New school year begins
Students at the Dehon Formation Community in Chicago are settling into their routines for the new academic year. The community includes three candidates: Henry Minh Bui Nguyen (from Orange County, California, Henry is the province’s newest candidate), [Luis] Alonso Barrantes and Patrick Skahill; and four professed SCJs: Fraters Justin Krenke, James Nguyen, Juan Carlos (“Juancho”) Castañeda Rojas and Joseph Vu. Liem Nguyen, a fourth candidate, is also a member of the community but currently enrolled in ESL at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology.
Br. Duane Lemke is the house superior and formation director; Fr. Tim Gray is also on the formation team. Other SCJs in the community include Fr. Mark Mastin, Fr. Bob Bossie, Fr. Andrzej Sudol (Philippine Region) and Fr. Joseph Mukuna (Congolese Province).
Look for the annual formation biographies on the province website in the next few weeks.
Please keep in prayer
Fr. Byron Haaland suffered cardiac arrest last Thursday, October 1. The reason for the heart stoppage has not yet been fully determined; he did not have a heart attack or a stroke. He is in ICU at St. Luke’s Hospital in Milwaukee where he is on a ventilator. Today there have been cautious signs of optimism: Fr. Byron was able to squeeze a person’s hand and wiggle his toes when asked to do so and he was able to nod “no” when asked if he was in pain. Again, these are very cautious signs of optimism; Fr. Byron is in serious condition and it will be some time before the extent of possible damage is known. He is not able to see visitors yet but the community certainly appreciates continued prayers.
Also keep in prayer
Fr. Joe Dean is having surgery today to treat a non-cancerous, non-life-threatening tumor.
Fr. Ed Kilianski and members of the Provincial Council went on retreat last week to spend time in reflection together, as well as discuss ways to address concerns and priorities voiced by the province at the recent election assembly and province chapter.
Although they were scheduled to be on retreat through midday on Friday, upon learning of Fr. Byron Haaland’s health emergency they ended the retreat early and came back to Milwaukee to be with him.
Before concluding, the council set the following meeting dates:
October 14: conference call at 10 a.m. central.
November 10-11: council meeting.
December 15-16: council reflection and meeting.
February 2-3: council reflection and meeting.
March 14-15: council meets with local superiors for dinner on Monday, March 14, and then all day on Tuesday.
March 16: council meeting.
May 3-4: council reflection and meeting.
During its gathering last week the council scheduled a province assembly for June 6-10, 2016. Details will be developed in the months ahead.
Fr. Ed Kilianski leaves for Sioux Falls, SD, on October 7 to take part in the C-POSH Board of Directors’ meeting on October 8. He returns to Hales Corners soon after the meeting.
October 19-20 Fr. Ed will attend the Region V CMSM meeting in Techny, IL. October 22-29 he will be in Portugal for the ordination of Fr. José Ornelas Carvalho as bishop of Setúbal.
Local meetings on immigration begin
Fr. John Czyzysnki of the North American Immigration Committee led one of the first local discussions on immigration; it took place October 1 with the Mississippi community. The discussions are in response to the stories shared in the committee’s recently distributed book: The North American Dehonian Story of Immigration.
Fr. John notes that “Something which came out very clearly in the discussion was the degree of inaccurate information and strong prejudice that affects the people to whom the SCJs in Mississippi minister. That awareness had a heavy influence on the action the local community chose to undertake….
“Through their homilies and through the intercessions used regularly at the liturgies, the community will try to keep the suffering of immigrants and refugees in the minds and hearts of the people,” said Fr. John.
Further local meetings are scheduled for the next few weeks in the US and Canada. Click here to view SCJ North American calendar to see the upcoming dates.
Updates from Florida
Fr. Greg Speck shares information from the Sacred Heart Retirement Community in Pinellas Park, FL.
First he noted Br. Gabriel Kersting’s new address: The Inn at Freedom Square, 10801 Johnson Boulevard, Seminole, Florida 33772
Fr. Greg adds that “Br. Gabe is visited, often more than once daily, and is brought Holy Communion daily. He is home for Mass, dinner and outings each Sunday. He is taken to concerts and is scheduled to go with us to the upcoming performance of the opera ‘Carmen.’”
Br. Gabe’s room number is 280. It is a private room; however, he does not have a phone.
“Fr. Tom Burns has completed his radiation and chemo treatments,” Fr. Greg continued. “He has experienced some generalized weakness and loss of appetite. We celebrated his 77th birthday in September.”
Fr. Ray Vega continues his Friday morning vigil at the nearby health care center that provides abortions. He is accompanied by Fr. Pat Lloyd.
Fr. Greg adds that “the annual Advent Days of Reflection have been set for December 7-9. The three talks will be on ‘A Parable of Mercy,’ presented by Fr. Bob Tucker. We have six guest rooms to welcome those who might wish to take some time for gentle reflection and a break from the winter weather. If more wish to come, we will be happy to make and cover the needed accommodations. Bishop Joe, Fr. Pat and Br. Gabe promise to cover the greens fees for those duffers who make the trek!”
Click here to email Fr. Greg if you would like to make arrangements to join the community for the days of reflection.
On the calendar
Fr. John Czyzynski will be the presenter at this year’s Dehon Lecture hosted by Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. His topic: “The Year of Consecrated Life; the Dynamic Interchange Between the Vocations of Religious and Diocesan Priests as They Advance the Church’s Mission in the World.” The lecture begins at 10 a.m. in the Province Conference Center. The follow-up panel discussion will be at 1:30, also in the conference center.