Meeting of the Regional Council

Date: Wednesday, April 23, 2019
Location: Sacred Heart House, 58 High Park Blvd Toronto

Toronto News:
• The community had a community retreat with the parish on Saturday, March 30
• The Lay Dehonian group continues to meet. Another meeting was being held on April 22.
• Antonio got his drivers licence. The car which Wills Raposo used at the parish will be transfered to St. Thomas More.
• Joseph Do Ngoy Luan will be arriving soon from Vietnam. Starting in September, he will be studying second year theology at St. Augustine Seminary. He will require a formation director since he is still in temporary vows. Council decided to write a letter to the community, indicating that Yuliwan Maslim will be the director of formation.
• Br. John Hung Dinh will make his retreat in Toronto under Fr. Jim Casper and will return to Vietnam on June 17, 2019. He will try to return via the US so that he can visit the community there. For this he requires a visa. If he cannot receive one, he will return directly to Vietnam from Toronto..

Ottawa news:
• There were supposed to be three Vietnamese ESL students joining the Ottawa community this summer. They were to arrive on May 28 and remain until August 5. Instead only one received an entry visa. He is Bui Van Tri, who arrived at the Ottawa Airport on Saturday June 1. He is pictured here with Paul Tennyson and John van denIMG_1677 Hengel. Peter Sanders made the arrangements with the Ottawa Separate school board for the delivery of the ESLcourse. The Ottawa Separate School Board has agreed to provide the course without cost, in recognition of Fr. Peter’s continued contribution as Chaplain of the Board. Fr. Pauline will join Tri for part of the summer.
• House repairs : a leaky roof and steps at the side of the house require attention.
Montreal news
• Claude will be going to Vietnam on May 1 at the invitation of Fr. Francis Vu, replacing Gustave Lulendo. He will be there for 10 days.
• The future use of Maison Dehon was discussed at a community meeting. The house has been empty now for a number of years and the community was asked to make recommendations to Council. As can be imagined, itw as not an easy discussion because Maison Dehon is the first house of the Region (1934). Some suggestions were made, but there was no clear recommendation. In order to arrive at a recommendation, it was suggested to have the property outline of the original Maison Dehon be determined and to see whether the space is saleable. Since the other four properties adjacent to the community house which are rented out, do not contribute enough to cover the budgetary expenditures of the Montréal community, it was suggested that a study be made which would allow for an increase of the rents or to determine whether the sale of the properties would allow to set up a fund that could support the community. Council decided to ask the community to come up with a position by September, 2019.
• The community is urged to make a financial plan in order to determine how to deal with the community’s monthly debt.

Feast of the Sacred Heart : The Feast of the Sacred Heart will be celebrated on Wednesday and Thursday, 26-27 June, 2019. It will be celebrated in the Ottawa community house, as has become customary. The celebration will begin with a period of adoration on Wednesday at 4 p.m., planned by the Toronto Community. The Montréal community will be in charge of the Eucharist on Thursday at 10 :00 a.m. It was suggested that in order to make the eucharist more celebratory, someone of the Ottawa Sunday community has been asked to play the organ. Richard Woodbury will take care of the music. Those members who wish to concelebrate are asked bring an alb and a stole. . Regional Assembly : The Regional Assembly will be held from August 12 – 15 at Providence Spirituality Centre in Kingston.
• Coordinator and contact: Jim Casper
• August 12 : 7 :00 check-in and social
• August 13 : Morning prayer, Morning Eucharist
• Topic of the assembly :, Ecology and our ecological footprint . The speaker at the assembly will be André Beauchamp.
• August 14 :
o A Eucharist remembering the Region’s jubilarians will be celebrated in the afternoon, The JUbilarians this year are Herman Falke : 70 years of religious life and 65 years of ordination; Gregory Murray, 15 years of Ordination and Willyans Prado Rapozo : 10 years of ordination)
o reports of communities
o Fr. Stephen Huffstetter will be asked to introduce the topic of the current General Administration and introduce a discussion that leads to a plan for us.
• August 15 :
o Finances : the financial reports have already been discussed in the communities. It is suggested that the assembly discuss some of the financial issues of the Region.
o The Regional committees will be asked to present their work and future plans.
o Eucharist for the feast of the Assumption will be prepared and presided by Martin AnthonyKadamattu and Paulin Makiala

NORAM meeting
We received the email of Mary Gorski about the NORAM meeting to be held during the US Assembly. The meeting will take place during a supper on Wednesday evening, June 12. A possible topic to be brought forward briefly will be the new vade mecum type edition of the Constitutions prepared by John van den Hengel and Jim Schroeder. We also propose to speak briefly about the membership of the different committtees. The next NORAM meeting in the Fall of 2019 will be the responsibility of the Region.

