Sacred Heart of Jesus, Priests of

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A clerical religious institute of pontifical status (SCJ; Official Catholic Directory #1130) founded at Saint-Quentin, France, in 1878 by Rev. Léon G. dehon.

Dehon had been ordained nine years, possessed doctorates in theology, civil and Canon law, and philosophy, and had been made honorary canon of the cathedral of Soissons when he founded the congregation in 1878. Ten years later, Leo XIII granted the decree of praise to the congregation, which in this same year undertook its first missionary work in Ecuador. It also spread throughout Europe, rapidly developing in size and in activity. Missionaries were sent to Brazil in 1893 and to the Congo in 1897. Two years after Pius X granted the congregation the decree of approbation (1906), mission work began in Finland, and in 1912, in Cameroon. In 1923 missions were established in the Union of South Africa and Indonesia, and a foundation was made in the U.S. at the Indian mission of Lower Brule, South Dakota. The same year the constitutions of the congregation received final approbation from the Holy See. In the U.S., the work initiated by Father Matthias Fohrman and his companions from the German province, expanded so rapidly that in 1933 the North American province was formally erected.

In the U.S., the congregation are engaged in parish administration, chaplaincies, catechetics, mission work at home and abroad, retreats, spiritual direction, counseling, pastoral ministries, social outreach and education. The U.S. provincialate is in Hales Corner, WI. The generalate is in Rome.

[j. t. o'connor]

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Sacred Heart of Jesus, Priests of

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