Lettre du p. Gustave – Letter of Fr. Gustave Lulendo

Les Prêtres du Sacré-Cœur Le Supérieur RégionalThe Priests of the Sacred Heart The Regional Superior

Chers confrères,

Paix et joie en Jésus-Christ. Espérant que le beau temps que nous avons maintenant a apporté plus de gaieté et de sérénité dans la vie de tous les jours, même si l’avenir reste tributaire de l’évolution de la pandémie de Covid-19.

Je sais que nous sommes tous affectés par cette situation qui ne dépend pas de nous et que chacun de nous est appelé à revoir ses plans pour l’été étant donné que certains ont prévu des vacances bien méritées ou des visites en famille ou entre amis. Les activités de notre Région n’ont pas été épargnées non plus et la nouvelle situation nous a amenés à prendre certaines décisions parfois avec un petit pincement au cœur.

En effet, après avoir été forcés de célébrer la fête du Sacré-Cœur d’une manière peu traditionnelle par rapport à nos habitudes, nous regrettons de devoir manquer une réunion doublement importante pour la Région. Il s’agit de la visite du Père Carlos Luis Suarez scj, notre Supérieur général, ainsi que de la tenue de notre Assemblée régionale initialement prévue pour août prochain. Le Père Général, qui avait le désir de visiter notre région, a finalement décidé de le reporter car les conditions actuelles ne favorisent pas son déplacement. Nous le remercions de l’attention particulière qu’il porte à notre région; cela s’est manifesté par sa présence lors de notre zoom à l’occasion de la fête du Sacré-Cœur. C’est l’occasion pour moi de remercier tous les confrères pour leur participation à la célébration de ce rendez-vous à travers lequel nous avons pu revivre notre «Sint Unum», quoique en mode virtuel.

Parmi les raisons qui ont amené le changement dans le programme du père Carlos, il y a la fermeture des frontières canadiennes au reste du monde sauf aux États-Unis, et à toutes les personnes venant de l’extérieur jusqu’au 31 juillet, et l’obligation de se mettre en quarantaine en entrant au Canada. Ces deux mesures nous ont amenés à prendre cette décision onéreuse en concertation avec l’administration générale.

Un autre événement important qui nous manquera ou du moins que nous ne célébrerons pas selon nos coutumes, est la tenue de notre Assemblée Régionale, prévue du 24 au 27 août 2020. Les raisons sont directement liées à la pandémie de Covid-19 qui nous empêche de rassembler plusieurs personnes en même temps et au même endroit. Bien que pour ce type de rassemblement, le port d’un masque et la distanciation physique soient recommandés, notre situation particulière est très délicate: le nombre de confrères âgés ainsi que ceux qui ont des problèmes de santé qui peuvent compliquer leur situation en cas de contamination. C’est une triste situation mais nous n’avons pas d’autre choix que de l’accepter avec foi. Une autre raison liée à ce changement de programme est que le centre de retraite Arnprior – Ontario qui a été réservé pour nos réunions ne peut pas être rouvert au public avant le 1er septembre alors que le “Providence Spirituality Centre” à Kingston n’est pas disponible pour la période prévue pour notre Assemblée. Plus tard, le conseil régional pourra nous donner des orientations précises sur la tenue ou non de cette réunion et sous quelle forme.

Chers confrères, avec cette situation, nous pouvons remarquer que le tableau est encore sombre et que la menace est omniprésente. Personne n’est à l’abri et chacun de nous doit collaborer pour que la maladie n’entre pas chez nous et que nous devenions à notre tour des agents de propagation, exposant nos confrères et ceux qui nous entourent.

Je sais qu’avec la déconfinement progressif, la tentation d’un relâchement est très présente mais en même temps il reste le risque de se contaminer ou de contaminer les autres. Que faire?

Avec le beau temps et la reprise des activités dans les paroisses comme dans la plupart des secteurs de la vie ordinaire, la distanciation physique n’est plus respectée et nous sommes aussi exposés que les autres. C’est pour cette raison que je viens encore une fois pour nous rappeler ce que nous savons déjà mais dont nous avons trop entendu parler au point de nous en lasser, mais notre santé et notre avenir en dépendent. Il y a donc des actions et des comportements à adopter à la fois au niveau communautaire et individuel pour nous protéger et protéger les autres. Chacun doit être conscient de la situation et s’engager dans cette bataille qui demande beaucoup de sacrifices, parfois pour les personnes, les choses et les activités qui nous tiennent à cœur. Prenons la mesure du danger sans trouver de bonnes excuses pour l’éviter. Chaque communauté doit être créative et conscientiser ses membres tout en tenant compte des enjeux pastoraux et des contacts autorisés liés au ministère assigné à la communauté ou à l’individu. Les membres doivent discuter ensemble et prendre des décisions par rapport à leur réalité quotidienne et avoir le courage de s’approcher fraternellement en cas d’abus ou de laxisme. Je sais qu’il n’est pas toujours facile de se dire la vérité, surtout dans le cas de sujets embarrassants, mais tout dépend de la façon dont nous le faisons, tout en évitant de devenir des donneurs de leçons.

À ce sujet, j’apprécie l’initiative de la communauté de Montréal qui, malgré tous les discours déjà entendus sur la pandémie du Covid-19, a accepté d’accueillir une équipe de spécialistes de la santé composée de 3 médecins, dont une religieuse, pour discuter ensemble de la pandémie et ses conséquences dans la vie des communautés en général. La réunion aura lieu le mercredi 08 juillet 2020.

