Preparing for the General Chapter

With the upcoming General Chapter in July of this year, the General Superior and his council have appointed the following to the General Chapter Planning Committee: Frs. Oliviero Cattani (ITS), Fr. Levi Ferreira (GER), and Fr. Juanjo Arnaiz (ESP)

The planning commission has a busy task. Instead of the usual year or more for its work, this year’s committee has less than three months! The XXIV General Chapter will take place July 14-27 in Rome.9cd950ca-62e7-4a1c-967c-35c1e06765dd

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Chapitre Régional / Regional Chapter

Nous avons reçu la lettre de convocation du XXIV Chapitre Général qui aura lieu à Rome du 14 au 27 juillet 2018.
Ce Chapitre Général doit être précédé d’un Chapitre Régional.
Notre Directoire Régional demande que la convocation d’un Chapitre Régional soit faite avec « l’avis du conseil » pour déterminer « le lieu et la date du chapitre » (page 25).
Ayant obtenu l’avis du Conseil Régional, le Chapitre Régional aura lieu mercredi, le 6 juin 2018, dès 9h00, à Dehon House, Ottawa.
Comme le XXIV Chapitre Général sera principalement un Chapitre d’élection, le Chapitre Régional sera relativement bref. Les themes à aborder seront les suivants:
1. La vérification du droit de siéger des participants, l’élection d’un scrutateur, la nomination d’un secrétaire;
2. L’état de la Région ((il faut envoyer un texte de 3 pages sur l’état de la Région, qui fera partie des documents du Chapitre Général);
3. Approbation des changements au Directoire Régional`
4. Motions pour le Chapitre Général;
5. Élection d’un délégué et de son substitut;
6. Varia.

La communauté d’Ottawa offrira l’ébergement et les repas.

We have received the convocation letter of the General Superior for the XXIV General Chapter. It is to be held in Rome from July 14 to July 27, 2018.
This General Chapter needs to be preceded by a Regional Chapter.
Our Regional Directory requires that such a convocation of the Regional Chapter take place “with the advice of the council” in order to “determine the time and place of the chapter, and to convene the chapter.” (page 25)
Having obtained the advice of the Regional Council, the Regional Chapter will be held on Wednesday June 6, starting at 9 a.m. at Dehon House in Ottawa.
Since the XXIVth General Chapter will be mainly an election chapter, the Regional Chapter will not require a great amount of time to complete. The topics for the chapter will be the following:
1. The determination of the members of the Regional Chapter; the election of the scrutineer; the appointment of a secretary
2. The state of the Region (the Region needs to give a three-page account of the Region’s life which will be published as part of the General Chapter documents. )
3. Approval of changes to the Regional Directory.
4. Motions for the General Chapter to consider
5. Election of a delegate and his substitute.
6. Other topics
The Regional Chapter will be followed in the afternoon of June 6 by a Holy Hour and on June 7 at 10:00 by a Eucharist to celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart.
Lodging and meals will be provided through the good offices of the Ottawa community.
May this period be a moment of grace for the whole congregation.
In the Heart of Christ

John van den Hengel, Regional Superior

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Yuliwan Maslim becomes member of Canadian Region

On Sunday April 22, it became official. Yohanes Yuliwan Maslim who has been working with the Indonesian Community in the Toronto area and has been part of our Canadian Region for four years has transferred from the Indonesian Province to the Canadian Region. Welcome, Yuliwan.

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Preparing for a Regional Chapter

With the appointment of the Superior General as Bishop of Hildesheim, the Congregation will need to hold not only an extraordinary General Chapter but also a Regional Chapter. On April 12 in a telephone conversation with Fr. Stephen Huffstetter,  our General Councillor,  I was told that the General Chapter will be held in Rome starting on Saturday July 14 and ending on July 27. As these were the original dates for the General Conference to be held in the Philippines, it means that the General Conference has been cancelled. In order to prepare this General Chapter each Province, Region and District are expected to hold their own chapters for the selection of delegates. The General Council has decided that these chapters need to be completed by June 15. Since the Region will gather for the Feast of the Sacred Heart in Ottawa, the Region will hold its chapter, if possible, on Wednesday, June 6. Since the letter of convocation has not yet been sent, it is not quite clear yet whether any additional topics outside of the election of a new administration will be on the agenda of the General Chapter. We will await the formal letter of convocation to determine whether more time is required for the Regional Chapter.

