From Monday August 12 to Wednesday August 15 the Canadian Region held their annual assembly in Kingston at the Sisters of Providence Spirituality Centre. Twenty members participated. Outside of the usual review of the activities of the Region, the finances, the committees, there were two main topics on the Agenda. On Tuesday morning Fr. Stephen Huffstetter gave an extensive reflection on the recently published programmatic letter of the General Administration. He outlined the origin of the document and gave the Region insight into the direction that the new Administration, elected last year, will seek to go. Fr. Stephen had spent most of the previous week visiting the Canadian communities and met with all of the members.
On Tuesday afternoon and all day Wednesday Fr. André Beauchamp spoke to the Assembly about the letter Laudato si of Pope Francis. He gave a reflection on the different style of the letter, inasmuch as it is addressed not to the Bishops – the usual addressees of such letters – but to all humanity. Fr. André spoke of the need of a new type of spirituality that takes into account humanity’s all important referent: the earth and our common bond with water, air and soil. He also outlined the theology of creation used by Pope Francis, giving along the way a wonderful exegesis of Genesis 1 and Genesis 2. We heard once again how important it is to relate to the gift of the earth and of the cosmos that supports us and gives life, the importance to give praise and thanksgiving each day for that gift.
Wednesday evening was set aside to celebrate the jubilees of the members of the Region. Herman Falke topped the list with 70 years of religious life and 65 years of priestly life. We also remembered Peter McKenna who was remembered for his 35 years of priestly
life. Greg Murray was ordained 15 years ago and Willyans Prado Raposo 10 years ago. Fr. Herman preached for the occasion recalling the major shifts that his life underwent since 1949. He acknowledged how at times some of the teachings and beliefs over time came to disturb him and caused him anguish. Fr. Greg presided at the Eucharist. Afterwards the whole assembly gathered at Ramekins restaurant in Kingston for a festive thanksgiving meal.
On the solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, August 15, the assembly reviewed the finances of the Region, dealt with the complex consultation process for the election of the Regional Superior and the regional bursar. Fr. Peter McKenna reviewed the work of the migration committee which has been very active during this past year. Also Fr. Willyans reported on the activity
of the vocation committee who has been working hard to re-establish our vocational ministry. During the Eucharist Fr. Yuliwan
Maslim installed the local superiors of Toronto; Aegidius Warsito, Ottawa: Paul Tennyson, and Montréal: Gustave Lulendo N’dotony.