Weekly News: September 10, 2012

Fr. Francis (far right) with students in the Vietnamese formation community

Dream becomes a reality in Vietnam

Fr. Francis Vu Tran, SCJ, emigrated from Vietnam to the United States when he was a child. As an adult, he has returned several times to visit family but in recent years, he has also had the opportunity to visit a group of people who didn’t exist in Vietnam when he was a child: the Priests of the Sacred Heart.

The community was just taking root when he first visited it four years ago in Ho Chi Minh City. Two years later, he came again and saw many changes.

And now, “it is much different,” he said. “Instead of just a few missionaries we now have several Vietnamese SCJs who are in leadership.”

Fr. Francis went to Vietnam in July to attend his cousin’s ordination. After family visits Fr. Francis went back to Ho Chi Minh City. There, he had the opportunity to meet with two new SCJ priests, Fr. Phong Tran and Fr. Quang Tran. The last time he saw them they were still students preparing for ministry. Now, Frs. Phong and Quang work in formation, giving guidance to fellow Vietnamese who are discerning their vocation with the SCJs.

Click here to read more about Fr. Francis Vu’s visit with SCJs in Vietnam.

Learning “what ministry really is”

Students in formation generally devote part of their summer to ministry. James Nguyen, now a novice, and Justin Krenke, an undergraduate entering his third year of candidacy, spent much of their break with Sacred Heart Southern Missions in Mississippi. Justin recently posted a reflection on the province blog about his experience. He writes:

Justin Krenke

“Most of my time working at Sacred Heart Southern Missions was spent with Sr. Betteann helping with the HIV/AIDs ministry. We spent a lot of time traveling in Sr. Betteann’s car. We were either going to Memphis to pick up food from the food pantry run by Friends for Life, or we were running to someone’s house to drop something off for them and seeing if they needed anything. We would stay for a little and they would talk with Sr. Betteann about their kids or their job and all the things going on in their lives.

“I was amazed at how Sr. Betteann was able to talk to each person and you would think they were the only person she works with, she knew each of these people and cared for them. But even more so I was amazed by her energy. Here was this 78-year-old nun who was constantly on the move, and when she wasn’t out of the office she was getting paperwork ready for people to fill out when they came to see her, she was putting food in bags for people, she was always answering her phone or writing an email. It was constant movement but it didn’t seem to faze her at all.

“I truly did learn something from my time in Mississippi; I learned what ministry really is. Ministry isn’t just about going and helping people and then when you’re done, moving on the next project. Ministry is about making connections with people, talking with them, and learning about and from them. It’s about showing people that you truly do care about their situation and you want to be able to help as much as you can, even if it’s just listening. I truly am thankful to all the SCJs, and all the people at Sacred Heart Southern Missions who really made my time down in Mississippi so enjoyable, and I can’t wait until I’m able to go back.”

Click here to read Justin’s full reflection.

Communications workshop in India

Mary hunts down a PowerPoint presentation

September 3-4, 10 members of the Indian District took part in a communications workshop lead by Mary Gorski, communications director for the U.S. Province. The workshop was held at Dehon Vidya Sadhan, one of the district’s two formation houses in Aluva.

She put one of the students, Fr. Hruday, to work and had him write a story about workshop.

“Mary talked about the impact of the internet,” he wrote. “’If Facebook were a country,’ she said, ‘it would be the third most populous in the world behind China and India…’

“Communication in the electronic world of email, Facebook, Twitter and other social media, is useful and important. However, she also emphasized the importance of communication in real life. ‘Communication at its most basic level is interpersonal,’ said Mary.”

His article, as well as a few photos that students took during the two days, are posted on the general website. Click here to view it.

Mary will be visiting several of the SCJ locations in India and have photos and other information on the province website and Facebook page later this month.The U.S. Province sponsored the workshops.

Bishop Bressanelli in the news

Bishop Virginio Bressanelli, former superior general, was in the news recently for making a public statement that calls for the life of a 45-year-old coma victim to be spared.

Click here to read about it on the website for the Catholic News Agency.

SCJ News online

The most recent edition of the SCJ News is available as a PDF download from the province website. Click here to go to the webpage.

Print editions are in the mail.


The president-rector’s installation at Sacred Heart School of Theology took place on AUGUST 29, not SEPTEMBER 29 as we inadvertently reported last week. Our apologies, but since September 29 has not yet arrived we assume that that we hope we didn’t confuse too many people.

Provincial’s time

September 10-16 Fr. Cassidy will be in South Dakota for a visitation, enjoying American Indian Day at St. Joseph’s on September 15. September 18-22 he will be with the Dehon Formation community in Chicago and on September 29 he leaves for Africa to attend the ordination of Archbishop Claudio Dalla Zuanna in Beira, Mozambique.

Upcoming meetings and events:

October 11-12: Provincial Council Meeting
October 12: Dedication of Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake
November 13-14, North American Councils meeting in Toronto
December 18-19: Provincial Council Meeting

January 29-30: Provincial Council Meeting
March 13: Local Superiors Meeting
March 14: Provincial Council Meeting
April 8-9: Mission Education Conference, St. Joseph’s Indian School
April 30 – May 1: Provincial Council Meeting (budgets)
Week of June 3: Province Election Assembly.