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Fridge Notes are generally posted by noon Central Standard Time on Mondays.
Lay person named president of St. Joseph’s Indian School
During its meeting last week, the Provincial Council appointed Mike Tyrell as president of St. Joseph’s Indian School. He has been serving as interim president since Fr. Stephen Huffstetter, SCJ, was elected as provincial superior of the U.S. Province last summer.
Mike has served for many years as executive director of Child Services at St. Joe’s, as well as chairperson of the province’s Dehonian Associates Committee. Reflecting on the Dehonian charism at last year’s Mission Education Conference Mike said that “I am a Dehonian because I believe in many of the things that Fr. Dehon espoused. We cover his vision and values in the work we do at St. Joseph’s. Providing hope to an underserved population, we truly are prophets of love and servants of reconciliation.
“We make a difference, impacting one student, one family, at a time – and ultimately help to change society.
“I am blessed to be part of Fr. Dehon’s vision.”
Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ, will continue to serve as chaplain for the school.
SCJ receives UN award
Fr. Aldo Marchesini, SCJ, has been named the 2014 recipient of the United Nations’ Population Award.
A medical doctor, Fr. Aldo has lived and ministered for dozens of years in Mozambique, where he was kidnapped and imprisoned several times during the country’s civil war.
The General Assembly established the UN Population Award in 1981 to recognize outstanding achievements in the fields of health.
Born in 1941 in Bologna, Italy, Fr. Aldo professed first vows in 1962, was ordained in 1969 and left for Africa in 1972.
He spent two years in Uganda to specialize in surgery. Since 1974 he has served as a medical missionary in Mozambique, serving in Mocuba, Songo, Tete, and from 1981 until the present, at Quelimane.
The mass media of Southern Africa generally refer to him as the “Doctor Schweitzer of Today.”
Click here to read more about Fr. Aldo and the UN award on the Generalate’s website.
European SCJs tour Auschwitz and reflect on concept of “Mercy”
Last week the major superiors of the SCJ entities of Europe met in Krakow, Poland. The group has been meeting twice yearly since 2009.
“The Ministry of Mercy,” was the focus of this year’s spring session; it comes from the theme of the 2015 General Chapter: “Merciful, in Community, with the Poor.”
The group began by visiting the memorial to those who died at the concentration camps at Auschwitz – Birkenau during World War II.
“The visit was a hard test not only in the capacities of humans to deal with the enormity of the crime committed there but also in belief in God’s mercy and love,” said one of the organizers.
After, the SCJs spent time in adoration at the Divine Mercy Center on the outskirts of Krakow “to place the experience of such unforgivable death in the light of God’s love and self-gift,” added the SCJ.
Click here to read more about the gathering on the Generalate’s website
Click here to read the final message from the meeting.
Closer to home…
While the superiors of the European SCJ entities gathered last week, so too did the local superiors of the U.S. Province. Traditionally, the meeting is a time for the local superiors to be in dialogue with provincial administration. The gathering, held last Friday at the Provincialate Offices, included time with some of the new province staff, including David Schimmel (director of Dehonian Associates), Mark Peters (director of Justice, Peace and Reconciliation), Mark Wenzel (facilities manager; he is employed by Sodexo but specifically serves the province), and Sid Liebenson (province development director).
As did the superiors in Europe, the local superiors of the U.S. Province also discussed the theme of the 2015 General Chapter: “Merciful, in Community, with the Poor.” Sharing personal stories of “mercy” in their lives, one SCJ said that “This discussion reminds me of Jesus’ use of parables. When he was asked what the Kingdom of Heaven was like, he would tell a story…
“I think that is what we are doing here. When we are asked what mercy is like, we talk about our experience with a teacher, or someone else who has been kind to us. Like Jesus, we are using parables.”
The annual Dehon Lecture, sponsored by Sacred Heart School of Theology, will be this Wednesday, March 26. Fr. Quang Nguyen, SCJ, who recently completed his Ph.D. in economics, will discuss “Fr. Dehon’s Ministry from an Economic Perspective.”
The lecture begins at 10 a.m. at the Provincial Conference Center. Fr. Quang is a member of the province vocation staff.