Face à cette situation difficile qui peut conduire à la dépression et au découragement, je pense que le moment est venu pour nous de vivre vraiment notre charisme en étant signes d’espérance les uns pour les autres, et en consolidant nos liens de solidarité et de fraternité. Notre témoignage d’une vie véritablement déhonienne vécue en communauté peut devenir une source d’espoir pour le monde qui nous regarde et vers qui nous sommes envoyés en tant que prophètes de l’amour et serviteurs de la réconciliation. C’est ce que nous pouvons faire par la grâce de Dieu à travers l’intercession du Père Dehon.

Pour conclure, je recommande à vos prières, le séminaire théologique qui se tiendra en mode «google meet» du 11 au 19 juillet 2020, un séminaire international organisé par la Congrégation et initialement prévu à Yaoundé, Cameroun sur le thème: «Sint Unum: défis et perspectives aujourd’hui ».

Que le Seigneur bénisse chacun de nous, notre Région et toute la Congrégation. Bon travail à ceux qui reprennent les activités pastorales et bons moments de repos aux autres.

In corde Jesu                      


Dear Confrères,

Peace and joy in Christ Jesus. Hoping that the good weather we are having now has brought more cheerfulness and serenity in everyday life, even if the future remains dependent on the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic.

I know that we are all affected by this situation which does not depend on us and that each of us is called to review his plans for the summer given that some have planned well-deserved vacations or visits with family and friends. The activities of our Region were not spared either and the new situation has led us to make certain decisions sometimes with a little tug of the heart.

Indeed, after having been forced to celebrate the feast of the Sacred Heart in a way that is not very traditional compared to our habits, we find ourselves in regret at having to miss a doubly important meeting for the Region. This is the visit of Father Carlos Luis Suarez scj, our Superior General, as well as the holding of our Regional Assembly initially scheduled for next August. Father General, who had the desire to visit our region, finally resolved to postpone it because the current conditions do not favor his displacement. We thank him for the special attention he pays to our region; this was manifested by his presence during our zoom on the occasion of the feast of the Sacred Heart. It’s time for me to thank all the confreres for their participation in the celebration of this great meeting through which we were able to experience our “Sint Unum” once again, albeit in virtual mode.

Among the reasons which brought about the change in Father Carlos’ program, there is the closing of the Canadian borders to the rest of the world except the USA, and to all people coming from outside until July 31, and the obligation to quarantine oneself when entering Canada. These two measures, have led us to take this onerous decision in consultation with the general administration.

Another important event which we will miss or at least we will not celebrate according to our customs, is the holding of our Regional Assembly, scheduled from August 24 to 27, 2020. The reasons are directly linked to the Covid-19 pandemic which prevents us from gathering several people at the same time and in the same place. Although for this kind of gathering, wearing a mask and physical distancing are recommended, our particular situation is very delicate: that is the number of older confreres as well as those who have health problems which can complicate their situation in the event of contamination. It is a sad situation but we have no choice but to accept it in faith. Another reason linked to this change in program is that the Arnprior – Ontario retreat center which has been reserved for our meetings cannot be reopened to the public until September 1 while the “Providence Spirituality Center” in Kingston is not available for the period scheduled for our meetings. Later, the regional council will be able to give us specific guidelines regarding whether or not to hold this meeting and in what form.

Dear confreres, with this situation, we can see that the picture is still grim and that the threat is omnipresent. No one is immune and each of us must collaborate so that the disease does not enter our doors and that we become propagating agents in turn, exposing our confreres and those around us.

I know that with progressive deconfinement, the temptation to relax is very present but at the same time the risk remains of contaminating oneself or others. What to do?

With the good weather and the resumption of activities in the parishes as in most areas of ordinary life, physical distancing is no longer respected and we are as exposed as others. It is for this reason that I come once again to remind us of what we already know but have heard too much about to the point of getting tired of it, but our health and our future depend on it. So there are actions and behaviors to adopt both at the community and individual level to protect yourself and others. Everyone must be aware of the situation and engage in this battle which requires a lot of sacrifice, sometimes for people, things and activities that are important to us. Let us take the measure of the danger without finding good excuses to avoid it. Each community must be creative and aware of its members while taking into account pastoral challenges and authorized contacts linked to the ministry assigned to the community or to the individual. Members must discuss together and make decisions in relation to their daily reality and have the courage to approach one another fraternally in the event of abuse or laxity. I know it is not always easy to tell  the truth to one another, especially in the case of embarrassing subjects, but it all depends on how we do it, while avoiding becoming lesson givers.

On this subject, I appreciate the initiative of the Montreal community which, despite all the speeches already heard on the Covid-19 pandemic, has agreed to welcome a team of health specialists made up of 3 doctors, including a nun, to discuss together about the pandemic and its consequences in the life of communities in general. The meeting will take place on Wednesday 08 July 2020.

Faced with this difficult situation which can lead to depression and discouragement, I think that the time has come for us to truly live our charism by being signs of hope for one another, and by consolidating our bonds of solidarity and of brotherhood. Our testimony of a truly Dehonian life lived in community can become a source of hope for the world that is watching us and to whom we are sent as prophets of love and servants of reconciliation. This is what we can do by the grace of God through the intercession of Father Dehon.

To conclude, I recommend to your prayers, the theological seminar which will be held in “google meet” mode from July 11 to 19, 2020, an international seminar organized by the Congregation and initially planned for Yaoundé, Cameroon with the theme: “Sint Unum: Challenges and Perspectives Today ”.

May the Lord bless each of us, our Region and the whole Congregation. Good work to those who resume pastoral activities and good times of rest to the others.

