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Fridge Notes are generally posted by noon Central Standard Time on Mondays.
North Americans at WYD
As we noted last week, Br. Andy Gancarczyk, Fr. Mark Mastin, Frater Juancho Casteñada Rojas and Frater Justin Krenke are accompanying a youth group from Our Lady of Guadalupe in Houston to World Youth Day in Poland. Last week they joined other Dehonian youth groups from around the world touring historical sites, as well joining together in prayer and fun.
Fr. Ed Killianski, provincial superior, and Fr. Quang Nguyen, vocation director, met up with the group over the weekend prior to the start of WYD activities in Krakow. Today Fr. Heiner Wilmer, superior general, gave a presentation to the youth. Official WYD activities begin tomorrow (July 26) with the opening Mass.
Last week Fraters Justin and Juancho wrote about some of their travels on the province blog: “In Warsaw we had the amazing experience to visit the Warsaw Uprising Museum where we had the chance to learn about the history and the rebirth of a nation after WWII. The tour guide said to us: ‘after this tour you will have a better appreciation for the architecture of the entire city but especially the old part of the city.’ She was right!! Everybody had the same experience of amazement during our walk through the old part of the city after learning about the destruction and suffering the people of Warsaw went through. During our walk through the Old City we met a group from Hong Kong also going to World Youth Day and took some pics with them.
“The next day we went to see the Queen of Poland, the Black Madonna of Czestochowa at the Jasna Gora Monastery. It was a four-hour drive from Warsaw to Jasna Gora. We met people who would participate in World Youth Day from Mexico and we met again our friends from Hong Kong. We had a very exciting tour through the history and beauty of the monastery. We learned how important she is to the faith of the people of Poland because as our tour guide said: ‘the difference between the Black Madonna and other Marian shrines or devotions is that in comparison to places like Lourdes, Fatima, and Our Lady of Guadalupe no apparition took place here, it is just the people’s faith that makes this devotion.’ We had time to pray in front of the Icon of the Black Madonna and be witnesses of this beautiful devotion from all the visitors. Another meaningful experience for us was visiting the chapel dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We elevated our prayers by lighting a candle there.”
Click here to read their full post on the province blog.
Click here to view the multilingual Facebook page created for Dehonian youth at WYD.
Click here to go to the Dehonians Worldwide Facebook page to view other SCJ photos and videos, including link to a video of Fr. Heiner’s presentation from this morning (the video will soon be posted on www.dehon.it).
And finally, click here to visit our own US Province Facebook page for photos of the SCJ youth groups from Canada and the United States.
+Fr. Cornelis Overgaag, a member of the Dutch – Flemish Confederation, died on July 23. He was born in 1927, professed in 1952 and ordained in 1957.
Keep in prayer
Fr. Peter Mastrobuono’s health continues to be quite critical. He has lost significant weight and fades in and out of lucidity. Doctors believe that his condition will continue to worsen. Please keep him in prayer.
New administration in Mississippi
During a conference call last Thursday the Provincial Council voted to appoint Fr. Thi Pham as local superior of the Mississippi community and Fr. Greg Schill as first councilor and treasurer.
And, a new SHSST board chair
Dr. Barbara Anne Cusack, chancellor for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, has been elected chairperson of the Board of Directors of Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology.
Dr. Cusack replaces Dr. Mary Meehan, out-going president of Alverno College, who is retiring after 11 years of service on the SHSST Board, the last eight as its chair.
The board’s new vice-chair is Dr. Marna Boyle, who has been a Board member since 2005. Dr. Cusack, who had been vice-chair, has served on the Board since 1997. She holds a doctorate in canon law from the Catholic University of America, and has served as an adjunct faculty member at SHSST for many years, teaching canon law. Dr. Boyle is the former academic dean and is currently an associate professor at Cardinal Stritch University. She holds an Ed.D. degree from Nova Southeastern University.
SCJ featured in Houston newsletter
Magnificat is a Houston non-profit organization that provides emergency housing, supports a soup kitchen, offers job training and other support opportunities for those struggling on the fringes of society. Fr. Frank Wittouck has been involved with the organization for the past five years and was recently featured in its newsletter.
“Fr. Frank came to Magnificant five years ago and almost didn’t find us,” wrote a Magnificat staffer. “He intended only to say Mass for the feast of the Sacred heart but had forgotten the chapel address… After being routed through the soup kitchen he finally made it –– late –– but things ended well. ‘I saw what a terrific place Magnificat was,’ he said, ‘and accepted the offer to teach religion classes and say Mass.’
“Two years ago Fr. Frank moved on-campus, where he can pursue his ‘intentional ministry of presence’ full time. Here, he is especially involved with the Jobs Program, teaching resume and interview skills and interfacing with outside job counselors on behalf of his flock.
“Six months ago he put his considerable energy behind rehabbing and opening the Anawim Thrift Store to serve a needy neighborhood. And he looks forward to leading another of his Marriage Encounters.”
Year of Mercy pilgrimage
“This year has been proclaimed a Holy Year of Mercy by Pope Francis,” wrote Fr. Anthony Kluckman on the St. Joseph’s Indian School blog. “Part of the celebration calls for people to visit the Cathedral and pass through the Holy Door as part of a pilgrimage. I joined parishioners from St. James Catholic Church in Chamberlain and St. Margaret Catholic Church in Kimball to visit the Cathedral of St. Joseph’s in Sioux Falls.
“The trip had the opportunity for confession, to offer prayer for Pope Francis’ intentions and to receive the Eucharist by joining in the noon Mass. After the Mass, we were given a guided tour of the Cathedral and the renovations that were done in the past few years. The group joined together at a local Perkins for lunch before heading home. We enjoyed sharing reflections of what had impressed people the most about the experience and the tour.”
Fr. Ed Kilianski is in Poland for World Youth Day; he returns to Milwaukee on August 4. August 7-11 he will be in Montréal for the Canadian Regional Assembly.
Those celebrating birthdays in August include: Fr. Steve Pujdak (73) on August 2; Br. Peter Mankins (87), Br. Bernard Taube (84) and Fr. Walter van As (93) on Aug. 8; Fr. Leonard Elder (75) on Aug. 19; Br. Ray Kozuch (71) on Aug. 22; Br. Frank Snider (70) and Br. Frank Presto (61) on Aug. 28; and Fr. Herman Falke (88) on Aug. 31.
Staff at the Province Development Office helped Fr. Dominic Peluse celebrate his 70th birthday a few days early during a luncheon last Wednesday. The actual birthday was Friday, July 22.