Weekly news: April 11, 2011

Fr. Charlie Bisgrove speaking at recent province gathering.

Remembered around the world

Fr. Charles Bisgrove died April 10; on April 7 he suffered a massive stroke. Born in Lorain, Ohio, he professed vows with the Priests of the Sacred Heart in 1972. Before his ordination to the priesthood in 1990, Fr. Charlie, 58, had been a brother with the community for 18 years.

During his nearly 40 years as an SCJ, Fr. Charlie was involved in a wide variety of ministries.  He served in diocesan administration in San Bernardino, was a formation director, held numerous administrative roles in the province (including provincial councilor and provincial secretary), was a parish pastor, served as a fire and police chaplain (as well as an emergency chaplain with the National Transportation and Safety Board), and was a missionary in India.

Fr. Charlie preaching at a prayer service at Sacred Heart Monastery.

Most recently, he was a member of the Sacred Heart Monastery community and served in a variety of roles in formation and liturgy at Sacred Heart School of Theology.

Click here to read more about Fr. Charlie.

Condolences from around the world have been pouring in since news of Fr. Charlie’s death was announced.

“In our community we have been praying, especially because some of us knew Fr. Charles,” wrote Fr. Sandro Capoferri, a member of the formation team in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.  “In a particular way the two Indian brothers with us were deeply touched by his illness and now death. One of them put on the board a photo of Fr. Charles, a photo taken when Fr. Charles was in India during his valuable service to that SCJ community. They have good memories of his presence and work in India.

“We would like to share our sincere sympathies for the loss of Fr. Charles. We are sure that now the SCJs in the United States and in India have a powerful supporter and intercessor in heaven!”

“I was so sorry to hear about the death of Fr. Charles Bisgrove,” wrote Fr. Jarek Grzegorczyk of the Polish Province. “I was shocked when I got the news; it was very painful for me. I enjoyed meeting him at the beginning of this year in Pliszczyn in Poland. He promised to come to Poland for the Dehonian Youth Days and lead workshops in English for young people. He wanted to share with us his experience of faith and missionary work.  I remember his zeal and enthusiasm when he met with our young Polish Dehonians. Today in Pliszczyn we celebrated Holy Mass for the repose of his soul.”

The wake for Fr. Charlie will be 7 p.m. on April 14 at Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wis.  On April 15 there will be a viewing from 4 – 6:30 p.m. at St. Martin of Tours Church in Franklin, followed by the funeral at 7 p.m.  There will be a private internment on Saturday morning.

From South Dakota to the Philippines

Fr. Bernie Rosinski

Fr. Bernie Rosinski left the home missions of South Dakota to spend several weeks with the SCJs’ mission in the Philippines.  He left from Chicago on Saturday, flew to Seoul, South Korea, and from there made his way to Manila.  In a few days he will fly to Cagayan de Oro to join the formation community.

Fr. Bernie goes at the request of the Philippine District, which invites SCJs from other parts of the congregation to spend time with the community to introduce younger members and candidates to the worldwide order.

“I helped them with their English simply by speaking with them,” said Fr. Frank Wittouck, who spent time with the Philippine community last year. “I shared stories of the congregation as well as my own vocation.”

Fr. Bernie will do much of the same, working to build the students’ English skills (Fr. Bernie has a degree in linguistics) and sharing his history with the congregation.  During a brief visit to Hales Corners last week he practiced by telling a few stories to Brs. Jonathan Luiz Schneiders and Sérgio Shoiti Matumoto of Brazil, two SCJ ESL students preparing to go to the Philippines.

Fr. Bernie will also help the district as it prepares its directory –– a set of guidelines for operation of the district.  It’s the type of work that comes easily to Fr. Bernie after having served as provincial secretary in the U.S. Province and in the general secretary’s office in Rome.

He will return to the U.S. Province on May 25.

Fr. Bill Pitcavage, Fr. Mark Mastin and Fr. Tom Cassidy following Fr. Mark's graduation from chaplain training.

In the Army now!

Last week Fr. Mark Mastin completed the final part of the Chaplain Basic Officer Leader Course at Fort Jackson in preparation for service as a chaplain in the U.S. Army.  Fr. Tom Cassidy and Fr. Bill Pitcavage traveled to South Carolina for Fr. Mark’s graduation on April 8.

