Formation community welcomes a visitor from Rome

The formation community with Fr. Stefan

Frater Henry Nguyen, SCJ, writes about Fr. Stefan Tertünte’s visit with the formation community at Sacred Heart Monastery. Fr. Stefan, director of the Centro Studi Dehoniani in Rome, was in Hales Corners as a responder at the November 13 Dehon Lecture at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. Henry writes:

Fr. Stefan Tertünte, SCJ, met with the formation community on November 15. Fr. Ed Zemlik and Br. Duane Lemke joined us. During his visit with us, Fr. Stefan shared with us some key points of the recently released Programmatic Letter called His Way Is Our Way that the General Administration sent to all entities as they began their 2018-2024 term.

Before diving into details of the letter, Fr. Stefan shared with us how he came to know the Priests of the Sacred Heart (SCJ): he was at a national Catholic gathering and discovered the SCJs in a magazine. No limits to the types of apostolate is what attracted him to the SCJs. He had come to learn that regardless of where we are, we remain faithful to this type of spirituality, that our charism calls us to be Christ-centered. This is rooted in Fr. Stefan’s favorite constitution citing: “As disciples of Father Dehon, we want to make union with Christ in His love for the Father and for all the principle and center of our life” (Cst 17).

We, as SCJs, are called to minister according to the signs of the time and what helps us to do that are two things identified in the programmatic letter: synodality and Sint Unum. Though synodality literally means walking together, it is not enough to describe it just as that; we as Dehonians continue to live side by side with each other and with Christ. There is this need and sense of accompaniment, living in community with one another. Part of Constitution #59 reminds us how to live as a community, “Within the Church, we are called to follow Christ and in the world to be witnesses and servants of the communion of people in a fraternal community.” As Dehonians living together under one roof in a multicultural community, “Community life requires that each one accepts others as they are with their personalities, their duties, their initiatives, and their limits, and that each one allows himself to be called in question by his brothers” in a way to be loving and accepting of one another whose cultural and upbringing is unlike our own (Cst #66). This how we also come to participate in the life of the other (confrere) in a fraternal way. We are called to accept the diversity around us as we come to work together.

This call of ours, this call of mine (ownership) can be summed up: “In Fr. Dehon’s view, the Ecce Venio defines the fundamental attitude of our life. It turns our obedience into an act of oblation; it patterns our life on Christ’s own, for the redemption of the world, to the glory of the Father” (Cst 59).

This is the spirit of the Congregation, “Our way as SCJs is to see him, with an open heart as we see Jesus’ pierced side, not only to ponder at God but to mission,” said Fr. Stefan.

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