Weekly news: September 19, 2022

Developing “possible and doable” fundraising proposals

From September 12-14, members of the General Finance Commission, along with several SCJ fundraisers from around the congregation, met at the Provincial Conference Center in Hales Corners, WI. Organized by the General Treasurer’s Office and hosted by the US Province, it was a time for participants to better learn about what is already being done in the congregation in regard to fundraising, and to look toward the future: how can the congregation best meet the financial needs of the Priests of the Sacred Heart and its ministries?

The last General Chapter included discussions about fundraising and the need for it to be further developed at the general level. “Then the COVID stopped everything,” said Fr. Luca Zottoli, SCJ, general treasurer. “That’s why we are so ‘late’ in gathering to discuss this topic.” One of the tasks of the meeting was to develop “possible and doable” proposals regarding fundraising to bring forth to the next General Chapter, added Fr. Luca.

Dehonians serve people in some of the most challenging areas of the world, but prayers and goodwill alone cannot feed, educate, shelter, or provide other vital services to those in need.

Fundraising, emphasized meeting participants, is not simply about accumulating money. It is a vital component of ministry itself.

“As Fr. Luca said during our gathering, communication is vital when it comes to finances and fundraising,” said Dn. David Nagel, SCJ, US Provincial Treasurer (he is pictured at the top of the page). “It is good to work together to not only look at ways to better support our ministries around the world, but to also continue to work in a spirit of collaboration and transparency in use of our resources in service to the Church.”

Click here to read more and access photos from the meeting.

Rite of Commissioning

Earlier this month Alfonso Pizano, Jr., one of of our seminarians at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, was among those commissioned during the seminary’s Rite of Commissioning for Pastoral Service. A second-year candidate with the Priests of the Sacred Heart, Alfonso will do his service at St. Martin of Tours parish and will be supervised by Fr. Andrzej Sudol, SCJ. Alfonso can be seen in the front row, second from the right.

Celebrating 75 years of commitment to Catholic education

On Saturday, September 17, Sacred Heart School in Southaven, MS, celebrated its 75th anniversary with a day filled with activities for students, staff, alumni and friends of the school.

It began with a family picnic and games on campus. Inside, the school was filled with pictures and memorabilia from past years. Former educators were on hand to greet alumni and reminisce.

Mass was celebrated in the school gymnasium with Bishop Joseph Kopacz (Diocese of Jackson) as the main celebrant. Alongside him were Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, provincial superior, Fr. Jack Kurps, SCJ, executive director of Sacred Heart Southern Missions (and vice provincial superior) and Fr. David Szatkowski, SCJ, local superior of the community. Over 400 people attended the liturgy.

The mayor of Southaven, Darren Musselwhite, declared September 17 as Sacred Heart School Day and honored the school with a special proclamation. In addition, Sr. Virginia Reinl and Sr. Margaret Sue Broker were recognized with proclamations from Keidron Henderson, mayor of Walls, MS (the original location of Sacred Heart) for their contributions to the school.

The Sr. Margaret Sue Broker Walking Trail was dedicated following the Mass, complete with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and celebratory lap. The day ended with fireworks and live music performed by alumni bands.

Click here to view a video of the anniversary Mass.

Click here to view photos from the celebration on the school’s Facebook page.

PICTURED ABOVE: Sr. Virginia Reinl and Sr. Margaret Sue Broker were recognized with proclamations from Keidron Henderson, mayor of Walls, for their contributions to the school.

And while they were celebrating in Mississippi…

Last Saturday was also the day of the 46th Annual St. Joseph’s Indian School Powwow in Chamberlain, SD. It was the first time that the event was open to the public since the start of the pandemic.

Fr. Greg Schill, SCJ, chaplain at St. Joseph’s, is pictured above during the dedication of the newly built Equine Therapy Center, which took place during powwow weekend.

Click here to learn more about the equine therapy program.

As for the powwow itself, click here to go to the St. Joseph’s Indian School Facebook page to view a wide variety of videos of the many dancers at this year’s gathering.

Need a computer sleeve?

The Dehon Tailoring Center in India was established by SCJs as a way for women in the village of Vempadu to earn money to help support their families. The center has produced a wide variety of products including purses, school uniforms and vestments. One of its newest offerings is a padded computer sleeve with the SCJ logo and “Dehonians” embroidered in the corner. It is 12.5 inches wide and 9.5 inches tall; it would be a good size for a small laptop computer or medium to large tablet. Besides the main compartment, there is also a zippered outer pocket that runs the length of the bag. The computer sleeve is pictured above.

The cost is $20. If you are interested in purchasing one of the sleeves, or have questions about it, contact either Pam Milczarski at pmilczarski@poshusa.org or Jessica Ramos at jramos@poshusa.org at the Province Development Office.

