THE POOR AND THE HOMELSSS LOSE A FRIEND
Brother Dennis Newton SVD, 62, passed away on Saturday, April 5, surrounded by family, friends, and fellow Divine Word Missionaries.
The Mission Center was founded in 1958 and Brother Dennis was appointed national mission director by the Generalate in Rome in 2002. Brother Dennis was responsible for raising funds for
the ministries and programs of over 6,000 missionaries working in Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe, and South America. Their activities include sharing the Word of God, ministering in Catholic parishes, developing health care clinics, and building schools.
For nine years, Brother Dennis served as vice-provincial of the Chicago Province, which extends from Canada to the West Indies and from Iowa to Massachusetts.
During his years of service, he taught at Holy Rosary Institute in Lafayette, Louisiana, and was on the pastoral staff at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Lafayette. He also held several leadership roles in the Society of the Divine Word U.S. Southern Province, including provincial treasurer, director of brother formation, retreat center director, and pastoral administrator of St. Rose de Lima Parish.
Dennis Newton was born in Waterloo, Iowa, in 1951. He was the son of the late Rita (Fischels) and James Newton. He was the brother of Kathy (Gary) Miller of La Porte City, Iowa, and Candy (Chris) McKern of Kasson, Minnesota.
Brother Dennis became a Divine Word Missionary in 1977 and professed perpetual vows in 1983. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Divine Word College in Epworth, Iowa, and a master’s in business administration from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In the late 1980s, he returned to Divine Word College and served as business manager, director of admissions, and national vocation director, guiding young men as they considered becoming brothers and priests.
Brother Dennis was an advocate for the homeless. In 2001, he received the Volunteer of the Year award from Residents for Effective Shelter Transitions (REST), which provides shelter and food for Chicago’s homeless.
He served on the board of directors for Two Lil’ Fishes, a meal program for the homeless in Chicago, and Leading India’s Future Today (LIFT), a non-profit organization dedicated to developing leadership excellence among youth in Tamil Nadu, India.
The wake for Brother Dennis was held on Friday, April 11, at 7 p.m. in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit in Techny Towers Retreat and Conference Center. The funeral begun at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 12, in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit. Internment took place in St. Mary’s Cemetery at Techny.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts to be distributed among Brother Dennis’s favorite charities may be sent in his name to Divine Word Missionaries, P.O. Box 6099, Techny, IL 60082-6099 or CLICK HERE.
Golden Jubilee for Fr. Richard Daschbach SVD
Fr. Richard Daschbach, the founder and director of Topus Honis Shelter Home in East Timor, marks the 50th anniversary of ordination this year.
Fr. Daschbach, a native of Pittsburgh, founded Topu Honis in 1993. He has lived in the region since 1966 and has dedicated his life to serving the people of the Oecussi mountains.
Topus Honis provides a loving happy home for children and works to find sponsors for college education for its graduating members. In addition, it serves the surrounding community through medicine disbursement. midwifery, agricultural training. support for widows, and cultural preservation.
Topus Honis is located in one of the world's poorest countries. Timor-Leste has a per capita GDP of $536/year (2010 IMF estimate) and a child malnutrition rate of close to 50%. A patriarchal culture results in high rates of domestic violence and limited opportunities for girls and women. Topu Honis not only meets the practical needs of food, shelter, and clothing for its members, it also works towards gender equality and women's empowerment.
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Children’s Parliament Convenes in Indore
Here in the United States, a recent Rasmussen survey of likely voters found only 8% of respondents think Congress is doing a good or excellent job. Perhaps they should study the Children’s Congress, an assembly of children under age 18 sponsored by Janvikas Society of Indore, India.
Divine Word Missionary, Fr. Roy Thomas is the director of Janvikas, a social service agency dedicated to improving the lives of children and families. Janvikas works with children in the slum areas of Indore who have dropped out of school or whose attendance is only spotty because they are working in menial jobs.
Through the Children’s Parliament, children organize to address specific problems they face in their daily lives. These activities are spearheaded by elected officials, such as the Education Minister, the Health Minister, or Finance Minister.
To read more about the work of the Janvikas Society, please visit their website at https://www.facebook.com/janvikasindore