Weekly News: September 12, 2022

What does it mean to be a Dehonian parish?

What does it mean to be a “Dehonian parish?” That was one of several topics discussed last Wednesday, September 7, during a meeting of SCJs in Parish Ministry. The two-hour Zoom was an opportunity for SCJs serving in parishes in the US Province to share ideas, discuss concerns, and simply support one another in their common ministry. The gathering was facilitated by Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, provincial superior; members of the Provincial Council also took part.

As to what it means to be a Dehonian parish, the SCJs first spoke of internationality. Taking part in the call were Dehonians from Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, India, Cameroon, Poland, Vietnam and the United States. They bring to their parishes a sense of the worldwide Church and the international congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart. The SCJs also shared what parishioners have said to them about what it means to be a Dehonian parish. They talked about a sense of hospitality and welcome; there is a feeling of being served by a community, not just individuals.

“Also important for us is that we follow Fr. Dehon’s call to get out of the sacristy and go to the people,” said Fr. Andrzej Sudol, SCJ, pastor of St. Martin of Tours parish in Franklin, WI.

The next parish ministry meeting is tentatively planned for February. The US Province serves parishes in Houston, northern Mississippi, rural South Dakota, and Milwaukee.

Dr. Jeremy Blackwood from SHSST talks about “Fratelli Tutti”

International fundraisers’ workshop begins

Today through Wednesday, September 14, SCJ fundraisers from around the world are at the Provincial Conference Center for a workshop sponsored by the General Treasurer’s Office and hosted by the US Province. Participants include Fr. Luca Zottoli, SCJ, general treasurer, and Aldo Ivaldi, his assistant in Rome, as well as members of the General Finance Commission, who will also have their own meetings during the week. Among the participants are a few familiar faces, including Fr. Francis Pupkowski, SCJ, a Polish SCJ and alumnus of the ESL (now ECS) program at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. He was among the first group of SCJs who spent time Hales Corners preparing to start an SCJ presence in the Philippines. He continues to serve in the country, previously as regional superior, and now as the entity’s development director.

First on the agenda this morning was a presentation by Dr. Jeremy Blackwood, associate professor of Systematic Theology at SHSST. His topic: “Fratelli Tutti,” Pope Francis’ 2020 encyclical.

Fr. Jim’s brother, John, shares memories of their childhood.

Remembering Fr. Jim

“He was a kind and gentle soul, always helpful, always welcoming.” These were the words spoken by so many as they remembered Fr. Jim Schifano, SCJ, during the wake for Fr. Jim prior the Mass of Christian Burial last Friday, September 9. Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, was the main celebrant and homilist; the funeral was at Good Shepherd Chapel at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake.

Click here to view photos from the funeral.

Click here to view a recording of the livesteam.

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SCJ parish hosts soccer tournament

During Labor Day weekend St. Martin of Tours Parish and School hosted a soccer tournament that pitted players from Chicago against Milwaukee-area kickers, including Fr. Duy Nguyen, SCJ (local superior of Sacred Heart Monastery) and Fr. Son Nguyen, SCJ (associate pastor of St. Martin of Tours), and several students from Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology‘s ECS program. Participants are pictured above with Fr. Son talking about the day ahead; Fr Andrzej Sudol, SMOT pastor, looks on.

Come and See!

The Sacred Heart Monastery Community welcomed Peter Emmanuel Hassan, Max Emile and Joshua Shoenfelt May 1-4 for a “Come and See” visit; they are pictured below in St. Joseph’s Chapel with Fr. Quang Nguyen, SCJ, vocation director. “Come and See” weekends are hosted several times a year by our vocation office in collaboration with Sacred Heart Monastery; they are a way for young men discerning a vocation to religious life to literally “come and see” the Priests of the Sacred Heart (Dehonians) and learn firsthand about our life together in community.

Getting ready for powwow weekend!

The 46th Annual St. Joseph’s Indian School Wačhípi marks the return to a public powwow for the students of the school for the first time since the onset of the pandemic. It will be held on St. Joe’s campus September 17.