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Superior general named bishop

Heiner Wilmer

On April 6, Pope Francis appointed Fr. Heiner Wilmer, superior general, as the new bishop of the Diocese of Hildesheim (Germany). The Diocese of Hildesheim, which includes the city of Hanover, is one of the oldest dioceses in the world. It was founded in 815 and is located in northern Germany; it is over 18,5000 square miles and includes approximately 610,000 Catholics and 200 priests. Fr Wilmer succeeds Bishop Norbert Trelle, who headed the diocese from 2006 until 2017.

Fr. Heiner was provincial superior of the German Province when he was elected superior general in 2015. He was born on April 9, 1961 in Schapen, Germany, was ordained in 1987, and professed his first vows with the congregation in 1982.

Prior to his service as provincial superior Fr. Heiner held a number of positions in education; he is also an author with several published works.

Click here to read more about Fr. Heiner on the US Province site.

Click here to read an English translation of a statement he prepared for the Diocese of Hildesheim.

Fr. Carlos Enrique Caamaño Martin, until now vicar general, assumes the office of superior general until the election of a new general government.


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Fr. Dehon’s patrimony

On March 14, Fr. Stefan Tertünte, the Director of Centro Studi in Rome  gave presentation entitled “Truly, he gave away everything.” In it he spoke about the financial patrimony of Fr. Dehon.  And it is true. Fr. Dehon gave away everything of his patrimony to the works of the congregation. It began with the Collège Saint-Jean. All through his life he dipped into his own patrimony to support new ventures. Giuseppe Manzoni, the biographer of Leo Dehon, has calculated that in total Fr. Dehon gave away around 800.000 French Francs. In current money that adds up to about $ 4.500.000. At the end of his life, Fr. Dehon told his family that they should not expect anything from him. His niece responded that “Your work was worth more to the honour of the family and to obtain divine grace than your patrimony.”

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NORAM meeting in Hales Corners

DSC_0353On April 9 the councils of the USA Province and the Canadian Region met in Hales Corner for the biannual meeting. The meeting stood in the shadow of the news received on April 6 that the Superior General, Heiner Wilmer, had just been appointed by Pope Francis to become the Bishop of Hildesheim, a diocese in northern Germany. The combined Councils wished Bishop-elect Heiner well in his new post, noting that the appointment has important consequences for the Congregation. These will become clear in the next few months as the Congregation moves toward a General Chapter and the election of a new administration.

The two councils reviewed the works of different shared committees of the two entities, such as, the North American Retreat committee, the Migration Committee, the Dehonian Family committee and the Theological commission. The North American Migration Committee had their report made by Frs. Jan de Jong and Tony Russo. The committee has had an impressive number of meetings and activities. Their work reflects a DSC_0318decision of the two councils to make migration a primary issue for North America, particularly in a time in which the US government has begun a process of deporting many illegal Hispanic immigrants back to their countries of origin. Through the work of the committee but also through projects of individual communities, the North American SCJs seek to respond to one of the major social justice issues of the continent.

David Schimmel gave an interesting report on the work of the Dehon Study Center. The first stages of this work had been to put some order into the holdings of the Center after the death of its founder, Fr. P.J. McGuire. The initial work consisted of sorting out the books, articles, electronic files and other materials that had been collected by P.J. McGuire. It is hoped that the Center may become a vital resource not only of the writings of Fr. Dehon in English but also of translation and research into the person and legacy of Fr. Dehon. At present, it is necessary to create an interest in this work among the younger members of the Province in order to continue the study of the writings of Fr. Dehon in North America.

DSC_0341At the end of the day, the group went to the Novitiate house in Franksville for adoration, a social and supper. The Novitiate has only recently moved from Chicago to Franksville. There are at present two novices with Fr. Byron Haaland as Director of novices and Fr. Andrzej Sudol as associate director. The novitiate is in a modernistic, Wright-style home deep into the countryside of Wisconsin.



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