Theological Seminar of the Congregation

North American Theological Commission: Fr. Zbigniew Morawiec, Fr. John van den Hengel, Fr. Charles Brown, and Fr. Gustave Lulendo. The commission met each day by Zoom after the International Session.

Sint Unum: Challenges and Perspectives Today: 11-18 July 2020

Final Message

Dear confreres, dear members of the Dehonian Family,

1. Between July 11-18, 2020, with fraternal joy, we Dehonian Theologians met for a Theological Seminar of the Congregation entitled “Sint Unum: Challenges and Perspectives Today.”  Originally planned to be held in Yaoundé (Cameroon), the seminar was held online because of the pandemic crisis.  This situation brought limitations with regard to personal encounters among us; yet, given the reality of our times, this mode of gathering still provided us with the opportunity to live out Sint Unum and to exercise it in a concrete and constructive way.

2. As we read in the letter of the preparatory committee, the seminar “intends to explore the actuality, challenges and implications of Sint Unum, not only for the Congregation, but also for our world—today’s world damaged by growing particularisms and polarization.  Sint Unum, central to the Dehonian tradition, makes it possible for us to reflect upon the links that tie the spiritual, communal, and social dimensions of our life. In this way we will strive to discover how the theme still has much to say for today’s societies.”  The introductory words of Father General encouraged us to proceed with the seminar in this way.

The reality of sin

3. As our Rule of Life states (Cst. 4), Fr. Dehon was “very sensitive to sin”; he thus analysed sin in its causes and its consequences. He saw the roots of sin “in the refusal of the love of Christ”: not only in human refusal to love Christ, but also—and above all—in human obstacles that close off the love that comes from Christ.

4. It is from this theological (indeed, Christological) view of sin that we are able to discern its results and, at the same time, understand how sin may permeate reality on anthropological, communal, social, and cosmic levels. Sin, thus, threatens the integrity of the human person, our links with one another, and our relationship with the entirety of creation.

5. The manifestations of sin are pervasive; its forms often take on various disguises. Already, the preparatory letter for the seminar mentioned “worrying nationalism, racial and religious issues, tribalism, ethnicism, racism, caste system, . . . which damage our communities and future generations.”  To this can be added other manifestations:

– the disregard for God,

– the absolutization of freedom without proper limits and responsibility,

– the denial of the dignity of the other through an irresponsible exercise of power and authority,

– the objectification of the other,

– economic poverty arising from oppressive and unfair economic systems,

– the indiscriminate exploitation of creation (“ecological sin”).

It seems to us particularly necessary to re-emphasize how these different forms of sin constitute a “pseudo-culture,” definable as a “culture of death” (John Paul II), or a “culture of waste” (Francis) which crystallize into “structures of sin.”  For us, any conversation on Sint Unum which disregards the complexity and pervasiveness of these dimensions of sin risks being purely ungrounded spiritualism.

The dimensions of Sint Unum

6. In the face of this reality, Jesus’ invitation resounds with his imperative that all be one (Jn 17:11, 21, 22).  If sin is ultimately the breaking of the bonds which honour the dignity of humans and the world, Sint Unum presents itself as the response which God expects from his disciples . . . and from all humanity. In the following paragraphs, we wish to highlight three aspects of our life of Sint Unum, along with accompanying challenges and perspectives which confront our Congregation.

a) Priority of God’s Agape in Christ

7. Father Dehon’s hermeneutical approach emphasized the idea that the root of sin lies in the refusal of, and the indifference toward, Christ’s love for us; so, instead of understanding Christ’s love in the light of sin, Fr. Dehon understood sin in the light of God’s love. Because of this, Sint Unum and sin are not on the same level: there is a priority of God’s love (agape) in Christ.  This priority reveals the possibility of living Sint Unum. We grasp this priority in the fact that Christ humbled himself (kenosis) to the point of dying for us in order to bring together all the children of God (Phil 2:6-11, Jn 11:52). Risen, with the Father he lives in us (Jn 14:23) and draws us to himself, so that we may share in his full communion of love with the Father and the Spirit.

