Most years, members of the International Dehonian Theological Commission meet in Rome in late fall. But as with many other gatherings during the pandemic year, this one also went virtual. Sitting in front of their computer screens around the world, coordinators of each of the continental theological commissions met with Fr. Stefan Tertünte, SCJ (director of the Centro Studi Dehoniani in Rome) and Fr. Artur Sanecki, SCJ (general councilor). Fr. Carlos Luis Suarez Codorniú, SCJ (superior general) opened the meeting, encouraging the commission to “help the congregation walk in the way of our charism today in this world – so different from even a year ago,” said Fr. John van den Hengel, SCJ, coordinator of the North American commission.
The continental coordinators updated each other on the activities of their commissions. Asia has focused on exploring reparation in the Asian context; Europe has undertaken a study of Fr. Dehon’s Couronnes d’amour.
Fr. Stefan gave an overview of some of the recent work of the Centro Studi Dehoniani. Of note: 1) The papers of the Sacred Heart Congress held at the Generalate in November, 2019, have been published in a volume with the title Sacred Heart Devotion. 2) David Neuhold's biography of Fr. Dehon has now been translated into Italian, Spanish and English; the English version will also appear in digital form on the website of the CSD. 3) The CSD website will publish the biography of Fr. Dehon by Bishop Joseph Philippe, the second Superior General. The biography is noteworthy because it provides a perspective of Fr. Dehon by someone who was very close to him. 4) The CSD website updated the publication of the letters of Fr. Dehon; the CSD has uncovered and transcribed more than 10,000 letters. So far, letters dating up to 1901 are on the site.
Other topics of discussion at the meeting included the congregation’s Constitutions; some SCJs have indicated a desire to reread and revitalize them. There was a review of the International Theological Seminar on Sint Unum, held virtually for the first time. Participants also reflected on the impact of COVID-19, and discussed possibilities for the next General Conference, which will most likely be held as a virtual event in 2021.
Click here to read more about the meeting on the DehonCanada website. Pictured above: the Theological Commission in a familiar group photo style for the year of virtual meetings.
Let the Priests of the Sacred Heart pray for your loved ones and intentions.