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The Dehonians (community of the Sacred Heart Priests, Latin Congregatio Sacerdotum a sacro Corde Jesu , abbreviation SCJ or SCI ) are a religious community in the Roman Catholic Church . The French priest Léon Gustave Dehon (1843–1925) founded the community in 1878.


Around the world, around 2,200 confreres belong to this community. The Sacred Heart Priests are particularly well represented in Brazil today . About 50 Sacred Heart Priests live and work in the German branches: Freiburg im Breisgau (training and study center, sick pastoral care, etc.), Handrup / Emsland ( Leoninum grammar school , parish pastoral care), Maria Martental (pilgrimage church and parish pastoral care near Leienkaul , Kaisersesch association ) , Oberhausen , Berlin (parish pastoral care and city pastoral care) and in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse (provincial council, Herz-Jesu-Kloster Neustadt an der Weinstrasse , educational and retreat house, parish pastoral care). Some confreres also work individually. The German Heiner Wilmer , who was General Superior of the Community until 2018 , became Bishop of Hildesheim in the same year .

working area

The Sacred Heart Priests belong to the so-called apostolic congregations, whose members often work in pastoral care ( parish ), in categorical pastoral care for certain groups of people, such as the sick, the elderly, young people, etc., as well as in education (school, religious instruction, religious adult education ) are active. These communities also support people in need at home and abroad.

In Berlin the Dehonians leave the neighborhood in trendy quarters inspire and make unconventional offers to bring the people to the faith and the Church in touch like a carpenter workshop ( "Do it yourself! Zimmermann, each (r)" ), an action in the monastery garden, single church services for Valentine's Day or church services with animal blessings. The monthly pub evenings with the opportunity for religious conversation have the motto “About God at Gagarin ”.


It is typical for apostolic communities that the members are not permanently tied to a particular monastery, but can be transferred as required. After the novitiate, the confreres make the profession of poverty, celibacy and obedience. With these vows they belong initially to the institute for a while and after their perpetual profession forever. In 2007, the Dehonians included around 1590 priests , 2 cardinals, 20 bishops , 26 deacons and 160 lay brothers. In 2018 there were 1580 priests. All members in the Order have - at least in theory - the same rights and duties. The approximately 400 young confreres in formation ( novices , brothers and students) are also part of the community - in a graduated manner. The confreres do not wear a habit and are not obliged to pray together in the choir. At the head of the community, the superior general is subordinate to the Pope in Rome . The superior general is elected temporarily by the chapter, the assembly of delegated confreres from all parts of the world. The head of each province, the provincial superior and the rectors of the houses are elected for a period of time. Elected councils support the officers in their work. In some countries the houses are assigned to regions and districts instead of a province.

On October 6, 2015, the general government in Rome appointed Father Heinz Lau to be Provincial of the German Order Province after a four-month interim tour. Lau replaced Father Heiner Wilmer , who had again taken over this office from Father August Hülsmann on August 1, 2007 and was elected Superior General of the Order on May 25, 2015.

General Superior

Spiritual alignment

The Spirituality of Dehonians is strong on Jesus Christ related. His love for people is venerated under the sign of the heart opened on the cross. Jesus' love was especially for the poor and disadvantaged. That is why the Dehonians want to make church and society more just by helping people to reconcile one another and with God. In this way they combine mysticism and politics. Daily life and prayer in community, but also the diverse involvement in church and world are equally important to them.

Sacred Heart Priests and other orders

There is another religious order (lat. Congregatio Sacratissimi Cordis Iesu ), the Congrégation du Sacré-Cœur , which was founded by the priest Timon David under the almost same abbreviation SCJ . Confusion with the Sacred Heart Missionaries (MSC) is also more common.



  • Yves Ledure SCJ: Meet Leo Dehon. Augsburg: Sankt Ulrich, 2004.
  • Gerhard Valerius: The Heart of Jesus and the Social Question - Leo Dehon (1843–1925), founder of the Sacred Heart Priests (SCJ). Würzburg: Echter, 1992.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Dehonians choose successor to Heiner Wilmer. Retrieved August 29, 2018 .
  2. ^ The date for the consecration of Heiner Wilmer has been set. Accessed August 31, 2018 .
  3. Successor elected to Father Wilmer from Schapen . ( [accessed on August 31, 2018]).
  4. When the romantic hour strikes. Accessed August 31, 2018 .
  5. Out of the sacristy - into life. Retrieved August 29, 2018 .
  6. Monastery wine tasting and short pilgrimages: Sacred Heart Priests enrich neighborhood life. Accessed August 31, 2018 .
  7. ^ The Sacred Heart Priests: Archive link ( Memento from October 7, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  8. A new superior general! Dehonianer, July 20, 2018, accessed July 27, 2018 .