Share the news about you, your community or your ministry.
P.O. Box 289, Hales Corners, WI 53130-0289
Fridge Notes are generally posted by noon Central Standard Time on Mondays.
Continuing in collaboration
Youth outreach, immigration, and economic issues were among the topics discussed at the joint meeting of the administrations of the U.S. Province and Canadian Region October 21 at the Provincial Conference Center in Hales Corners, Wis.
Twice a year, leadership of the two entities gather to talk about topics of common concern and possibilities for collaboration.
“Our meeting today, just as with previous meetings and wider gatherings with the membership of both of our entities, isn’t a separate moment but a continuation of what has gone before,” said Fr. Stephen Huffstetter in his opening remarks. “We continue to build on the past as we look toward the future.”
Much of the afternoon session was with David Schimmel, director of Dehonian Associates for the U.S. Province. He presented an outline of a ten-session formation program for laity, based in the Dehonian charism. It is adapted from the “Spiritual Path,” a lay formation program introduced at the Dehonian Family Conference at the Generalate in Rome in May.
The administrations will next meet April 14 in Ottawa; preparation for the General Chapter will be the primary focus of that meeting.
Last week Fr. Yulius “Nardi” Sunardi successfully defended his doctoral thesis “Predictive Factors for Commitment to the Priestly Vocation: a Study of Priests and Seminarians.”
Members of the Sacred Heart Monastery Community, as well as other SCJs and friends, were among those who attended the defense at Marquette University October 21.
A member of the Indonesian Province, Fr. Nardi has lived with the Sacred Heart Monastery community for the past several years while studying for his doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Marquette. He is also an alumnus of the ESL program at SHSST.
Fr. Nardi will present the results of his research at the SHSST Rector’s Conference on November 19.
At home in Mississippi
Every year we ask our SCJs and candidates in formation to write a bit about themselves, updating the community on where they are in school and about some of the activities in which they are involved. This year’s formation update will be posted on the province website later in the week.
Once an SCJ is in final vows he is released from that yearly email from his formation director reminding him to “send that update in!”
But “after so many people supported me in formation, I thought that I should let them know what I am doing now,” said Br. Clay Diaz, who made his final profession in July.
Now a member of the SCJ community in Nesbit, Miss., Br. Clay said that he is “doing well in full-time ministry. I teach religion to the 8th grade boys and help new students as they transition to the school. Plus, I’m available for the little things; the things that Ms. Martin [Sacred Heart School principal] needs done.
“I truly enjoy my ministry here and the staff at Sacred Heart School. On the weekends I visit our parishes and like going to and taking part in sports. I even did my first 5K run/walk; it was a fund-raiser.” He plans to do another five kilometer race in December to celebrate his 50th birthday.
“Overall, I am happy here and doing well,” he added. “I am grateful to all who have supported me with their prayers.”
Home and gone
Fr. Tom Cassidy returned from India last week, where he assisted with various administrative tasks, including the district chapter. However, the stop home was only long enough to do some laundry, drop off a few gifts and say “hello” before packing up to leave again. Tomorrow, Oct. 28, he leaves for the Indonesian Province for three weeks.
As he did when he was in India, Fr. Tom will share his journal entries on the province blog. You can access the blog site at: www.scjusa.wordpress.com.
Pilgrimage to France
During the first week of October the Province Development Office hosted a pilgrimage to France that included visits not only to the many the famed historical sites of the country, but to significant sites of the Church and the Priests of the Sacred Heart as well. Fr. Dominic Peluse and Fr. Jim Schroeder, along with Pam Milczarski, planned giving director, led the trip. During their journey Fr. Jim maintained a daily journal.
About his visit to Lourdes Fr. Jim writes that he “walked to the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto and there were thousands processing in the night with candles, singing and praying the rosary in six languages, hundreds in wheelchairs or little carriages, old and young, parents with their children, young spouses wheeling a disabled partner, children with elderly parents. It was a parade of human suffering which was heart-breaking and brought me to tears. Then a choir sang the Lourdes song and the Ave Maria, with a soprano soaring above it all; really moving. Although I had not expected to like Lourdes, the amount of faith and hope, and love and care for the ill, was truly inspiring.”
Fr. Jim shared his journal on the province blog. Click here to read it.
Congratulations to Sr. Mary Carroll, SSSF, whose article, “Fresh Bread and Good Leaven: John Henry Newman and Thérèse of Lisieux” was published in the Fall 2014 edition of Spiritual Life (pp. 70-78). Sr. Mary is a lecturer in Systematic Studies and Associate Director of Pastoral Formation at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology.
Those celebrating birthdays in November include Fr. David Szatkowski (41) and Fr. Ed Kilianski (60) on Nov. 2, Br. Brian Tompkins (58) and Br. Luc Coursol (64) on Nov. 4, Fr. Greg Schill (39) on Nov. 14, Fr. Jan de Jong (77) and Fr. Joe Doscher (81) on Nov. 17, and Fr. Tim Gray (66) on Nov. 18. Happy birthday!
Hidden life of the Sacred Heart
“The hidden life of the Sacred Heart is the ordinary life comprising only obscure acts that attract no attention. This life does not allow for exterior acts of extraordinary sanctity. Men err in seeing sanctity only in its outward manifestations. Our Lord gives us a different lesson; it is to perform, in an uncommon manner, the most ordinary actions with perfect love.”
The quote is from Fr. Dehon and is a part of the most recent update on the Dehonian Spirituality page of the province website. It continues:
“It is in these ordinary actions, disdained and scorned as they sometimes are, that we ought to find our sanctity.”
Besides the weekly website updates, “Dehonian Spirituality” is now available in an email form; the first e-blast went out last Friday. All SCJs in North America have been added to the subscription list; however, anyone is welcome to receive the mailing: co-workers, parishioners, staff –– anyone with an interest in the Dehonian charism. Click here to add a subscriber.
And click here to visit the Dehonian Spirituality section of the province website.
Fr. Stephen Huffstetter will be in the office much of this week. Next Tuesday, Nov. 4, he leaves for Mississippi for meetings with the Sacred Heart Southern Missions board of directors and for the consultation of leadership in the local SCJ community. Nov. 10-14 he will be back in Hales Corners with a board meeting at the province development office on Nov. 13.
And then it is off to the Democratic Republic of Congo! Fr. Steve will be in Africa Nov. 17 – Dec. 7 where he will attend the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Congolese Province and a memorial to the SCJ martyrs who were killed during the 1964 rebellion.
Fr. Thi Pham was pictured in the October 17 edition of the Mississippi Catholic during a pet blessing at Christ the King in Southaven, Miss., for the feast of St. Francis.