Mission Education celebrates the commitment to Dehonian ministry
Chamberlain might not seem like an obvious place for a national conference. A town of less than 2,500 people in the middle of South Dakota, the closest airport is at least a two-hour drive away. And the whole state is prone to impassable storms, even in the spring and fall.
But 100 years ago, it also did not seem like an obvious spot for a small religious order from Europe to start a new ministry.
Yet that was the backdrop of this year’s Mission Education Conference hosted by St. Joseph’s Indian School. “Your Kingdom Come ~ Óhiŋniyaŋ (eternally, forever),” celebrating the 100th anniversary of Dehonian ministry in the United States, was the theme of the October 8-9 conference.
“This is holy ground,” said Mike Tyrell, speaking to the 110 participants at this year’s Mission Education. “There is a Dehonian spirit here that has been present for over 100 years. No one leaves here without feeling that spirit. We are united by that spirit whatever we do, wherever we are.”
Mike and his wife, Kim, first started at St. Joseph’s as houseparents in 1985; he has been president of the Dehonian school since 2014.
Held approximately every three years, Mission Education brings together SCJs, employees and other Dehonian collaborators to learn about the ministries and spirituality of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, and to simply spend time together in prayer and fellowship, connecting with others carrying on the dreams of Fr. Leo John Dehon. The conferences have been held in Wisconsin and Mississippi, but most often in South Dakota, the birthplace of the US Province.
Pictured above: Bridget Martin, principal of Sacred Heart School in Southaven, MS, takes part in the Lakota smudging tradition prior to the Opening Mass. Bridget is a member of the Board of Directors of St. Joseph’s Indian School and serves on the international Dehonian Education Committee.
Moved by the word
“This is a special house,” said Fr. Carlos Luis Suárez Codorniú, SCJ, as he looked out at those gathered in the lobby of Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology for the annual Dehon Lecture on October 4. “This is a special house because it is a place to hear the Word, to study the Word, to discuss the Word, and finally, to live the Word.” Fr. Carlos is superior general of the Priests of the Sacred Heart. The topic of his Dehon Lecture was “Moved by the Word.” He shared how he has not only been moved by the words found on the pages of the Bible, but by the wisdom and theology shared with him in the words that come from the lived experiences of others.
In the afternoon Q&A session, Fr. Carlos was asked to comment on the Synod on Synodality, which opened in Rome just a few hours earlier. “Does the Dehonian charism have anything to say to this moment in the Church?” said a member of the audience.
“We are called to be one,” said Fr. Carlos, reflecting on “sint unum,” one of the pillars of Dehonian Spirituality. “To be one, to recognize that we are one, this is very important to us as Dehonians. This is very important for us as a Church, and in this moment.”
Prior to the lecture, Fr. Carlos was the main celebrant of an intercultural liturgy hosted by SHSST’s English and Culture Program.
“All my life, all my service involves words”
While he was in Hales Corners for the Dehon Lecture, Fr. Carlos sat down for a brief interview with Fr. Henry Nguyen, SCJ.
“All my life, all my service involves words,” said Fr. Carlos. “People are moved by the Word, by words. We try to be attentive to what is coming from God, what is coming from our society and in our Church. As Dehonians we must pay attention to words; we must always listen carefully.”
Fr. Carlos spoke to Fr. Henry about his Dehon Lecture topic, but also answered a few questions about himself and the congregation as he completes the last of his six-year term.
Click here or on the image above to view the interview. Our thanks to Br. Andy Gancarczyk, SCJ, who was behind the scenes with the camera.
Speaking of Fr. Henry…
Last week Milwaukee’s Catholic Herald featured Fr. Henry Nguyen, SCJ, our vocation director, in its “Give Us Shepherd’s” column. Click here or on the image above to read the feature online.
“Prayer changes things!”
“Prayer lies at the core of who we are and what we do,” writes Fr. Tom Cassidy, SCJ, in this month’s As a Rule.
“It is not an option but a necessity,” he continued. “I often recount a journey I made from our minor seminary back to Milwaukee. It was a Sunday afternoon, and as I approached Chicago, I grew weary of the station I had on the radio. I started to fiddle with the dial and stumbled upon an African American Sunday worship service. It intrigued me, so I continued to listen.
“During this segment of the service, the preacher encouraged attendees to share their testimonials. A woman stood up; I can’t recall her name, but in my retelling of the story, I’ll call her Sister Barbara. In a slow, rhythmic voice she proclaimed, ‘Prayer Changes Things!’ She repeated it over and over, and in the spirit of African American liturgy, the congregation started responding with phrases like, ‘Right on, Sister,’ ‘Amen Sister,’ and ‘Alleluia Sister.’ All she ever said was, ‘Prayer Changes Things.’
“In that moment, I thought to myself, ‘You know, Tom, she is absolutely right. While the act of prayer may not change the world, it has changed me through the very act of praying.’
“Every time we pray, we encounter God, we encounter Jesus. Although we may not always feel it, we have faith that our encounters with God and Jesus transform me, transform us.”
