Migration Committee meets in Hales Corners

On September 23/24 members of the North American Migration Committee met at the US Provincial Conference in Hales Corners, Wisconsin. The committee, whose members include SCJs and lay persons from both the Canadian Region and United States Province, has developed a wide variety of educational efforts and actions in response to what refugees and migrants are experiencing. The group is currently developing a presentation on human trafficking. Being an international, intercultural, intergenerational committee, lots of different perspectives, experiences and ideas surfaced as to how to join with members of the local SCJ communities in North America to respond to the pressing needs of migrants and refugees. Members of the Migration Committee include Fr. Jan de Jong, Mark Peters, Fr. Peter McKenna, Fr. Tony Russo, Lily Ooi, Br. Diego Diaz and Fr. Richard MacDonald. [Fr. Mac was unable to attend this week’s meeting and so is not in the photo.]71592972_10157174027615073_1904587510651027456_o

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Council meeting in Montreal

On September 9 – 10 2019, Regional Council met in Montréal, in conjunction with the visit of Fr. Luca Zottoli, the General Treasurer of the Congregation and Mr. Aldo Ivaldi, assistant. Because of the examination of the financial state of the Region, at the first part of the meeting were also present the Regional Finance Committee (Fr. Jim Casper and Fr Maurice Légaré) and Mr. Benoit Lefebvre (accountant) and Michel Lefebvre (Investments) and Mme Nicole Béland (Directrice of the Mission Office).

1. The Financial Review of 2009 – 2019

a. Investments since 2009. Michel Lefebvre gave us a copy of the revised investment portfolio. Michel gave a detailed account of his investment strategy: 13% of the investments are invested abroad, 22% in the US, rest is invested in Canada.
b. The Fiera Investments, the original investments of the Quebec Corporation prior to the amalgamation  have been transferred to the SCJ Foundation.
c. Benoit Lefebvre presented the combined statement of 2018, which council had already discussed at the last meeting. There was no additional information.
d. Rome report: Benoit Lefebvre completed the 2017 and Paul Tennyson the 2018 report of the financial report to the General Treasurer in Rome. The General Treasurer explained the origin of the form which our financial offices have found difficult to fill out. The form was reviewed in 2002.
e. Nicole Béland and the Procure des Missions. Most of the discussion was about the Annuities. There have been few new investments in the annuities since 2018. The discussion showed that a further discussion on the annuities needs to take place.
Mme Béland also presented her work in the mission office as it evolved historically. The question was asked whether it was advisable to expand the office and work more on the English side. She described the different projects that are receiving financial assistance: the well projects in Cameroon, the brick project in Congo, and JED in Cameroon. Fr. Luca indicated that there will be a meeting in Rome in 2020 of all who are working in this ministry.
g. Presentation of Fr. Luca Zottoli. His comments dealt with the following topics:
i. Directory of Intra-congregational Aid
ii. Final message of the last Chapter
iii. NAB: norms for the administration of goods.
iv. Mass intentions
v. The report of the Treasurer to the General Chapter.
h. Pensions: Should we pay to the pension fund of the country of origin of the members? Council decided at the last meeting that we should pay into the national pension funds of members working in Canada. The question was raised whether the members of the Region from other countries of origin where there is no national pension funds should also receive pension money?

2. Tour des communautés :

Montréal started the new year with a meeting on September 2 in the presence of Stephen Huffstetter, General Councilor. Mention was made of the health problems of Claude Bédard and Louis Marie Butari, both of whom had been hospitalized. Maurice Lègaré has accepted to say mass at the Sœurs de la Charité de Sainte Marie. Louis Marie has received his work permit again after being without one for several months.

The Montréal community was not able to give Council any advice egarding the future of Maison Dehon which has now been empty for a number of years. Council wishes to make a decision not only about the future of Maison Dehon but also about the other properties in Montréal. A study will be made of the deeds and property lines. For Maison Dehon, it was suggested that estimates for a renovation of the house be obtained or to get advice from a real estate person as to the possibility of the sale of the house.