8. The priority of God’s agape in Christ presents us with challenges:

– to live fully in union with the heart of Christ, especially through the Eucharist in which he makes us “one body and one spirit”;

– to live a fully integrated life;

– to witness that Sint Unum, before being a human effort, is a gift from the Trinity;

– to live reparation as an urgent response to the priority of God’s oblative love for us; that is, as a “welcome to the Spirit” (Cst. 23).

b) The “sacrament” of fraternal life

9. Sint Unum places us within the life of the Trinity. This Trinitarian life is the locus in which we recognize the perfection of love which gives itself to others, which defines the uniqueness of each person, and creates unity among them.  The “conversation” of love in the Trinity (pericoresi) becomes for us an inspiration and reference point for our fraternal life. Sint Unum, however, is not a simple premise; it is a gift, a process, a task always to be completed.  It is, in the words of Pope Francis, the “mystique of living together” (EG 87).  We exercise Sint Unum above all in our fraternal life—which is, indeed, our primary apostolate (Cst. 60).  Since our community life is the place where the invitation to live mutual charity resounds, our witness on behalf of the life of the world emerges more clearly: “Through fellowship even above and beyond conflicts, and through mutual forgiveness, we would like to be a sign that the fraternity for which people thirst is possible in Jesus Christ and we would like to be its servants” (Cst. 65).

10. This “sacrament” of fraternal life presents us with some challenges.  Because of the power of the mercy given to us in the heart of Christ, we are called to welcome one another in our diversity (i.e, our cultural, ethnic, generational diversity); and, even more, to consider one another—and fraternal life with one another—as “sacrament.”  In order to make this possible in concrete terms, we have identified three areas in which we may easily forget this sacramental aspect of our life.

– The first area concerns psychological dynamics which often unconsciously prevent us from welcoming and valuing each other. Our relationships are marked by a “power” which, if it is not converted into “service,” denies the uniqueness of the brother and, in the most serious cases, leads him to self-destructive behaviour.

– The second area concerns the administration of goods. Fraternity is also built up by means of the proper relationship with what we possess: we, therefore, believe it necessary to grow in the transparency and co-responsibility with respect to our financial administration; this, not only within the commonwealth of society’s goods, but also in solidarity among ourselves.  Our efforts must be aimed at restoring a human face to the economy, especially in this time when, as Pope Francis says, it often “kills” (EG 53).

– The third area touches on the aspect of synodality, our walking together. As we adopt synodality from a theological point of view, we must also incarnate synodality in concrete, practical, and verifiable ways.  This is true concerning the exercise of authority, as well as the need to live a life more fully grounded in reconciliation.

c) “That the world may believe…”.

11. Sint Unum is also prophetic: Jesus desires that his disciples be “one . . . so that the world may believe . . .” (Jn 17:21).  In this sense, Fr. Dehon asked that his religious be “prophets of love and servants of reconciliation of people and the world in Christ” (Cst. 7).  Sint Unum, in other words, does not close us in on ourselves, but urges us to be on the road, to go always further: Sint Unum sends us on mission (Adveniat Regnum Tuum) as a constitutive dimension of our discipleship.  By walking with the Lord and striving together with our brothers and sisters, we come to know how to approach each person, especially the poorest and those most in need.

12. Jesus’ words “that the world may believe” challenge for us.

– The quality of our union with Christ is not only manifested in our community life, but it is also revealed in our commitment to, and dialogue with, those who are oppressed and needy. Living our fraternal life and our missionary life go hand in hand.

– In the present situation of our Mother Earth we recognize the challenge of a particular form of poverty.  Promoting an ecological spirituality and commitment seems to us to be particularly necessary in today’s context.  This, indeed, is a form of communion with creation, and with future generations.

