Weekly News: September 19, 2016

Donna Williamson, coordinator of Religious Education at Christ the King parish in Southaven, MS
Donna Williamson, coordinator of Religious Education at Christ the King parish in Southaven, MS

Be a missionary close to home

Donna Williamson, coordinator of Religious Education at Christ the King parish in Southaven, MS, wrote a reflection about teaching the faith to young people. It appeared in the September 16 issue of Dehonian Spirituality. Donna writes:

“I have had the pleasure and great opportunity to work as a Coordinator of Religious Education under several SCJ pastors. They have all made the education of our children a top priority, but also instilled the importance of living our faith over simply receiving ‘head-knowledge.’ Many things can be taught to our children — we can test them to see how well they know their faith — but through the influence of the SCJs, I have come to realize that it is just as important for us to teach our children to live their faith, which is to take care of the poor, the sick, the lonely, and the lost…

“Over the years I have seen a great increase in the way our young people respond to each other and to the call to serve others. They have truly embraced the Dehonian spirit (even if they do not know it). They are living their faith by going out into the world to help others. Their actions are speaking loudly to our parishes and our community. I’m often approached about doing mission work. We only need to look in our own backyard, in our own community, to see that there is a need for our helping hands — a need that we are obligated to meet. Our youth are learning that mission work does not have to be in another city, state, or country. We can be missionaries without going out of our own area.”

Click here to read the full issue.


Frater Juancho with his "Ecce Venio" team in Brazil
Frater Juancho with his “Ecce Venio” team in Brazil

SCJ student “jumps in” to ministry

“Jumping in!! Yes, that was the way my ministry began in Brazil,” wrote Frater Juancho Castañeda Rojas, who recently began his apostolic year in the country. “I could never have imagined that I would have such amazing experiences only two days after my arrival. I am grateful to experience a new culture, new language, and a new community whose members have been really welcoming to me.

“’Juan, would you like to participate in the Ecce Venio Camp?’ was the question that would change and give direction to my journey in Brazil. ‘Ecce Venio’ [Behold, I come] –– many times I have heard that phrase and understood it as a pillar of our Dehonian charism. Because of the purpose of the camp I cannot reveal the activities that we did, but I can say it was not what I was expecting at all. It was more intense than I thought it would be, filled with many challenges that required strength, team effort, trust, and abandonment…

“I really have to admit I was super-tired after this camp. But the physical feeling did not take away the overwhelming feeling of renewal of my spirituality as a Dehonian. That was because the camp gave a stronger meaning to what Ecce Venio really means.”

Click here to read Frater Juancho’s full post on the province blog


Fr. Tom and his sous chefs
Fr. Tom and his sous chefs

Also on the blog

One of Fr. Tom Cassidy’s recent blog posts was about the celebration of “Onam,” one of the largest festivals in the State of Kerala, India. To start the day, Fr. Tom was the breakfast chef. The following is excerpted from the post:

“I woke this morning at about 4:50 am to get ready for kitchen duty as our crew of four brothers [students] and myself agreed to begin preparations for breakfast at 5:30 am. Breakfast was scheduled for 7:45 am so that gave us sufficient time for all the cooking and preparation that had to be done. This is, of course, the feast of Onam.

“It went over well. Not one of the brothers had ever tasted scrambled eggs. My crew showed up on time and we spent the first hour getting all the preparation work out of the way, especially peeling and slicing potatoes for the fried potato dish and peeling and chopping onions for both their fried potatoes and scrambled eggs. Yes, tears were shed over the onions but they were happy tears.

“We were able to finish everything and have the meal out and ready before the brothers came from either chapel, or in case of our basketball team, from practice. The eggs were perfect. I told Shabu [an SCJ student] that once we had cracked the eggs his job was to ‘beat the bejesus out of them to get as much air into them as we can!’ Shabu performed his task admirably.”

Click here to read the full blog post.

“We need it ASAP!”

That’s what Br. Ben Humpfer said when he asked to put a reminder in the Fridge Notes. “Please ask those who promised to write an Advent reflection for the Vocation Office to get it to me ASAP!”

