Are you called?

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!


Novice reflects on how religion and culture come together in Vietnam

Henry Nguyen

For two weeks in December Novices Henry Nguyen and Paul (Phong) Hoang traveled to the District of Vietnam with Fr. Ed Kilianski. Fr. Ed went to Vietnam to give a retreat and to meet with Fr. Francis Vu Tran (district superior) about collaborative projects for the future. Fr. Ed invited the novices to join him so that they could learn more about the SCJ congregation (Dehonians) outside of the United States.

For Henry, it was the first time that he visited the country of his parents’ birth. While there, he met relatives, including his grandmother, for the first time.  During his first week in Vietnam he wrote a reflection that was published on the province website. Click here to read it.

Back home, Henry reflected more fully on his time in Vietnam:

“During our trip to Vietnam I often allowed myself to be ‘moved by the Spirit’ (Constitution #23). Not only was this trip an intercultural experience for me but also an interreligious one as it reminded me of my time in my ‘Religious Experience in Context’ class at Catholic Theological Union.

“As we traveled around Vietnam, I saw how religion and culture intertwined. An experience that I had while at my Bác Yến’s house was praying for our ancestors by lighting incense and praying for them at the family’s altar in the living room. This is where I connected religion and culture as I was a Vietnamese Catholic and this was more Vietnamese with perhaps a Buddhist influence.”

Click here to read his full post: “American, Vietnamese and Catholic.”



Our 2017-18 Formation Communities 

2017 Formation Community

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. Attached to the Dehon Formation Community is the Novitiate, located just 15 minutes south of Sacred Heart Monastery in Hales Corners, Wis.

Next year, the entire formation community will be in Wisconsin. The Chicago programs will be moving to Sacred Heart Monastery in Hales Corners at the start of the 2018 academic year. Theology students will attend Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology and undergraduates will go to Milwaukee area universities. The move will allow our students to be more directly involved with the province and worldwide congregation, since Sacred Heart has become an educational hub for students from around the world.

“As my formation journey continues, I am overwhelmed every day with an abundance of blessings to be a part of such a dynamic religious order; a very rewarding service to God with so many rapid changes,” wrote Luis Alonso Barrantes, a third-year candidate.  “My first summer in ministry was working in Milwaukee with the ESL program, which was very rewarding. My second year (summer of 2016) was spent in Nesbit, Miss. I still recall in Mississippi how I was captivated to see how hard everyone works in their ministries, with a deep sense of love, hard work and dedication. I see a strong Dehonian spirit there and I continue to pray that God gives all the men and women in Mississippi health and strength as they give back so much of themselves to pastoral services, religious education, and social services. This past summer was spent in Houston, Texas, at Our Lady of Guadalupe parish. My ministries were at various locations within and around OLG. I met some amazing families, and employees of the parish and school.”

Novice Henry Nguyen wrote that “I have a desire to serve others and I was able to do just that at my latest summer ministry, being a part of the ESL residential staff at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. We had over 40 students from all over the world, which included SCJ seminarians and priests, as well as other religious, seminarians, and priests from different religious orders and dioceses. I also got to learn what an impact the SCJ presence has on other communities outside of the United States.”

Click here to read the rest of Alonso’s and Henry’s reflections, as well as autobiographies from our entire 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.



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 entered he the novitiate. Paul 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 is also a novice this year, 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.”

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).

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.

Visit us on Facebook!

Click here to be added to our weekly e-mail newsletter!

Click here to go to our province website for news and features!


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