Weekly News: September 14, 2020

Masked and busy

“Life is good down here!” said Fr. Greg Schill, SCJ. He is pictured above, following yesterday’s Spanish Mass at Christ the King parish in Southaven, MS. “Fr. Hendrik Ardianto, SCJ, has been a valuable asset to our community and ministry.” This summer, Fr. Hendrik joined the pastoral team, which includes Fr. Greg and Fr. David Szatkowski, SCJ, (team moderator). The team serves six parishes in northern Mississippi. Frs. Greg, Hendrik and David are members of the SCJ community in Nesbit Mississippi, which also includes Br. Diego Diaz, SCJ, Fr. Jack Kurps, SCJ, Frater Henry Nguyen, SCJ, and Frater Long Nguyen, SCJ. Besides parish ministry, the community also serves with Sacred Heart Southern Missions.

As for the mask with the SCJ logo, Fr. Greg added that Fr. Thi Pham’s sister made it for him.

Fr. Praveen

20 Questions with Fr. Praveen and Fr. Vincent

“I believe that I am a Dehonian because love is the foundation of everything and my life is rooted in the love of God and love of neighbor,” wrote Fr. Praveen Kumar Richard, SCJ, in his response to the 20 Questions project. “The reparatory love of Jesus in me directs my life in joy, happiness and peace. And, I live by the Dehonian spirit of availability and charity in establishing social justice in me and in others.

20 Questions is an informal Q&A in which SCJs and those with whom they minister and collaborate share a bit about themselves through a list of 20 questions. All receive the same questions and are invited to answer as many as they like.

“I was born in Tamil Nadu, one of the states in India,” continued Fr. Praveen. “I am the second child among the six. My parents are very simple. My father is a fisherman and my mother is a housewife. Both of them worked hard to raise us and give us a good education. I always admired my grandfather and grandmother who had good reputations among the people of our village. Both of them passed away but their legacy remains in my thoughts and actions. They were very simple and gentle in their approach; very pious, loving and caring to the poor. My grandfather was a medicine man who treated the sick with Ayurveda medicine. He was highly respected among the people. He loved me so much and taught me to help others when they sought my assistance.

“Where would I like to travel to? This seems to be a simple question but it makes me think a lot, for there is no place beyond what my eyes see that is not marvelous. But for the sake answering, I would like to go to Niagara Falls to see its immense beauty. I learned about Niagara Falls in movies and tourist books when I was a child.”

Fr. Praveen Richard is a member of the Dehonian community at St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, SD. Click here to read his full response.

Fr. Vincent is pictured here ten years ago in Apouwo, West Papua, a remote mission that generally can only be reached by plane

“Since my first assignment in 1989 as a scholastic, and then again in 1995 as a newly ordained priest, I accepted assignments in some of the most challenging places, places that are at times forgotten by others,” wrote Fr. Vincent Suparman, SCJ, in his 20 Questions’ response. “That means to me that God has his own plan for me, and I just make myself available. There is no need to be afraid of an assignment when it fulfills the needs of the congregation.

“I was born in Batanghari, a little town thirty miles East of Teluk Betung, the capital of Lampung Province, Sumatra, Indonesia. We are nine, four boys and five girls. Instead of having siesta after school hours, all the boys in my family would work in the field until 5:00 p.m. The girls would take care of the household jobs. The boys in the family worked at least three hours in the field six days a week. On Sundays I would help my mother in her grocery store (no church; I was not baptized until I was 17). I took a sewing class when I was in high school. I used to make my school uniforms and school bags. My teacher said that I was very good and creative in sewing. When I was a boy, I wanted to become a truck driver to help my father haul the crops from the field to the market.”

Click here to read the rest of Fr. Vincent’s responses.

Click here to access all the responses in the 20 Questions project.

Fr. Jerzy with his ECS instructors, Dominic Fendt and Kelly Kornacki


Congratulations to Fr. Jerzy “George” Mordalski, SCJ, who received his certificate of completion from the ECS program (English and Cultural Studies) on Tuesday, September 8. He will soon join the SCJ community at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Houston.

Updates and prayers

Fr. Bob Tucker, SCJ – Fr. Bob was transferred from the hospital to RML in Hinsdale, IL, for continued rehabilitation following lung transplant surgery on July 1. He continues to do breathing therapy, as well as therapy for leg strength. The infections that he was battling several weeks ago seem to be under control with adjusted medications. His mailing address is:

RLM Specialty Hospital
5601 South County Line Road
Hinsdale IL 60521
c/o Fr. Bob Tucker, SCJ

Please do not attempt to visit Fr. Bob. Only one designated visitor (“support person”) is allowed to be listed for each patient. One person from Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake has been designated as this person and will be visiting Fr. Bob regularly.

Fr. Louis Mariano Fernandes – Fr. Louis had been briefly hospitalized after experiencing chest pain. He writes: “I would like to thank all my confreres and friends who have been praying and sending me their wishes and love. I had been experiencing chest pain for a couple of months but ignored it for a long time; however, these few weeks it has been really bothering me. The pain in the chest was consistent and was getting bad. So, after mass when I shared this with the associate priest here, he advised me to go to the hospital. So far they have found nothing very serious; the doctors are looking test results to determine what could be the cause. I was given some medication and asked to come back the following week.”

Please keep both SCJs in your prayers.

Thanks, and look for it soon.

