Regional Council meeting in Ottawa

The last council meeting was two months ago, so the agenda this time was full. Maurice Légaré was not able to be with us because of health reasons. The agenda was full, because the three communities have all received new superiors during the summer. In the feedback from the communities it is obvious that “things” had been happening in each community.


  • La pastorale a officiellement commence avec les trois confrères engage à l’Unité pastorale “Sault-au-Recollet”: Gustave Lulendo, Engelbert Fotsing et Louis-Marie Butari.  Le 19 septembre était la presentation officielle et l’accueil des agents de pastorale par la communauté des trois paroisses (Martyrs canadiens, Antoine Marie Claret et Visitation). La communauté a décidé de soutenir et appuyer l’Unité pastorale comme un projet de la communauté de Montréal. Pour le moment l’administrateur de la paroisse sera Mgr. Blanchard. Le pourvoir aux besoins pour la réalisation et l’effectivité de ce projet pastoral demand beaucoup de travail, de presence et de collaboration. C’est un développement heureux pour lIMG_2228a communauté.
  • Il n’y a pas seulement un changement du supérieur de la communauté mais aussi un changement à la Procure où Mme Nicole Béland a remplacé Claude Bédard comme directrice.
  • Au Séminaire du Sacré-Coeur il y a un nouveau directeur de l’école et un nouveau Counseil d’Administration, installés pendant l’été. John est encore member de cet Conseil. Mais il y était aussi une grande perte des inscriptions des écoliers. Pour ce raison, on a organisé une “Préparation aux prochaines portes ouvertes” en vue de l’acceuil des futurs nouveaux élèves.


  • The community began the “pastoral” year with an all-day meeting in which it discussed its community plan for the year. The basis of the discussion was the report of the Regional Council presented during the summer’s Assembly. A lengthy, detailed report has emerged from this meeting touching on the future of the community and of the Region. It is hoped that also the other communities will produce a similar document so that from it may emerge a pathway to the future for the Region.
  • Fr. Aegi presented the calendar of events of the community from September to December. The major effort in the parish this Fall will be the further development of the youth ministry. They will call upon some of the students at the Formation house in Chicago to help them with certain activities.
  • The community will meet with David Schimmel on November 21 to speak about the establishment of a Dehonian Family chapter at St. Thomas More and our Lady of the Rosary. This is in line with the desire expressed at the annual assembly that more attention be given to the Dehonian Family in Canada.


  • During the holidays of Fr. Elie, Fr. Celestine Tshimbundu (CON) replaced him for Sunday ministry at Frère André. During the week, he worked very hard  at the library of Saint Paul University on his doctoral thesis that he will begin writing for the Faculty of Canon Law of the Gregorian University in Rome. He completed most of his research on one part of the thesis. Fr. Peter Sanders took him to Southern Ontario to meet our community there and, of course, to visit the beauties of Niagara Falls. Fr. Celestine returns to Rome on September 22.
  • With the urgent need for Syrian refugees to find new homeland in view of the unending civil war, each of the Region’s communities has made a commitment to sponsor a Syrian family. With the close of the Federal Government sponsorship program on February 29, the application of a sponsorship of a Syrian family by
    Andre (left) on arrival in Ottawa. His uncle Ziad was there to welcome him.

    Welcoming Andre Boulad (left) to Ottawa

    Ottawa community got in just under the wire for a second wave of privately-sponsored refugee families on March 31. These refugees would be “vetted”, the government promised, before the end of 2016. In the week of September 19 we received word that Andre Boulad, the 22 year-old son would be arriving on Friday. He arrived at the Ottawa Airport on Friday at 11. John van den Hengel, Karen Mahoney and Ziad Sabha his uncle were there to greet him. He speaks fairly good English. Until we have an apartment for him, he will be staying at 192 Daly Avenue. His mother and sister will be arriving later. We are not given the dates when they might be arriving.

  • With Paul Tennyson installed as the new superior of the community, the community has been meeting every Wednesday both to do some storytelling about the members’ lives and to get a new community pattern now that Greg Murray and Paul Tennyson will be moving in. In the week of October 3, “Just Junk” will come and take out the old desks, beds, and other dated furniture to allow for a re-furbishing of all the rooms. There is already a new cooking schedule, a new garbage man, a hospitality person, a snow removal arrangement. Yes, Peter will still do the garden and the lawns: no change there. But new energy!
  • Bill Marrevee has said farewell to the parishes of Chelsea and Cantley at the end of August, however, he has taken responsibility for the Sunday masses at Venosta and kazabazua, villages about 60 to 70 km north of Ottawa on Highway 105. Retirement is difficult to come by.

After effects of the summer assembly: the ten-year plan

The assembly at Ermitage (Pierrefonds, August 9 – 11) left the Region with some homework in the following months. What emerged at the assembly was a 12 point plan.  At the assembly, the individual communities were asked to discuss the 12 points and report back to the Regional Superior before Thanksgiving. These materials would form part of the response to the General Administration for the November meeting of the major superiors. After each of the communities has responded, the regional administration will put together the answers into a document of response to the General Administration.

Meeting of the North American councils

On October 18th the councils of the United States Province and the Region of Canada will be meeting at the rectory of St. Thomas More in Scarborough. Fr. Aegi is handling the logistics and the meal prepared by members of the parish on Monday, October 17. At the meeting a number of topics of mutual interest will be discussed among them the international theological commission, the immigration portfolio, the North American retreat of 2017-2018, youth ministry, the Dehonian Family, and the Dehon Study Center.

Region’s Finances

With Maurice Légaré’s health preventing him from being present at the meeting, the financial issues were given to Paul Tennyson to present at the next meeting of the Finance Committee. Council wishes to push ahead with the proposal to invite a lay person to join the Finance Committee. Council discussed the request for aid of the Cameroonian Province presented by p. Jean-Marie Signié. The Cameroonian Province wishes to construct a number of student residences near the Catholic University of Yaoundé. No decision can be made on aid until the Region has undertaken a financial review.

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