In corde Jesu

Gustave Lulendo N’Dotony, scj

        Regional Superior                         

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Regional Council by zoom: June 25

The meeting started at 10:00.

Reports of the communities:

Toronto:

  1. During this period of pandemic the community has continued to hold the weekly community zoom meeting connecting the parish community and the community house at 58 High Park each Monday evening. The meetings have continued to support the members during a time in which it was impossible to come together physically.
  2. The parish of St. Thomas More has opened up again for Sunday Eucharist with all the restrictions and the following of cautionary protocols to protect against the coronavirus. Both the Church and the hall of the parish are being used to allow for appropriate distancing.  The return at the Portuguese parish did not result in a full church because of the fear of parishioners for infections.
  3. Most of the members of the Toronto community have been tested for the coronavirus. All tests have been negative.
  4. Fr. Willyans Raposo has entered into the licentiate program at Regis College. He will be finished with his studies next semester.
  5. Fr. Petrus Murwanto has been able to study online with occasional zoom sessions.
  6. The office for Fr. Peter McKenna’s ministry has not yet opened. Peter is doing his ministry from the house with the help of a secretary.
  7. Fr. Yuliwan Maslim continues his ministry among the Indonesian community with life-stream masses and evening prayer. This may change in the near future when things in Toronto will open up more. Because of the need to sanitize all items used at meetings, it is difficult to hold meetings in person.
  8. All members do their part to stay healthy by different physical exercises.

Ottawa

  1. The celebration of the feast of the Sacred Heart was much appreciated, especially with the surprise participation of Fr. General in the Zoom gathering. The menu of the elaborate meal, reflecting the annual gathering of the Region at the community house in Ottawa, was announced to the Region.
  2. In view of the limited space and the general age of the participating group, it was decided not to open up the chapel for the Sunday community for the time being. The churches in Ottawa were allowed to open up for Sunday Eucharist but with a limitation of 30% of the church’s capacity.
  3. Fr. Paulin Makiala has begun to catalogue the holdings of the congregational library. It was hoped to combine this work with the cataloguing of the Montreal holdings. An electronic version will be made available.
  4. The members of the community try to stay fit despite the closure of the swimming pool during the COVID-19.
  5. Fr. John van den Hengel reported on his writing projects. He completed a meditation for the Feast of the Sacred Heart, an article on the devotion to the Sacred Heart as a result of the Sacred Heart meeting in Rome of last November. He also completed the translation of David Neuhold’s book on Fr. Dehon that will be published shortly in Krakow, Poland.
  6. Both Gustave Lulendo and John van den Hengel will participate in the virtual meeting of the Theological Seminar on Sint Unum from July 11 – 19th. John wrote a paper on behalf of the North American Commission that will be used during the Seminar to discuss the psychological dimensions Sint Unum.

Montréal:

  1. Everyone in the community is well. The community held its final meeting before the summer. They will resume in September. The Thursday community gatherings, however, will continue.
  2. The Feast of the Sacred Heart was well celebrated. Fr. Roger Phaneuf unfortunately could not participate. Only now is it possible to visit again at Square Angus.
  3. In order to open up the parishes of the Unité pastoral for Eucharistic celebration, the community will have to wait until the parish committee will permit the gathering of the people. The regulation for each parish is different. Only this week Fr. Louis Marie will send a message to the diocese of Montréal to ask for permission to open. Almost all the weddings of this year have been postponed until later this year or till next year.
  4. After his operation for cancer early in the year, Dieudonné Tchouteu has regained his health and is once again engaged in his work
  5. Fr. Claude Bédard has injured his back once again and is now in a wheelchair. He cannot stand or walk without a help.
  6. Fr. Richard Woodbury was happy to have been able to join the community for the Feast of the Sacred Heart. He had not been in the community since the beginning of the pandemic in March. He remarked how well the Montréal community had endured the isolation of the pandemic. He reported that he will be beginning to have Eucharist at the parishes this coming weekend. There are six pages of directives to be followed. It takes a lot of work to get the correct spacing of people. Many people are hesitant to come to Church now. Richard also mentioned that one of his nephews had passed away and that another nephew was seriously ill.

2. Regional assembly and General Visitation 2020

Originally it had been decided that the Regional Assembly would be held in conjunction with the General Visitation from August 24 – 27 in Arnprior, Ontario. With the changed situation because of the pandemic, the retreat house in Arnprior will not be open again until September 1. Moreover, with the cases of the coronavirus still not totally under control in Québec and Ontario and with the absence of a vaccine, it is not advisable to hold an assembly with 22 people. The Region may organize a zoom conference instead. The details of this conference are not yet determined.

AS to the General Visitation, it was already decided that Fr. Stephen Huffstetter would not be coming since his ticket to the USA was cancelled. Fr. General still intends to come to Canada for the visitation. However, council found it not advisable to hold  visitation at this time. First of all, it is not certain that  by August 10 the borders between Canada and Europe will be opened again. Moreover, Fr. General would have to quarantine for two weeks after entry into Canada and another two weeks after entry into the Province of Ontario. At this point, it is not clear whether Canada will be hit by a second wave of the pandemic. With no vaccine in sight as yet, safety is a constant issue. Upon reception of the information from the Council, Fr. General has decided not to come in August.

  1. Montreal SCJ Properties

The renovations of the Boismenu house have now been completed. It required a new roof, the cleaning up of the water damage and some other renovations in other parts of the house. The total cost: $ 40,000. Two new tenants have agreed to pay a more equitable monthly rent. About Maison Dehon there is not yet any new decision. Some repairs will be required. It was decided to await the evaluation and advice of Mr. Peter Berkers about the future of the whole property and its individual houses.

