May 22 1999

What's New

This week in preparation of the General Conference there are three new texts presented. One in Italian, is an article from the ACLI's Dossier written by Riccardo Moro, "La Fenomenologia del debito"; another, in French, is the first part of a speech made by Prof. M. Albert Hari, from Strassbourg: "L'Argent - Maitre du Monde?", and finally in English we have the second part of the article from the Anchor Bible about "Year of Jubilee", by Christopher Wright. We hope these documents will be of assistance to you. (CF. General Conference Section)

This week there are no new additions to our Bibliography.

by Carlos Alberto da Costa Silva (CU)

During the just completed meeting of formation personnel in Rome (see below) several scjs were asked to give their personal reflections of the event. Today we present one by Richard Dileo (US) and another by Juan Cerin (AU), each in their native language (CF. Formation Meeting Reflections).

The IND region has forwarded information about the recent first profession of scjs and the reception into the novitiate of the second class of novices (CF. News from India).

We present the fourth in our series of Dehon cartoons by Javier Prate, a collaborator on several SCJ publications in Spain. The images are displayed in the church of Saint Martin, Saint Quentin (GA). They are aimed at young people, but can be appreciated by all generations. They depict different scenes in Fr. Dehon's life and his spirituality. this week's image is entitled: "Il crée un journal, il se bat pour des idées".

We have posted to the Vocation Page a letter (CF. May 21, 1999) sent to participants and major superiors regarding the Lavras Conference (August 1-20, 1999), as well as an updated program outline (CF. International Vocation Meeting). Please visit the Vocation Page to access these documents.

What's Happening

On Friday, May 21, the Meeting of Formation Directors ended in Rome. There were 39 scjs participating. They came from these provinces, regions and Districts: AM:1, AU:2, BH:1, BM:4, BS:2, CA:1, CH:1, CM:1, GA:1, GE:1, HI:3, IM:1, IN:2, IND:2, IS:2, LU:3, MAD:2, PHI:1, PO:3, US:2, ZA:1.

Osnildo Klann (BM) and Zolile Mpambani (CU) moderated the meeting while, Wilson Joenck (BM) was responsible for the synthesis and Francesco Mazzotta (IS) for the minutes. One of the highlights of the meeting was the two conferences given by Amadeo Cencini, a Canossian priest and an expert in formation. Fr. General addressed the group in the opening and closing Eucharists as well as during the first day's proceedings. The general council had a day to speak about the specific sector of activity each one follows. A final document will be posted to this web site as soon as it is becomes available

by Odilo Leviski (BM)

Meeting of Latin American Formation Directors

On the 8 May 1999, the Latin American scj formation directors met at the Leo Dehon College in Rome. Among those present were Fr. Carlos Alberto da Costa Silva (CU), Fr. Zolile Mpambani (CU), and Fr. Osnildo C. Klann (coordinator of permanent formation for the Congregation).

The opening and welcome was done by Fr. Bressanelli, the Superior General, who highlighted the importance of formation, of the work done by the formation directors of the same geographic zone.

Among other topics dealt with were the following:

1) Evaluation of the Latin American Novitiate in Argentina.

One of the religious who made his novitiate in Argentina, two formation directors of the post-novices who made their novitiate in the same province and the novice-master, Fr. Exner, were present at the meeting. They unanimously confirmed the formative value of that experience, above all, the aspect of internationality and of the relationships with other provinces and cultures. They further suggested that the formation directors who send their novices there have to come and spend a longer time with them. Fr. Exner promised to develop the dynamics of that process of formation , highlighting the experience of prayer, community life and mission. He added that the people play a very important role in the formation of novices.

2) The preparation for perpetual vows.

According to the formation directors, the contents of that preparation are satisfactory and very positive, even the duration. It always ends with a spiritual retreat. One feminine religious was invited to give a talk, and her presence there was highly valued.

In spite of the positive aspect of that experience, it is necessary to observe that:

a) A continuous presence of a formation director among the participants is necessary. Without that presence there is definitely a lack of a uniting line.

b) We do not have to give a too festive character to that preparation process, e.g. with many tours and other festive occasions.

c) We need to send the written evaluation also to those who gave conferences in the course.

3) Preparation for the formation directors meeting in Chile in the year 2000.

Given the fact that the representative of Chile was absent, only certain aspects were dealt with under this heading.
a) The theme: The dehonian apostolate in the new millennium. Under that title we need to reflect on the formation process, the post-novitiate formation and the Social works of Fr. Dehon.

b) Some suggestions to deepen: Perhaps to give new dynamics in these formation directors meetings so that there will be a line of continuity, maybe one in charge of this area. Besides, a certain dynamic of transmitting the results of such meetings to all formation directors. The possibility of having a meeting for all formation directors of Latin America every fourth year was also brought forward.

by Osnildo Klann (BM)

Please Remember

+Fr. Maurice Mathieu (GA)

Born: 02.02.14
First Profession: 01.11.37
Ordination: 21.04.46
Died: 10.05.99
at Mougins, France

+Fr. Paschalis Motsamai (SA)

Born: 01.12.41
First Profession: 08.09.65
Ordination: 27.03.71
Died: 10.05.99
at Aliwal North, South Africa

+ Fr. Paschalis Motsamai was born on December 1, 1941, in Aliwal North. He made his first profession of vows on September 8, 1965 He studied in England and was ordained there on March 27, 1971.

