Weekly News: October 3, 2022

The cat who could drive a car?

Usually, we do not feature the same person at the top of the Fridge Notes two weeks in a row. However, the cat in this photo insisted that the picture wasn’t about Fr. Hendrik Ardianto, SCJ, who was in the lead photo of the September 26th edition, but instead about the cat himself.  Anyone who has lived with a cat knows that often they are the ones who call the shots.

The picture above was taken outside of Holy Family School in Holly Springs last week following Thursday’s all-school Mass. In anticipation of the feast of St. Francis of Assisi tomorrow, Fr. Ardi offered pet blessings in the parking lot of the school. Perhaps this kitty is a cousin of Toonces, the famed Saturday Night Live cat who could drive a car?

One step closer

During their meeting last week, the Provincial Council approved Dn. Henry Nguyen’s request for ordination to the priesthood. It will take place on December 17th at St. Columban Catholic Church in Garden Grove, CA.

Welcome back!

After six years of service in Vietnam, the Provincial Council voted last week to approve Fr. Francis Vu Tran’s request to transfer back to the US Province from the District of Vietnam. He is a member of the St. Joseph’s Community at SHML and will teach at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology next semester.


Ministering to the ministers

Last week Fr. David Szatkowski, SCJ (second from right), was elected and installed as the Mississippi Area Representative to the International Conference of Police Chaplains.

In 2019 Fr. Dave was appointed as a chaplain with the Southaven, MS, police department. “It is my way of doing what Fr. Dehon asked of us, to ‘get out of the sacristy,’” he said.

In his service as a volunteer chaplain Fr. Dave said that “I support officers emotionally and spiritually. I also assist with death notifications, prayer, and other support as requested.”

In his new role as Area Representative, Fr. Dave is involved in recruiting new chaplains, encouraging law enforcement agencies to have chaplains if they do not already, and facilitating the training of chaplains through the International Conference of Police Chaplains. He hopes to host a regional conference in Southaven next spring (April, 2023).

Fr. Dave emphasizes that “I am not an instructor, which involves separate credentials, but I do offer emotional and spiritual support to other chaplains. I am also a resource for those who need Catholic-specific resources or have Catholic-specific questions.”

Please keep in prayer

Mario Querobin, the father of Fr. Rafael Querobin, SCJ, is hospitalized in the intensive care unit of the Sancta Maggiore hospital in São Paulo, Brazil.  “He is intubated, receiving palliative care so that he can have a peaceful passage,” writes Fr. Rafael, who is in Brazil. “My family and I are continually with him expressing our affection and love. I ask for your prayers for him and for us in this moment of faith and hope.”

Pinellas Park was lucky, but…

Fr. Vincent Suparman, SCJ, local superior of the Sacred Heart Community in Pinellas Park (near Tampa) let us know that SCJs there were very lucky in the wake of Hurricane Ian. There was only minor damage on the property and the internet was out. But throughout the storm the community had water and electricity and there was no significant flooding. “We know that many others experienced much more destruction and devastation than we did and we continue to keep them in our prayers,” he said.

Prayer request

Fr. John Czyzynski, SCJ, asks for prayers for his sister, Kay, who is in the hospital with extreme anemia. Doctors are running tests to determine the cause.


Frater Andrianarisoa Nomenjanahary Onjahasina, SCJ (second from right), of the Region of Madagascar, renewed his vows during Adoration with the Sacred Heart Monastery Community last week. Frater Andrianarisoa is a student in the ECS program (English and Cultural Studies) at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, received the vows on behalf of the superior of Madagascar.

On the road

Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, leaves today for the Philippines for a meeting with the bishop of Cagayan de Oro and members of a diocesan women’s religious community to discuss a possible ministry partnership in South Dakota. He is scheduled to return to Hales Corners on October 15. From October 19-25 he will be in the Congolese Province for the celebration of the 125th anniversary of the SCJ presence there. During his absence, Fr. Jack Kurps, SCJ, vice provincial, will be interim provincial superior.

Are you emotionally and spiritually hydrated?

Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, shares information about an upcoming webinar that may interest many SCJs:

The National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) and the Avila Institute of Gerontology are offering a new seminar titled, Staying HydratedEmotionally and Spiritually. It is scheduled for Tuesday, November 15, at 1:00 p.m. ET. Presenter Rev. Terry Hershey will explore topics of self-care, mindfulness, and how these practices are at the root of caring for others.

This webinar is designed for individual members of religious communities and leadership, as well their healthcare providers.

Webinar attendance is free for religious communities and their associates. To sign up, visit the Avila Institute website and enter the code NRRO at checkout. The price will change from $59 to $0. (Note: Please do not enter credit card information.)

Click here to view a PDF with more information.

“The Letter” opens tomorrow

Tomorrow, October 4, is the premiere of The Letter, Laudato Si’ Movement’s film in which top leaders from throughout the world travel to Rome to speak with Pope Francis about Laudato Si’ and present how the climate crisis impacts their own lives and that of their communities.

The project is the fruit of many years of work between Laudato Si’ Movement and  Off the Fence, the Oscar-winning production company for My Octopus Teacher, and the Vatican.

The film will be available tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. (Rome time). The link: https://theletterfilm.org/ 

Click here or on the image above to view the trailer.

Council meeting dates

The US Province Council has scheduled its meetings through June of 2023:

November 9-10 (Wed and Thurs)
December 20-21 (Tues and Wed)
February 7-8 (Tues and Wed)
March 28-29 (Tues and Wed)
May 9-10 (Tues and Wed)
June 27-28 (Tues and Wed)

Fall scholarships

St. Joseph’s Indian School recently announced $115,970 in fall-semester scholarships for Native American students across the nation, bringing the total awards for the calendar year to a record $208,265. This fall, the school provided 94 scholarships: 20 to alums, 12 to family members of St. Joseph’s Indian School alums and 62 to others enrolled in a federally recognized tribe and pursuing higher education.

Andrew Amiotte’s interest in becoming a Network Administrator goes back several years when he worked in Information Technology (IT) through Chamberlain High School’s career-readiness program (Andrew is pictured above). As part of that, he did a short stint in IT for St. Joseph’s, where he was in the school’s High School Program. Born in Sioux Falls, Amiotte attended St. Joseph’s for seven years and is a 2016 graduate of the High School Program. He is taking night classes at South East Technical College and is on track to complete his degree in May 2023. The degree prepares him to oversee the connectivity and security of routers, wireless equipment and switches used in modern networks.

Andrew recently visited campus for the school’s annual powwow in September. “St. Joe’s taught me a lot,” he noted, saying that he enjoyed working with St. Joseph’s Technology Manager Darby Klein.

St. Joseph’s Indian School created the scholarship program to benefit Native American students pursuing higher education. Through the generosity of donors, the school has awarded scholarship dollars to Native American students since 1985. Financial need and academic performance are the basis for determining the awards. Applications are due each fall and spring and are awarded based on proof of tribal enrollment, number of applicants and available funds. Also considered are returning scholars who are continuing their education journey.

Remembering St. Therese of Lisieux

Last week second-grade students at Our Lady of Guadalupe School in Houston learned about St. Therese of Lisieux, the patron saint of their classroom. The Carmelite nun died on September 30, 1897, and she was canonized May 17, 1925. Her feast day was on Saturday, October 1.

As a part of their celebration of the saint, the children and their teachers enjoyed a French meal. Fr. George (Jerzy) Mordalski, SCJ, is pictured below talking to the students about the “Little Flower,” as the saint is often called.

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