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P.O. Box 289, Hales Corners, WI 53130-0289
Fridge Notes are generally posted by noon Central Standard Time on Mondays.
Bamboo Christmas trees and free weddings for the poor
Fr. John Czyzynski continues to share his experiences in the Philippines, where he has been assisting with the formation program for the past few weeks. The following is from a recent post to the province blog:
“Tuesday I visited our parish at Kumalarang. This is one of the first places where the SCJs settled when we came to the Philippines. At present two of our men are there: Fr. Showe from India and Fr. Candido, a rather newly ordained Filipino priest…
“It is a very poor area materially speaking but rich in so many other ways. Our guys raise livestock of various kinds as sources of food and as sources for income: pigs, chickens and roosters, fish, rice.
“The Christmas tree was still up on the parish grounds. Unique, the tree is made of what is available. The ‘trunk’ is a 45-foot tall bamboo tree. Then palm tree leaves are hung from it and extended out from the bamboo trunk like a teepee. This structure is filled with lights and other decorations.
“The people in the area are poor so periodically there are what Fr. Showe says are called ‘free marriages.’ Our guys welcome folks who cannot afford a wedding celebration to have their wedding at the parish. There are a number of couples and their guests for the occasion. Our guys cover the cost of a very nice meal for them after the wedding ceremony. People of the parish support this generous celebration.”
Click here to read the rest of this and other blog posts, including many of Fr. Tom Cassidy’s journal entries from India.
Chapter logo unveiled, plans coming together
“Merciful, in Community, with the Poor” is the theme of the upcoming General Chapter. A logo, which tries to capture that theme, was unveiled by the general administration last week. Click here or on the image at top to view a video explanation of it.
Finding a way to integrate the theme into the work of the chapter is the task of the General Chapter Preparatory Commission. Its members include Fr. Heiner Wilmer (Germany), Fr. Leopold Mfouakouet (Cameroon), Fr. Oliverio Cattani (Italy), Fr. Vincent Sri Herimanto (Vietnam) and Fr. Carlos Enrique Caamaño Martin (Venezuela). The commission met February 1-8 at the Generalate in Rome.
“There is high level of trust in the group,” said Fr. Heiner, chairperson. “Though we come from four continents I feel that we were born into the same family, like we are real brothers with the same desires, same hopes and same dreams for our congregation.”
Click here to read more about the commission and its work. Among those collaborating with it is Fr. Jack Kurps of the U.S. Province who is organizing the liturgies and other moments of prayer that will take place during the chapter.
Click here to view and/or read reflections on the General Chapter theme done by members of the European Theological Commission. The most recent one posted is by Fr. John van den Hengel on “Mercy and Pardon.” Click here to access it directly.
Updates in regards to the General Chapter will be posted on the Dehonians Worldwide Facebook page, as well as www.dehon.it
Finding treasures at the Vatican archives
Fr. Wayne Jenkins, archivist for the US Province, has been in Rome since mid-January on what he often refers to as a “treasure hunt.” He has spent hours upon hours at various archives attached to the Vatican, hunting down historical documents of the congregation.
After finally receiving permission to enter the Vatican Archives for the Doctrine of Faith, Fr. Wayne walked through its doors for the first time on February 2. “I began my research with five file folders filled with Dehonian documents,” he said. “On Thursday, I requested a box that had been moved to a different place in the archives. While I was examining documents in the third file folder on Friday, an archivist brought me a box. I opened it and found six books from Sr. Mary Ignace with her revelations and with predictions (1878-1983).
“I also found a real treasure for the congregation: the original handwritten text of the Constitutions (1881) and the original handwritten text for the SCJ Spiritual Directory. The general curia has been looking for these texts for years!”
SHSST honored for beauty of its grounds
Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology was honored for the beauty of its grounds by the South Suburban Chamber of Commerce at a February 4 gala. Commenting on Sacred Heart’s nomination, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele said, “Milwaukee County is proud to have such an iconic facility contribute to the beauty of our entire community.”
A citation from the office of Franklin Mayor Stephen Olson noted that the building, completed in 1968, is a “showpiece of the Mid-Century Architectural Movement,” and cited its shrine, fountain, landscaped walkways, and expansive hardwood forest as key attributes.
The grounds, which are also home to the US Provincialate, received third place in the chamber’s annual Pride in Premises Award.
+Br. Eronides Medeiros de Farias, a member of the Brazil-Recife Province, died on February 6. He was born in 1965 and professed in 2003.