August 12, 2013, the death anniversary of Fr. Dehon, was a very special day for the SCJ Community in Vietnam and the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. On this day a new SCJ District was established in the territory of Vietnam. The ceremony took place in Ho Chi Minh City in the new house that was dedicated last April 30, 2013. During the Holy Eucharist, presided by vicar general Fr. John van den Hengel, Fr. Paulus Sugino, the general councilor for Asia, read the act of erection of a new SCJ District in Vietnam. The new district has its own administration and is composed of 17 religious, of which 14 were members of the Philippine Region The erection of this new district was preceded by a special assembly that was held on August 11, 2013. The celebration was attended by two members of General Curia in Rome, provincial superior of EUF Province and three representatives from the Philippines.
“For Him I lived for Him I die” – with these words on August 12, 1925, Fr. Leo Dehon, the founder of the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, ended his earthly pilgrimage. In this short summary he enclosed his passion for God and His love that was shown to the humankind through the open Heart of Jesus. His desire was to establish the “Reign of God in the souls and society.”
Each year, the anniversary of his death is a special event celebrated by the whole congregation and different communities all over the world. Very often it is preceded by a special novena prayer commemorating the life and works of our Founder, which gives us an opportunity to reflect on our charism and mission in the Church and society. The very day of his death anniversary is a day of thanksgiving for the gift of his life very much celebrated in all formation communities.
Like in previous years, the community in Cagayan de Oro, held a special Thanksgiving Mass and dinner to commemorate this anniversary. The concelebrated Mass was presided by Fr. Andrew Sudol, the formator of Postulacy Program and was attended by SCJ confreres, seminarians and friends of the congregation.