– Finally, Sint Unum calls us to witness and commit ourselves to the unity of the Church of Christ (ecumenical commitment), as well as to engage in constructive dialogue with other religious and cultural expressions (inter-religious and transcultural dialogue).

Disciples and servants of fraternity

13. In light of this Seminar, we would like to encourage all our confreres to explore, experience, and promote a spirit of Sint Unum in their communities and apostolates. Sint Unum opens to us various and captivating avenues for reflection; in its richness we will be able to analyse and appreciate it only gradually.  Sint Unum—invoked, practiced, and witnessed, above all, in fraternal life—presents itself as a remedy for our selfishness, a check on our desire to dominate others out of economic and power interests, and a balm for the traumas that mark our lives. Sint Unum, in short, loosens the chains of sin, gives us the freedom of the children of God, and opens for us our mission for the life of the world. May Mary, first disciple of the Lord and promoter of unity, and always attentive to doing the Father’s will, help us in this fascinating task.

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Séminaire théologique de la Congrégation: Message final

Séminaire théologique de la Congrégation

Sint Unum : défis et perspectives aujourd’hui: 11-18 juillet 2020

Message final

Chers confrères et chers membres de la famille dehonienne,

1. Du 11 au 18 juillet 2020, s’est tenu le Séminaire théologique de la Congrégation ayant comme thème, « Sint Unum: Défis et perspectives aujourd’hui. » Originellement prévu à Yaoundé (Cameroun), le Séminaire s’est déroulé online à cause de la situation provoquée par la pandémie. Ceci a comporté des limites dans les échanges entre nous, mais la situation a aussi d’une façon ou d’une autre offert une possibilité réaliste de vivre le Sint Unum et de l’exercer de manière concrète et constructive.

2. Comme on peut lire dans la lettre du Comité préparatoire, « Le séminaire entend explorer l’actualité, les défis et les implications du Sint unum, non pas seulement pour la Congrégation mais aussi pour notre monde, caractérisé par des particularismes et des contrapositions croissantes. Le Sint unum, central dans notre tradition dehonienne, nous permet de réfléchir sur le lien entre dimension spirituelle, communautaire et sociale. Ainsi on cherchera de démontrer comment le thème est pertinent et enrichissant pour nos sociétés d’aujourd’hui. »Les mots d’introduction du Père Général nous ont encouragés à vivre ainsi le Séminaire  dans l’esprit du Sint unum.

La réalité du péché

3. Comme stipule notre Règle de Vie (Cst. 4), le P. Dehon était « très sensible au péché ». Il a su analyser ses causes et ses conséquences. Il en reconnaissait les racines « dans le refus de l’amour du Christ »: non seulement dans le refus d’aimer le Christ mais, aussi et surtout, dans la fermeture à l’amour qui vient de Lui.

4. C’est à partir de ce regard théologique, et plus précisément christologique, sur le péché que nous pouvons en percevoir le drame et en même temps comprendre comment il peut nécessairement avoir de l’incidence sur les dimensions anthropologique, communautaire, sociale et cosmique. En d’autres termes, le péché menace l’intégralité de la personne, nos relations avec l’autre, notre rapport avec la création entière.

5. Le péché se manifeste et se camoufle sous de multiples formes. Déjà dans la Lettre préparatoire au Séminaire on mentionnait « les nationalismes préoccupants, les problèmes raciaux et religieux, le tribalisme, l’ethnicisme, le racisme, le système de castes, etc. qui blessent nos communautés et les nouvelles générations. » À ceux-ci on peut ajouter d’autres manifestations: par exemple, l’oubli de Dieu; l’absolutisation de la liberté sans restrictions ni responsabilité; la négation de la dignité de l’autre par l’exercice irresponsable du pouvoir et de l’autorité; la chosification de l’autre; la pauvreté économique dérivante des formes oppressives et des systèmes financiers injustes; l’exploitation aveugle de la création (“péché écologique”). Il nous semble particulièrement important de mettre en relief comment ces différentes formes constituent une « pseudo-culture », qualifiée de « culture de la mort » par Jean Paul II ou de « culture du déchet » par le Pape François, et se cristallisent dans les structures injustes (“structures de péché”). Un discours sur le Sint Unum qui fait abstraction de la complexité et de l’omniprésence de ces dimensions risque d’être simplement spiritualiste.