He worked as parish priest:

1972-74 - St. Francis Parish - Aliwal North

June 1974 - 78 - Rouxville

1978 - 80 - Teresa Mission as Novice Master

1980 - 85 - Dordrecht

1985 - 86 - Burgersdorp and Rouxville

1986 - 89 - Rouxville

1989 - 93 - Rouxville and St. Francis - Aliwal North

September 1993 until March 1996 - Molteno

August 1997 - January 1999 - Mt. Carmel as a hospital chaplain and parish priest for the nearby farms

From 02 February 1999 he was appointed parish priest in Graaff-Reinet. He became ill in April, and spent several weeks in the hospitals in both Graaff-Reinet and Aliwal North.

He died in Fatima House in Aliwal North on 10 May, 1999.

Fr. Paschalis loved music. He loved singing and taught hymns with dedication. In the period of the liturgical reform when the new hymn books were produced, he even put a few liturgical texts into music.

He was very helpful to bishop Lobinger by translating quite a few texts from English to Sotho.

Provided by Ziggy Chwaja (SA)
+Br. Gerald Selenke (ZA)

born: 06.02.40
first profession: 08.09.59
died: 12.05.99
at Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Br. Jerry Selenke, SCJ, died May 12 in Milwaukee. He was 59 and had been a member of the Priests of the Sacred Heart since 1959.

Originally from Kansas, he was a high school student at the SCJs' Divine Heart Seminary in Donaldson, Ind., before entering the novitiate at 18. He studied philosophy at Kilroe Seminary in Honesdale, Penn., education at St. Francis College in Fort Wayne, Ind., and physics at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. He also took additional technical training in computers.

His first assignment was back where he began -- as a teacher at Divine Heart. Two years later, he was named assistant novice master for the brothers' program. He also worked as business manager of Vocation Central, a national clearing house for people interested in religious life and priesthood.

Serving his religious community, he has been on a variety of committees and commissions (admissions board, brothers committee and formation commission) and was the first brother from the U.S. Province to serve on its Provincial Council (two terms: 1970-76). Later, as a member of the Zairean Province, he served another three years on its council, as well as on the vocation, formation and finance committees for Zaire.

In 1976, Br. Jerry began the work for which he is best remembered -- serving as a missionary in Africa. In Lesotho, South Africa, he served as manager of the Technical School of Leribe. He returned to the United States in 1979 to supervise construction projects at St. Joseph's Indian School in Chamberlain, S.D. (St. Joe's is a residential school operated by the Priests of the Sacred Heart for "at-risk" Native American children). However, in 1982 he was back in Africa, serving as the "procurator of the mission" in Zaire (now, the Democratic Republic of the Congo). As procurator, he was the logistics coordinator of everything from supplies to communication for an area about the size of the United States' Midwest.

Uprisings and civil war are a way of life for the people of the Congo. The infrastructure of the country is in collapse -- the banks, post office, hospital and most stores have all shut down. The Procure was originally designed to supply SCJ operations in the country. However, since the early 1990s, it has taken on a much larger role, trying to fill the void created by the infrastructure collapse. Br. Jerry worked to supply church and other non-profit organizations in the country with needed supplies. If people in the interior need cement, airplane tickets, visas, medicine, fuel, a message sent home, they usually went through Br. Jerry.

Besides helping people with material goods, Br. Jerry was often been called upon to serve as a mediator. In 1992, Br. Jerry negotiated for the release of 16 demonstrators arrested during a civil rights protest. He is one of few foreigners who have had access to prisoners.

When foreign aid agencies have come in, they generally worked with Br. Jerry and the Procure to learn how they could get things done and whom they could trust.

In recent years, the situation in the Congo became even more precarious and many outside agencies, religious orders and church organizations have left, fearing the violence. Yet, Br. Jerry continued his work. In August, 1998, the city of Kisangani was within a couple of days of running out of drinking water because the water treatment plant ran out of the chemicals needed for purifying the water. Br. Jerry arranged to have a cargo plane bring in 35 tons of chemicals. Through his efforts, he ensured that drinking water would continue to be available for the city of over 500,000 people.

During a visit back to the States last fall, Br. Jerry learned that he had a cancerous tumor in his throat. During his initial months of treatment, he continued his work for the Congo, coordinating supply efforts via e-mail, phone calls and the fax machine.

Funeral arrangements will be at Sacred Heart Monastery in Hales Corners, Wis.

provided by Mary Gorski
Office of Provincial Communications

Dehon Photo of the Week

This week Stefan Tertünte (GE) has chosen a photo of Leo John Dehon's mother. He also provides a commentary on the relationship between Stéphanie Adèle Belzamine Vandelet and her son. Please link to Photos from the Life of Fr. Dehon #5.