Weekly News: October 2, 2023

Superior General featured speaker at Dehon Lecture

Fr. Carlos Luis Suárez Codorniú, SCJ, superior general of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, will be the presenter at this Wednesday’s Dehon Lecture at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. His topic: “Moved by the Word.” The RSVP deadline was September 27. If you were planning to attend and did not RSVP, please contact Rachel Allison at 414-858-4652 or rallison@shsst.edu.

The presentation will not be livestreamed, but it will be video recorded. A link will be shared soon after and photos will be on the province Facebook page.

Mission Education

The next Mission Education Conference begins on Sunday, October 8, with registration at the Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel at St. Joseph’s Indian School, followed by a Lakota Mass. The two-day gathering, which brings together employees from throughout the province to learn about the Priests of the Sacred Heart, their ministries, and the charism of Fr. Leo John Dehon, runs through the end of Monday, October 9.

Be sure to check our province Facebook page and Instagram for photos and updates from the conference. Pictured above is the Mission Education liturgy at St. Joseph’s in 2019.

No Fridge Notes

Since much of our staff will be in South Dakota next week, there will be no Fridge Notes published on Monday, October 9. The next issue will be on October 16.

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Looking ahead

Meeting of parish ministers – The second meeting of those in parish ministry will be held via Zoom on October 17. Among the meeting topics: Dehonian youth ministry, the preparation of international ministers in US parishes, enhancing the sense of the Dehonian presence at parishes, and continuing to create environments where all feel welcome.

North American administrations’ meeting – The administrations of the Canadian Region and US Province will meet October 24 in Toronto. Among the topics on the agenda: the 2024 General Chapter.

Advent Hour of Recollection for Employees and Collaborators – The Advent Hour of Recollection for Employees and Collaborators will take place on November 30 at 10:00 a.m. (central) via Zoom. It will be led by Sr. Barbara Reid, OP, president of Catholic Theological Union.

Advent Hour of Recollection for SCJs – The Advent Hour of Recollection for SCJs will be on December 5 at 10:00 a.m. (central) via Zoom; also led by Sr. Barbara Reid, OP.

NOTE: Links for Zoom events will be distributed closer to the date that they are scheduled.

December ordination

Congratulations to Frater Paul Phong Hoang, SCJ, who was approved last week for ordination to the diaconate. Bishop Donald J. Hying of Madison will be the ordaining bishop. The ceremony will take place at 10:00 a.m. on December 9 at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. Invitations will be going out soon.

“What resonates with me in our Dehonian Spirituality is the focus on love, as well as the image of the Sacred Heart,” said Frater Paul. “It seems generic yet profoundly universal and necessary in our world. Love is what ultimately captivates and converts the heart.”

Safe travels and thank you!

Br. Diego Diaz, SCJ, will be returning to his home province of Argentina later this month. He has spent the past several years as a member of the Mississippi community, serving with Sacred Heart Southern Missions and our schools in there. Thank you and safe travels Br. Diego!

Respect and appreciation of each other is key

The second of a two-part interview with Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, on “Hóčhoka”, a podcast produced by St. Joseph’s Indian School, focuses on respect of cultures and individuals. In this centennial year of the Priests of the Sacred Heart in the United States, the discussion began with a reflection on the early SCJ missionaries and the history of the boarding school system.

“When they [first SCJs] came from Germany, they could have asked to be placed anywhere, but they tried to follow the charism of Fr. Dehon to ‘go to the people,’” said Fr. Vien. But as was typical of the time, the missionaries entered a new culture with little preparation, carrying the mindset of a European Church. “This may have gotten in the way of celebrating another people’s culture… but they believed in education as a tool for transformation.” And because of that, they started St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Acknowledging the difficult history of boarding schools, Fr. Vien noted how St. Joseph’s, and the Priests of the Sacred Heart as a community, now celebrate and promote the many cultures of the people to whom they minister, as well as the people with whom they partner.

When I began my formation in the 1990s, in the 2000s as well, we were required to take cross-cultural courses… I spent almost every summer in Lower Brule. This opened my mind to the reality of people… Education is ongoing, learning is ongoing. I and other SCJs need to experience other people’s culture by being with the people as Fr. Dehon would tell us.”

Fr. Vien also spoke of those who work with the SCJs. “What you do is not only the mission of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, but also YOUR mission,” he said. “The two missions converge, and it becomes one mission, serving the people of God.”

Click here or on the image above to the view the full episode.

Fr. Claude

Please remember

+ Fr. Claude Siebenaler (pictured above), a member of the Franco-European Province, died on September 26. He was born in 1945, professed in 1965 and ordained in 1972. Originally from Luxembourg, Fr. Claude served in Chile for eight years before being named assistant secretary general in 1982. Nine months later he was appointed secretary general, a job he held for 16 years. He spent another 13 years as Procurator General and was then on the staff of the Centro Studi Dehoniani before returning to his home province in 2015.

Fr. Claude was also the ecclesiastical councilor of the embassy of Luxembourg to the Holy See. Luxembourg does not have a full-time ambassador to the Vatican. As ecclesiastical councilor, he not only advised Luxembourg government officials about questions regarding the Catholic Church, but also attended to some of the more mundane administrative tasks of an embassy. For many years Fr. Claude’s office served as the mailbox for Luxembourg’s embassy to the Vatican.

+ Fr. Johannes Croimans, a member of the Dutch Region, died on September 29. He was born in 1937, professed in 1957 and ordained in 1963.

Keep in prayer

Fr. Tim Gray, SCJ, was diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia last week. He had a pacemaker installed and is now recovering at home.

Martin Thoi Dinh, the brother of Fr. Joseph Thien Dinh, SCJ, has entered hospice after fighting cancer for the past year.

Fr. Guy Blair, SCJ, is back home in Holly Springs, MS, recovering from cardiac surgery. He thanks people for their prayers and concern.

Fr. Ushindi Kambale Sahani, SCJ, is also back at home after being hospitalized with appendicitis. He is a member of the SCJ community in Montréal.

Fr. Ed Griesemer, SCJ, continues to be monitored in the hospital following a fall at home.

Orange Shirt Day

On September 30, students and staff at St. Joseph’s Indian School recognized “Orange Shirt Day.” Officially known in Canada as the “National Day of Remembrance of Indigenous Boarding Schools,” it is a moment to reflect on the legacy of the Canadian residential school system. The St. Joseph’s community commemorated the day with prayer, smudging, singing, and togetherness.

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