Christian Lavergne, the Directeur of La Séminaire du Sacré-Cœur, gave an overview of the situation of the school regarding possible financial support of the school by the Congregation. Since 2011 there has been a decrease of students at the school (from 525 to 275). The reasons for the decrease were the declining student population in the area, the declining economy of the region, and a conflictual administration in the school. The new conseil d’administration has tried since 2016 to solve the situation through modernization of the school, increase of registration fees, search for new students, installation of a chaplain in the school, and a search for international students. This school year the registrations have increased to 75 new students. The school has taken measures to strengthen the link of the school with other schools of the Congregation (contact with Handrupp, Germany, and San Hieronimo in Spain) and the Schools in Collaboration program in the US Province.

Mr. Lavergne’s plan : in 4 years to reach a sufficient number of students to make the school viable again financially. In order to cover the current deficit the school will need the help of the foundation and the Congregation. The current deficit is $ 400.000. The desire is to have a loan of $ 2 million to cover the next four years. The Conseil of the Fondation and the Congregation have already met. Council asked Christian Lavergne to provide a more detailed calculation of the debt and a schedule of future payments and a proposal to the Fondation and the Congregation.

Ottawa : Paulin began his second year of Conflict Studies at Saint Paul University. He will complete his course work this year but will need more time to write his thesis. Herman Falke has turned 91. John van den Hengel will turn 80 on October 1.

Toronto : The renovation of the rectory to fix the roof will start next month. It was unfortunate that Stephen Huffstetter came for his visit of the community on the weekend which did not permit him to attend the community meeting. Fr. Martin Kadamattu will leave for India for holidays and to attend the 25th anniversary of the District. Fr. Wills Prado Rapozo has started his master’s courses in Theology at Regis College in Toronto. Fr. Jim Casper will be giving a retreat in Kingston. Fr. Petrus Muruanto scj. from Indonesia will be following master’s courses at OISY (education). He will arrive around September 20. Fr. Albertus Joni, currently in the US, has requested to come to Montreal to learn French. He has received permission from the Indonesian provincial.

3.  Specific items :

A. Evaluation of the Regional Assembly :
The evaluation of the Regional Assembly of August showed a general satisfaction. There was a great appreciation of the presentations of Fr. André Beauchamp on the issue of the ecology. Fr. Peter McKenna wrote a letter to Council proposing three topics for future discussion in the communities. The Regional Superior, Fr. Gustave Lulendo, will write a letter to help urge the communities to participate in the Global Climate Strike on Sept. 27. It was suggested that September 27 be called Creation Day. In the letter Fr. Gustave will provide questions for community discussion.

B. Regional Directory
Fr. Gustave presented the suggestions of the drafting committee (Jim Casper and Richard Woodbury) for a new process of electing the Regional Administration. Council discussed the document and amended the text..

C. The General Treasurer announced that he will send two letters. One to the Region and one to Council re. Mission office.

E. Letter from the Treasurer of Congo requested help with the payment of tuition of seven students. Council accepted to honour the request.

Fr. Gustave will leave on October 2 for India and in November will participate in the training session and the meeting of the major superiors in Rome. The next meeting of the Regional Council will be in Ottawa on Tuesday November 26.

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Ecological reflections

From Monday August 12 to Wednesday August 15 the Canadian Region held the20190813_092339ir annual assembly in Kingston at the Sisters of Providence Spirituality Centre. Twenty members participated. Outside of the usual review of the activities of the Region, the finances, the committees, there were two main topics on the Agenda. On Tuesday morning Fr. Stephen Huffstetter gave an extensive reflection on the recently published programmatic letter of the General Administration. He outlined the origin of the document and gave the Region insight into the direction that the new Administration, elected last year, will seek to go. Fr. Stephen had spent most of the previous week visiting the Canadian communities and met with all of the members.

 

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Fr. André Beauchamp, a priest of the Archdiocese of Montréal, speaks about Laudato Si.

On Tuesday afternoon and all day Wednesday Fr. André Beauchamp spoke to the Assembly about the letter Laudato si of Pope Francis. He gave a reflection on the different style of the letter, inasmuch as it is addressed not to the Bishops – the usual addressees of such letters – but to all humanity. Fr. André spoke of the need of a new type of spirituality that takes into account humanity’s all important referent: the earth and our common bond with water, air and soil. He also outlined the theology of creation used by Pope Francis, giving along the way a wonderful exegesis of Genesis 1 and Genesis 2. We heard once again how important it is to relate to the gift of the earth and of the cosmos that supports us and gives life, the importance to give praise and thanksgiving each day for that gift.

