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The Priests of the Sacred Heart (SCJ) are priests and brothers called to live, pray and work together, sharing the love of the Sacred Heart in our lives and ministry.

Questions about a vocation? Call us at 800-609-5559

Priests of the Sacred Heart > Join us in community and ministry!

Join us in community and ministry!

Why do I want to be an SCJ?

Postulant Phong (Paul) Hoang

“Why do I want to be an SCJ?” That was the question that several of our students answered during this year’s province assembly. One by one, they stood before members of the province to share what attracted the to the Priests of the Sacred Heart (Dehonians) and why they decided to pursue their vocation with the community.

Paul Hoang has been a candidate for three semesters; in August he will enter the novitiate. He began his presentation began by reflecting on what is “home” for him now

“When I first came to formation, I missed home, my family and friends in Houston,” he said. “Now, I am happy to go back to visit, but when I am in Houston, what I miss is Chicago [the formation community].”

Now “home” for Paul, is with his SCJ community.

“There is joy, spiritual joy, in our community,” he continued. “My favorite part of the day is Mass in the morning. We are there together in a sense of belonging, leaving each other with a sense of support for our day. We connect at meals; we connect in labor, doing dishes together.

Postulant Henry Nguyen

“In the SCJ community I feel like myself and can actualize who I am; I feel at home, I feel that I belong,” he said.

For Henry Nguyen, who will be joining Paul at the novitiate, it was laughter that first attracted him to the community. A trainer for State Farm Insurance, he said that he wanted something else in life, he needed more to feel fulfilled; he wanted to serve others.

“In 2013 I came to the community and saw the joy and hospitality of the SCJs,” he said. I have visited communities in Houston and Mississippi and I have seen passion, love and joy… In Mississippi I saw a willingness to get out of the sacristy and serve, to be a prophet of love. What gives me hope for the future is the drive that we have as a community to continue to go to the people.”

Celsus Robert, a candidate with the community

Celsus Roberts has an extensive background in social work and management (he earned degrees in both, including an MBA in heath care management) before pursuing his vocation.

“I am 44, and my whole life has been social justice, seeking ways to serve the poor,” he said. “I had great jobs and was already doing what Fr. Dehon calls us to do. But I wanted more and that is why I am here.”

That “more” included community life. “You find love in our house,” he said of the formation community. “We are challenged, but we care about each other.”

He continued, reflecting on the jubilee celebrations. “When I saw men who were celebrating 60 years of religious life I was inspired!” he said. “They give me hope, they challenge me. And with their help –– and yours –– I will celebrate many anniversaries of religious life.”

Do you feel called to a vocation as a priest or brother? Click here to learn more about the Priests of the Sacred Heart, or as we are known in many areas of the world: Dehonians (following the name of our founder, Fr. Leo John Dehon).


Meet our 2016-17 Dehon Formation Community

In their own words, members of the Dehon Formation Community –– students, priests and brothers –– introduce themselves. Click to learn more.

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.

“After 33 years as a parish priest I was asked to do ministry as a formation director,” wrote Fr. Bob Tucker, who is new to the formation program this year. “It is a privilege to be with our religious students and candidates in their journey as they discern their calling in life to be a member of the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart. My hope is that I, with them, will discover a heart burning within as Christ speaks to our hearts and to come to know him in the breaking of the bread and to know him in the faces of our brothers and sisters. As SCJs we are called to remember that ‘the Eucharist has its effects on all that we are and do… and who unceasingly throws us back onto the streets of the world in the service of the Gospel.’”

Click here to read the rest of Fr. Bob’s reflection, as well as autobiographies from our entire  Dehon Formation Community.

Do you feel called to a life of community, prayer and service? Click here to contact our vocation office or call 800-609-5559.


Fr. Ed’s invitation (click on the video)

Learn more about us

DO YOU FEEL CALLED? Learn more about becoming a candidate with the Priests of the Sacred Heart. Click here or call 800-609-5559.

MEET OUR STUDENT COMMUNITY: Click here to meet the students, priests and brothers who make up our student community.

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Nourished by the Eucharist, living in community and inspired by the love of the Sacred Heart, we are Dehonians, the Priests of the Sacred Heart. JOIN US!


Prayer is a vital part of the life of the community

Prayer is a vital part of the life of the community