  1. Finances

Fr. Paul gave a brief overview of the finances of the Region. Although the shrinking of the financial markets due to COVID-19 also affected the finances of the Region, the effects have been manageable. The losses for the two corporations were 5.4% and 2 %.  Fr. Richard Woodbury was given permission to buy a new car. Also, the Ottawa community was given permission to complete the renovation of the chimneys of the house which are in need of repair. The allotted amount: $30,000. The first stage of the repair is now under way. Also, the deck and wheelchair access at Sacred Heart House in Toronto requires renewal. Estimates for the costs of the repair will be sought and passed on to the Council.

The zoom meeting closed at 12:52.

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His way is my way: vocation committee

In the presentation on the vocation ministry, Fr. Antonio Resende Pereira told the Toronto Community that he would be using the video presentation of the General Administration’s program for his vocation ministry. It can be found on YouTube at https://bit.ly/2T8sQRo.

Fr. Antonio recalled the words of Fr. Levi Ferreira, the member of the General council: “It reminds us that Jesus is not only our way, but He walks with us. We know that there are many paths and that we can choose which one to follow. But He alone has the words of eternal life (Jn 6:68) and we want Him to be not only the Truth and Life (Jn 14:6), but also our Way!

“The disciples on the way to Emmaus walked disappointedly, and almost forgot what they had lived with the Master in Palestine. But there was still something burning inside them. And when they heard the voice of that stranger walking with them, the ancient flame that had never gone out was rekindled As we make our way, may our hearts remain restless and burning!”

The bonus of the video is the presence of Fr. Gustave Lulendo in the video. At the November 2019 meeting of the Major Superiors in Rome, each major superior was asked to submit photos of himself.

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COVID-19 update: Ottawa community

As the local Superior I would like to update everyone regarding the Ottawa community’s response to “Covid-living.” I would like to start off by saying that we are all still reasonably civil with one another after 2 months of being “cooped up.”

I am the only member of the local community who is presently working during the pandemic. As a front line worker at the Perley Rideau Veterans Health Centre, I am not really in a position to stay home. In fact, I believe my presence there is arguably more important than ever! We had a discussion among the members of the Ottawa community about me continuing to work during these difficult days. I assured them that their welfare is of primary concern to me and that I would do nothing to compromise their health. I take extreme precautions when I go to work and spend most of my time in my office talking on the phone with people I cannot presently visit (Perley residents, volunteers and other LTC residents to whom I minister). I continue to preside at the Thursday and Sunday Eucharist albeit with only 2 or 3 staff members present. Other community members are also doing some ministry over the phone or electronically.

I have been tested twice for covid-19 with another test to follow soon. Although we have had several residents and staff members who have contracted the virus, we are almost a week without any new cases and several residents have recovered and have been removed from the isolation unit back to their own units and infected staff members are returning to work. I think most of us who work at the Perley feel very safe as every precaution available is being taken to ensure our safety.

The members of the local community are certainly spending more time together

20200511_152133

Preparation for a dream garden … Peter’s flowers awaiting in the basement.

than is normally the case. Everyone is present for the evening meal and I must say we have had some wonderful meals. Even as I write Peter is in the kitchen busily and lovingly preparing what will be the latest of many gourmet meals. I have resumed baking pies (coconut cream tonight) and John has recently taken up this skill. We had a delicious fruit pie yesterday using John’s (with a little help from Lily and me) first attempt at original pie crust.

While none of us can take part in any of our usual outside activities we all remain physically active walking and/or cycling and trying to keep the house reasonably clean without Brenda (our wonderful housekeeper). Fr. Paulin in particular has worked very hard in keeping the common areas clean.

We continue to hold our weekly community meetings and are finding other opportunities (other than just at Morning Prayer and Eucharist) to spend time together. Some of us gather daily after the evening meal in the parlour to sit around and chat.

Overall I would say that we are handling the situation quite well. I am thankful that we are all in reasonably good health-physically and emotionally. I think for the most part we have made the best of a very difficult situation and are looking forward to soon being able to resume some of our regular activities-golfing, hiking, swimming.

I would be remiss if I failed to thank Lily Ooi for her presence and generosity during this long period of isolation. She has had no close contact with any others than those of us who reside at 192 Daly. I know she deeply misses seeing her family. She has taken on the job of grocery shopping (along with Fr. Bill) and producing many of the gourmet meals I alluded to earlier. Along with John and Paulin she has cleaned up the yard and planted flowers and vegetables.

In this time of upheaval and uncertainty let us pray for all victims of this pandemic; those who have died, those who have suffered emotionally, physically, spiritually and/or financially and a return to a somewhat normal life in the not too distant future.

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Montréal pendant la COVID-19 (2)