Wednesday evening was set aside to celebrate the jubilees of the members of the Region. Herman Falke topped the list with 70 years of religious life and 65 years of priestly life. We also remembered Peter McKenna who was remembered for his 35 years of priestly

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Fr. Herman looks back over his life in the Congregation.

life. Greg Murray was ordained 15 years ago and Willyans Prado Raposo 10 years ago. Fr. Herman preached for the occasion recalling the major shifts that his life underwent since 1949. He acknowledged how at times some of the teachings and beliefs over time came to disturb him and caused him anguish. Fr. Greg presided at the Eucharist. Afterwards the whole assembly gathered at Ramekins restaurant in Kingston for a festive thanksgiving meal.

On the solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, August 15, the assembly reviewed the finances of the Region, dealt with the complex consultation process for the election of the Regional Superior and the regional bursar. Fr. Peter McKenna reviewed the work of the migration committee which has been very active during this past year. Also Fr. Willyans reported on the activity

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Fr. Paul Tennyson accepts the charge as superior of the Ottawa community

of the vocation committee who has been working hard to re-establish our vocational ministry. During the Eucharist Fr. Yuli20190815_114635(0)wan

 

 

Maslim installed the local superiors of Toronto; Aegidius Warsito, Ottawa: Paul Tennyson, and Montréal: Gustave Lulendo N’dotony.

 

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Tri returns to Vietnam

 

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Tri and his favourite food: ice cream

In the last two months, the Ottawa Community has welcomed Bui Van Tri. Tri is from the Vietnam District, He came to Ottawa to enroll in the ESL program offered by the  Ottawa Catholic School Board. On August 2 he finished the course and today, August 6, Tri returned to Vietnam. He will be starting his two-year philosophy course in September. We wish him all the best. Tri plays the organ and for the last Sundays in Ottawa, he accompanied the Sunday group in worship. The picture below shows Tri with the Sunday Worship community.

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Welcome, Antonio!

Today we heardIMG-20190426-WA0001 that the General Superior has signed a document which makes Fr. Antonio Maria Resende Pereira from being a member of the Brazil Sao Paulo Province to becoming a member of our Region. Antionio came to work and live with us only last year. A hearty welcome, Antonio. Your presence is truly appreciated.

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Feast of the Sacred Heart 2019

On June 26 and 27 the Regional Community gathered in Ottawa to celebrate the feast of the Sacred Heart. At the end, the mandatory group picture was taken.

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Council meeting in Ottawa

the Council of the Region met with the Regional Superior on Wednesday, June 26, the day that the Region met in Ottawa for the Feast of the Sacred Heart. Here is a summary of the most salient points of the meeting.

Community news:
Montréal: No major changes of the situation in the community. Louis Marie was reappointed as administrator of the Unité pastoral until May 2020. A new bishop has been appointed for Saint-.Jerome diocese on May 21: Bishop Poisson. Richard met with the Bishop who is very concerned about the situation in the diocese. He will write a letter to the parishes that are slated to be closed in the next little while. One of the churches has only four people attending of Sundays. The Unité pastoral will be dissolved since only two parishes of the Unité will remain. The closure of parishes is accompanied by a lot of controversy.
The news from the Séminaire du Sacré-Coeur is the increased enrollment for next year. Approximately 70 students will be registering for next year: a good omen.

Ottawa: Buy Van Tri, an ESL student from Vietnam, has been living in the community since the end of May. He has been very helpful in the community. It is unfortunate that the second Vietnamese ESL student could not come with him. The roof section of the house that has leaked over the winter has been repaired. Also a new roof has been put on the shed and the stairs to the side entrance have been repaired.
Paul Tennyson reported that there will be an expansion by 200 beds of the Rideau- Perley Hospital, where he is working. The new facility will have a permanent chapel. Construction has not yet started.

Toronto: The UKI community organized a pilgrimage to Czestochowa after Easter. 80 people participated. Yuliwan also tells us that the UKI will be celebrating its 40th anniversary. The celebrations of the anniversary will be held in all the parishes where the UKI has found a home in the past 40 years: Pius X, St. Joan of Arc, St. Anselm.
Willyans is currently visiting Brazil. Br. John Hung left last week for the USA and then to Vietnam. Hung will continue to study in Manila. He has been a good member of the community. It was the first time that the community accepted outside students. The two students worked in the Vietnamese parish. Vincent, who left earlier, will do his pastoral year in Vietnam. Joseph, the new theology student from Vietnam has not yet arrived. He will continue his theological studies in Toronto.

