Weekly News: September 18, 2017

Fr. Byron, Henry, Fr. Mark, Phong and Fr. Ed

Novices became a part of “tiyospaye” at St. Joe’s

This past weekend Novices Henry Nguyen and Paul Phong Hong attended the American Indian Day Powwow at St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, SD.

“At St. Joe’s we became ‘tiyospaye,’ a part of the extended family of St. Joe’s,” wrote Henry on the province blog. “The spirit of hospitality was well presented as we were welcomed by the SCJs who serve in South Dakota…

“We spent the weekend immersed in Lakota traditions and multiple cultural activities. At the Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center we got a snippet of the history of the Lakota people and how the SCJs came to South Dakota and established St. Joe’s. We also had lots of conversations with St. Joe’s students, teachers, houseparents, and staff…

“At the powwow I was able to feel Dehonian spirituality from those who were houseparents, teachers and staff at St. Joe’s, as well as in the benefactors,” wrote Henry on the province blog. “They all love with an open heart and mind. They come to serve those who are in need and most importantly, are for the youth.”

Click here to read Henry’s full reflection on the province blog.


Fr. Gustave, Fr. John, Fr. Charles and Fr. Zbigniew

North American theologians meet

Members of the North American Theological Commission met in Hales Corners September 12 to discuss ways of continuing the work of the International Theological Conference, “Charism and Devotions” held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, last July. Commission members: Fr. Gustave Lulendo N’dotony (Canada), Fr. John van den Hengel (Canada), Fr. Charles Brown (USA) and Fr. Zbigniew Morawiec (USA).

The commission emphasized the importance of not allowing the efforts of the international conference to simply be experienced by those who were there. It is up to each of the continental commissions to continue the experience in their home entities.

During its September meeting the North American Commission finalized “The Surplus of Charity,” the paper delivered by the commission in Indonesia. The paper was based on the results of the survey done with members of the Canadian Region and US Province in preparation for the international theological seminar. The paper will be among those to be published by the Centro Studi Dehoniani in an upcoming issue of Studia Dehoniana.

If you would like to read a copy of the paper, CLICK HERE.

Also during its meeting the commission decided to undertake a collaborative study of a major issue in Fr. Dehon’s writings, namely, the notion of “pure love.” How did the founder think that pure love could transform society? What did he mean by pure love?

The commission will meet again in February, 2018, with each member contributing research on the study.


Fr. Francisco’s house following the quake

SCJ both victim and aid worker following quake

As attention focused on the devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the people of southern Mexico were struggling to recover from a massive earthquake (8.1 magnitude) that happened late on September 7. Approximately 100 people are thought to have died because of it.

Among those affected was Fr. Francisco VanderHoff Boersma, a member of the Dutch Province who has worked for nearly 40 years among the indigenous peoples of the Sierra Juarez Mountains of Oaxaca.

“The misery caused by this earthquake and all the aftershocks is so overwhelming,” he wrote last week. “People come by and ask for help, food, clothes, shelter and that has to be organized. It is like an unsurmountable heap of demands and necessities. The problem is compounded by the fact that we are working in the backyard of Oaxaca, out of sight of officials who do not seem to be aware of the effect of the quake on the 140,000 people here.”

“Initial calculations are that at least 2,700 houses have been destroyed,” he added. Those that are still standing are in danger of collapse following another tremor. People are in urgent need of food and clothes; the area needs assistance in clearing roads of debris. He noted that food was sent by groups in other parts of Mexico but there is a bit of an unusual learning curve. “Our people are not acquainted with canned goods!”

Click here to read more about Fr. Francisco.

For information on how to make a donation toward earthquake relief efforts, click here.


Former SCJ releases new book

Tony Bruder, a former SCJ, writes that “I’ve written a book entitled, Dr. Tony’s Anxiety Solutions and Your Wisdom Within.  Consisting of 325 poems, it’s a self-directed course that empowers individuals to take charge of reducing their anxiety by applying a 14-step program in the way they find most effective in dealing with the pain they have so long experienced as victims of their own worries.

“When a person has gotten their anxiety under control they then can use this program as a 14-Step Healthy Living Program because it is a book about love, peace, and joy; a book about life and living.”

Click here to purchase the book on Amazon.

Tony Bruder has joined Dehonian Esprit de Corps, a growing spiritual and social fellowship group of SCJs, former SCJs, and SCJ seminary alumni.  The third quarterly mailing for the group went out on September 14, click here to view it.  Anyone who shares a common bond of academic and spiritual formation with the SCJs is welcome to join.  For more information contact David Schimmel, Director of Dehonian Associates, at dfschimmel@juno.com.

Memorial lunch

Kevin Larson, a member of the kitchen staff at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology for 18 years (employed through Sodexo) died August 1. On Wednesday, September 20, SHSST will feature some of Kevin’s specialities during lunch. His mother, Karen, will join the community at 11:00 a.m. Mass and then lunch.


SHML staff


The Oakbrook Corporation, which manages the senior apartment community at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake, received this year’s “Property Excellence in Senior Housing Award” from the Apartment Owners and Managers Association of Wisconsin. The award was presented during a gathering at the Wisconsin Club (downtown Milwaukee) on September 12. Pictured here with the award are Dave Sanders (SHML Maintenance Technician), Vicki Jezak (SHML Leasing Consultant) and Anita Jeter (SHML Property Manager)

SHML is a senior apartment community in Franklin, WI, owned and operated by the Priests of the Sacred Heart (two SCJ communities live in the northern wing of the complex). For rental inquiries call: 414-433-7252.

Provincial’s time

Fr. Ed Kilianski returns from South Dakota tomorrow. On September 21 he will take part in local community’s celebration of the ordination anniversaries of Fr. Paul Casper, Fr. Ed Griesemer and Fr. Johnny Klingler at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake. The next Provincial Council meeting is October 3-4, and the meeting of the Canadian and US councils is in Montréal October 16-17.

Closing shot

Earlier this month Fr. Jan de Jong celebrated his 60th anniversary of profession with three classmates at their former novitiate in Asten, Holland. “It was a moving experience with the present community there,” said Fr. Jan. He is pictured here (far right) with Fr. Gerard van Geel, a missionary in Northern Brazil and also a former provincial superior; Fr. Gerardus Pieterse, who ministered in Holland (alumnus of ESL at SHSST) and Fr. Alphonse Huisken, a missionary in Cameroon.