Members of the North American Migration Committee share the following: “We are all so aware of the many gestures of solidarity that have been extended to us during this pandemic. These gestures seem to be compelling us to be a blessing for others in whatever way we possibly can. It is in this spirit that the members of the North American Migration Committee (NAMC) have continued meeting and asking ourselves how we can best respond to what migrants are experiencing at this moment. One practical way we chose to respond is to develop two brochures following the process of ‘See, Judge, Act’, common both in Catholic Social Teaching (CST) and in our own Dehonian tradition. The first brochure is tailored to the ministry of Sr. Norma Pimentel, MJ, for her work with migrant children. The second brochure, Restoring Human Dignity, is tailored to Dehonian ministry.

“We thought that it would be ideal if the brochure Restoring Human Dignity could be translated into the languages in which we minister in North America to facilitate it being shared with those with whom we minister. This brochure will be sent to you on September 27, World Day of Migrants and Refugees. We invite you to promote the brochure by sharing it with friends, colleagues, posting it on ministerial websites, bulletins, sharing it on social media and any other way you can!

“Special thanks for fraternal collaboration to: Fr. Juancho Castañeda Rojas, SCJ, for the Spanish translation, Fr. Maurice Légaré, SCJ, for the French translation, Frater Paul Phong Hoang, SCJ, for the Vietnamese translation, Fr. Albertus Joni, SCJ, for the Indonesian translation and Fr. Willyans Rapozo, SCJ, for the Portuguese translation. Each translation is truly an act of love and solidarity with migrants.”

Please remember

+Fr. Italo Rocchi, a member of the Southern Italian Province, died on September 4. He was 70 years old, professed his first vows in 1968, and was ordained a priest in 1978.

+Fr. Savino Palermo, a member of the Southern Italian Province, died on September 1. He was 92, professed his first vows in 1947, and was ordained a priest in 1956.

+Pat Haas, who served at the Provincial Offices for many years as a receptionist and secretary, died on September 3; she was 81. Pat was retired, and since 2003, lived in Florida. Click here to read her obituary.

Fr. Gustave talks to members of the Canadian Region via Zoom

Virtual assembly

Unable to come together physically because of the pandemic, the Canadian Region held its annual assembly via Zoom on Monday, August 31. The day began with a presentation by Fr. Michel Temgo, SCJ (Cameroon Province) on the challenges and perspectives of living fraternal, Dehonian life in community. In the afternoon, Dehonians shared reports with each other on the various works and committees of the region including vocations, theology, migration, vocations, communications, the regional archives, and finances. Fr. Stephen Huffstetter, SCJ, vicar general, joined the Canadians.

Click here to read a report of the assembly on the regional blog.

A new year at SHSST

“It’s not about ‘me and Jesus,’ it’s about ‘we and Jesus.’ That’s what Catholic Christianity is all about. That’s what it means to ‘conform our world to the heart of Christ’ [SHSST vision statement]. That’s what it means to ‘…form missionary disciples, who evangelize, both globally and locally, minds and hearts with the life and light of Jesus Christ’. That’s what Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology is all about!”

The quote is from Fr. Raúl Gómez-Ruiz, SDS, president-rector of Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology during his homily at the Opening Mass for the new academic year. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, attendance at the liturgy was limited.

Reflecting on the challenges of the pandemic, Fr. Raúl reminded seminarians to “not give in to fear! The Lord has made a promise to us: ‘Rivers of living water will flow from within him who believes in me’ [Jn 7:38]. Instead, look at the signs of hope that are even more powerful! They surround us if we but open our eyes to what the Lord is showing us, like Ezekiel.”

Click here to read Fr. Raúl’s full homily.

Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, provincial superior of the US Province, was the main celebrant.

The women’s shelter is a part of the Sacred Heart Center in Eagle Butte

Women’s shelter begins to take shape

Greg Fisher, executive director of the Sacred Heart Center in Eagle Butte, SD, wrote that “The building project [women’s shelter] has made some good advancement since the pouring of our floor back on July 30.  The outside and inside walls are up, header boards have been installed, trusses for the east office wing are up and the next move to install the trusses over our commons area is on deck to be done. Two additional framers from Scull Construction are coming to assist with the project, with a full framing crew out of Minnesota being put on alert if needed.  With this in place we should see consistent progress.”

AICSN group gathering at their last on-campus event

St. Joseph’s joins national network for Native American schools

On September 2, St. Joseph’s Indian School accepted the invitation to join the American Indian Catholic Schools Network (AICSN) at the University of Notre Dame. St. Joseph’s Indian School is the eighth school to be welcomed to the network.

“Membership gives us a unique place to build community with our colleagues in Native American education, an opportunity to collaborate professionally and a depth of resources for education and leadership building,” said Mike Tyrell, school president. “Participation in research and curriculum-building are additional benefits. Belonging to the network is a tremendous honor, and we are excited to share what we bring to the table, as well.”

AICSN began in 2013 at Creighton University and included five reservation schools. In 2017 it came under the direction of the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE). In 2019 the network grew to include De La Salle Black Feet School in Browning, Mont., Red Cloud Indian School, Pine Ridge, S.D., St. Augustine Indian Mission School, Winnebago, Neb., St. Charles Mission School, St. Carlos, Ariz., St. Joseph’s Mission School, San Fidel, N.M., St. Mary’s Mission, Red Lake, Minn., and St. Michael Indian School, St. Michaels, Ariz.

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