Weekly News: September 30, 2019

Hello, my name is…

Students, candidates and novices with their directors

Each year we ask our students in formation to introduce themselves. This year’s group includes six candidates, six professed seminarians, and four novices. They are men from a wide variety of cultural, educational and work backgrounds. Yet they all speak of their shared call to the spirituality found in the Priests of the Sacred Heart (Dehonians) and a desire to serve others.

“Religious life is a call but also a choice,” wrote Frater Hubert Kodjovi Liassidji, SCJ, who professed his first vows this year. “It is one thing to have a call but another to choose to respond to it. I chose to answer God’s call and through formation with the SCJs, I discovered and continue to discover my true identity. I recognize Christ by serving and giving myself to the poor, and further, I become a disciple of Jesus Christ through the teachings of Fr. Dehon.”

First-year candidate Steven DiNello wrote that “I have tried my hand at many different career paths, but since it has always been my dream to one day become a Catholic priest, nothing else fulfilled me nor brought me the kind of joy and peace that I am experiencing now that I have finally answered the call.” Yet, he emphasizes that those “extra years of life experiences and discernment only help me more to embody the spirituality of the Sacred Heart that is necessary to become a true Dehonian.”

Click here to read more about our SCJs, novices and candidates in formation.

Candidates and seminarians for the Priests of the Sacred Heart live at Sacred Heart Monastery in Hales Corners (Franklin), WI. They do their theological studies at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology and undergraduate work at Marquette University in Milwaukee. Our novitiate is located on a rural property approximately 15 miles south of Sacred Heart.

Do you know of someone discerning a vocation to the priesthood and/or religious life? Contact our vocation director at vocationcentral@wi.twcbc.com or call 1-800-609-5559.

Schedule note

There will be no Fridge Notes published next Monday, October 7. However, we do hope to bring you photos from the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the SCJs’ presence in India. It will take place October 5-6. Among the SCJs attending from North America: Fr. Quang Nguyen, Fr. Gustave Lulendo, Br. Leonard Zaworski (he spent many years as a missionary in India) and Fr. Dominic Peluse. Of course, Fr. Tom Cassidy, who has been assisting in the formation community for the past few months, will also be there. 

Be sure to check the province Facebook page for updates.

Fr. Raúl Gómez-Ruiz, SDS (SHSST president-rector), Archbishop Christophe Pierre and Fr. Charles Brown, SCJ, in front of “Our Lady of Compassion”

SCJ’s artwork blessed by Apostolic Nuncio

On September 25, Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology was host to a meeting of seven bishops who came together to spend a day with the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, to discuss common pastoral concerns. At the end of the day, the bishops concelebrated Mass with the seminary community.

During the liturgy, “Our Lady of Compassion,” an icon created by Fr. Charles Brown, SCJ (SHSST assistant professor of Scripture Studies), was blessed by Archbishop Pierre. The hand-crafted wood frame that holds the image was built by Fr. Byron Haaland, SCJ (US Province Novice Master).

Besides the archbishop,  participants in last week’s gathering included Bishop Robert Coerver (Diocese of Lubbock), Bishop Joseph Kopacz (Diocese of Jackson), Bishop Joseph Mark Spalding (Diocese of Nashville), Bishop Joseph Tyson (Bishop of Yakima), Bishop William Wack, CSC (Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee), Bishop Michael Warfel (Diocese of Great Falls-Billings) and Bishop Thomas Zinkula (Bishop of Davenport). Archbishop Jerome Listecki (Archdiocese of Milwaukee) welcomed fellow bishops during a private gathering Tuesday afternoon. Dr. Barbara Anne Cusack, JCD, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee (and chairperson of the SHSST Board of Directors), facilitated the bishops’ discussions.

Click here to view photos of the liturgy; they are also posted on the province Facebook page.

Thank you

Fr. Richard Johnston, SCJ, writes the following in regard to the death of his sister: “I returned from Minneapolis and arrived safely. Thank you for your concern this month during my sister, Mary Jean’s, final journey to the Lord. She died peacefully and was supported by her five sons and daughter. The prayers of many were gratefully appreciated. Gratefully, Fr. Dick.”

