In the Apostolic Letter: “Gaudete et Exsultate”, Pope Francis proposed to recover the memory of the Christian saints: “We do not think only of those already beatified and canonized. The Holy Spirit bestows holiness in abundance among God’s holy and faithful people, for ‘it has pleased God to make men and women holy and to save them, not as individuals without any bond between them, but rather as a people who might acknowledge him in truth and serve him in holiness’” (No. 6).
The Superior General, Fr. José Ornelas, in a letter addressed to the Congregation on May 31, 2004, established November 26 as DEHONIAN MEMORIAL DAY. Let us recall what was said by Fr. General: “The General Administration welcomes the Chapter recommendation with a deep sense of gratitude toward God for all the Dehonian missionaries and religious who were and are faithful to our charism, and we invite everyone to give particular honor to our martyrs. For this reason, in a session of the General Council held on May 11, the DEHONIAN MEMORIAL DAY was decreed to be celebrated every year on November 26, the anniversaries of death of the Servant of God Fr. André Prevot, SCJ, and of Msgr. Joseph Wittebols, SCJ. This day should be appropriately prepared and celebrated in all communities, especially in the formation communities, as well as with the laity who collaborate in our pastoral, educational and missionary activities. May this celebration be a good occasion to know and remember these people who marked the history of our Provinces, Regions, Districts and Congregation, or a specific work or sector of our mission.”
This year, to celebrate Dehonian Memorial Day, we want to direct our gaze to a particularly important moment that is to be remembered: the centenary of the end of the First World War (November 11, 1918). The Congregation was strongly wounded by this Great War, endangering its survival and causing numerous internal conflicts. Many confreres were forced to participate in the war and 33 of them lost their lives.
Confreres who collaborate with the General Curia have prepared various resources to celebrate this day. We provide them here on our website. Have a blessed celebration.
– Photos of confreres’ letters to Fr. Dehon (download)
– Photos of SCJ houses hit in World War I (download)
– Photos of Dehonians killed in World War I (download)
– Photos of World War I (download)