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Seminarians renew their vows
On recent weeks four SCJ students renewed their vows with the Priests of the Sacred Heart: Frater James Nguyen (July 29), Frater Juan Carlos Castañeda Rojas (Aug. 9), Frater Joseph Vu (Aug. 10), and Frater Justin Krenke (Aug. 12).
“What drew me to the Priests of the Sacred Heart is the charism and spirituality found in Fr. Leo John Dehon’s writings,” wrote Frater James . “Fr. Dehon always found comfort in the knowledge that God loved him tremendously, which is symbolized in the burning Heart of Christ. Fr. Dehon wanted us who are dedicated to the love of God to be living examples of the love that Jesus had. I strive to live in that spirit of our founder daily through my religious vows: ‘In poverty, I desire to give all I have. In chastity, I desire to give all I am. And in obedience, I desire to give all I will become.’”
Reflecting on his vocation as a religious Frater Joseph wrote that “My vows continually remind me of my dedication to live my life’s intent on being united with the Heart of Christ and to be in community with my brothers.”
Frater Juancho said that his experience at World Youth Day solidified his commitment to religious life as an SCJ. “Today I said Yes once again to God!” wrote Frater Juancho after renewing his vows. “Renewed by my participation in World Youth Day and the message of Pope Francis to all of us to ‘not be afraid to say yes to Him,’ I renewed my vows as a member of the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart. I do so with the strongest conviction that it is rewarding and amazing to say YES to God! Truly, I believe that I have been called to be a servant of love and prophet of reconciliation following Fr. Dehon teachings.”
Click here to read Frater Juancho’s reflection on participating in WYD.
Frater Justin was the last of our SCJ seminarians to renew his vows. In a reflection that he gave prior to his renewal Frater Justin said that “God calls all of us to go out in any way we can to be a part of the world, not a part from the world. This is the message of Fr. Dehon. So today, before all of you, before Fr. John [Czyzynski], before my brothers in community, I very joyfully renew my vows and continue the message of Christ and of our dear founder, Fr. Dehon.”
Click here to read Frater Justin’s full reflection as well as view a few photos from the ceremony.
World Youth Day!
Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, arrived in Kraków on Saturday to join the group from Our Lady of Guadalupe, Houston, at the World Youth Day activities. Fr. Ed wanted to attend WYD not only because of its significance in the Church, but also because of the significance of the group from the US Province: Fr. Ed had been pastor of OLG until his election as provincial superior in 2015. Most of the young adults in the group are people whom he knew as children at the parish, people whose families he was well acquainted with when he was pastor.
From Krakow Fr. Ed writes:
They have been keeping us on the go since I arrived on Saturday evening. There are more than 250 Dehonian Youth from approximately 19 countries including the U.S. and Canada. There is an amazing spirit among them. Many new friends have been made across cultures and borders. On Monday, Fr. Heiner celebrated Mass and gave a talk on mercy. He had the youth in the palm of his hand.
Tuesday we went from the seminary in Stadniki to Kraków. Thousands of young people are in the city from around the world. The spirit among them is incredible! Lots of singing on the streets and greetings among the nations. Each group carries its national flag. Whenever we passed a group from the U.S. there was always the chant of “USA, USA!!”
Wednesday morning the Dehonian Youth walked to the first and only parish church of St. John Paul II. In the afternoon they had workshops on mercy and Dehonian Spirituality in language groups, followed by a cookout at the seminary in Stadniki. On Thursday we gather again in Kraków to welcome Pope Francis.
The SCJs from Poland have been most welcoming to us all. There is an excellent spirit of fraternity and community. I feel truly blessed to have this international opportunity with our confreres from around the Congregation. It has also been fantastic to be with the group from Our Lady of Guadalupe. Br. Andy has done an amazing job of organizing the pilgrimage for them.
Seminarians busy with summer ministry
Alonso and Henry, seminarians for the US Province, are caught here on break in the midst of projects with Sacred Heart Southern Missions in northern Mississippi. All of our seminarians spend part of their summer serving in one of our SCJ ministries.
Sacred Heart Southern Missions staffs and funds two Catholic elementary schools, eight Catholic social service offices, an extensive housing program (including Dehon Village with 38 single family homes for low-income families). The Social Services department includes an active volunteer program that hosts hundreds of volunteers from around the country each year.
The SCJ priests and brothers of SHSM also serve six parishes in northern Mississippi. Click here to visit the SHSM website.
Fr. Ed’s invitation (click on the video)
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