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Mary Gorski
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Fridge Notes are generally posted by noon Central Standard Time on Mondays.

Weekly News: October 16, 2017

by on Oct.15, 2017, under News & Events

Our 2017 Formation Community

Hello my name is…

The Dehon Formation Community in Chicago is home to an international, intergenerational community of professed SCJs and those discerning religious life with the congregation. The community not only houses the initial formation programs (candidacy, philosophy and theology) of the province but also welcomes SCJs from around the world on sabbatical or in graduate programs. Attached to the Dehon Formation Community is the Novitiate, located just 15 minutes south of Sacred Heart Monastery in Hales Corners, Wis.

Next year, the entire formation community will be in Wisconsin. The Chicago formation programs will be moving to Sacred Heart Monastery at the start of the 2018 academic year. Theology students will attend Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology and undergraduates will go to Milwaukee area universities.

As they do each year, members of the formation community –– students, formators and SCJs in residence ­­–– introduce themselves in a feature on the province website.

Paul, Alonso and Hung joke before dinner

There are a few new faces in this year’s group, including Hung Pham, the newest candidate to the community. Born in Vietnam, he has lived in Houston since 2008 and graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Petroleum Engineering. “I am excited about joining the SCJs and want to discover more about them,” he wrote. Hung is attending Catholic Theological Union where he is studying philosophy and theology.

Also new is Fr. Byron Haaland, novice master. In his autobiography he writes about his conversion to the Catholic faith. “It was the mid-1960s and everything had to be radical,” he wrote.  “So, what could a good Norwegian Lutheran do to be radical?  I became a Catholic.  A CATHOLIC! Conversion to such a belief left a lot of relatives and friends bewildered. I couldn’t become a hippy. Such a thing was just too unthinkable in my family – it was forbidden…

“There’s not much difference between conversion and formation. Both are serious and ongoing. Both turn your heart to God and both involve struggle and determination. There has been a lot of water under the bridge in the past 47 years.  My vocation has been marked by construction, demolition and rebuilding. Fires and floods have also marked my way.  It all adds up to literally building the Kingdom.”

Click here to read these and other profiles on the province website.

Click here to view a photo album from a recent evening with the Dehon Formation Community.

Divine Heart Seminary reunion

Fr. Bernie

“As Dehonians, we SCJs had educational goals in mind for the students who came to us that went beyond training in languages, literature, math, science, history, and the other humanities,” said Fr. Bernie Rosinski to members of Divine Heart Seminary’s class of 1967. The students held an informal 50th reunion at Sacred Heart Monastery the weekend of October 6. Fr. Bernie, one of their teachers, was asked to be the main celebrant at a Mass they shared together.

“There was more than soccer and basketball, intramurals, self-discipline, and responsibility for housework and farm work,” continued Fr. Bernie. “There was more than the social graces of respectful treatment of others whether on or off campus. In all these activities you interacted with each other, learned from each other, modeled for each other, and bonded with each other. In the same vein, for better or worse, we SCJs sought to be models for you, to exemplify, by our behavior toward our fellow SCJs and toward you our students, those principles of living that we learned from Fr Dehon which we attempted to translate into respect, honor, esteem, affection, caring, and yes even love…

“We sincerely wanted each of our students to shine like stars in the sky, like diamonds in the sky, knowing full well that most of you did not have a true call to be religious or priests. Deep down we SCJs knew that you, future priest or future layperson, were the only way we could bring Dehon’s message to the world. You had to be our words, our agents out in the world. You were our hope that through you we could make the world a better place… I call upon you, therefore, to renew your SCJ mission to the world.”

Click here to read Fr. Bernie’s full homily on the province blog.


Reviewing website ideas in Rome

Communicating about communication

Led by the newly appointed director of communications for the congregation –– Fr. Radek Warenda –– members of the International Communications Commission met in Rome October 12-13. Much of their work focused on promotion of the newly created Mission Statement (“With Open Heart and Mind”) as well as development of a renewed website for the congregation. So much has changed since the SCJs created their first website. Now, one must consider not only how the site looks and feels on a desktop or laptop screen, but more importantly, how does it work on a mobile device?

Brainstorming for the mobile website

In the months ahead, the commission will continue development of the new website and other communication materials, as well as prepare for the next meeting of the congregation’s “Media Experts” (those who do communications work in the local entities).

Members of the commission include Fr. Radek, Fr. Stefan Tertünte (director of the Centro Studi Dehoniani), Fr. Antonio Rufete Cabrera (Spain) and Mary Gorski (communications director for the US Province). They were joined at the October meeting by Fr. Carlos Enrique Caamaño, vicar general, and Alessandro Benassi, a specialist from Bologna in digital communication.

Click here to read more on the congregational website.

Provincial’s time

Fr. Ed Kilianski starts the week in Montréal for the October 16-17 meetings of the North American administrations . October 19-20 Fr. Ed meets with the SHSST Board of Directors; and from October 18-24 he will be filling in for Fr. Byron Haaland at the novitiate while Fr. Byron takes part in the meeting of the congregation’s novice masters in Rome.

Closing shot

On Saturday, October 7, the Sacred Heart Novitiate Community welcomed the family of Geraldine and James Butler. In memory of them, their children made a donation to complete the novitiate chapel. A plaque outside the chapel bears their names.

“I never once heard mom question, ‘Why me?’ when things got tough,” said one of her children. “She just believed that God had His reasons and maybe someday she’d know what they were… but maybe not. She never questioned God’s will. Before she died, she made it very clear that she wished for money to be sent to the Priests of the Sacred Heart for the future of the Catholic Church, training new, young priests who can relate to today’s world.” Geraldine was 95 when she passed away. The family is pictured below at the novitiate, in front of the plaque that bears the names of the Butlers.


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