Weekly News: April 3, 2023

“Like Peter and John, let us run towards the risen Jesus.  This race will last as long as our short life, with temporary pauses granted by the mercy of God and the love of our Lord.  Let us run, let us leave everything behind for the greater good, and let us never look back.”

Leo John Dehon, SCJ, The Year with the Sacred Heart, “Easter Saturday”

IMAGE AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE: Stained glass window of the Resurrection in St Columbian Church in Garden Grove, CA, where Fr. Henry Nguyen, SCJ, was ordained to the priesthood on December 17, 2022.

Easter schedule

The Provincial Offices will close at 2:00 p.m. on Holy Thursday (April 6) and reopen on Easter Tuesday (April 11). There will be no Fridge Notes next week on Easter Monday (April 10). Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, will be with the Mississippi community during Triduum and Easter, assisting the pastoral team and spending time with the community.

You are invited

The parish staff at St. Martin of Tours in Franklin invites local SCJs and employees to join the parish for Triduum and/or Easter.

The schedule for the Paschal Triduum liturgies:

Holy Thursday (April 6), Last Supper Mass at 7:00 pm
Good Friday Liturgy at 7:00 pm
Holy Saturday, Easter Vigil at 8:15 pm

“It would be an honor for us to have our SCJ brothers and priests with us during these holy days,” said Fr. Andrzej Sudol, SCJ, pastor. “Those who wish to concelebrate are very welcome, but they must bring their albs.”

On Easter Sunday (April 9) the Masses are at 8:30 am, 10:30 am, and 12:30 pm in Vietnamese.

Click here to access the St. Martin of Tours website.

Three years later

One of many things put on hold by the pandemic was the twice-yearly gathering of the administrations of the Canadian Region and US Province. The last time the group met was in Toronto in December 2019. “COVID” had not yet entered the daily vocabulary of the world and plans were made to meet again in April 2020.

Just about three years later, that meeting finally took place last week (March 28) at the US Provincial Offices in Hales Corners, WI.

Around the table were several new faces, including a new provincial superior for the US Province (Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ), and several new councilors for both entities, among them SCJs Fr. Willyans Prado Rapozo from Canada, and Fr. Rafael Querobin, Br. Duane Lemke and Fr. Greg Schill for the US Province. Actually, Fr. Greg –– stuck in South Dakota by another spring storm –– took part via a communications service few people had heard of when the administrations last met: Zoom!

The North American gatherings are a moment for the two groups to discuss common issues, seek ways of collaboration and update each other on their ministries and communities.

Topics at last week’s meeting included the 2023 chapters in each entity, and initial preparations for next year’s General Chapter. Fr. Will is a member of the General Chapter Preparatory Committee and was able to talk about the committee’s first in-person meeting earlier this month in Rome and how the group established the theme for the General Chapter: “Called to be one in a transforming world: ‘That they may believe.’” (JN 17:21)

Much of Tuesday’s meeting was devoted to the discussion of collaborative efforts such as the North American Dehonian Theological Commission, social concerns, lay Dehonian groups (and seeking more ways to share Dehonian spirituality beyond the SCJs), vocations, and possibilities for the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the founder’s death in 2025.

The next meeting of the North American administrations will take place in Toronto on October 24. Click here to view a few more photos on the province Facebook page.


Last week the Provincial Council voted to approve SCJ Frater Paul Phong Hoang’s request to make his perpetual profession. The ceremony will take place at Sacred Heart Monastery / Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology on May 11, 2023, at 4:00 p.m.


Fr. Francis Vu Tran, SCJ, has been appointed as superior of the St. Joseph Community at SHML. His three-year term begins on May 1, 2023. Br. Frank Presto, SCJ, was appointed as local treasurer and Fr. Henry Nguyen, SCJ, was named first councilor.

Centennial plans

Plans for the celebration of the Centennial of Dehonian ministry in the United States are coming together. There will be a large gathering on Sunday, July 16 at Sacred Heart Monastery/ Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology for benefactors, alumni and other friends of the community. This will begin with a 10:30 a.m. Mass followed by lunch and other activities.

The “family” celebration will be on Monday, July 17, which will include SCJs, employees and others who work with the SCJs in the Milwaukee area, and representatives from province ministries outside of the Milwaukee area. Eucharist on Monday will begin at 4:30 p.m., followed by a social and dinner.

The celebration in Lower Brule will be on Sunday, July 30. The bishop of Rapid City (Bishop Peter Muhich) will be the presider at the Mass in Lower Brule and Fr. Stefan Tertünte, SCJ, provincial superior of Germany (the mother province to the US) will be the homilist. Several other major superiors of SCJ entities will attend either the Wisconsin or South Dakota celebrations.

SCJs from any entity are welcome at all events; invitations will soon be sent. In several weeks Fr. Vien Nguyen will send an invitation for the July 16th gathering to alumni and former SCJs who were a part of Esprit de Coeur.

Council meeting dates

The Provincial Council finalized its meeting schedule through the end of this year:

May 9-10
June 27-28
August 15-16
September 26-27
October 24 (Toronto with Canadian administration)
November 7-8
January 9-10

Also, there will be a short meeting via Zoom on April 11 at 1:30 p.m. (central).

A reminder: these and other items can be found in the North American online calendar. Click here to access it or from the bottom of the province website or e-mail version of the Fridge Notes.

Living wax museum

Third-graders at St. Joseph’s Indian School hosted a “living” wax museum on March 23 as a part of on-campus parent-teacher conference day.

Nineteen students wore period clothing related to a historical figure of their choice. Each child studied their person and prepared to act the part. When prompted by the push of a button, the mannequin-still students came to life and recited their biographies.

Harriet Tubman, Clara Barton, Susan B. Anthony and Benjamin Franklin were all present. Josephine Sazue explained, “I chose Harriet Tubman because she was interesting, and I wanted to learn more about how she helped free slaves.”

Sophia Black Moon had a different reason for her choice, saying that because she aspires to be a nurse someday, she took on the persona of Clara Barton.

“I wanted to be Susan B. Anthony because she devoted her time to helping women have the right to vote,” said K’AnndieLove Chasing Hawk.

For Chantz Middletent, what drew him to play Benjamin Franklin was learning about the experiments Franklin did.

Photo: Angel Stead takes on the part of Amelia Earhart.

Keep in prayer

Fr. Jim Walters received a call from his mother’s hospice nurse indicating that his mother, Ann Walters, is declining rapidly. Fr. Jim will drive to Harrisburg, PA, this Thursday to be with her.

One more budget reminder

A reminder: all province budgets (individual, community and corporate) are due to the Provincial Treasurer’s Office on April 10. If you have questions about budget preparation, please contact a member of the Treasurer’s Office ASAP: Dn. David Nagel, SCJ, Kevin Stanke or Chris Lambert.

Tea anyone?

Our closing photo for the week is from Sacred Heart School in Southaven, MS, where Br. Diego Diaz, SCJ, joined Pk3 students for a tea party. Is that an ice cream cone alongside your Earl Grey Br. Diego? Hmmm…

Click here to subscribe to the weekly news (Fridge Notes) via email