International news

  • Philippines  On June 2, it was the 18th anniversary of the Kasanag Foundation in the Philippines. This is a social project of the Philippine Region in Cagayan de Oro. On June 2 after the Eucharist presided over by Fr. Donald Longno scj. there was an art exhibit and a cultural presentation of the women who live there. It was followed by a meal.  The Kasanag Daughters receive protection and rehabilitation because many are victims of violence and sexual abuse. The Foundation was started by Fr. Eduardo Aguero scj. At this moment, there are 24 young women there between the ages of 7 and 16. In the 18 years of its existence the Foundation has assisted 190 women and girls.
  • Spain The Spanish Province has an initiative named “Church for decent work”. It is a communal gathering place for those who are convinced of the necessity for worthy work. You can follow their project on the internet at The group is planning a celebration for October 7, the world day for valued work.
  • Spain The Spanish Province also launched a site for the Dehonian Family. The Province is planning a national meeting of the Dehonian Family for February 25, 2018. The Spanish branch of the Dehonian Family is quite varied consisting of religious, lay people, youth, volunteers, benefactors, missionaries and many teachers. All seek to follow the Dehonian spirituality, convinced as they are of the value of the mission of Fr. Dehon.
  • India  On June 12 a new District Superior and council were installed in India. The new district superior is Fr. Macqueen Winston Savio and his councillors are Michael Augustin Moses, Matwe Lilan Vadassay, Jesus Manuel Baene Valbuena and Joseph Kasmir.
  • Poland  On June 14 the Polish Province was represented at the exhibit “SacroExpo”. This year is the 70 anniversary of the foundation of the congregation in Poland. THe province has made use of the exhibit as a showcase of the province’s activities. In this context there are exhibits on Profeto, the publishing house in Krakow, the project “Talent”, a group of national missionaries, and the Polish work with youth.
  • Latin America  In Buenos Aires the representatives of the Latin American “Justitita et Pax” group met on June 17. The meeting took as its theme one of the slogans of the last General Chapter: “Merciful in community with the poor”. It touched on some of the most pressing social issues in Latin America such as the ecology, the negative aspects of economic development policies and projects, abuse of water resources, migration, sex trade, prostitution, transsexual persons, work and unemployment. The Provincial Fr. Lampa opened the meeting. Bishop Virginio Bressanelli spoke on the theme of “The ecological, social and economic impact of mining; the problem of water and its effect on life in Pantagonia.” The theme came close to the heart of BIshop Bressanelli during his ministry in this area when he first became bishop.
  • EUF  On June 20 a new Provincial administration took office in Europe francophone. The Provincial for a third term will be Fr. Jean-Jacques Flamang and his councillors will be Fr. André Conrath, Joseph Claude Siebenaler, Stanislaw Wavro and Antonio Tejado Chamorro.


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Feast of the Sacred Heart 2017

It has become a tradition now that all the members of the Region gather in Ottawa for a two-day celebration of the Feast of the Sacred Heart. The Region has decided to hold the celebration a day early in order to allow the celebration of the Feast in the parishes. Only four members were absent from the celebration. On the occasion we took a group picture. 20170622_110407_resized

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Regional Council in Montréal

On Wednesday, May 24 the Regional Council met in Montréal. As planned, this was to be the meeting dealing with the financial situation of the Region. Although the Financial Report of 2016 was still at the accountant, the meeting of the Finance Committee the day before (May 23) gave the council a good insight into the financial situation of the Region. (See the report of the Finance Committee below). After the usual introductions to the meeting (prayer, and personal information) the council dealt with the following items:

