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May 20, 2024

A Dehonian Pentecost

“I found this retreat to be a ‘Pentecost’ experience.  Sr. Diane Bergant’s presentations were like a steady wind filling the conference room.”
The comment is from Fr. Guy Blair, SCJ, one of 25 participants in last week’s retreat for those in active ministry. The theme was “synodality,” and it was led by Sr. Dianne Bergant, CSA (pictured below), professor emerita in Old Testament Studies at Catholic Theological Union (just one of many listings on her curriculum vitae).
We asked several of the participants to reflect on the experience.
“It was a wonderful retreat,” wrote Frater Hung Pham, SCJ. “Sr. Dianne helped me to understand how to live in synodality with people, but especially with the SCJ community. One of the purposes of synodality is to establish the reign of God on earth, echoing the words of Fr. Dehon: ‘Adveniat Regnum Tuum’, thy kingdom come. Nothing is more important than bringing the love of God to people.”

“Coming from a French tradition where people sometimes talk a lot without concision, I loved Sr. Dianne’s presentations,” wrote Fr. Floribert Bulo Dhelo, a Congolese SCJ preparing for ministry in the US Province. “Her presentations were with words that were short, clear, and extremely consistent. She defined synodality as a process, a journeying together. This means clearly for me that synodality is not just an ideological concept but a practical possibility. However, we need to make the decision to start or to continue this journey.”
“The retreat reminded me that there is only one mission: to make known God’s name and the one he sends to save the world,” wrote Fr. Joseph Mukuna, SCJ. “These four days of retreat were not just a learning period but a transformative experience. They helped me to understand synodality as a ‘Dehonian Pentecost.’ Just as the original Pentecost was a turning point for the Apostles, this retreat on synodality was a call for RENEWAL, a search for new ways of being an SCJ and doing mission. It was an invitation to live out the Spirit, to ‘get out of the sacristy,’ and work for the transformation of the world.”
Click here to read more.
Click here to view a few photos from the last day.


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