La communauté de Montréal continue de vivre sous un régime de confinement dû à la COVID-19. Les membres de la communauté s’abstiennent de fréquenter les lieux publics, sauf en cas de nécessité (épicerie, pharmacie). Depuis vendredi dernier, les20200510_154046 autorités sanitaires du Nord-de-l’Île de Montréal appellent quotidiennement pour s’enquérir de la situation chez nous et d’éventuels besoins que nous pourrions avoir. Le P. Gustave communique régulièrement avec les PP. Roger et Richard qui vivent leur confinement dans leurs résidences respectives, ainsi qu’avec les communautés e Toronto et d’Ottawa. Le P. Louis-Marie et ses deux vicaires (les PP. Greg et Gustave) ont régulièrement des entretiens téléphoniques avec des paroissiens qui cherchent des conseils ou du réconfort dans la situation actuelle. Le P. Claude, notre artiste-maison, a entrepris de représenter en figurines de papier mâché les six membres de la communauté résidant à Montréal dans leurs activités. Le Fr. Dieudonné a repris son rôle de commissionnaire après quelques semaines de convalescence suite à son opération chirurgicale. Le P. Greg occupe une partie de son temps pour l’entretien des terrains extérieurs et le P. Maurice assure le service de la cuisine le soir et les week-ends et supervise les rénovations dans notre maison de la rue Boismenu. Nos deux employées, Linda (notre cuisinière) et Nicole (la procureure des missions) ont des heures réduites en raison de la pandémie. Ce dimanche, 10 mai, la communauté congolaise d’Ottawa a demandé au P. Gustave de présider la messe dominicale, ce qu’il a fait depuis notre chapelle, utilisant l’application ZOOM pour la diffuser en direct au profit de quelques dizaines de participants (notre photo). Bien sûr, nous avons hâte que tout revienne à la normale, mais nous bénissons le Seigneur de nous avoir jusqu’à présent préservés de cette maladie, et nous prions quotidiennement pour tous ceux et celles qui y sont confrontés directement ou indirectement.

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P. Antoine Santegoeds SCJ 1929-2020

Jeudi, 30 avril 2020, à Parc Zuiderhout, Teteringen, noA. Santegoedstre ex-confrère du Québec, P. Antoine Santegoeds, SCJ, est décédé des suites de la COVID-19. Né à Asten, le 11 janvier 1929, il a fait sa première profession le 8 septembre 1952 et a été ordonné le 21 juillet 1957 à Nijmegen.

De nombreuses histoires reviennent à la mémoire quand nous nous rappelons la vie et les activités d’Antoine. Il était reconnu pour sa collection de vieux journaux et sa passion pour les livres et les photos. Toute sa vie, Antoine a aimé les études académiques. Il vous parlait avec grand plaisir du dernier livre de théologie ou de philosophie qu’il avait lu. Il aimait transmettre ses connaissances dans son travail, autant comme enseignant que comme pasteur. Après avoir enseigné la philosophie à Liesbosch pendant un an, il vint au Canada en 1959. Il devint membre de la Province canadienne-française lors de son érection en 1962. Il y resta jusqu’en 1985. Au Canada, il a suivi plusieurs cours universitaires en vue d’enseigner à Pointe-au-Chêne. Les confrères qui l’ont connu se rappelleront que son Mémoire de maîtrise es-Arts portait sur « Paul Ricoeur et le péché originel » (1976). Il a aussi travaillé dans plusieurs paroisses : Saint-Antoine-Marie-Claret, à Montréal, Notre-Dame-du-Rosaire, à Pointe-au-Chêne où il a gardé contact avec plusieurs paroissiens après son retour aux Pays-Bas, et d’autres paroisses des environs. En 1985, en partie pour des raisons de santé et aussi pour des raisons familiales, il est retourné aux Pays-Bas. Pendant dix ans, il a été curé de notre paroisse à Made, où son travail a été très apprécié. De 1995 à 2016, il a vécu et travaillé au Limburg dans un institut de soins prolongés à Maastricht et Magraten, et il a assuré le lien avec les confrères travaillant dans cette partie des Pays-Bas. En 2016, Antoine a déménagé dans notre maison de retraite à Asten. Deux ans plus tard, avec les autres confrères, il a quitté Asten pour Teteringen. Ce qui l’attristait était de ne plus pouvoir poursuivre son travail et de devoir quitter sa chère bibliothèque. Mais il pouvait se consoler en se rappelant d’une vie marquée par son engagement et son souci des autres.

Les funérailles d’Antoine se limiteront à son inhumation à Breda. Un petit nombre de personnes seulement pourront participer à ce dernier adieu à Antoine, à cause des restrictions imposées suite à la pandémie de COVID-19. Plus tard, lorsque les rassemblement à l’église seront à nouveau possibles, une célébration plus large aura lieu en sa mémoire. Nous gardons Antoine Santegoeds dans nos prières.

 

 

On Thursday April 30 2020 in park Zuiderhout in Teteringen our ex-confrere from the Québec Province Fr. Antoine Santegoeds, SCJ died as a consequence of the Coronavirus. He was born in Asten, the Netherlands on January 11, 1929, professed on September 8, 1952 and ordained on July 21, 1957 in Nijmegen.

Many are the stories recalling the life and activities of Antoine. He became well known for his collection of old newspapers but also of his love of books and photos. Antoine loved academic studies his whole life. He would tell you with great relish the latest philosophical and theological books that he was reading. He liked to use his knowledge for his work both as a teacher and as a pastor. After he had taught philosophy in Liesbosch for one year, in 1959 he came to Canada. He became a member of the French-Canadian Province when it was erected in 1962. He remained in Canada until 1985. Also in Canada he followed a great number of university courses in order to be able to teach in Pointe-au-Chêne. He also worked in a number of parishes near the Séminaire du Sacré-Coeur. In 1985 – partially because of his health – he returned to the Netherlands. For ten years he was a parish priest in our parish in Made where he was much appreciated for his work. From 1995 to 2016 he lived and worked in Limburg in a long-term-care home in Maastricht and Magraten and was the contact person for the confreres who worked in that area of the Netherlands. In 2016 Antoine moved to our retirement house in Asten. Two years later he left from there with the other confreres to Teteringen. He was much saddened by the fact that he could not longer continue his work and that he had to leave his beloved library. But he could look back to a life of great commitment and care for others.