Committee reports
Theological commission : The North American Commission met on March 30 – 31 in Toronto. On the agenda was the ongoing research of the members on the topic of « pure love » . The commission also discussed the topic of the next theological seminar in Ngoya, Cameroon, in July 2020. At the meeting of the International Theological Commission in December in Rome, the Superior General had suggested that the topic for the next theological seminar would be on a current understanding of Sint Unum as a way of healing divisions in the various parts of the Congregation.
Migration committee : a meeting of the committee took place in Montreal on April 13. Present were Peter McKenna, Claude Bedard, and Lilly Ooi. It was the first meeting of the new committee and so it was exploratory. Each member of the community was asked to initiate activities on immigration on the local level.
Vocation committee : Yuliwan Maslim, Antonio Resende Pereira and Paulin Makiala met on April 24 in Toronto. A report of the committeeàs meetinghas already been published on the blog.
Apostolate committee : the council asks for a report of the Apsotolate Committee at our next meeting on June 26.
Communications committee; The committee has met briefly to outline the activities of the members. John van den Hengel has accepted to continue to take care of the Regional Blog. Maurice Légaré will continue to send out the necrology notices. No discussion has taken place yet about the renewal of the website.

a. Luca Zottoli, the General Treasurer, wrote that he will visit Canada in September together with Mr. Aldo Ivaldi. They will arrive in Montréal and from there travel to Ottawa and Toronto. Council meeting with them will be in Montreal together with the Finance committee. Also Michel Lefebvre will be invited to attend. It is proposed that all the financial issues will be tackled at this meeting. The rest of the trip will consist of visiting the communities and get a taste of Canada. Each community is asked to introduce them to the history of the country and localities. Fr. Luca has let it be known that Niagara Falls is a must on his itinerary.
b. Steven Huffstetter will visit the Region during August. He will arrive on August 2 and he indicated a desire to visit the different communities. He will attend the first three days of the assembly. He will leave on Wednesday evening August 14.
c. Letter from Fr. Titus Nardi. The request to have John van den Hengel come to Indonesia for the annual retreat of the Indonesian Province. The retreat will consist of two sessions. October 14 – 18 / October 24 -28.
d. We received a letter from Vien Nguyen to acknowledge the participation of the Region in the USA Assembly in June. The topic of the assembly will be interculturality.

Finances:  The SCJ Canada Foundation – Pretres du Sacre-Cœur
Paul Tennyson has prepared the 2017 and the 2018 financial statements for Rome. He gave a report on the state of the finances of the Region. Since the General Treasurer will be coming in September, the Region has decided to hold a full financial meeting in September. The meeting will deal with a number of issues that affect our relationship to the financial situation of the Region and of rhe Congregation.

It was decided that the Region respond to the powerful storm that hit Mozambique on March 19 by sending 10,000 Euro from our Dutch account to Rome. The storm devastated the city of Beira, where Bishop Claudio Della Zuanna scj has his see.

Pointe-au – Chêne
Council received a letter from the Conseil d’administration of the Seminaire du Sacre Cœur in Pointe-au Chene. The letter outlined the financial deficit that the school is in because of a declining number of students in the last five years. The letter was addressed to the Regional Council and to the Fondation of the Séminarire. The school has a foundation that is intended to support the school in special projects. The Fondation is led by a Board of directors of which Richard Woodbury and Maurice Légaré are members. The Conseil d’administration of the Séminaire is asking for $ 2 million over the next five years to cover the expenditures of the renovations and to cover the deficit. The Region has already provided the Séminaire the equivalent of $ 400 000. The Conseil d’Administration is asking for additional support to help it get through the next five years. Richard will arrange a meeting between the Fondation and the Council. John van den Hengel will represent the Council at a future meeting.

Local superiors:  The terms of office of all the local superiors of the Region will be completed in August. Gustave will send a letter to the communities to initiate the process of nomination of the local superiors.

Next meeting. The next meeting of Council will be held on Wednesday, June 26 in Ottawa prior to the celebration of the feast of the Sacred Heart.

