den Hengel, the general councilor who inherited Archbishop Claudio Dalla Zuanna’s job of vicar general following the archbishop’s appointment as archbishop of Beira, Mozambique, wrote about last week’s ordination:

“On Sunday, October 7, the feast of the Holy Rosary, the patronal feast of the archdiocese, Claudio Dalla Zuanna, SCJ, was ordained as Archbishop of Beira, Mozambique. It was a truly impressive four-and-a-half-hour long liturgy. The ordination was held in the basketball stadium of the Ferroviario da Beira club, jam-packed with 8,000 singing, swaying, dancing, hand-clapping and praying people. It was African liturgy at its best.

“The people gathered at 8:30 a.m. and poured out of the stadium only after 1 p.m. The ordaining bishop was Dom Lucio Muandula, the president of the Bishops Conference of Mozambique. In his homily he said, ‘We hope that the archbishop will have a permanent ear to hear what the Holy Father has asked him to do: to bring the grace of God to the people so that the evil one will not overcome the kingdom of Christ…’

“’I commit myself’, said the archbishop, ‘to offer you my life. In return I ask of the people of the archdiocese of Beira that they help me be their bishop and I guarantee you my respect and my efforts in the service of Jesus Christ.’”

Click here to read the rest of Fr. John’s text on the province website.

Getting to know our students

“This past summer, I had the chance to work with Catholic Social Services for the Sacred Heart Southern Missions in Mississippi,” writes Novice James Nguyen in his biography for the annual formation focus. “It was shocking to see the images of third world America with my own eyes.  Seeing it on television is one thing, but being there, listening to the stories of their struggles, and breathing in the same air they were breathing was something really powerful.  I realized during my time there that no one asked me what degrees or academic credentials I had.  I did spend four hard, enduring years of college to get those degrees.  But there, it was about companionship, the trust of the people and the relationships that you know.  It was a humbling experience and I felt when I lose the need to impress others I became freer to deepen friendships and explore new ways of loving.”

The biographies of James and other members of the Dehon Formation community will be posted on the province website later this week. Be sure to check the site midweek to read them. A notice will also be posted on the province Facebook page when the biographies are available.

Addressing human rights

Fr. Peter McKenna, a member of the Canadian Region who is active in ministry to refugees and immigrants through Toronto’s “Becoming Neighbours,” writes with news of an initiative from the organization:

“In December 2011, our international SCJ congregation became a member of VIVAT International (www.vivatinternational.org) working together with 12 other congregations in the field of Human Rights by promoting development, solidarity, and the culture of peace.

“In light of this, Becoming Neighbours initiated a process to address Canada’s response to the United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Human Rights from the perspective of refugees and immigrants. The UPR is a new UN human rights review mechanism instituted by the UN Human Rights Council in 2008. Under the UPR the Human Rights record of every country is reviewed once every four years. The response of the United States to Human Rights will be reviewed shortly by the United Nations.”

Click here to download a PDF of the final UPR submission with the list of the groups, including the SCJs of the Canadian Region, who endorsed this submission.

Provincial’s time

A photo of Fr. Tom taken a few years prior to his 70th birthday

Fr. Cassidy returns to the office this week after celebrating his 70th birthday on Saturday. His sisters sent a few pictures of Fr. Tom in his pre-SCJ days; click here to view them on Facebook.

This week, Fr. Tom has meetings with the Sacred Heart School of Theology board and then leaves on October 19 for Rome where he will attend the canonization ceremony of Kateri Tekakwitha, which takes place on Sunday, October 21 at St. Peter’s. Fr. Tom will be in Rome through the end of the month.

November 5-10 he will be on a visitation in Mississippi and November 12-17 he will be in Toronto.

Upcoming meetings and events:

November 13-14, North American Councils meeting in Toronto
December 18-19: Provincial Council Meeting

January 29-30: Provincial Council Meeting
March 13: Local Superiors Meeting
March 14: Provincial Council Meeting
April 8-9: Mission Education Conference, St. Joseph’s Indian School
April 30 – May 1: Provincial Council Meeting (budgets)
Week of June 3: Province Election Assembly.

July 7-11, 2014: Provincial Chapter