On February 27 and 28, Regional Council met in Toronto at 58 High Park. Here are some of the highlights of the meeting.
Meeting with the Toronto Community
The members of Council arrived at 28 High Park prior to 4 p.m. so that they could meet with the Toronto community and have supper with them. The community had prepared a dossier about all its ministries. Some points of interest:
- Becoming Neighbours is moving. Until this point the ministry was hosted out of the Scarborough Missions house on Kingston. In August or September of this year the work will be moved to Presentation Manor. Moving to the new residence will also mean a re-evaluation of all the programs and their feasibility. Peter also mentioned that three of his co-workers and prayer partners have died in recent months.
- UMAT Katolik Indonesia has now been in existence 38 years and it is still a vibrant community stretching from London to Scarborough and beyond with about 600 registered families. There are now two distinct cells, one in the east and one in the west of the GTA. There have been discussions in the past few months of concentrating some of the activities at Our Lady of the Rosary. particularly in view of the restorations at St. Anselm’s church where the group has been meeting two Sundays each month. The community has worshipped at St. Anselm’s now for 12 years. Without a personal vehicle, Fr. Yuliwan manages to get around the city to meet with his communities east and west, his bible study groups, his prayer groups.
- St. Thomas More and Our Lady of the Rosary Parish. The parish of 7500 families requires eight Sunday Eucharistic celebrations in Portuguese, Spanish and English. The ethnic mix of St. Thomas More of 30 % from India, Goa, Sri Lanka, 30% from the Philippines, and 40 % from some thirty other countries, continues to amaze. The parish has hired a youth minister. It is hoped that with the two young Vietnamese members and the new priests from India and Southern Brazil who should be arriving in the next months we will be able to set up a vibrant youth program, including a vocational ministry.
- Fr. Willyans Prado Raposo. With the arrival of a newly-ordained Portuguese-speaking priest in the near future, Fr. Wills will have an opportunity to fulfill one of the dreams that brought him to Canada: to begin his post-graduate studies in theology. He has registered at Regis College of the University of Toronto to begin studies in systematic theology in September, 2018. He hopes to complete his Master’s studies in two years.
- Loretto Abbey Infirmary. Fr. Jim Casper continues to celebrate Eucharist at Loretto Abbey twice a week. This ministry will end when the sisters will move to Presentation Manor when it is completed in August or September of this year.
- Presentation Manor. The Region has invested $ 500,000 in the construction of Presentation Manor: a residence for religious, some ministries, and for interested laity. The residence is under construction and ready for occupancy in late summer. At the meeting, Council discussed with the community the feasibility of renting space for our community. Council asked Fr. Maurice Légaré to study the financial implications. Because the Manor is in the east end of Toronto, it would make it easier for the community to gather and to pray/eat/work as one community.
- Lay Dehonian Family. The community has continued to meet with members of the parishes and UKI who are interested in Dehonian spirituality. A group of nine people are now meeting with members of the community as a chapter of the Dehonian family. Fr. Jim is their main chaplain.
Chaplaincy at the Séminaire du Sacré-Coeur. For some time, Council has spoken about having a full-time chaplaincy service at the Séminaire making use of the money with which the Corporation of the school paid to the Congregation for the ownership of the property and the school. The Director of the school, Mr. Christian Lavergne, has indicated his desire to have such a service and he has offered to come to speak to the Ottawa community about his plan for this chaplaincy service.
Finance Committee. Jim Casper presented the minutes of the meeting of the Finance Committee of January 17 in Montréal. In July 2018 the General Bursar, Fr. Luca Zottoli and Mr. Aldo Ivaldi will come to visit our Region. The Finance Committee and the council will meet with them on July 6 in Montréal together with Michel and Benoit Levebvre. On the agenda will be the financial statement of 2017, the finances of the Region, and a report of the investments. We hope also to give a summary of the Financial Review of the Region that will be presented on May 23 at the next meeting of the Council. On their part, the General Bursar’s Office will give the Region an overview of the finances of the Congregation and of our contributions to the Congregation. Fr. Luca and Mr. Aldo will visit the Montreal community from July 4 to 7, Ottawa from July 7-9, and Toronto, July 9 to 12. Their touristic highlight will be a trip to Niagara Falls on July 11.
NORAM meeting. The two North American councils will meet in Hales Corners on April 9. The councils meet twice a year. This time the USA Province hosts. The meetings touch on common issues and on the work of shared commissions.
Feast of the Sacred Heart. Council decided to continue the practice of having a shared gathering on the Feast of the Sacred Heart. The Ottawa community invites all members to come to its community house on Wednesday June 6 and Thursday June 7. At the holy hour on Wednesday John will give a presentation and reflection on the Sacred Heart using the recent book on Dehonian spirituality by Marcello Neri (Giustizia della misericordia)
Annual Assembly. Council decided to hold the annual assembly of the Region from September 17 to 20 at Providence House (1200 Princess Street) in Kingston. It will be a regular session with a celebration of jubilees on Wednesday, September 19. Fr. Paul Tennyson celebrates his 25th anniversary of vows this year. Frs. Aegi Warsito and Yuliwan Maslim celebrate their 25th anniversary of ordination, and Frs. Jim Casper and John van den Hengel celebrate their 60th anniversary of vows.