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The Vocation Committee meets in Toronto

IMG-20190426-WA0001The new Vocation Committee of the Region of Canada held its first meeting at Sacred Heart House in Toronto on APril 25 and 26, 2019. The new committee members are Fr. Willyans Prado Raposo, who was appointed as the vocation director, Fr. Paulin Makiala and Fr. Antonio Maria Resende Pereira. The Committee met on Thursday evening with Fr. Peter McKenna. Fr. Peter spoke about the Regional Directory and its guidelines of the vocation ministry, the process of discernment and the admission of candidates. He also gave a brief history of the work of the Regional Vocation Office. On Friday morning, the Committee worked on devising some strategies, planning future events and projects.

The meeting was very fruitful. The committee was grateful to the Region for its trust and support. A special thanks went to Fr. Peter McKenna for his presence and his background presentation. The Committee hopes to send some information to the Region soon. And, added Fr. Wills, “Don’t forget to pray for vocations.”

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Migration committee meets in Montreal

On Saturday April 13, Claude Bédard, Lily Ooi and Peter McKenna who were recently appointed as the members of the Immigration Committee of the Region of Canada by Gustave Lulendo and members of his council met in Montréal. It was a time to “get to know each other”, revisit not only the work of the North American Migration Committee of which they are also now members, but also to explore possibilities for how to accompany and join with the members of the three local communities of Canada in their response to what refugees are experiencing.

The committee will next meet on July 13 to continue the discussion of the Canadian reality and then on September 23/24 meet with the other members of the North American Migration Committee to continue to explore how Dehonians in North America can respond collaboratively and collectively in their own context. This first meeting was full of lots and lots of spontaneous sharing, dreaming of possibilities and yet focused with our eyes and hearts on heaven and our feet on the ground.

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North American Theological Commission meets in Toronto

Gustave, Charles and John

On Saturday / Sunday March 30-31, the North American Theological Commission had the first of their two annual meetings. This time it was in Toronto at Sacred Heart House. The meeting was attended by John van den Hengel (chair), Gustave Lulendo and Charles Brown.

The meeting brought the group up to date about the activities of the International Theological Commission and the work of other theologians on the five continents. It also discussed the topic of the  next Theological Seminar, entitled “Sint Unum Today” that will be held in Ngoya, Cameroon, in July 2020. The Seminar will explore the actuality, challenges and implications of Sint Unum for the Congregation today but also for the world that is increasingly marked by nationalisms, racial and religious tensions, tribalism, ethnicisms, casteism, etc. In his reflections with the International Theological Commission in December, Fr. General raised this issue and suggested Sint Unum as a topic for next year’s seminar. He asked: Is Sint Unum really part of the DNA of the Congregation?

The committee members also gave a report on their individual research on the topic of “pure love” in the writings of Leo Dehon. This has been the topic of the North American Group since 2017. Fr. Dehon saw pure love as the spiritual mission of his Congregation. In the end, Charles Brown said in his evaluation, “This is a type of forum that I love.” The committee will meet again in the beginning of October.

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Letter for March 14: The anniversary of the birth of Fr. Leo John Dehon

Consecration, ministry and community: our journey

To the members of the Congregation and Members of the Dehonian Family

On December 19, 2018, we celebrated the 150th anniversary of the priestly

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ordination of Fr. Leo Dehon. In the Christmas letter that we sent you, we referred to this anniversary in these terms: “his ministry in the Church was a continuous learning to walk with others and for others.” As we approach the day of his birth, we wish to seize another opportunity to renew our thanks to God for the gift of Fr. Dehon’s life, vocation and ministry.

In his continuous desire to learn, we recognize his constant willingness to understand and live God’s will, his great passion. On this new anniversary, we deem it appropriate to highlight that the priestly ministry that he received did not mean, for Fr. Dehon, the fulfilment of his desire to seek God’s will. In fact, our Founder did not limit himself to living that conformist clericalism that even today, as then, lurks behind every corner. On the contrary, he felt called to go deeper into the dynamics of the baptismal grace that had bound him forever to the Trinitarian life.

After he became aware of his intimacy with the Lord, of the merits and limitations of the Church in which he lived, as well as the political, social and economic challenges of those times, he realised that the Lord, whom he so loved to please, called him to religious life. How beneficial it is for us to contemplate the vocational dynamic that has taken place in the life of our Founder! An inner journey enabled him to integrate vocation, ministry and community. Only after much prayer and discernment, and encouraged by the many illustrious men and women of his time to whom he humbly turned for advice and guidance, did he understand that God was calling him to share a journey of faith with the others, inspired by the profound contemplation of the pierced Heart of the Saviour. This is the origin of the Oblates, Priests of the Heart of Jesus.

