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Fridge Notes are generally posted by noon Central Standard Time on Mondays.
ESL in Vietnam
During the summer Fr. Paul Grizzelle Reid, SCJ, spent several weeks in the District of Vietnam teaching ESL (English as a Second Language). Br. Te, one of his students, shared photos and information about Fr. Paul’s time in Vietnam. He writes:
“Fr. Paul met us at a retreat for members of the Vietnamese District; it was held in the Da Lat Province. Every Saturday Fr. Paul and our priests from the formation house celebrated Mass at the Pastoral Center in District 1 in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). This is the Sunday Mass for English-speaking people who live and work in Ho Chi Minh City. Normally there are between 500-600 people who attend this Mass.
“Father Paul had classes from 8:00 – 11:00 am each weekday. In the afternoons and evenings he met with students individually. The classes consisted of reading, speaking, role-playing, listening and pronunciation.
“In one of our classes we reflected on Matthew’s gospel about the ‘sower and the seed.’ And so we planted many kinds of seeds in the garden. Some fell on good ground, some on rocky ground, some of them were eaten by the birds and some died. But some of the seeds found fertile soil and grew; we had corn and tomatoes.
“Weekly we watched a movie in English. The movies were centered on the lives of saints, such as Mother Teresa, St. John Paul II, Padre Pio, St. Teresa of the Child Jesus, and Mary of Nazareth. We discussed what we understood from the movies.
“Fr. Paul even taught English while we were in the kitchen together making meals. We cooked American, Jamaican [Fr. Paul, a member of the US Province, is originally from Jamaica] and Italian dinners.”
Click here to view a photo album from Fr. Paul’s weeks in Vietnam.
“What happens after this life?”
That’s what Fr. Nick Brown, SCJ, asked himself when he was at the top of an electrical pole in Sundance, Wyoming. It was a beautiful spot; from his perch Fr. Nick could see the Devil’s Tower natural monument. But instead of enjoying the gorgeous view, he started to ask himself “What if…?”
“I started thinking about how one of my climbing hooks could come out of the pole and I could fall into a hot wire,” he said, “or what if I accidentally touched one of the wires?
“I put my tools back in my belt and looked at Devil’s Tower for a long time thinking about that question: ‘What happens after this life?’ and finally decided that either something happens or nothing happens. I wanted to find out more about that ‘something’ that I believed in.”
He started talking to a priest about his questions, and read articles about vocations to the religious life and priesthood. Fr. Nick wrote to several communities “but the Priests of the Sacred Heart were the only ones who answered,” he said. He professed his first vows with the SCJs in 1967 and was ordained in 1976; his 40th anniversary of ordination is October 30. Most of his years of ministry have been in San Antonio, first at St. Lawrence parish, and then for many years as a street minister. He now serves as a chaplain at San Antonio University Hospital and at St. Luke’s Baptist.
“I’m an extremely happy priest,” he said. “San Antonio has given me many memories. It is good to walk into a room and have a patient say to me, ‘I know you, or someone who looks like you. There used to be someone who walked down on the streets for many years.’
“I tell the person, ‘That was probably me; I used to do that.’ I see people whom I’ve known through the years.” One of those people is a woman whom he met on the streets when she was just 15. Now a grandmother, Fr. Nick celebrated her wedding, baptized her children and later had funeral services for her husband, his brother and their mother.
Click here to read more about Fr. Nick and his years in street ministry.
The Province Vocation Office asks SCJs who have agreed to write an Advent reflection to “send them in ASAP!” said Br. Ben Humpfer, SCJ. If you have questions about the project, contact Br. Ben at the office (414-529-4255) or via email at: email@example.com.
Fr. Mark Mastin
2705 Cascade Court,
Grovetown, GA 30813
His phone and email address remain the same
Fr. Francis Vu Tran
686/16 Quoc Lo 13
Hiep Binh Phuoc, Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City
Cell: +84 93 2077643
His email address and US phone remain the same.
SHSST staff in the community
Today (Aug. 22) faculty and staff of Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology are spending their annual Staff Day doing community service. “It’s a way to bring together the USCCB’s emphasis on intercultural competence and ecumenism with interreligious dialogue,” said organizers. The seminary’s theme for the year is “Sint Unum/Somos Uno/We Are One.”
Following Eucharist in the main chapel at SHSST, staff and faculty head to one of four mission sites for the rest of the morning: the Hmong American Friendship Association, La Casa de Esperanza, Repairers of the Breach, or the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Waukesha County, Inc. In the afternoon, staff regroup at SHSST to discuss the morning’s activities.
The first day of classes for the new semester at the seminary is August 29. The ESL Summer II session also starts that day. New students began orientation last week; returning students arrived over the weekend.
Keep in prayer
Br. Gabe Kersting, SCJ, cut his head in a fall last week; it required seven staples but Fr. Greg Speck, SCJ, superior of the Sacred Heart Community at Pinellas Park, FL, said that he is doing well. Br. Gabe is a member of the community but lives at a nearby care facility.
Mission Ed reminder
Sacred Heart Southern Missions will host the province’s eighth Mission Education Conference October 10-11. Held approximately every three years, Mission Education is a time for employees and other collaborators in SCJ ministry to learn about Fr. Leo John Dehon, as well as the congregation that carries on his dreams. It is also a time for co-workers across the country to get to know one another and learn how they are a part of the worldwide mission of the Priests of the Sacred Heart.
A few weeks ago SCJs and office managers in the US and Canada received an email encouraging them to invite people from their ministries to attend Mission Education.
Full days are planned for October 10-11, including Eucharist on Monday with Bishop Joseph Kopacz of Jackson. It is suggested that participants be in northern Mississippi by Sunday evening, October 9.
Organizers ask that participants register by September 10; click here to do so.
Of course, SCJs are invited, not just employees and collaborators.
Participants are to make their own travel and hotel arrangements. A block of rooms for Mission Ed has been reserved at the Drury Inn in Horn Lake and at the Holiday Inn in Southaven. Hotel information is available at the registration link.
Questions? Please contact Carole Johnson at 662-342-3324 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, starts the week in the office. On August 26 he will be the main celebrant and homilist at a Memorial Mass for Fr. Peter Mastrobuono, SCJ, at Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in Houston; the Mass is at 7:00 p.m. Fr. Ed will remain in Houston through the weekend.
On August 31 he will take part in the Opening Mass for the new school year at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. During Labor Day Weekend he will go to Chicago to spend time with the formation community. September 13-14 he has meetings with the Provincial Council.
It’s back to school for students and staff around the country this month. Province schools include St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, SD, St. Martin of Tours in Franklin, WI, Holy Family School in Holly Springs, MS, and Sacred Heart School in Southaven, MS. Fr. Jack Kurps, SCJ, is pictured below at the Opening Mass of the new school year at Sacred Heart.