The meeting started at 10:00.
Reports of the communities:
- During this period of pandemic the community has continued to hold the weekly community zoom meeting connecting the parish community and the community house at 58 High Park each Monday evening. The meetings have continued to support the members during a time in which it was impossible to come together physically.
- The parish of St. Thomas More has opened up again for Sunday Eucharist with all the restrictions and the following of cautionary protocols to protect against the coronavirus. Both the Church and the hall of the parish are being used to allow for appropriate distancing. The return at the Portuguese parish did not result in a full church because of the fear of parishioners for infections.
- Most of the members of the Toronto community have been tested for the coronavirus. All tests have been negative.
- Fr. Willyans Raposo has entered into the licentiate program at Regis College. He will be finished with his studies next semester.
- Fr. Petrus Murwanto has been able to study online with occasional zoom sessions.
- The office for Fr. Peter McKenna’s ministry has not yet opened. Peter is doing his ministry from the house with the help of a secretary.
- Fr. Yuliwan Maslim continues his ministry among the Indonesian community with life-stream masses and evening prayer. This may change in the near future when things in Toronto will open up more. Because of the need to sanitize all items used at meetings, it is difficult to hold meetings in person.
- All members do their part to stay healthy by different physical exercises.
- The celebration of the feast of the Sacred Heart was much appreciated, especially with the surprise participation of Fr. General in the Zoom gathering. The menu of the elaborate meal, reflecting the annual gathering of the Region at the community house in Ottawa, was announced to the Region.
- In view of the limited space and the general age of the participating group, it was decided not to open up the chapel for the Sunday community for the time being. The churches in Ottawa were allowed to open up for Sunday Eucharist but with a limitation of 30% of the church’s capacity.
- Fr. Paulin Makiala has begun to catalogue the holdings of the congregational library. It was hoped to combine this work with the cataloguing of the Montreal holdings. An electronic version will be made available.
- The members of the community try to stay fit despite the closure of the swimming pool during the COVID-19.
- Fr. John van den Hengel reported on his writing projects. He completed a meditation for the Feast of the Sacred Heart, an article on the devotion to the Sacred Heart as a result of the Sacred Heart meeting in Rome of last November. He also completed the translation of David Neuhold’s book on Fr. Dehon that will be published shortly in Krakow, Poland.
- Both Gustave Lulendo and John van den Hengel will participate in the virtual meeting of the Theological Seminar on Sint Unum from July 11 – 19th. John wrote a paper on behalf of the North American Commission that will be used during the Seminar to discuss the psychological dimensions Sint Unum.
- Everyone in the community is well. The community held its final meeting before the summer. They will resume in September. The Thursday community gatherings, however, will continue.
- The Feast of the Sacred Heart was well celebrated. Fr. Roger Phaneuf unfortunately could not participate. Only now is it possible to visit again at Square Angus.
- In order to open up the parishes of the Unité pastoral for Eucharistic celebration, the community will have to wait until the parish committee will permit the gathering of the people. The regulation for each parish is different. Only this week Fr. Louis Marie will send a message to the diocese of Montréal to ask for permission to open. Almost all the weddings of this year have been postponed until later this year or till next year.
- After his operation for cancer early in the year, Dieudonné Tchouteu has regained his health and is once again engaged in his work
- Fr. Claude Bédard has injured his back once again and is now in a wheelchair. He cannot stand or walk without a help.
- Fr. Richard Woodbury was happy to have been able to join the community for the Feast of the Sacred Heart. He had not been in the community since the beginning of the pandemic in March. He remarked how well the Montréal community had endured the isolation of the pandemic. He reported that he will be beginning to have Eucharist at the parishes this coming weekend. There are six pages of directives to be followed. It takes a lot of work to get the correct spacing of people. Many people are hesitant to come to Church now. Richard also mentioned that one of his nephews had passed away and that another nephew was seriously ill.
2. Regional assembly and General Visitation 2020
Originally it had been decided that the Regional Assembly would be held in conjunction with the General Visitation from August 24 – 27 in Arnprior, Ontario. With the changed situation because of the pandemic, the retreat house in Arnprior will not be open again until September 1. Moreover, with the cases of the coronavirus still not totally under control in Québec and Ontario and with the absence of a vaccine, it is not advisable to hold an assembly with 22 people. The Region may organize a zoom conference instead. The details of this conference are not yet determined.
AS to the General Visitation, it was already decided that Fr. Stephen Huffstetter would not be coming since his ticket to the USA was cancelled. Fr. General still intends to come to Canada for the visitation. However, council found it not advisable to hold visitation at this time. First of all, it is not certain that by August 10 the borders between Canada and Europe will be opened again. Moreover, Fr. General would have to quarantine for two weeks after entry into Canada and another two weeks after entry into the Province of Ontario. At this point, it is not clear whether Canada will be hit by a second wave of the pandemic. With no vaccine in sight as yet, safety is a constant issue. Upon reception of the information from the Council, Fr. General has decided not to come in August.
- Montreal SCJ Properties
The renovations of the Boismenu house have now been completed. It required a new roof, the cleaning up of the water damage and some other renovations in other parts of the house. The total cost: $ 40,000. Two new tenants have agreed to pay a more equitable monthly rent. About Maison Dehon there is not yet any new decision. Some repairs will be required. It was decided to await the evaluation and advice of Mr. Peter Berkers about the future of the whole property and its individual houses.
Fr. Paul gave a brief overview of the finances of the Region. Although the shrinking of the financial markets due to COVID-19 also affected the finances of the Region, the effects have been manageable. The losses for the two corporations were 5.4% and 2 %. Fr. Richard Woodbury was given permission to buy a new car. Also, the Ottawa community was given permission to complete the renovation of the chimneys of the house which are in need of repair. The allotted amount: $30,000. The first stage of the repair is now under way. Also, the deck and wheelchair access at Sacred Heart House in Toronto requires renewal. Estimates for the costs of the repair will be sought and passed on to the Council.
The zoom meeting closed at 12:52.