1. On Tuesday November 26, 2019 the Regional Council met at Dehon House in Ottawa.
2. Reports of the communities
a. The Toronto community reported that in the coming year the ministry of UKI in the Toronto region will have existed 40 years. It will be celebrated in the month of April. Fr. Yuliwan also visits the Indonesian community in Calgary at least once a year. This community consists of about 100 persons. The Toronto community welcomed into its midst Fr. Petrus Maruanto who will be doing studies for a doctorate in education at OISE of the University of Toronto. Currently he is studying English in order to be accepted into the University. The community also let it be known that the renovation of the rectory of St. Thomas More is continuing. The garage is back in operation after a lengthy rebuild.
b. Fr. John van den Hengel reported on the two retreats he gave in Indonesia in the month of October. From Indonesia he travelled to Rome to participate in the International Theological Commission and the Congress on the Sacred Heart. At the Congress he delivered a paper entitled Leon Dehon’s Sacred Heart in Light of the Figure of Wisdom.
c. Fr. Gustave Lulendo reported
i. on his visit to India. He greatly appreciated greatly the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the District of India which was celebrated in the community house of Eluru. It had involved all the confreres of the District. He also had a chance to visit the other houses in Andra Pradesh. He also reported on his visit to Rome with the other major superiors. He had been part of the introductory week with those major superiors who had only recently begun their ministry.
ii. The next General Conference will be held in 2021 in Philippines. It will be on the same topic as the Conference that had been planned for 2018 but which had to be cancelled to make possible a General Chapter. The main focus of the Conference will be on the social spirituality of our founder.
d. The Montréal community reported that Br. Dieudonné Tchouteu has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He had been taken to hospital on the morning of the meeting. Later we learned that he is suffering from a cancerous prostate. His doctors have advised him to take his holidays in Cameroon in December-January. After his return, he will undergo surgery. The community also reported that Fr. Louis Marie Butari has obtained the renewal of his visa allowing him to stay in Canada and to continue his work in the Unité pastoral. The community will hold an Advent retreat on December 2 as a follow-up of the regional assembly of last August.
3. NORAM meeting
In preparation of the next NORAM meeting in Toronto on December 6, the council set the agenda. The meeting will be held at the Best Western Hotel near the airport of Toronto.
4. General Visitation
In August 2020 (August 17 – 27) Fr. General and Fr. Stephen Huffstetter will hold a general visitation of the Region of Canada. The visitation will begin with a visit of the communities followed by a Regional Assembly (August 24 – 27). The theme of the Regional Assembly will be determined at the next meeting of Council.
5. The future of Maison Dehon in Montréal.
As reported above, the Montréal community met in October to discuss the future of Maison Dehon. The community put forward some options. Council decided to invoke the expertise of Peter Berkers and ask him to provide with some proposals regarding not only Maison Dehon but also the other properties.
6. Changes to the Regional Directory
Fr. Richard Woodbury presented a new draft of the proposed changes to the Regional Directory regarding the consultation procedures of a new regional administration. Council decided to accept the draft as proposed. The Region will ask for a provisional approval from the General Administration so that the next consultation will be undertaken with this new process. The proposed changes will be presented for a vote of the Region at the next Regional Chapter.
7. Committee reports
– Theological committee: The Theological committee has met in October and in November. The main topic has been the contents of the next theological seminar which will be held in Yaoundé, Cameroon in July 2020. The topic will be “Synodality in the context of Sint Unum”. A first draft of papers to be presented at the seminar will be discussed at the January meeting of the committee.
– Migration Committee: The Migration Committee has met several times since the last meeting. It will make a presentation at the NORAM meeting in Toronto on December 6. It also asked that its name be changed. The committee will be known as the ”SCJ Canada Migration Committee”.
– Vocation Committee. The vocation committee presented a report of its activities. Council accepted the report and approved the budget.
8. Finances :
a. Council received the letter of the General Bursar sent after his visit to the Region in September. The letter was very positive about our finances.
b. Paul Tennyson expressed the hope to have the financial statements of 2019 in by January 15 so that the reports can be passed on to Benoit Lefebvre and to Rome and to the government. He will write a letter to the communities to advise them regarding the dates. Council will meet at the end of January with the Financial Committee and Benoit and Michel Lefebvre.
c. Council will have the next financial meeting in Montreal at the end of January so that it can approve the annual statement of 2019 and review the financial file with the finance committee and Benoit Lefebvre, our accountant, and Michel Lefebvre, our investment consultant.
After the report by Christian Lavergne, the director of Le Séminaire du Sacré-Coeur at the last meeting of council, both the Fondation of the Seminaire and Council have met. Here is the result of the discussions to this point :
a. The Congregation accepts the Seminaire as part of its ministry in Canada. In the course of the last three years there has developed a new understanding of the Séminaire du Sacré-Coeur as a ministry of community. This is based on the clear declaration of the Conseil d’Administration of the school and the efforts made by the school to connect with the Congregation. The Director of the school M. Christian Lavergne has visited our Generalate in Rome to discuss the issue with Fr. Stephen Huffstetter, the member on council for education. He has placed our logo on the walls of the school. He has participated in the schools in collaboration program in the US and has made contacts with heads of scj schools in Germany and Spain. It is quite clear that the CA of the school sees the connection with the Congregation as essential for its own future. The school has changed in perspective and the director wants to build up the school by implementing the SCJ values as described in the meeting of the SCJ schools in Valencia in 2014.
b. The Fondation of the Séminaire has already agreed to a loan in two parts.
c. On the part of the Congregation, if a contribution will be made, it would be primarily in the form of a loan which we would ask the Fondation to manage.
d. To help its financial situation, the school has made efforts to attract international students. Up this point, 8 Ukrainian students have visited the school. Other efforts will be made to increase this number of international students.
e. The number of students from the region around Pointe-au-Chêne who have registered for next year at this point is 75. If the same number of registrations is achieved in each of the next four years, the school should be able to meet all its financial obligations.
f. Richard Woodbury will meet with the Fondation in the near future. He will ask Christian Lavergne to clarify his request to the Congregation. Paul will discuss with Michel about the possibilities of a contribution by the Region.
10. Correspondances et cas particuliers
a. Père Ushindi Kambale Sahani: At the meeting in Rome, Gustave talked with p. Albert Lingwengwe, Provincial of the Congolese Province, about a possibility to send another Congolese confrere to work with the community in Montreal. The decision was made by the Congolese Province in October to send pere Ushindi to Canada. P. Ushindi will apply for a visa at the end of November so that he can come to Canada in the beginning of next year. His stay will initially be for three years.
b. Indonesia : The Regional Superior has also spoken with the Indonesian provincial about the possibility of sending someone from Indonesia to help with the Indonesian community in Montréal. The Provincial has indicated the possiblity of someone coming to Montréal next year.
c. Brazil : The Regional Superior spoke with Fr. Ronilton of the Sao Paul Province regarding the payment of the Brazilian pension. He requested that we pay for the pension og Brazilian nationals. Gustave will find out how much we are owed. The amount will be paid through the General Bursar.
d. Angola : the District superior of Angola Bienvenue met with Fr. Gustave. He made a request regarding a Dehonian Youth group (5 young people) They live with the community in Angola. They are seeking an academic formation for 5 years (approximate cost : $ 22.000 (USA)) to make them capable to work with the community but also to re-integrate them with their own families. Council decided to give them $ 5,400 for the first year. It will ask to receive an evaluation after this year for any additional contribution.
Next meeting of Council will be on Thursday January 30, 2020 in Montréal