READ MORE – Click here to read the rest of Fr. Tom’s reflection on prayer, as well as reflections written by Br. Alex John, SCJ (Indian District), and Fr. Joseph Mukuna, SCJ (Congolese SCJ doing doctoral work in the US), in the October issue of As a Rule.
As a Rule is a monthly publication of the US Province that features reflections, questions and prayers using a passage from the Rule of Life as a starting point. Anyone is welcome to subscribe; click here to do so.
Canadian Region holds its chapter
The Canadian Region held its Regional Chapter from August 28 – 31 at the St. Francis Center near Toronto. The theme: “Being Community in the Process of Synodality.” In his opening statements, Fr. Gustave Lulendo, SCJ, regional superior, spoke of the challenges facing the region, namely the aging of members, community life and the pastoral plan, but also expressed his gratitude to the entities in Indonesia, Congo, Cameroon and Brazil for their collaboration, which allows the region to serve 14 parishes in five dioceses, along with its work with migrants and refugees, including Indonesian communities in Toronto and Montreal.
Click here to read more on the general website. Pictured above: SCJ Frs. Yohanes Yuliwan Maslim, Bill Marrevee and Aegidius Warsito were honored during the chapter for their ordination anniversaries (30, 60 and 30 years).
Meeting of SCJs in parish ministry
SCJs in parish ministry are having their second Zoom gathering tomorrow, October 17, at 10:00 a.m. (Central). Fr. Vien Nguyen sent a link via email to participants. If you did not receive it, or have lost the link, please contact him prior to the meeting.
Besides tomorrow’s meeting of SCJs in parish ministry, there are several other calendar items of note during the next few months:
October 24: North American Councils meeting, Toronto
November 7: Post-Chapter meeting via Zoom, 10:00 a.m. to noon (Central)
November 7-8: Provincial Council meeting, Hales Corners, WI
November 30: Advent Hour of Recollection for employees and collaborators, 10:00 a.m. (central) via Zoom.
December 5: Advent Hour of Recollection for SCJs, 10:00 a.m. (central) via Zoom (both will be led by Sr. Barbara Reid, OP, president of Catholic Theological Union).
December 9: Diaconate ordination of Frater Paul Phong Hoang, SCJ, 10:00 a.m., Sacred Heart Monastery / Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology
+ Paul Bossie, the brother of Fr. Bob Bossie, SCJ, died on October 14. The funeral will be on Saturday, October 21, at Good Shepherd Chapel at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake. PLEASE NOTE: in an email to SCJs sent this morning we mistakenly stated that the arrangements would be at St. Joseph’s Chapel; this is incorrect. The vigil begins at 9:30 a.m. and the Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. at Good Shepherd at SHML.
+ Fr. José Knob, a member of the Brazil – Sao Paulo Province, died on October 14. He was born in 1940, professed in 1962 and ordained in 1969.
+ Fr. Lauro Alfredo Kuhn, also a member of the Brazil – Sao Paulo Province, died on October 14. He was born in 1938, professed in 1961 and ordained in 1966.
+ Fr. Alphonse Huisken, a member of the Cameroon Province, died on October 11. He was born in 1936, professed in 1957 and ordained in 1965.
+ Fr. Czesław Wojtarowicz, a member of the Polish Province, died on October 7. He was born in 1952, professed in 1968 and ordained in 1978.
+ Fr. Giuseppe Albiero, a member of the North Italian Province, died on October 3. He was born in 1927, professed in 1945 and ordained in 1954.
Fr. Joseph Thien Dinh, SCJ, writes the following in regard to the death of his brother, Martin Thoi Dinh, on October 4: “With a thankful heart, we (the Dinh family) feel blessed knowing that you are praying for us. Thank you for your prayers, your support, and your kind words; they are very appreciated. We are ever grateful for your encouragement as well. The comforting words reminded us of God’s love even though the days feel tough. We are standing together and working on giving thanks to God in all circumstances. Thank you for always being there, especially at this time. May God bless you and we appreciate your continued prayers for Martin Thoi Dinh.
Keep in prayer
Bishop Joseph Potocnak was taken to the VA Hospital for observation following a fall in his room. He is doing well and expected to return to Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake today.
Fr. Pat Lloyd recently had a heart procedure and was hospitalized for observation. He is now recovering at home.
Fr. Richard MacDonald had hip surgery last Thursday and is expected to return home later today.
Fr. Ed Griesemer is at St. Camillus following hospitalization after a fall at home at SHML.
On October 5, English and Culture Study students at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology hosted their annual “Culture Fair.” It is a time for the students to showcase not only the traditions of their home countries, but typical foods as well. SHSST students, staff and families enjoyed a lunch that included delicacies from around the world, live music from Brazil, and a demonstration in Taekwondo from the South Korean booth. Fr. Carlos Luis Suárez Codorniú was among those enjoying the international flavors. He was visiting with the community following his presentation the day before at the Dehon Lecture.
Click here to view a few photos from the fair that were posted on the US Province Faceboook page.