Members of the North American Migration Committee: Fr. Jan de Jong, Mark Peters, Fr. Peter McKenna, Fr. Tony Russo, Lily Ooi and Br. Diego Diaz (not pictured: Fr. Richard MacDonald)

New faces on North American Migration Committee

Last week Monday and Tuesday, members of the North American Migration Committee met at the Provincial Conference Center in Hales Corners. The committee, whose members include SCJs and lay persons from both the Canadian Region and US Province, has developed a wide variety of educational efforts and actions in regard to migration. In April, the committee collaborated with Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology to bring Sr. Norma Pimentel, MJ, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, to speak about migration issues on the Texas – Mexico border.

The group is currently developing a presentation on human trafficking that they hope to offer on November 18 in conjunction with their next meeting. More information will be shared in the weeks ahead.

Members of the North American Migration Committee include Fr. Jan de Jong, SCJ, Mark Peters, Fr. Peter McKenna, SCJ, Fr. Tony Russo, SCJ, Lily Ooi, Br. Diego Diaz, SCJ and Fr. Richard MacDonald, SCJ.


October birthdays

Those celebrating birthdays in October include: Fr. John van den Hengel (80) on Oct. 1, Fr. Ed Zemlik (62) on Oct. 3, Fr. Tony Russo (81) and Fr. Bob Naglich (64) on Oct. 4, Br. Leonard Zaworski (77) on Oct. 8, Fr. Joseph Quang Tran (41) on Oct. 9, Fr. Tom Cassidy (77) on Oct. 13, Fr. Paul Grizzelle Reid (76) and Br. Dieudonné Tchouteu (57) on Oct. 14, Fr. Maurice Légaré (65) on Oct. 15, Fr. Christianus Hendrik (50) on Oct. 21, Fr. Bob Bossie (82) on Oct. 23, and Fr. Richard Johnston (87) and Candidate Kenneth Chidozie Anyanwu (47) on Oct. 27. Happy birthday!

The birthdays of SCJs in North America are listed in the North American Google calendar. Click here to access it, or click on the Google Calendar icon at the bottom of any page within the US Province website. The calendar is also on the Members’ page of the website.

Two hours in the dunk tank!

Fr. Greg

Fr. Greg Schill, SCJ, a member of the pastoral team in northern Mississippi, recently shared a bit about ministry in the area:

“In Mississippi, we are blessed to have a steady growth of parishioners at the parishes which Fr. Thi Pham, Fr. David Szatkowski and I staff. [The pastoral team serves six parishes.] Whether it be Sunday Mass, daily Mass, weddings or a funeral, we have worked hard to ensure that the parishes remain full of life. Five of the six churches have had renovations. Some renovations have been small in scale while others involved extensive gutting and rebuilding. Fr. Thi has done a fantastic job in his role as moderator, not an easy chore in any way, shape or form! But he has done well in overseeing these renovations and dealing with day-to-day matters.

“This time of year gets busy with parish festivals. On Saturday, September 21, we had our annual bazaar at Holy Spirit Church in Hernando. I spent nearly two hours in the dunk tank! But it was a lovely experience. On October 5, Christ the King in Southaven will have its fall fest and then Queen of Peace in Olive Branch will have a fall fest on October 12. We have a fantastic and dedicated group of volunteers that make these parish festivals possible; best of all is the time that we get to spend together as a parish family.”

Fr. Greg is pictured at right taking care of the dishes following a funeral luncheon at Queen of Peace in Olive Branch.

Personnel directory

The 2019 North American personnel directory is at the printer and will be mailed at the beginning of October. Both high and low-resolution PDFs are available for download at the top of the online directory webpage. The lower resolution version is appropriate for use on a smart phone or other mobile device. The PDF can be stored in a variety of places on the phone, including the “Books” app on iPhone or in a Dropbox folder linked to your phone.

A reminder:  the online directory is password-protected and can be found in the Members’ section of the US Province website.

Fr. Ed receives Jean’s vow renewal

Vow renewal

Congratulations to Jean Rafanomiezantosa, one of our SCJ conferees from Madagascar, who renewed his vows last Thursday during Adoration at Sacred Heart Monastery. Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ received the vows.

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