We are the Priests of the Sacred Heart – Dehonians!
We live in community, are inspired by daily Eucharistic Adoration, and in a fragmented world we believe unity to be possible.
Our ministries are diverse, as are our members. Yet our goal is the same: to work with a common heart in service to God’s people, reflecting the love of Christ as experienced by our founder, Fr. Leo John Dehon.
Are you called to a life of prayer and service based in the love of the Sacred Heart? Are you called to religious life as a priest or brother?
Have a question, ready to learn more? Click here to email our vocation director, or call us at 800-609-5559.
Come and See!
Fr. Quang with participants at the September “Come and See,” an opportunity for young men discerning a vocation to religious life to literally “come and see” the Priests of the Sacred Heart (Dehonians). Are you discerning a call to religious life, to the priesthood? Contact our vocation director at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-609-5559
Finding strength in the Eucharist during CPE
SCJ seminarian Frater Henry Nguyen reflects on his summer CPE experience, working as a chaplain-intern at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System in San Antonio:
“Con có cầu nguyện chưa” (Have you prayed yet?) and “Con nhớ cầu nguyện” (Remember to pray!)” were words which I often heard from my dad when I was growing up. The phrases continue to echo through my head, but no more so than they did during this past summer in the midst of my CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) experience.
I did my CPE at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System in San Antonio. Santa Rosa’s stated mission is to “Extend the Healing Ministry of Jesus Christ.” I came to see how similar this mission is to that of Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology’s vision: “To conform our world to the Heart of Christ.” Both the mission and vision speak to me as an SCJ, a Dehonian, who has chosen to live a life available with an open heart and an open mind to be a prophet of love and servant of reconciliation. [SCJ Mission Statement]
Each day I met with patients and their families; I attempted to provide both emotional and spiritual support. Every day when I knocked on a door, I wasn’t sure what I would find on the other side. Would it be a patient or family member who welcomed my presence, or would there be rejection, and perhaps even anger?
About halfway through CPE, I found that I had become distant mentally and socially, but also physically. I had trouble processing things. Burnout. It seemed that there was no way out. I felt the workload increasing; I had more patients to see. I didn’t feel like I had the opportunity to really reach out to anyone. And the list continued to get longer and longer. I started to isolate myself; others said that I was becoming withdrawn.
But eventually, I found my way through the Eucharist. It anchored me. It gave me strength. I thought of my father’s words: “Remember to pray!”
Click here to read Fra. Henry’s full reflection.
Four new novices!
On Wednesday, August 14, Thien Nguyen, Thuan Nguyen, Truc Van Tran and Hung Pham began their novitiate year in preparation for first vows with the Priests of the Sacred Heart. Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, provincial superior, received the new novices during a ceremony in the novitiate chapel. Fr. Byron Haaland, SCJ, is novice master, and Fr. Andrzej Sudol, SCJ, is associate novice master. Click here to read more about them. Click here to view photos from the ceremony.
Three new candidates!
Over Memorial Day Weekend, three men were accepted as candidates for the province formation program: Steven DiNello, Francis Joanness and Jonathan Nguyen Vuong. All will enter the program at Sacred Heart Monastery in the fall semester. Steve will study at Cardinal Stritch and Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, Francis will begin with ECS (formerly ESL) and transition to SHSST, and Jonathan will study at Marquette University. We will post photos of the candidates later this summer when they settle in at the monastery. Welcome!
Three receive Ministry of Lector from Fr. General
Fr. Carlos Luis Suarez Codorniú, SCJ, superior general, spent much of last week in the US Province, primarily for meetings in the Milwaukee (Hales Corners) area. During his visit, he joined the Novitiate Community for prayer and dinner on Tuesday, and on Thursday, May 2, he conferred the Ministry of Lector on three of our Dehonian seminarians: Fraters Henry Nguyen, Phong Paul Hoang and Huan Duy Pham.
“Enjoy the Word and share the Word,” said Fr. Carlos Luis to the three seminarians, who are students at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. Fraters Henry and Paul are members of the US Province and Frater Huan is from the Vietnamese District. St. Joseph’s Chapel was filled with members of the Sacred Heart Monastery community and several guests from SHSST.
“I give thanks to God for my vocation with the SCJs. I am grateful to the community for giving me an education, the gift of community, valuable ministry experiences, personal growth, and most importantly, a love for the Heart of Jesus,” said Frater Paul, 26, when professing his vows last year.
Frater Henry, 30, was Frater Paul’s novitiate classmate. About his own vocation, he said that it “calls me to do love in all things. By being ‘Henry of the Heart of Jesus,’ I feel that it is my duty to respond to the lack of God’s love in the world, by spreading God’s love to where people need it most. By becoming an SCJ, I take on a social responsibility, a tug to be present with others.”
Frater Huan, 33, did his initial formation in the Philippines and professed his first vows in 2017. “What was significant in helping me to make my decision to join the Priests of the Sacred Heart was the pierced Heart of Jesus from which I saw a true source of love, hope, and fulfillment of my life,” he said. “Dehonians, in their own charismatic way, essentially attracted and impacted me with their motto of being ‘Prophets of Love and Servants of Reconciliation.’”
Meet our students!
Each year we ask our students in formation to introduce themselves. This year’s group includes four candidates, four professed seminarians, and three novices. They are men from a wide variety of cultural, educational and work backgrounds. Yet they all speak of their shared call to the spirituality found in the Priests of the Sacred Heart (Dehonians) and a desire to serve others.
“The fact that the SCJs are committed to continuing Christ’s work of rebuilding our world into God’s kingdom of justice and love is a strong connection for me,” wrote Kenneth Anyanwu, a first-year candidate.
Frater Huan Pham, SCJ, from Vietnam, said that “Dehonians, in their own charismatic way, essentially attracted and impacted me with their motto of being ‘Prophets of Love and Servants of Reconciliation.’” Frater Huan came to the US Province after seven years of formation and studies in the Philippines and a pastoral year in Vietnam.
“I am touched by the SCJs’ desire to help those whom society rejects the most, and how that charism plays such an important role in the life of a missionary,” wrote Jacob Smith, who at 19 is the youngest member of the formation community. A convert to Catholicism, this is Jacob’s first year in formation.
About formation itself, Novice John Huan Nguyen said that he is “very happy to be a part of the community because we bring out the best in each other, but also sometimes the worst. Yet, I would not trade it for anything else. Now, I reflect on my vocational journey with the Priests of the Sacred Heart, learning to be intimately united with Christ in the ‘Ecce Venio’ and ‘Ecce Ancilla.’ This year is intense, but I am willing to be part of this fraternal living. Most of all, I am happy to be part of the community. The novitiate can be difficult, but it is also a sweet stage of my life.”
Click here to read the rest of the student introductions.