On Wednesday, May 24 the Regional Council met in Montréal. As planned, this was to be the meeting dealing with the financial situation of the Region. Although the Financial Report of 2016 was still at the accountant, the meeting of the Finance Committee the day before (May 23) gave the council a good insight into the financial situation of the Region. (See the report of the Finance Committee below). After the usual introductions to the meeting (prayer, and personal information) the council dealt with the following items:
- The overview of recent events: (1) the meeting of the local superiors of North America. The US province invited the Canadian counterparts to join them for a reflection on the role and mission of the local superior. This happened in Hales Corners on March 13 -14. Although only one of the Canadian superiors (Gustave Lulendo) participated, the level of the exchange was such that it was decided to call together the Canadian superiors for a similar event. (2) the meeting of NORAM: the meeting of the North American councils was held in Hales Corners on April 24. (See below). (3) reports on the meetings in Rome (secretaries, December 2016), Bursars (May 2017) and Dehonian Family (May 2017). (4) International contacts: The Regional Superior reported on his efforts to strengthen our numbers, especially in Toronto for the Parishes through his contacts with the major superiors of India, Indonesia and Cameroon. We hope that relief will come soon for the parish in Toronto.
- Feedback from the communities: (1) Montréal community: The community has expanded its health care beyond Walter van As to include also Rein van Leeuwen. Samuel, who has worked with Fr. Walter over the past few years, is now also helping Fr. Rein with bathing and other personal care. Fr. Rein is appreciating this help very much and seems to have gained new energy. The health situation of Frère Luc seems stable at the moment. He has received a regular series of chemo treatments and has responded positively. He has also been helping Walter when he needs to get around in the house. The community house in Montréal will need to have the roof repaired. Also approved together with the roof renewal was the addition of air conditioning on the top floor. (2) Toronto community: The community feels somewhat stressed because of a lack of adequate personnel for the two parishes. Efforts were made to have an additional person come to Toronto but thus far without success. An additional Portuguese or Spanish speaking priest would be highly welcome. The community was very happy with the response of the parishioners and UKI members to the offer of an introduction to the spirituality of the congregation. Around 75 members participated and 27 indicated that they were interested in participating in a program to become Dehonian Associates. There was also a brief discussion on how the Toronto community could help in the welcoming of the retreatants from the United States for the August retreat at Queen of the Apostles Retreat house in Mississauga (August 13 – 19). (3) Ottawa Community: Paul Tennyson reported on the continuing success of the Wednesday evening community meetings. The community meets every week at 4:30 on a variety of issues. Once a month it meets for adoration during this time. The meeting ends with supper. The house also welcomes the renewal of its roof. It is hoped that the travails of the leaks in the rooms on the third floor, may finally be over.
- Sexual Abuse document: At the meeting of the major superiors in Rome in December 2016 all the entities were asked to adapt and implement a sexual abuse policy. Our policy has been on the books for more than 20 years. Jim Casper undertook the task of comparing our document with the document from Rome and to arrive at a new document. He presented his work at the meeting and with a few adaptations it was accepted. The new document will be presented to the Region at our Fall Assembly.
- For a number of years, the Conseil d’Administration at Séminaire du Sacré-Coeur have been paying a set sum of money to the Region to take on full ownership of the school from the Congregation. The Congregation is still a full member of the Conseil d’Administration and the new Policy Document gives the Congregation through one of its members or a designated alternative a continued seat. Our Council in consultation with Richard Woodbury and a small committee of the school has been looking into the establishment of a pastoral agent at the school. It was felt that the annual payment of the school to the Region might be most usefully used to pay for a post of spiritual or pastoral animator. Council was presented a first draft of a job description of the animator. The draft document still needs to be updated and presented at a future council meeting for approval. At the May 31 meeting of the Conseil d’Administration the motion to accept such a position at the school was accepted in principle. Over the summer it is hoped that this position will be implemented in the school.
- Feast of the Sacred Heart: It has become a tradition that the Region celebrates the Feast of the Sacred Heart together at Dehon House in Ottawa. This will happen again this year. However, in order to make the celebration of the feast also a parish event, the Region decided last year to begin a day early. It means that the Region assembles on Wednesday June 21 for our traditional Holy Hour and celebrates the liturgy of the Feast on Thursday June 22. The Ottawa community will take care of the planning.
- Regional Assembly: Since the Region will participate in a retreat during our usual time for our annual assembly, Council decided to hold an assembly at Providence House in Kingston starting on October 2 and finishing on October 4 at noon. The items we wish to discuss at the assembly are (1) the 2016 financial statement (possibly with the results of the financial overview of Marcil Lavallée), (2) a meeting with the Migration Committee, (3) the sexual abuse document, (4) updating of the power of attorney and testaments, (5) the celebration of the anniversaries of Maurice Légaré (40 years of vows), Peter Sanders and Roger Phaneuf (50 years of ordination),