Looking ahead

March 28, 2016

FRENCH: click here to download the following text in a French PDF

Re. Ten-year plan

At the meeting of the Regional Council on February 1, 2016 it was decided to prepare a ten-year plan for the Region. Although the General Chapters have asked for a three-year plan, a ten-year plan will allow the Region to do a more long-term assessment of its needs. A long-term plan allows us to determine much more efficiently what the Region will need to undertake in the next years especially in face of the aging of the Canadian confreres.

11875017_10203230482202639_4997417499431396890_oIn the next three months, between April 1 and July 1, the three communities of the Region are asked to put together their responses to the issues mentioned in this letter. The responses of the communities will become the primary material on which a regional ten-year plan will be based.

As to the procedure to follow in answering this questionnaire, it is suggested that each member of the community prepare in writing a personal response to the eight points of the questionnaire. At a community meeting, these written responses will be presented and discussed to arrive at a community response. Most likely one meeting will not suffice to respond to all the questions. Since there are still three months before the responding date of July 1, could the communities commit themselves to spend two or three meetings responding to the questionnaire and approving the community response?

Each of the communities will be asked to present their plan first of all in writing to the Regional Council and a second time at one of the sessions of our August assembly. From the community responses, the council will form the outline of a regional ten-year plan. At the discussion of the August assembly, we will be assisted by Sr. Emma Bezaire SNJM who has consented to moderate the sessions on August 9 and 10.

The reflection ought to entail:

  1. Description of the community
    1. Composition: names of members, age, health
    2. Is there a community project?
    3. How many members from other provinces help with the project of the community?
    4. What help are you receiving from non-members: cooking, cleaning, house maintenance, snow clearing, personal assistance (nurse…)
    5. Project the composition of your community ten years hence…
  2. Ministry
    1. What are the current ministries of your community?
    2. What ministries do we wish to maintain at all costs? What ministries should we let go?
    3. What assistance from other provinces are you relying on?
    4. Ten years hence, do you wish the particular ministries of the community to be still there? Should we set a term on the ministry? If we wish the help of other provinces, what connections must we maintain?
  3. Spiritual life and leadership
    1. What is the potential for leadership in our communities? Can our current superior be easily replaced?
    2. What is the spiritual health of our community? What should be the minimal requirements of our community’s spiritual acts? What would like to see happening?
    3. Ten years hence, who can we call upon for leadership? What provisions, if any, need to be made?
  4. Assistance from other entities
    1. Currently there are eight members from other entities working in Canada. Some of them are students, others have joined ministries. They have greatly helped our Region.
      1. With regard to the various ministries involving members of other entities, in a ten-year projection what policies should the Region adopt with regard to inviting these members?
      2. terms of their stay in Canada: 3 years (currently), 6 years, longer?
      3. Outside of what is found in our Directory (Appendix G) what other measures would you add in view of a ten-year plan?
    2. How long can we continue to offer scholarships to members of other provinces?
  5. Houses
    1. The Region consists of three local communities with houses in Montréal, Ottawa and Toronto.
      1. In view of the demographics, can we maintain these three communities?
      2. What help would be required to maintain your community?
      3. How do you see getting this help?
    2. If a choice has to be made regarding the reduction or consolidation of our houses in the Region, what do you propose? On what principles?
    3. Should the Region consider participation in the housing projects with other religious communities? In Toronto (the Basilian project)? In Ottawa? In Montréal?
    4. Where do you/would you want to live? Could you envisage living in another community?
  6. Finances
    1. An actuarial study of the finances of the Region has already been decided by the Regional Council.
    2. It has also been decided by the Regional Council to seek the assistance of a lay person to help our Finance Committee.
    3. Any other suggestions?
  7. Vocations
  8. In view of a ten-year plan, what direction do you wish our Region to take? Council has indicated a desire to continue to seek vocations for our Region. What advice would you give the Region?
  9. Testament of the Region
  10. Should the Region consider writing a testament?

Council expresses its gratitude for taking the time to work with these issues. Your responses will help to set a program for the regional administration to work on for the next two and a half years and help us to come to grips with the current situation

In Corde Jesu



John van den Hengel scj



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