The US Missionaries of the Sacred currently work in California, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida, as well as in Colombia and Papua New Guinea, bringing the love of the Heart of Jesus to parishes, educational and job training programs, retreats, prisons, Native American reservations, and to many other places through their daily interactions with the people they serve.
MSC in California are involved in parish ministry, Hispanic ministry, and Native American ministry.
Parishes in California staffed by MSC:
- Holy Family Parish in Hesperia, CA
- St. Francis Xavier Cabrini Parish in Crestline, CA
- Our Lady of Solitude Parish in Palm Springs, CA
- Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Palm Springs, CA
- St. Therese Parish in Palm Springs, CA
- St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish in Riverside, CA
- St. Andrew Kim DaeGon Parish in Riverside, CA
Native American Ministry
Native American Ministry in Southern California includes six Native American reservations (Torres Martinez, Pechanga, Cahuilla, Santa Rosa, Morongo, and Soboba). This ministry focuses on strengthening communities by bringing Catholic teachings and values while also honoring and preserving Native American customs, culture and traditions. MSC Native American ministry also supports the operation of St. Jude School (K-5) which combines general, cultural, and religious education.
MSC in Illinois work in Hispanic ministry, parish ministry, and retreat ministry, which includes parish missions as well as Life’s Healing Journey retreats. The national headquarters of the US Province of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart is also located in Aurora, Illinois, and MSC there are involved in vocation promotion and fundraising for the missions.
Parishes in Illinois staffed by the MSC:
- St. Therese of Jesus Parish in Aurora, IL
- St. Joseph Parish Shrine in Chicago, IL
- St. Michael Parish in Chicago, IL
MSC in New York are involved in parish ministry and hospital ministry, as well as the Sacred Heart Foundation and Mission Project Service.
Parishes in New York staffed by MSC are:
- Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish in Watertown, NY
- The Catholic Community of Cape Vincent, Rosiere and Chaumont in Cape Vincent, NY
MSC in Pennsylvania are involved in parish ministry, Catholic education, and work for the Diocese of Allentown. The Pennsylvania Community is also home to Sacred Heart Villa, which is a retirement home for MSC priests and brothers.
Parishes in Pennsylvania staffed by MSC:
Fr. Bernie Jakubco, MSC, works in Florida in parish ministry and Hispanic ministry, as well as prison ministry in a maximum security prison.
Parishes in Florida staffed by MSC:
- Immaculate Conception Parish in Perry, FL
In 1969, MSC from the United States began working in the parish of Santa Margarita Maria, which is located in a poor, working class section of Bogotá. Because the families in the area were very poor and schoolbooks were expensive, one of the MSC’s first projects at the parish was establishing a library with all the textbooks children needed for school and where students could come to study. Since then, the MSC in Colombia have been involved in a variety of pastoral activities such as youth programs, teaching, family enrichment programs, and social services.
Today, in addition to Santa Margarita Maria Parish, MSC in Colombia are also involved in formation and provide direct assistance to the poor. As part of their formation, the seminarians studying at Casa Chevalier go on mission experiences to very remote areas in Colombia during their Christmas and Easter vacations. Seminarians also help manage the MSC farm, thereby helping to provide the food they eat.
At the MSC community house, which is located in a poor section of Bogotá, the MSC provide meals 2-3 times a day, every day, to everyone who comes to the door asking for food. A couple of years ago, the MSC also founded the Fundación Justicia en la Verdad (Truth and Justice Foundation) which builds houses and provides educational assistance for poor families in Bogotá and other regions of Colombia. Last year, through the Truth and Justice Foundation, the MSC were able to provide 43 families in Bogotá with the very first place they could call “home”.
Papua New Guinea
In 1946, after the Second World War, we sent a team of six young priests to begin the process of rebuilding the local Church of PNG. It was a daunting task, especially in the early years. There were no buildings, no roads, no vehicles. But the missionaries were young, filled with the love of the Sacred Heart, and ready to tackle any challenge.
In the middle of September, 2011, Father Leon Weisenberger, MSC returned to the USA from Papua New Guinea (PNG). Thus ended 65 years of ministry by American Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in the developing country of PNG.
Over the years and with the help of generous benefactors, the missionaries built churches, schools, clinics, hospitals. After walking miles and miles through jungle and bush, they helped build roads and even runways for small planes. They developed a communication system by short-wave radio. They learned the language and instructed people in the faith. Eventually they translated the liturgy and the Bible into the local languages. They trained local catechists to help spread the Good News of salvation.
The missionaries worked themselves out of a job. Like the Apostle Paul, who established churches and then moved on, the MSC accomplished their mission by setting up the church and placing it in the hands of the local clergy and people. Priests, Brothers and Sisters, born and raised in the islands of PNG, have now taken over the mission of Christ in that church. Missionaries of the Sacred Heart now have a full complement of local members to continue sharing the love of Christ. They in turn have begun sending missionaries to other countries. And so the missionary cycle continues.
Seventeen of the American MSC who ministered in PNG over the past 65 years have died and gone on to their eternal reward. The other 19 are mostly active in the US church, although a few are too elderly and ill to continue in active ministry. One of our responsibilities as a community is to care for these men who gave their lives to Christ and made a difference in the world.
The Sacred Heart Foundation provides scholarships to young men around the world who are studying to become MSC. Over the years they have awarded more than $1 million in scholarships.
Mission Project Service strives to help Church people and other agents of development in less-industrialized countries obtain assistance from international agencies for their religious and socio-economic projects.
We hope you enjoy the stories of these men who have followed God’s call in the service of the Kingdom and we invite you to share in the missionary work of the Church by helping us care for them by donating to the MSC and supporting our mission.