Notes from the Regional Council

Regional Council met in Ottawa on Wednesday, March 30. Since the beginning of the new Regional Administration in November 2016 the council has been meeting in the different communities of the Region. This time it was in the Ottawa community.


  • Response to the Programmatic Letter The General Administration published its programmatic Letter for its work of the next six years in the beginning of January. In the letter the different entities were asked to provide the General Administration details about how they were putting in place some of the plans of action indicated in the letter. The entities were asked to indicate at least five areas in which they ready to act. The response of the Canadian Region is found further on in this blog.


  • Ten –year plan Regional Council also reviewed the letter in which was outlined the various areas that the individual communities would asked to consider as the Region is setting out to put together a ten-year plan. As some have already indicated, it is perhaps not a plan but a sort of position paper in which the Region will state where, from the perspective of today, it sees itself ten years hence. The accumulated responses will also provide an outline of an action plan for the Regional government of the direction the Region ought to take in the next three years. The letter to the Region was sent at the end of March. A copy of the letter is found below.


  • News from the Montréal Community
    1. Arrival of Louis-Marie Butari  On Monday of Holy Week, Louis-Marie Butari arrived back in Canada. He had returned to the Democratic Republic of Congo in December in order to obtain a visa for a pastoral agent so that he could work in Canada with all the benefits attached to such a visa. We welcome Louis-Marie in our midst and wish him a fruitful ministry in Canada. With his arrival it will be possible to move ahead with the pastoral plans in the Montréal area.
    2. Claude Bédard is back in his own community. He will need a good amount of time to recover his strength. He is happy to have lost some weight. He has received new medication and with a new regime of exercise, he hopes to recover fully.
    3. In Pointe-au-Chêne, the committee to revise the statutes of the Séminaire have met in the month of March. It is hoped that the new statutes can be presented to the Board in the near future. It is proposed also that the Board of Directors of the school be expanded to at least five members outside of the two positions held by the Congregation.
    4. Maurice Légaré could not partake in the meeting of the Council because the water from the city sewer backed up into the basement of Maison Dehon. He spend most of the previous night with a plumber to discover why the water was backing up. The situation is resolved but the basement needs a thorough cleaning. Also clothing which Dieudonné had collected was damaged by the water.


  • News from Toronto
  1. Finance Committee has proposed to Council that we invest $ 500,000 in the Basilian Manor project in Toronto. The Manor project is a multi-religious community housing project where we could either loan them an amount of money to build the Manor or invest in the project. The proposal of the committee has been accepted by the Council. It would go into effect in February 2018.
  2. We have received a message from Fr. Giovani Pontes to tell us that there has been no movement on the part of the Canadian consulate in Sao Paulo on his request to receive a visa for Canada. He will eventually join the community at St. Thomas More to be involved in the pastoral charge of the parish. In the meantime, Jim Casper and Peter McKenna assist the parish with its weekend ministry.


  • News from Ottawa
  • In the meeting with the community, all the members gave a report on their current activities and spoke of their life in the Ottawa community.


  • Frs. Gustave Lulendo and Anthony Purwono are in the process of finishing their studies at Saint Paul University. Gustave has completed his Licentiate paper under the direction of Professor Ken Melchin. He hopes to be able to defend it before the summer recess. He has studied the notion of responsibility (Hans Jonas) and its application to the encyclical of Pope Francis. It is foreseen that he will be returning to the Democratic Republic of Congo later in the year.
  • P1060122  Fr. Anthony Purwono will be taking his comprehensive exam in the beginning of June. He will then go with his class to Rome to become acquainted with the Roman discasteries. After his return he will go to Toronto and participate in the tribunal work of the Archdiocese and to work with the young people of St. Thomas More parish. We wish both of them success in their academic endeavors.
  • Fr. Paulin Makiale has been appointed by Fr. Zenon, the provincial of Congo, to come to Ottawa to study Conflict Studies. He is completing his pastoral year at the present moment. He hopes to arrive here in January of 2017 to begin a study of English and in September 2017 to begin the Conflict Studies program at Saint Paul University.
  • Finances


    1. Outside of the decision to participate in the Manor project in Toronto, the Finance Committee also proposed that we help the Congolese province financially with its educational task by donating $ 20,000 to Maison Jean Dehon in Ngoya, Cameroon, to help defray the cost of Congolese students who are currently studying there. In the Fall, Fr. Zenon came to Canada to make this request for financial assistance.
    2. The Finance Committee has met in February and discussed its mode of operation. They have decided to meet at least three times a year, once with the financial advisor and our accountant in Montréal and twice on other occasions. It is the Finance Committee who will be presenting the annual financial statement during our assemblies of the Region.
  • Meeting with the USA Council
  • On May 2 the Canadian council will travel to the US to participate in the semi-annual meeting of the two councils. The Regional Council reflected on the agenda of the meeting. We have sent a number of items for the agenda. After the meeting on May 2, we will send an extensive report. If any member of the Canadian Region wishes to propose an item for the agenda, the council will be happy to add it to their list. The council itself will meet in Hales Corners on May 3 as a follow-up. John van den Hengel will remain in Hales Corners for the rest of the week of May 2 to help in the preparation of a North American Dehonian retreat scheduled for some time in 2017
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