A royalty competition set the event in motion on Wednesday, September 7. The evening opened with prayer followed by the flag song performed by the school’s drum group, Pahá Makȟásaŋ Lowáŋpi – the Chalk Hills Singers. Five young women competed for Miss St. Joe’s, and seven for Junior Miss St. Joe’s. Two young men vied for Eagle Staff Bearer. Contestants submitted written interview questions, introduced themselves in Lakota, demonstrated one dance and answered questions from staff judges. Some of the participants are pictured above with Fr. Greg Schill, SCJ.

The powwow is free and open to the public. Click here for more information and a complete schedule of events.

Looking ahead

Next Saturday, September 17, is a busy one in the US Province. As noted above, St. Joseph’s Indian School will hold its first public powwow since the pandemic began. On the same day, Sacred Heart School in Southaven will celebrate its 75th  anniversary.

Also, next Tuesday and Wednesday, September 20-21, there will be the meeting of local superiors with the Provincial Council. The gathering will take place at the Sacred Heart Community in Pinellas Park, FL.

Encounter and Communion

David Schimmel, retired director of the Dehonian Associates, shares a review of the book Eucharistic Adoration After Vatican II, by Edward Foley, a text which he thought many Dehonians might find to be interesting.

“SCJs may find both affirming and challenging a recent publication,” writes David. “The gist of this book, just over 100 pages, parallels the insight of #83 in the Rule of Life: ‘In very close relation with the Eucharistic celebration, we meditate on the riches of this mystery of our faith in adoration, so that the body and blood of Christ, food of eternal life, may transform our beings more deeply… In Eucharistic adoration we want to deepen our union with the sacrifice of Christ for the reconciliation of all with God.’

“A fascinating fact from the author’s historical overview of the development of Eucharistic adoration and devotions involves the medieval veneration of martyrs’ relics.  As the physical reception of the Eucharist seemed dangerous and even sacrilegious to the faithful burdened with sense of unworthiness, the consecrated host came to be regarded as a sacramental relic of the supreme martyr, Jesus Christ.  Thus, it was gazed upon and venerated in a reliquary.

“Based upon the principle that devotions should accord with the liturgy, be derived from it, and lead the faithful to it, the author develops five key theological aspects of eucharistic liturgy and uses these to consider the spirituality of eucharistic devotions outside of Mass: christological, paschal, ecclesial, missiological, and ecological.

“The final chapter offers pastoral guidelines for individuals engaged in shaping and leading eucharistic adoration and devotions.  Given that the practice of adoration among the Priests of the Sacred Heart has not changed much over the years, this chapter might offer new perspectives and even address a challenge from the former Superior General, Albert Bourgeois, who wrote, “Through liturgical renewal, with which we should not merely cooperate, but to which we should also make our own contribution…[adoration] should become a part of our lives, and maintain and express our own character.”

“Foley emphasizes that Eucharistic devotions are meant to be not so much an event as an expression of lived experience.  Or, as #84 in the Rule of Life articulates, ‘Eucharistic worship makes us attentive to the love and faithfulness of the Lord in His presence to our world… Thus would we respond to that invitation to encounter and communion which Christ offers in this privileged sign of His presence.’”

BOOK INFORMATION: Eucharistic Adoration After Vatican II, Edward Foley, Collegeville MN: Liturgical Press 2022, ISBN 978-0-8146-4469-0


Fr. Joseph Mukuna, SCJ, is now a member of the novitiate community.

Celebrations in India

In a recent letter home, Fr. Tom Cassidy, SCJ, wrote about a three-fold celebration in the District of India, where he is currently assisting. “We celebrated the Nativity of Mary, Onam, and my 60th anniversary of vows.

Fr. Tom made his first profession on September 8, 1962.

“I was given the opportunity to be the principal celebrant and homilist. I was touched by the small Pookolam placed in front of the altar in honor of the anniversary.”

Fr. Tom is pictured below with members of the community following the celebration liturgy.

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