We must recognize that our personal itinerary and religious consecration acquire greater identity and meaning insofar as we discover Fr. Dehon’s vocational itinerary. Along his journey, he developed his heart of a father and brother within him. Today, we live our consecration to God through religious life, as priests or brothers, and must continue to embrace the indispensable lymph that is the charismatic patrimony that was given to us.

There is no doubt that we are aware that on many occasions the good development of our vocational journey is affected by the way in which we respond to the needs, tasks and compromises that we come across in the ecclesial reality, and the society or even by our strictly personal interests. In the face of such emergences, we must be vigilant so that our identity is not reduced to a mere ministerial or professional function. If this were the case, we would risk depriving the Church of the genuine vocation that we have received in order to live our religious life.

In this sense, we must remember that twenty-five years ago the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life published “Fraternal life in Community”. Over the years, this document has helped many religious communities to renew themselves and to focus on what is asked of them for the life of the Church:

Experts in communion, religious are, therefore, called to be an ecclesial community in the Church and in the world, witnesses and architects of the plan for unity which is the crowning point of human history in God’s design. Above all, by profession of the evangelical counsels, which frees one from what might be an obstacle to the fervour of charity, religious are communally a prophetic sign of intimate union with God, who is loved above all things. Furthermore, through the daily experience of communion of life, prayer and apostolate – the essential and distinctive elements of their form of consecrated life – they are “a sign of fraternal fellowship” (VFC 10).

If we read this text anew, we can notice how the Spirit incessantly urges us to incarnate what it has given us in our Dehonian charism here and now. May our daily oblation, expressed in words and deeds, be a sincere declaration and distinctive trait of our shared availability in proclaiming the Gospel:

The religious are often identified by the colour of their garments; the garment of our soul before God must be love and if there were two, the second would be compassion. There is no Oblate without this; this is absolutely necessary (Cahiers Falleur 1/48).

We hope that you shall celebrate this new anniversary joyfully and profoundly. May this encourage us to journey together and may the Lord grant us the grace of vocations that are eager to continue to walk along the path traced by Fr. Dehon.

In the Heart of Christ,

Fr. Carlos Luis Súarez Codorniú, scj

Superior General

and Council

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Appointment of Regional Bursar

Immediately after the first council meeting of the Region on January 16, Richard Woodbury conducted a consultation of the members of the Canadian Region to determine their choice for the Regional Bursar. In a telephone conference on Tuesday January 29, the Regional Council put forward the name of Paul Tennyson to the General Administration so that they might appoint him as Regional Bursar for the next three years.DSC_0665

On February 13, 2019, the Superior General, with the consent of his Council, confirmed the appointment of Fr. Paul Tennyson as Treasurer of the Region of Canada.

Immédiatement après la première réunion du Conseil Régional, le 16 janvier, Richard Woodbury a consulté les membres de la Région sur leur choix de l’Économe Régional. Au cours d’une conférence téléphonique, le mardi 29 janvier, le Conseil Régional a proposé à l’Administration Générale la nomination de Paul Tennyson (photo ci-dessus) comme Économe Régional pour les trois prochaines années.

Le 13 février 2019, le Supérieur Général, avec le consentement de son Conseil, a confirmé la nomination de Paul Tennyson comme Économe de la Région du Canada.

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Regional Council January 16, 2019

Right after the installation of a new Regional Administration on January 16, the new council met to take the first steps in setting an agenda for the next three years. Most of the meeting consisted in appointments and in the structuring of the committees of the Region.

  1. Council of the Region: Fr. Richard Woodbury was appointed as Vice Regional Superior and John van den Hengel as the secretary of the council. The Bursar of the Region will be appointed after a consultation of the Region.
  2.  Communications: A communications strategy will be developed before the next meeting of council to determine the method of communication of the Region. John van den Hengel was asked to continue to write the blog of the Region.
  3. Other committees: The membership of the other committees and the two foundations (Prêtres du Sacré-Coeur, Inc. and SCJ Canada Foundation) will be made known after the Regional Superior has contacted the members.

Local Superiors: The appointment of  the local superiors of the three communities needs to be take place during this year. The most urgent will be the Montréal community whose superior has just been installed as the Regional Superior. Gustave Lulendo will begin a discussion in the Montréal community as soon as possible.

NORAM meeting: The next meeting of the council of North America, it was suggested, will be held on April 24. Gustave will contact the US Province whether this date is suitable.

Council meetings: Gustave proposed to have council meetings every two months. The next meeting will be in Montréal on February 26.


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