Canadian SCJs hold annual assembly

From September 12-15, 2022, the SCJ Region of Canada held its Annual Regional Assembly at Villa St-Martin in Pierrefonds, near Montreal. All but two members of the Region were present.

The Assembly began with an evening of sharing among SCJs about their experiences over the past year. It continued on Tuesday and Wednesday under the theme “Dehonians and the Social Field”, in reference to the last General Conference. Two facilitators, Ariane Collin and Frédéric Barriault, from the Center for Justice and Faith, a center for social analysis founded by the Jesuits, helped the participants deepen this theme in the light of the teaching of the Church, and in particular, of Pope Francis, as well as the writings of Fr. Dehon.

Tuesday evening was marked by a presentation by the Director General of the Séminaire du Sacré-Cœur on the current situation of the school and its future prospects, as well as by the testimony of two newcomers to Canada, Fr. Guy-Bertrand, SCJ, a student at St. Paul’s University in Ottawa, and Aurélie, a young refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, who spoke of the challenges they have faced and still face, as well as the blessings they have experienced since arriving in Canada.

The last day was devoted to the reports of the various committees and commissions of the Region, and the celebration of the anniversaries of profession and ordination. Those celebrating jubilees in the region include: Fr. Antonio Resende (10 years of religious vows), Fr. Elie Mzungo (20), Fr. Willyans Rapozo (20), Fr. Oki Kunchoro (20), Fr. Louis Marie Butari (40), and Fr. Maurice Légaré (45); and those with anniversaries of ordination included Fr.  Antonio Resende (5 years), Fr. Ushindi Kambale (5), Fr. Petrus Murwanto (10), Fr. Paul Tennyson (25), Fr. Maurice Légaré (40), Fr. Peter Sanders (55) and Fr. Roger Phaneuf (55).

Fall SCJ NEWS available

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Local Superiors meeting

After taking part in the anniversary celebrations at Sacred Heart School in Southaven, Fr. Vien Nguyen headed to Florida, where he and members of the Provincial Council will meet for two days with local superiors at the Sacred Heart Residence in Pinellas Park.

Much of the meeting will be spent in dialogue, sharing experiences and concerns regarding community life and the local superior’s role in it. Topics of discussion are to include eldercare and internationality, as well as the three pillars—community life, spirituality, and mission and ministry—that the Provincial Council has identified as its focus issues. “We ask local superiors to partner with us to bring these visions and ideas to fruition,” said Fr. Vien.

The afternoon of each day will be spent taking part in the online Eldercare Summit sponsored by the Conference of Major Superiors Men (CMSM). “With the increasing number of retired SCJs living in our local communities I think that it is important for us to take part in this,” said Fr. Vien.

Please keep the local superiors’ gathering in your prayers this week.

Feast of Bl. Juan Maria de la Cruz

Thursday, September 22, is the feast day of Bl. Juan Maria de la Cruz; the first SCJ to be named blessed. He was beatified on March 11, 2001.

“I am a priest.”  Under ordinary circumstances, this declaration would be understood as a mark of dedication and service.  During the Spanish Civil War, however, it was enough evidence for imprisonment and eventual execution.

“They are keeping me here, Reverend Father, imprisoned for three weeks because I uttered a few words of protest about the horrid spectacle of the churches being burned and profaned,” wrote Bl. Juan Maria to the SCJ superior general.

On the night of August 23, 1936, after a month in a Valencia jail, where he cared for the pastoral needs of many prisoners, Bl. Juan Maria and nine others were shot to death and buried in a common grave.  In 1940, his body was exhumed and could be identified by his profession cross; his Sacred Heart scapular, which had two bullet holes in it; and a small, bloodstained diary.  Today, his body is buried at the SCJ seminary in Puente la Reina, Spain.

Click here to read more about him.

World Day of Migrants and Refugees

Members of the North American Migration Committee write: “We invite you, wherever you are, to join with us to mark this September 25, World Day of Migrants and Refugees. We are pleased to offer to you this Prayer Service which you can use for your personal/communal reflection.

“On September 25, we are invited to revisit the story of our own families, each one being a migration story – some recent and others in the distant past.

“On this day each one of us is encouraged to engage in one action to ‘welcome, protect, promote and integrate’ migrants, refugees, survivors of human trafficking. Let us stand once again with migrants and with our fragile planet with renewed ‘creative, communal compassionate care.'”

Click here to access the prayer service.

Postcard from the Netherlands

Fr. Jan de Jong, SCJ, sends greetings from the Netherlands, where he is visiting family. He is pictured below with Br. Brian Tompkins, SCJ (a member of Fr. Jan’s community at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake) and Fr. Jan’s sister-in-law, Ria. They are standing in front of Muirderslot Castle in Naarden.

“The travel has been without a hitch or delay, and Fr. Jan is so glad to be with family in his homeland,” wrote Br. Brian.

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