Regional Assembly
– Location and date: The assembly will be held in Kingston at Providence Spirituality Center from August 12 to 15. Supper at the Center on August 12 will be served at 5:30 and our first session will be at 7.30 p.m.
Moderator: Gustave will be the overall moderator. For each of the days one of the members of Council will guide the activities. Day 1: Monday evening. Gustave. Tuesday: Richard Woodbury, Wednesday: Yuliwan Maslim, Thursday: John van den Hengel.
On Tuesday, August 13, Fr. Stephen Huffstetter will introduce the Programmatic Letter of the General Administration, He will also be the main celebrant at the Eucharist on Tuesday.
The speaker for Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday will be Rev. André Beauchamp, a priest of the diocese of Montreal who will speak to us about ecology, particularly in relation to Pope Francis’ Laudato Si. Richard woodbury, John van den Hengel and Gustave Lulendo met with André Beauchamp to help plan the assembly. Beauchamp will be with us on Tuesday afternoon and on Wednesday.
The anniversary celebrations will take place on Wednesday evening, starting with a Eucharist at 4 p.m.
On Thursday there will be a discussion on the Region’s finances and the commissions will give a report on their activities. On Thursday morning, Richard Woodbury and Jim Casper will also introduce the changes to the election procedure in the Regional Directory.
During the Eucharist on Thursday, Gustave Lulendo will install the local superiors of the Region.

Appointment of local superiors
During the past two months, consultations have been held in the three communities for local superiors. For Ottawa Paul Tennyson has been reappointed for a second term. For Montreal, Fr. Gustave Lulendo has been asked to continue his office for another three years. As his councillors were appointed Dieudonné Tcheutou and Maurice Lègaré. For the Toronto community Fr. Aegidus Warsito was reappointed for another three years.

Programmatic Letter from the General Administration
The communities have received the Programmatic Letter of the General Administration. As to the follow-up for the Region: The Regional Superior will encourage the communities to read and discuss the letter in the community prior to the Asssembly. Since Stephen Huffstetter will be presenting the letter at the Assembly, we will ask him to present us with the practical impact of the letter for the Region.

Regional Treasurer report contained the following points:
1. Some months ago the Region received a letter from Revenue Canada about the danger of losing our charitable status. A letter was sent to Revenue Canada by Paul Tennyson and it is hoped that our charitable status will remain.
2. The SCJ foundation mail is now coming to Paul Tennyson. Paul spoke of a $ 65.000 investment in GICs which he can cash on December 5. Riviera Investments portfolio will be transferred to Michel Lefebvre.
3. Our yearly contribution to Rome has been sent. The General Bursar was notified that the form of the Rome Report should be discussed at their meeting with us in September.
4. 10.000 euro was sent to Bishop Claudio Della Zuanna in Mozambique for relief from the Beira hurricane.
5. Meeting with General Financial Administrators of Rome Luca Zottoli and Aldo Ivaldi will be held on Monday September 9 2019 in Montreal with the presence of Michel Lefebvre and Benoit Lefebvre.

Varia
– Letter from Brazil regarding Father Antonio Resende, proposing that Antonio be transferred to the Region of Canada. The Region accepts this transfer. The request of the transfer will be sent to Rome for their confirmation.
Letter from Jim Casper re. paying the Brazilian pension plan for Frs.  Willyans and Antonio. Council decided that if a country has a pension plan, it was agreed to assure that these members remain within these pension plans of their country.
– Letter from Father Nardi of Indonesia in which he asked to send a student to Ottawa or Toronto for a doctoral study in education. It is suggested that he come in September 2019. Council accepted the request, even though arrival before the start of the next academic year may not be possible.
Letter from India: invitation to the silver anniversary of the India District on October 5-6, 2019. It was suggested that Gustave Lulendo go with Fr. Martin to the celebrations as a way of connecting more fully with the District.

Next Meeting: Location and Date: September 9/ 10 with the Financial Committee and the members of the General Administration.

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