Fr. Mark Mastin

Fr. Mark’s first assignment will be at Schoefield Barracks in Hawaii on the island of Oahu.  It is the home of the 25th Infantry Division, which primarily serves the Asian theater, but is dispatched to other locations as well.

Pastoral ministry will be a significant part of Fr. Mark’s job, but so too will be personal and family counseling for people of all faiths.

Eighty-seven chaplains graduated with Fr. Mark. In the Army there are approximately 100 Catholic chaplains and 1,000 protestant chaplains that serve 130 faith traditions.

Prayer requests

Fr. Leonard Elder: Fr. Leonard’s aunt and her son were found dead in their St. Louis home last week.  Fr. Leonard is a member of the SCJ community in Mississippi with residence in Holly Springs.

Br. Ray Kozuch: He will undergo surgery to repair a hernia on Wednesday, April 13.

Fr. Bill Pitcavage: Fr. Bill’s brother, Stanley Pitcavage, is in the advanced stages of cancer.  He asks for prayers for Stanley and his family.

Tom Tucker: The former member of the U.S. Province had a stroke April 6.  Although he had been in ICU for observation, he was released over the weekend and is recovering at home.  His wife, Lucy, said that he is expected to make a full recovery in approximately three months.  He has some numbness on the left side of his body and difficulty with fine motor skills but again, is doing well.

Cards can be sent to the Tuckers at: 1910 E. Maya Lane, Mt. Prospect, IL 60056

Back home

Br. Frank Presto is back in Milwaukee following surgery at the Mayo Clinic last week to address structural issues in the facial area where he had been treated for cancer.  He has a bit of swelling and slight discoloration in the face, but overall the surgery went very well.  He is already in the office and writes the following:

“I wish to thank all of you for your thoughts, prayers, support and emails last week.  The surgery went very well and the healing process continues.  It is expected that this will solve a couple of concerns that have arisen since the original surgery in January, 2003.  Please know that your support is greatly appreciated.”

Healthy baby girl!

Last week SCJs learned that Br. Duane Lemke’s sister, Marta, had complications with her pregnancy.  On Friday Br. Duane was happy to report that she gave birth to a healthy baby girl named Mercedese Marie Stirling.  Br. Duane said that she is named for their Grandmother Lemke.

SCJ Shrine listed on Archdiocesan site

The Sacred Heart Shrine on the grounds of Sacred Heart Monastery/School of Theology is now featured on the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s website.  The site has a new section that highlights four shrines in the Milwaukee area: the Basilica – National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians at Holy Hill near Hubertus, the Marian Shrine in Milwaukee, the Schoenstatt Shrine in Waukesha and the SCJs’ Sacred Heart Shrine.

Click here to view the information online.


Fr. Dominic Peluse’s new email address: d.peluse@att.net

Provincial’s time

This week Fr. Tom Cassidy will be in South Dakota for C-POSH board meetings. Later in the week he will take part in the funeral services for Fr. Charlie Bisgrove.  April 18 – May 5 Fr. Tom will be in Rome for CMSM meetings.

Upcoming meetings and events:

April 14:  Wake for Fr. Charlie Bisgrove, SHST, 7 p.m.
April 15: Funeral for Fr. Charlie Bisgrove, St. Martin of Tours, 7 p.m.
May 1: Easter Concert, 2 p.m. (SHST)
May 9-11: Provincial Council meeting (budgets
May 17 & 19: Masses for the anointing of the sick, (SHST) 1 p.m.
May 21: Dn. Greg Schill’s priesthood ordination (San Antonio)
May 23-24: North American councils meeting (Chicago)
June 11: Ordination of Dn. Duy Nguyen to the priesthood (Sacred Heart Monastery)
July 1: Feast of the Sacred Heart, Mass at SHST, 11 a.m.
Week of July 11: Province Assembly, Hales Corners, Wis.
August 30-31: Provincial Council Meeting
October. 2: Pet Blessing (SHST)
October 4-5: Provincial Council Meeting
November 14-16: SCJ Retreat, Pinellas Park
December 14-15: Provincial Council Meeting
December 18: Advent Concert, 2 p.m.