The funeral of Antoine will be limited to his burial in Breda. It is unfortunate that only a very small  number of people will be able to participate in the farewell of Antoine because of the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. At a later date, when church gatherings will be possible again, there will be a more extensive memorial. We keep Antoine Santegoeds in our prayers.

later he left from there with the other confreres to Teteringen. He was much saddened by the fact that he could not longer continue his work and that he had to leave his beloved library. But he could look back to a life of great commitment and care for others.

The funeral of Antoine will be limited to his burial in Breda. It is unfortunate that only a very small  number of people will be able to participate in the farewell of Antoine because of the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. At a later date, when church gatherings will be possible again, there will be a more extensive memorial. We keep Antoine Santegoeds in our prayers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Regional Council during COVID-19

The Regional Council held a teleconference meeting on April 14, 2020, the Tuesday of Easter week. Canada has been in a virtual lockdown since March 13 so a face-to-face meeting was not possible. The meeting was called by Fr. Gustave Lulendo to deal with a number of topics of a more immediate concern.

As usual the meeting started with a review of community life in the three communities starting with Toronto, followed by Ottawa and Montréal.

  1. Toronto

Yuliwan talked about the community schedule during the COVID – 19 pandemic. Everyone is home and sharing the work of cooking and cleaning. All the Holy Week celebrations were celebrated together and the presidencies at the services were shared. The members also keep up their physical exercises. At St Thomas More the services were held in an empty church and life-streamed. The High Park and Thomas More houses held a community meeting using Zoom and shared their experiences during the isolation. The two students Fr. Petrus Murwanto and Fr. Willyans Prado Rapozo are keeping up their studies on-line. Fr. Petrus Murwanto has just finished his English course, he got A-. However, not all the research materials have been available for him to continue the MA Program in education, so OISE proposed that he do the MEd Program instead. Fr. Yuliwan Maslim has tried to stay in touch with the Indonesian community and has held virtual meetings with the community. The isolation imposed by provincial and national governments have allowed the community to spend more time together for prayer and communal activities.

2.   Ottawa

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A candle lit for all the people affected by COVID-19

Everyone is in good physical health but emotionally the community is feeling the effects of the isolation measures. Fr. Elie Muzungu has self-isolated and has not been able to partake in the community activities. Fr. Paul Tennyson is still going to the Rideau- Perley. When entering the hospital, he has to undergo the daily checking of temperature and respond to questions regarding his health and activities. He has presided over a few funerals, but these have been only grave-side burials with a limited number of people present. He has held some services at the Rideau-Perley but with the presence of a very limited number of people. There have not been any cases of the coronavirus at the facility (although on April 20 seven staff persons and a few days later a number of residents have shown to be positive. As a consequence, Fr. Paul’s continued presence at the hospital will have to be re-examined.) The community members at Daly are continuing to do physical exercises mostly through walking. Holy Week was celebrated in house with different members of the community presiding. Lily Ooi has been doing most of the grocery shopping and has taken on a great deal of the meal preparation. It is very stressful to stay away two meters away from people.

3.  Montreal

Dieudonné Tchouteu is doing ok after his prostate cancer operation. He has just been declared free of cancer. Everyone else in the community is doing fine. The Lenten retreat which the community had organized could not take place because of the isolation measures. It was replaced with a more intense community meeting. Also, in Montréal the community members took turns presiding at the Holy Week celebrations. The Easter meal (lamb) was a great success. Because of the pandemic, the pastoral team at the parish had to stay at home and will also not be receiving their salaries. In Montréal it was not possible to hold live-stream masses. The Churches are locked. There have been no funerals, no weddings, no contacts except virtually with the parishioners. The Unité pastoral does not have a website. Hence, at present, the members do not have outside pastoral activities. Maurice Légaré has been doing the groceries. Dieudonné also helps and continues his work in finances. Everyone is at home. Linda still prepares lunch (9:30 – 1) Maurice takes care of the other meals. Nicole Béland has been working from home but comes in from time to time to take care of mail. Roger Phaneuf has been isolated in his room at Residence Angus and eats his meals there. He celebrates Eucharist in his apartment.

Richard Woodbury has continued to live alone at the Séminaire and has been finding it very difficult. On Saturday he called his psychiatrist to help him deal with the isolation. The psychiatrist assured him that it was normal in these circumstances. He is basically alone in his house. He once tried to go out to get a newspaper, but was warned that he should stay inside. He finds it very difficult to be that isolated. He tries the stay in touch with the community in Montreal. He has established a telephone ministry during this time, sharing with his parishioners the common concern about the situation. During holy week he printed the liturgy booklet Prions l’Eglise and left copies at the door of the parishioners. The situation of the Séminaire: the school will not be reimbursed for April and May, there will be no salaries and no subsidy for meals and travel. Robert Laurin, the chaplain, created a video of the teachers from the school to the students and parents. It was very upbeat.