Les dimensions du Sint Unum

6. Devant ce scénario résonne, avec insistance, l’invitation de Jésus que « tous soient un » (cf. Jn 17,11.21-22). Si le péché est en dernière analyse destruction, rupture des liens qui déshonorent la dignité de l’homme et du monde, le Sint Unum apparaît comme la réponse que Dieu attend de ses disciples et de l’humanité entière. De ceci, mettons en relief trois aspects, avec les défis et les perspectives qui l’accompagnent et qui interpellent notre Congrégation.

a) Priorité de l’Agape de Dieu en Christ

7. Justement l’affirmation, que le péché se trouve dans le refus ou l’indifférence de l’amour du Christ envers nous, met en évidence l’option herméneutique du père Dehon: plutôt que de comprendre l’amour du Christ à la lumière du péché, il comprend le péché à la lumière de l’amour de Dieu. Ainsi péché et Sint Unum ne sont pas sur le même plan: il y a une priorité de l’amour (agape) de Dieu en Christ qui donne un fondement aussi à la possibilité de vivre le Sint Unum. Cette priorité nous la reconnaissons dans le fait qu’il s’est baissé jusqu’àmourir pour nous (kenosi) (cf. Ph 2, 6-11), pour rassembler tous les enfants de Dieu (cf. Jn 11,52). Ressuscité, il prend demeure en nous avec le Père (cf. Jn 14,23) et il nous attire vers lui, pour nous faire participer à sa pleine communion d’amour avec le Père et l’Esprit.

8. D’ici émergent quelques défis pour nous:

  1. vivre de manière pleine l’union avec le cœur du Christ, surtout à partir de l’eucharistie dans laquelle il nous rend « un seul corps et un seul esprit »;
  2. mener une vie entièrement intégrée et unifiée ;
  3. témoigner que le Sint Unum, avant d’être un effort humain, est un don de la Trinité;
  4. vivre la réparation comme réponse urgente à la priorité de l’amour oblatif de Dieu pour nous, autrement dit, comme l’accueil de l’Esprit (cf. Cst 23).

b) Le “sacrement” de la vie fraternelle

9. Le Sint unum nous situe dans la vie de la Trinité dans laquelle nous reconnaissons la perfection de l’amour qui se donne aux autres, en les engendrant dans l’altérite, et en les enracinant dans l’unité. La réciprocité d’amour de la Trinité (périchorèse) devient pour nous inspiration et référence à laquelle notre vie fraternelle est appelée à correspondre. Le Sint Unum n’est pas cependant un simple présupposé, mais il est un don, un processus, une tâche toujours ouverte, dans la lignée de cette « mystique de vivre ensemble » dont parle le pape François (EG 87). Nous l’exerçons d’abord dans la vie fraternelle, qui représente notre premier apostolat (cf. Cst. 60). Etant le lieu où résonne l’invitation à vivre la charité réciproque, en elle émerge de manière plus évidente notre témoignage pour la vie du monde: « Dans la communion, même par-delà les conflits, et dans le pardon réciproque, nous voudrions témoigner que la fraternité, dont les hommes ont soif, est possible en Jésus Christ et nous voudrions en être les serviteurs » (Cst. 65).

10. De cela émergent quelques défispour nous. Grâce à la force de la miséricorde qui vient du Cœur du Christ, il nous est demandé d’accueillir l’autre dans sa diversité, culturelle, ethnique, générationnelle…) ; ou mieux de considérer l’autre – et la vie fraternelle avec l’autre – comme “sacrement.” Pour que ceci soit possible nous avons concrètement identifié trois domaines dans lesquels cet aspect est facilement oublié.

