Weekly News: October 31, 2016

Fr. John and volunteers with the newly arrived Syrian family
Fr. John and volunteers with the newly arrived Syrian family

Welcoming the rest of the family

In September the Ottawa SCJ community welcomed Andre Boulad, a Syrian refugee whose family is being sponsored by the community in collaboration with Resurrection of Our Lord parish and the community’s Sunday worship group. Last Monday, October 24, he was reunited with his mother and sister.

We had brought coats with us to protect them against the cold of the approaching winter,” said Fr. John van den Hengel, regional superior of Canada, about meeting the family at the Ottawa airport. “Nada Sabha and her daughter, Riwa, arrived around one o’clock in the afternoon from Toronto. The previous day they had flown from Beirut via Cairo to Toronto.

“The greeting at the airport was emotional. Nada had not seen her brother, Ziad, who had immigrated 11 years earlier, since the beginning of the Syrian civil war. Ziad approached the Catholic Immigration Center of Ottawa to help to find sponsors for the family who had fled from Damascus, Syria, to Lebanon in February when they were assured that they had Canadian sponsors.

“Andre enrolled in English language courses and is already at level six out of eight. He would like to continue his university studies in software engineering; he did two years in Damascus. Riwa worked at a bank and also knows English.

“On November 6, the Sunday worship community will hold a potluck lunch to welcome the family and wish them well.”

Join the pope in praying for peace

Since 2011, Syria’s civil war has killed over 400,000 and displaced more than 6.6 million others. Thousands of people have fled to other countries.  Pope Francis continues to ask people to pray for peace in Syria.

Today, October 31, he joins in prayer with 10,000 people during an ecumenical event in Sweden. We are all encouraged to pray in solidarity with Pope Francis and others around the world.


The newly remodeled SHSST student rec room
The newly remodeled SHSST student rec room

SHSST rec room completed

With the help of a matching grant from a benefactor, Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology was able to give its student recreation room a complete facelift. Renovations included new carpet and paint, new furniture and televisions. Click here to view photos of the newly completed room.

Latest from India


In a recent blog post Fr. Tom Cassidy writes about doing a house blessing for the mother of one of the SCJ students in India. Benefactors from the US Province funded the construction. Fr. Tom writes:

“I recently took part in a house blessing for the widowed mother of Br. Thambi Joseph, a third-year SCJ theologian. Funding for the house was through the US Province; Pam Milczarski of the Province Development Office was instrumental in connecting donors to the project. Br. Thambi, along with nine fellow students and other SCJs, traveled three hours to be present at the blessing.

“The celebration was done in a mix of English and Telugu. Br. Thambi is fluent in English, but his mother is not. Br. Harish (Hari) Kumar Barigala (4th year) translated my brief remarks as well as read the Telugu version of the blessing ritual. After the ribbon cutting, and sprinkling each of the rooms with holy water, we celebrated Mass. Our SCJ students provided the music and various ministerial parts. Fr. Michael Augustine was the celebrant and Fr. Suresh Gottom, assistant priest at Sacred Heart Parish, Vempadu, preached. The Mass was in Telugu.”

Click here to read more. 

90 years in Rome

Before his death it was Fr. Leo John Dehon’s desire that the General Curia of the Priests of the Sacred Heart be transferred to Rome. Unfortunately, it was a desire that he would not see fulfilled.

The IX General Chapter made the decision to implement the transfer of the Generalate to Rome on October 31, 1926: 90 years ago today. It was first located on the property that is now Cristo Re; the General Curia and International College transferred to the current location in 1953.

Click here to read more and view photos of the first Generalate.



Provincial’s time

Fr. Ed Kilianski is traveling in Ireland this week with Fr. Dominic Peluse and benefactors from the Province Development Office; they are pictured above during their first days of touring. Fr. Ed returns on November 8, but just in case the plane is delayed he cast his vote on Friday. November 14 he will be the main celebrant at the Jubilee Mass for the 50th anniversary of priesthood of Bishop Joseph Potocnak, Fr. Tony Russo and Fr. Tom Westhoven. November 15-16 he has meetings with the Provincial Council and November 17 he meets with the Province Development Office Board of Directors.

November 18-21 he will be in Mississippi for the 50th anniversary Mass for Christ the King parish in Southaven. And then the next day it is off to Rome for the Major Superiors Meeting. He returns to Milwaukee on December 4.

Closing shot

Bishop Joe Potocnak was recently honored by the Bay Pines VA hospital in Tampa, FL, during Pastoral Care Week. The bishop serves as a part-time chaplain at the hospital.

“I enjoy visiting, bringing Holy Communion, and administering the Sacrament of the Sick to the people there,” said Bishop Joe, himself a veteran of the US Air Force. Congratulations, and thank you for your service Bishop Joe!


Prayer for All Saints Day, All Souls

all-saintsGod of Love,
through the cycles of our existence,
you continually call us to experience
the deepest possible intimacy with you.
From conception to birth,
from growth to diminishment,
and from physical death to eternal life,
may the lamp of charity burn bright in our hearts.
United to the Heart of Christ,
may we at last enjoy
the fullness of your promise of abundant life.