4.  Activities of the Regional Superior:

  • Gustave conducted a visitation of the Ottawa community in the beginning of March. The service of leadership of Paul Tennyson has been much appreciated. The Wednesday meetings of the community continue to be a good experience. On March 6, Fr. Gustave had a meeting with Archbishop Prendergast of Ottawa to discuss with him the position of Fr. Elie Muzungu at Frère André. He was assured that the ministry at the parish in Vanier will continue.
  • The request of Fr. Martin Kadamattu. Fr. Gustave Lulendo received a letter from Fr. Martin with the request to become a member of the Canadian Region. The request has been accepted by the Council. In the meantime, the District of India as well as the General Administration has accepted the request. Fr. Martin is now a member of the Region of Canada.
  • Letter of Fr. Greg Murray. Fr. Gustave Lulendo also received a letter from Fr. Greg Murray in which he asked to return to the Ottawa community. Fr. Gustave approached Archbishop Prendergast for a possible position within the Archdiocese. Council approved the request and Fr. Greg will come to Ottawa after the summer.
  • Approval of the budget of the Migration Committee: Fr. Peter McKenna sent in a proposal for the budget of the Migration Committee. The budget was accepted by Council. Council also expressed a high appreciation of his work.
  • The celebration of the feast of the Sacred Heart. The Regional Community was to gather at Dehon House in Ottawa for the June 17th Because of the COVID-19 pandemic it is impossible at the moment to predict whether the effects of the pandemic will have mitigated. Council found that we should avoid compromising the health of our older members unless it is clear that by June the virus will have run its course. A decision will be made by May 15.
  • The General Visitation of General Superior and the Regional Assembly in August.  Here the same question as for the communal celebration of the feast of the Sacred Heart was raised. If COVID-19 is no longer a threat the assembly in Arnprior will take place. A decision will be made by June 15. If the assembly has to be postponed, we could hold an assembly when it is safe to hold an assembly.

5. Finances

Fr. Paul Tennyson had sent an earlier email regarding our finances in view of the financial downturn caused by COVID-19. He reported that the financial downturn had affected us but not as seriously as the financial markets (-22%). The SCJ Canada Foundation decreased by 5.7%; the Prêtres du Sacré-Coeur Inc. went down by 2.12%. The Mission Office has also been affected by the financial downturn. Nicole Béland will be asked to give a report to Paul Tennyson and Jim Casper regarding the decrease of income and the situation of the different projects. Since the Montréal community was not receiving the salaries from the parishes, they will be receiving the subsidy which the government of Canada provided during the pandemic. Fr. Richard Woodbury mentioned that it was not clear how the parish would be able to pay the heating bill for the Church in Grenville.

Council also allocated $ 7.000 for the repair of the roof of our house on Boismenu in Montréal. Council also learned that the rental of Maison Dehon has not yet taken place.

6. Leopold Mfouakouet of Cameroon who was to come to Canada for a sabbatical year has obtained his Canadian visa but was not able to come because all Canadian airports have been closed to non-Canadians during the pandemic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome, Fr. Martin!

The Superior General of the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, considering the request of the religious; and  having the consent of the Superiors involved; according to n. 100,9 of the General Directory;20190815_114754
transfers
Fr. Martin Kadamattu Antony
from the Indian District to the Region of Canada.

The transfer becomes effective as of April 19, 2020.
Given in Rome, at the General Curia, on April 17, 2020.

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Walking with Covid-19 in Toronto

Our world is changing so quickly from day to day, even hour to hour. There just seems to be plenty of bad news out there! It is likely going to worsen but we are also being awakened to some signs of hope at this time. We decided to have a more formal conversation around how each one of us is living the reality of the quarantine in response to the Coronavirus. We divided our meeting into two moments: how each one of us is living this reality and how together as a community we can continue to respond to the reality.

Highlights were focused on community life, ministry and concern for our families and for the world. April 07 marks DAY 26 of our communal quarantine for those confreres residing at the community house in High Park. One confrere shared that this Lenten period is also the time in which we travel with Jesus. He too was in quarantine for 40 days, so to speak.

In the course of the conversation, each of us shared that it is important to understand the reality that we are living, both personal, communal, social and ecclesial. We all agreed that it is important to keep ourselves informed with official information yet, recognizing that information overload is not healthy. We also noted that it is important to remember that we are not all the same and we do not respond to stressful situations in the same way. Each confrere expressed gratitude for the support he has received from the other members of the community.

Although we are one community, confreres reside in two community residences: the rectory of Thomas More and the High Park community residence. Sadness was expressed that we do not have the capacity to live this moment together as each community entered into the quarantine at different moments. We reaffirmed that it is important for us as Dehonians to pray together every morning, celebrate Eucharist daily and to pray in the evening together. Each community has found a way to do so according to their capacity. Sharing meals together, watching Jeopardy, playing “uno”, going for walks while social distancing, and watching the 10pm evening news together but even more importantly, seeing/experiencing the special care that each one of us offers to the other has certainly strengthened our bonds of Dehonian fraternity and community. We are also very conscious that thus far, during these 26 days, both Petrus and Will have been full-time students online. Both Will and Petrus expressed gratitude for the support they have received.

Ministry has been a challenge, but we are learning new ways to be present to those with whom we minister and who minister to us. Yuliwan is gathering with members of the UKI in small groups to pray together online. Peter continues to reach out to all of the refugees and volunteers connected with the ministry of Becoming Neighbours. Antonio celebrated Eucharist online with members of the Brazilian community. Aegi is offering Holy Week daily reflections online for the parishioners of Thomas More and Our Lady of Rosary. Jim will preside at an online Holy Thursday Para liturgy for those who travelled with him on the February pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Each of us expressed concern for members of our families and how we can be supportive of them as they too live this reality. Each one of us has reconnected with people living in isolation or with people with whom we have not had contact for a long time. We can be bombarded with statistics, both those who are positive with COVID-19 but the human face of this disease has hit our community very close to home. Two members of the UKI community on one of the cruise ships tested positive and we have just become aware that a family who we know very well from St. Joan of Arc parish have also tested positive. These are people that we know, whose lives have intersected with ours and ours with them.