  1. Le premier domaine concerne les dynamismes psychologiques qui nous empêchent souvent de manière inconsciente d’accueillir et de valoriser l’autre. Nos relations sont marquées par un « pouvoir » qui, s’il ne se convertit pas en « service », nie l’altérite du frère et, dans les cas les plus graves, nous conduit aux comportements (auto)destructifs.
  2. Le second domaine concerne la gestion des biens. La fraternité s’édifie aussi à travers un sain rapport avec tout ce que nous possédons: nous croyons donc qu’il nous est nécessaire de grandir dans la transparence et dans la responsabilité de la gestion économique, dans la capacité productive autant que dans la solidarité entre nous. Notre effort devrait être de tendre à rendre un visage humain à l’économie, surtout en ce temps où, comme l’affirme le pape François, « elle tue souvent » (cf. EG 53).
  3. Le troisième domaine touche l’aspect de la synodalité du « cheminer ensemble ». Si désormais cet aspect est acquis au point de vue théologique, il doit se réaliser de plus en plus dans des processus concrets et en voies de réalisation et de vérification, aussi par rapport à l’exercice de l’autorité et à la nécessité de vivre de manière de plus en plus profonde la réconciliation.

c) Pour que le monde croie…”  

11. Le Sint Unum est aussi prophétie: Jésus désire que ses disciples « soient un pour que le monde croie que tu m’as envoyé » (Jn 17,21). En ce sens, aussi le p. Dehon désire que ses religieux soient des « prophètes de l’amour et des serviteurs de la réconciliation des hommes et du monde dans le Christ » (Cst. 7). Le Sint Unum, en d’autres termes, ne nous ferme pas en nous-mêmes, mais nous pousse à nous mettre en chemin, à aller toujours au-delà. Il nous ouvre à la mission (Adveniat Regnum Tuum)comme dimension constitutive de notre être disciples. En cheminant avec le Seigneur, en nous mettant au pas de nos frères, nous savons aussi aller vers l’autre, vers chaque personne, surtout la plus pauvre et indigente.

12. D’ici émergent quelques défispour nous :

  1. La qualité de notre union avec Christ se révèle non seulement vis-à-vis de notre communauté, mais aussi dans notre engagement et dans le dialogue avec les opprimés et les nécessités. La qualité de notre vie fraternelle et de la vie missionnaire vont de pair.
  2. Nous reconnaissons en outre une forme spéciale de pauvreté qui nous interpelle dans la situation dans laquelle se trouve notre Mère-Terre. Promouvoir une spiritualité et un engagement écologique nous semble particulièrement important dans le contexte actuel comme forme de communion avec la création et avec les générations futures.
  3. Enfin, le Sint Unum nous invite à témoigner et à nous engager pour l’unité de l’Église du Christ (engagement œcuménique) et de nous mettre en dialogue constructif avec les différentes expressions religieuses et culturelles (dialogue interreligieux et transculturel).

Disciples et serviteurs de la fraternité

13. À la lumière de ce Séminaire nous voudrions encourager tous les confrères à explorer, à expérimenter et à promouvoir dans leurs communautés et dans leur apostolat l’esprit du Sint unum. Ceci ouvre des domaines de réflexion si diversifiés et fascinants que nous pourrons seulement progressivement les analyser et apprécier. Le Sint unum – invoqué, pratiqué et surtout témoigné dans la vie fraternelle – apparaît un remède pour nos égoïsmes ; pour notre désir de dominer les autres pour des intérêts économiques et de pouvoir ; pour les traumatismes qui marquent nos vies. Le Sint unum desserre enfin les chaînes du péché, nous restitue la liberté des fils de Dieu et nous ouvre à la mission pour la vie du monde. Que Marie, premier disciple du Seigneur et promotrice de l’unité, nous aide à accomplir ce devoir si fascinant.

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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

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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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