The Regional Council met virtually on November 12 with all members present.
The communities of the Region
The Council members reported on the situation of each community in this time of pandemic.
During this time some members of the Toronto and Montréal have tested positive. For that reason, some of the reporting on the communities dealt with the coronavirus epidemic and the impact it has had on our communities. Here some other items on the life of each community:
On November 11 the Toronto community commemorated the deceased members of the community by visiting the cemetery.
Fr. Willyans Raposo has obtained his licentiate in Theology at Regis College in Toronto with an A for his work on a thesis entitled: “There is One Body and One Spirit.” (Eph. 4.4): Challenges and Perspectives of the Roman Catholic-Pentecostal Dialogue in Brazil.” He is currently helping out at St. Anthony’s parish. With the completion of his studies Fr. Gustave will be contacting the Toronto Community in order to consider expanding our ministry in the Toronto area.
Fr. Martin Kadamattu has helped in the ministry to Catholics from the state of Kerala (India) for about two months
Fr. Peter Sanders recently underwent cataract surgery on his right eye. He will undergo a second operation in the near future. Fr. John van den Hengel also had cataract surgery on the right eye. His left eye will be operated on on December 15.
Fr. Pauline Makiala is following some online courses from Saint Paul University. He has involved with the Congolese community in Ottawa where he has given a number of lectures.
On December 15 a stairlift will be installed in the house of Ottawa to facilitate movement between the first and second floor for Fr. Herman Falke. As an interesting side note, Fr. Herman has been encouraged through his correspondence with Mr. Michael Walsh to write his memoirs in order to allow others to benefit from the message of his biblical sculptures.
Fr. Gustave Lulendo reported on his recent visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he was present at the ordination to episcopacy of a classmate and friend.
Mission Office. Also, the Mission Office was on the agenda of Council. For some time, it has been felt that Mme Nicole Béland who has run the Mission Office since the retirement of Fr. Claude Bédard should receive additional help. Fr. Gustave and Frère Dieudonné will assist the Finance Committee to write a job description for Mme Béland and for the second person in the office who is to assist her with different projects of the Office, the annuities and with the other financial dimensions of the Office.
Conseil d’administration: Pointe-au-Chene: Fr. John van den Hengel asked to be relieved of his position on the Conseil d’administration at the Séminaire du Sacré-Coeur. He took over the position when he became Regional Superior. Since Fr. Richard Woodbury is more involved at the Séminaire and has better insight into its workings, he was asked to take over that position. He accepted the position “for the time being.”
M. Robert Laurin. M. Robert Laurin, the chaplain at the Séminaire, indicated that because of the lingering repercussions of his cancer, he had offered his resignation. Council expressed their appreciation for the work that he did at the Séminaire. It was decided to find a replacement in order that the school may retain its Catholic identity. It was suggested that Fr. Gustave speak with Christian Lavergne, the principal of the school, about the replacement of M. Robert Laurin.
GST Québec: The community of Montréal has contacted the office regulating GST refunds in Québec. They have obtained a Québec registration number and will begin to send the QST tax portion for rebates.
Finances Paul Tennyson gave a report on the finances of the Region.
- The investment portfolio has recovered almost completely after the initial financial downturn due to COVID 19. The situation of the local communities is also solid so that this year we did not have to dip into our investments to cover the number of construction projects in the three communities.
- Fr. Paul asked that all communities and individuals with bank accounts send him their bank statement of 2020 as soon as possible in January. The bank statement should indicate the December 31 balance of the account.
- A Financial Meeting is planned for December 14 to receive from M. Michel Lefebvre an update on the financial situation of the Region.
- Fr. Paul reported that because of the rent control imposed by the Province of Ontario in relation to COVID 19, Presentation Manor of Scarborough asked to be able to postpone one of the interest payments. These had been set at 1 %. Since the payment could not be made, the Board approached all stakeholders for their permission. Council agreed.
- Fr. Paul also reported that with the introduction of new higher rents on the properties in Montréal, the SCJ community there has not asked for additional subsidies.
- The request for a contribution towards a vehicle for the Kilwa community was approved.