We can’t be more direct than that UNLESS WE TYPE IN CAPITAL LETTERS. PLEASE GET YOUR ADVENT REFLECTIONS TO THE VOCATION OFFICE if you agreed to write one. Questions? Contact Br. Ben at 414-530-1003 or email him at humpfer1966@gmail.com


Parishioners from OLG, Houston, in the Fiestas Patrias
Parishioners from OLG, Houston, in the Fiestas Patrias


Our Lady of Guadalupe parish – Asociación Guadalupanas were among those who took part in the September 17 Fiestas Patrias parade in Houston. This was the 48th Fiestas Patrias, which celebrates Hispanic culture and achievement. The Fiestas Patrias Parade also marks the historic event of Die y Sies de Septiembre, signaling Mexico’s independence from Spain. Fr. Duy Nguyen is pastor of OLG; the parish team also includes Fr. Tim Gray and Br. Andy Gancarczyk.

Keep in prayer

Kevin Stanke, province accountant, asks for prayers for his nephew, Justin Castillo, 28. He will have surgery on Thursday, September 22, to remove a malignant brain tumor. “If everything goes well he will then begin radiation and chemotherapy,” said Kevin.

Please remember

+Fr. Mario Sangiorgio, a member of the North Italian Province, died September 12. He was born in 1923, professed in 1940 and ordained in 1949.

Latest SCJ News available

Click here to download a PDF of the September SCJ News. Printed copies are in the mail. The SCJ News is published by the US Province six times a year and includes features about the ministries and members of the Priests of the Sacred Heart. Click here if you would like to be added to the mailing list. When doing so, be sure to give your full postal address, not just your email address.

Click here to view the SCJ News online archives from 2009-2016.

SHSST receives grant

Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Templeton Foundation to develop a course that is a mix of the disciplines of science and theology.  “The Science of Forgiveness,” is the title of the course that was proposed for the grant. The seminary hopes to offer it for the first time in the fall or 2017; it will be open to seminarians and lay students.



Feast of Blessed Juan Maria de la Cruz

On Thursday, September 22, the Church celebrates the feast of Blessed Juan Maria de la Cruz, the first SCJ to be named blessed. He was beatified on March 11, 2001.

In the midst of the turbulent years of civil strife in Spain from 1931-36, the Catholic Church in Spain suffered one of the most difficult persecutions in its history. Churches, seminaries, rectories, monasteries and convents were sacked and destroyed. Thirteen bishops, 4,184 priests, 2,365 religious brothers, 283 nuns and thousands of lay Catholics were killed.

On July 23, 1936, Fr. Juan Maria traveled to Valencia seeking refuge with one of the congregation’s benefactors. Walking from the train station he passed the church of “los Santos Juanes” in the center of the city. There he witnessed men desecrating and burning the church. Fr. Juan shouted in protest. When the men heard his shouting, they said to each other: “He is a reactionary.”

“No, I am a priest!” said Fr. Juan.

That was all that was needed to arrest him.

On the night of August 23, 1936, Fr. Juan María, together with nine other prisoners, was taken south of Valencia to be shot. The next day the bodies of the victims were thrown into a common grave in the cemetery of Silla.

Click here to read more about Bl. Juan Maria and access links to further resources.

Click here to view photos from Fr. Juan’s life and of his beatification.

Provincial’s time

Fr. Jean-Marie enjoying one of Milwaukee's famous German restaurant.
Fr. Jean-Marie enjoying one of Milwaukee’s famous German restaurant.

Fr. Ed Kilianski is in the Milwaukee area most of the next two weeks. However, starting in October he will be spending much of his time in airports, going to Mississippi for Mission Education October 8-12 and from there, flying to South Dakota for board meetings October 12-13. A few days later he goes to Buffalo, NY, to visit family before heading to Toronto for the North American council meetings October 17-18.

Last week Fr. Ed hosted Fr. Jean-Marie Signié, provincial superior of Cameroon, who visited with the Provincial Council on Tuesday. A canon lawyer with a doctorate from St. Paul’s University in Ottawa, Fr. Jean-Marie is also an alumnus of Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology’s ESL program. He was named provincial superior of Cameroon last year following Fr. Léopold Mfouakouet’s election to the General Council.

Where to take the provincial superior of Cameroon for dinner during his visit to Milwaukee? To a German restaurant for pork shank and sauerkraut, of course! [Perhaps a nod toward our general superior, Fr. Heiner Wilmer?]