Prayers and reflections based in the Dehonian charism
As noted previously, the “Prayer” section of the province website is being redeveloped so that it is more directly based in the Dehonian charism and SCJ spirituality. Each week David Schimmel, province director of Dehonian Associates, will post reflections and prayers on this page. Be sure to check back regularly to see what has been posted, and review previous reflections and prayers under the headings on the left of the “Prayer” section (“Fr. Leo John Dehon”, “Heart of Jesus”,” Oblation,” “Lived and Shared,” “Prayer,” and “Reflection Questions”).
“Anyone can be an oblate,” begins the March 21st reflection. “It’s simple, really, yet at the same time very challenging. But first, what is an oblate? To the scientific mind, oblate describes the shape of a particular kind of sphere, like planet Earth. Better to ask, who is an oblate? In religious terms, this is a person who offers him- or herself to God by following a spiritual rule of life, usually that of a specific religious community. Indeed, the word oblate comes from the Latin word meaning, ‘to offer.’
“It would be unnecessarily limiting, however, to define an oblate as an associate of a religious community. The foundation of Christian living, in its various forms, is baptism, the sacrament that calls individuals to claim their identity as members of God’s family…
“Anyone who offers him- or herself to God by listening for and living out God’s will, as revealed in the Heart of Jesus, is an oblate in the spirit of Fr. Dehon, who prays: ‘May the disposition of my heart be a perpetual fiat and an unshakable peace!’ Simple, yet challenging.”
Click here to view the full post, along with reflection questions and prayer. Generally, the section will be updated each Friday.
Final thoughts on India
As noted previously, Fr. Tom Cassidy, SCJ, spent much of the past two months with the theology community in the Indian District. During his time there he was a regular writer for our province blog. Fr. Tom did his final reflection when he returned to Milwaukee last week. The following is excerpted from it:
“A wise Dutchman, Fr. Case van Passen, SCJ, a missionary in Indonesia for many years, once told me that even after 20-plus years in Indonesia each day brought with it a surprise. It took me some time to truly understand what he was trying to say, but I agree with his observation. Unless you are born into a culture and steeped in its traditions and ways from birth there are aspects to that culture you’ll never fully comprehend
“After two months in India, and this being my second visit, I do have a better sense of its life. India is a vast country composed of many languages and cultures. In fact, as I have said on more then one occasion, I marvel that it has been a functioning democracy for over 60 years. That is not easy with such a diverse population. Perhaps being a land of ancient culture has provided the glue to hold it all together. While there are differing cultures, languages, customs and foods there seems to be an underlying cultural unity to it all.”
Click here to read the rest of the post, as well as previous reflections from Fr. Tom. Our thanks to him for his regular writing, often sent to us from the rooftop of the theology residence – the only spot on the property where internet reception was available!
The province blog is open to anyone connected to the Priests of the Sacred Heart – members of the community, as well as co-workers and other collaborators in ministry. Click here if you would like to submit a reflection for the blog. They need not be long, and photos are always welcome!
As noted last week, Fr. Mark Mastin, SCJ, is back in the United States after completing his tour as an Army chaplain in Afghanistan. His new address:
95-510 Wikao Street, Apt. F105
Mililani, HI 96789
On the road
Fr. Charles Brown left for Indonesia last week. He will be giving talks to the scholastics during Holy Week at the SCJ community in Yogyakarta. The theme will be the Passion and Resurrection of Christ in light of Fr. Dehon’s reading of St. Paul, centered in the Philippians.
Fr. Rudolf Kazimierz Krakowczyk, a member of the Polish Province, died March 17. He was born in 1933, professed in 1951 and ordained in 1959.
Also, Fr. Blaise Appolinaire Tagne, a young member of the Cameroon Province, died on March 18. He born in 1976, professed in 2002 and ordained in 2012.
Fr. Stephen Huffstetter, SCJ, is at the Provincialate for most of this week. On Wednesday he will attend the Dehon Lecture (as noted, Fr. Quang Nguyen is the main speaker) and on Friday he will take part in a strategic planning meeting at Sacred Heart School of Theology.
Next week he will be in Texas for a visitation, and the week of April 7 he will be in South Dakota, also for a visitation. The first part of Holy Week Fr. Steve will be with the formation community in Chicago.