Yet, signs of HOPE continue to show up in the most unexpected ways and moments. One confrere pointed out that the air is more clear because so few are driving vehicles. All over the country, individuals are risking their lives to help others, as we have seen with the healthcare workers, supermarket employees and other front-line workers. We have been overwhelmed with expressions of support and the offers of help at this time. Not only have individual people offered to do grocery shopping for us, but what has also been particularly overwhelming is the generosity of the members of the UKI who continue to bring donations of food to us. Our Canadian political leaders are shining examples at this time as what it means to lead with honesty interwoven with compassion. One confrere talked about how he was amazed with how his parents/grandparents came through the Great Depression. The rest of the confreres commented about how it is all beginning to make sense to us as to why Fr. George Coppens lived with a great appreciation for frugality and was an incredibly practical man.

Together we reaffirmed the following commitments to each other:
– Practicing personal hygiene
– Following protocols of health officials (e.g. sneezing/coughing into elbows, washing of hands consistently, etc.)
– Staying home
– Practicing social/physical distancing at all times
– Cleaning areas that are frequently touched (kitchen counters, doorknobs, faucets, etc.)
– Continuing to cook on designated night each week
– Continuing to enter into and celebrate the liturgical seasons
– Being more intentional in our solidarity with the more vulnerable
– Using the food that is present and more creatively using leftovers with simplicity being our guide
– Continuing to enjoy each other’s company, fraternity and being able to laugh at ourselves and our own idiosyncrasies

Ron Rolheiser, OMI, reminds us that “The coronavirus has put us all, in effect, on a conscripted sabbatical … the danger is that we will put our lives on hold as we go through this extraordinary time and will just endure rather than let ourselves be graced by what lies within this uninvited season” (LOVE IN THE TIME OF COVID 19).

We concluded our time together praying: “Look with compassion on the afflicted, grant eternal rest to the dead, comfort to mourners, healing to the sick, peace to the dying, strength to health care workers, wisdom to our leaders and the courage to reach out to all in love, so that together we may give glory to your holy name.”

STAY HOME, STAY WELL AND STAY ENGAGED!

Aegi, Antonio, Jim, Martin, Peter, Petrus, Will and Yuliwan

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SCJ-Montréal et la COVID-19

La communauté de Montréal se veut solidaire du monde en cette période de pandémie que le Coronavirus nous oblige à traverser. Jusqu’à maintenant, toute la communauté se porte bien et nous rendons grâce au Seigneur de nous protéger. Dans le meilleur des mondes, nous pourrions rêver d’être des exemples d’humilité en acceptant que notre force se situe à la hauteur de notre obéissance. En effet, ce n’est pas facile pour des religieux-adultes d’accepter de se faire dicter des règles de conduite par des laïcs-spécialistes. Est-ce un relent de notre cléricalisme? C’est cependant là où nous en sommes pour le moment et notre solidarité se mesure à la prise de conscience de notre vulnérabilité et à notre obéissance aux prescriptions de nos gouvernants. Au Québec, les points de presse quotidiens du Premier ministre François Legault et du Directeur national de la santé, le Docteur Horacio Arruda, sont des messages qui calment les esprits et qui nous encadrent dans cette traversée du fléau qu’est la COVID-19.

À la maison du boulevard Gouin, les six confrère observent les règles de confinement et de distanciation physique. Nous participons tous aux exercices d’une communauté normale: prière en commun, eucharistie avec communion par intinction, adoration, repas, récréation. Maurice a organisé notre salle à manger de sorte que nous respections nos distances: les places à tables sont organisées en quinconce. C’est l’avantage d’avoir de l’espace et du mobiler adéquat. De plus, pour nous rappeler les règles courantes pour contrer le virus, des affiches qui disent “ON SE PROTÈGE” pavoisent les murs de façon régulière.

Depuis l’opération de Dieudonné, c’est Maurice qui a repris le rôle de pourvoyeur des denrées alimentaires. C’est vraiment une dure corvée surtout à cause de tout le protocole qui existe et varie selon les magasins: lavage des mains, désinfection des chariots, distanciation, etc. La plupart des magasins ont installé des vitrines en plexiglass devant les comptoirs et la caisse. Malgré tous ces inconvénients, nous ne cessons d’admirer le dévouement des personnes qui rendent possibles tous ces services.

Le bureau de la procure continue de fonctionner… à distance. Nicole vient prendre le courrier et retourne chez elle travailler “en ligne”. Notre cuisinière Linda ne peut pas faire la cuisine à distance mais Gustave lui a suggéré de quitter son poste après le dîner. Elle prend soin de préparer le souper à l’avance. Ainsi, la communauté continue à avoir ses deux repas chauds quotidiens.

Avons-nous constaté des changements dans notre comportement? J’ai remarqué que nos repas durent un peu plus longtemps que d’habitude, que nous nous efforçons de détendre l’atmosphère par des renseignements pratiques, des histoires drôles, des moqueries gentilles et inoffensives. C’est bon pour le moral.

À quelques jours de la Semaine Sainte, la COVID-19 nous permet de nous retrouver, unis les uns aux autres, unis à Dieu et à l’Église. Comme nous aurons le privilège d’avoir toutes les cérémonies de la Semaine Sainte à la maison, Gustave avait préparé des billets indiquant qui serait le célébrant principal pour chacune des journées. C’est en retournant le billet choisi que nous savions qui ferait quoi. Greg a pigé le billet du Dimanche des Rameaux et j’ai eu celui du Samedi Saint.

Sur ce. Il est temps de vous souhaiter de Joyeuses Pâques! Profitons du temps pascal pour faire éclater nos Halleluijas et aussi prenons de l’avance pour cultiver tant de fleurs qui poussent au jardin de notre coeur: la tendresse, l’amitié, la fraternité et partage et surtout notre JOIE!

JCBscj, ce 02 avril 2020.

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