  1. The overview of recent events: (1) the meeting of the local superiors of North America. The US province invited the Canadian counterparts to join them for a reflection on the role and mission of the local superior. This happened in Hales Corners on March 13 -14. Although only one of the Canadian superiors (Gustave Lulendo) participated, the level of the exchange was such that it was decided to call together the Canadian superiors for a similar event. (2) the meeting of NORAM: the meeting of the North American councils was held in Hales Corners on April 24. (See below). (3) reports on the meetings in Rome (secretaries, December 2016), Bursars (May 2017) and Dehonian Family (May 2017). (4) International contacts: The Regional Superior reported on his efforts to strengthen our numbers, especially in Toronto for the Parishes through his contacts with the major superiors of India, Indonesia and Cameroon. We hope that relief will come soon for the parish in Toronto.
  2. Feedback from the communities: (1) Montréal community: The community has expanded its health care beyond Walter van As to include also Rein van Leeuwen. Samuel, who has worked with Fr. Walter over the past few years, is now also helping Fr. Rein with bathing and other personal care. Fr. Rein is appreciating this help very much and seems to have gained new energy. The health situation of Frère Luc seems stable at the moment. He has received a regular series of chemo treatments and has responded positively. He has also been helping Walter when he needs to get around in the house. The community house in Montréal will need to have the roof repaired. Also approved together with the roof renewal was the addition of air conditioning on the top floor. (2) Toronto community: The community feels somewhat stressed because of a lack of adequate personnel for the two parishes. Efforts were made to have an additional person  come to Toronto but thus far without success. An additional Portuguese or Spanish speaking priest would be highly welcome. The community was very happy with the response of the parishioners and UKI members to the offer of an introduction to the spirituality of the congregation. Around 75 members participated and 27 indicated that they were interested in participating in a program to become Dehonian Associates. There was also a brief discussion on how the Toronto community could help in the welcoming of the retreatants from the United States for the August retreat at Queen of the Apostles Retreat house in Mississauga (August 13 – 19).  (3) Ottawa Community: Paul Tennyson reported on the continuing success of the Wednesday evening community meetings. The community meets every week at 4:30 on a variety of issues. Once a month it meets for adoration during this time. The meeting ends with supper. The house also welcomes the renewal of its roof. It is hoped that the travails of the leaks in the rooms on the third floor, may finally be over.
  3. Sexual Abuse document: At the meeting of the major superiors in Rome in December 2016 all the entities were asked to adapt and implement a sexual abuse policy. Our policy has been on the books for more than 20 years. Jim Casper undertook the task of comparing our document with the document from Rome and to arrive at a new document. He presented his work at the meeting and with a few adaptations it was accepted. The new document will be presented to the Region at our Fall Assembly.
  4. For a number of years, the Conseil d’Administration at Séminaire du Sacré-Coeur have been paying a set sum of money to the Region to take on full ownership of the school from the Congregation. The Congregation is still a full member of the Conseil d’Administration and the new Policy Document gives the Congregation through one of its members or a designated alternative a continued seat. Our Council in consultation with Richard Woodbury and a small committee of the school has been looking into the establishment of a pastoral agent at the school. It was felt that the annual payment of the school to the Region might be most usefully used to pay for a post of spiritual or pastoral animator. Council was presented a first draft of a job description of the animator. The draft document still needs to be updated and presented at a future council meeting for approval. At the May 31 meeting of the Conseil d’Administration the motion to accept such a position at the school was accepted in principle.  Over the summer it is hoped that this position will be implemented in the school.
  5. Feast of the Sacred Heart: It has become a tradition that the Region celebrates the Feast of the Sacred Heart together at Dehon House in Ottawa. This will happen again this year. However, in order to make the celebration of the feast also a parish event, the Region decided last year to begin a day early. It means that the Region assembles on Wednesday June 21 for our traditional Holy Hour and celebrates the liturgy of the Feast on Thursday June 22. The Ottawa community will take care of the planning.
  6. Regional Assembly: Since the Region will participate in a retreat during our usual time for our annual assembly, Council decided to hold an assembly at Providence House in Kingston starting on October 2 and finishing on October 4 at noon. The items we wish to discuss at the assembly are (1) the 2016 financial statement (possibly with the results of the financial overview of Marcil Lavallée), (2) a meeting with the Migration Committee, (3) the sexual abuse document, (4) updating of the power of attorney and testaments, (5) the celebration of the anniversaries of Maurice Légaré (40 years of vows), Peter Sanders and Roger Phaneuf (50 years of ordination),




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The Regional Finance Committee meets

The Regional Finance Committee met in Montréal on May 23, a day before the Regional Council. There were five items on the agenda.

  1. Mission Office. The committee met first of all with Nicole Béland, who took over the Procure from Fr. Bédard last year. She provided the committee with an overview of the operations and the financial report of the Mission Office. The Procure operatesIMG_2228 independently from the community at 2830 blvd. Gouin and presents its own financial statement to the Finance Committee. Currently the Procure runs four campaigns each year: the Feast of the Sacred Heart, the remembrance of the deceased in November, the calendar (pre-Christmas), and a Lenten campaign in February March. Only the remembrance campaign in November includes the English-speaking population.
  2. Review of the 2016 Financial Reports. Although the 2016 financial report is not yet complete, Maurice Légaré walked the committee members through the receipts and expenditures of the three communities.
  3. Donations of the Region: At the council meeting of December 14, 2016 it was decided that 20% of the cash balance of the year will be set aside for donations to be determined by the Regional Superior and his council. Since the cash balance of 2016 is $ 153,329.23, the Finance Committee recommended to the Council to make $ 30,665.80 available to the Congregation for donations.
  4. Marcil Lavallée: The Region had agreed at the last Assembly that we would hold a financial review of the Region’s finances. Maurice has contacted an agent at Marcil Lavallée in Vanier who will undertake this review as soon as the accountant has completed the 2016 Financial Report. The review will be based on the reports of 2015 and 2016. The review should be ready for the assembly of the Region in October.
  5. The sale of the chalet in Pointe-au-Chêne: In September of last year, the Region put up for sale the chalet at 15 Carrières in Pointe-au-Chêne. In April of this year a buyer emerged and it was sold for approximately $ 140,000. The balance of the funds will be added to our investments.
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Dehonian Family meets in Rome

Delegates relax on break

There is one Dehonian charism, but many, MANY different models of how that charism is lived. Under the “Dehonian Family” umbrella are lay Dehonians, consecrated women and professed members of the Priests of the Sacred Heart.

In 2014 members of the Dehonian Family from around the world came together in Rome to share their experiences. From that meeting developed a coordinating group. Given a three-year term, it was tasked with the implementation of the “Spiritual Path” (a formative guide to the Dehonian charism), establishing communication networks among the Dehonian Family, and looking at ways of creating structure and growth.

Three years later the Dehonian Family again gathered in Rome. Meeting from May 13-16, continental representatives took a closer look at the many expressions of the Dehonian Family and sought a path toward creating a more cohesive structure. It would be a structure that respects the autonomy and unique vocation of each component of the Dehonian Family while identifying that which allows such diversity to also be in communion.

Organizing prayer

“Sint Unum, a spirituality of community: life and mission” was the theme of the 2017 conference. In preparation for it, representatives of the Dehonian Family were asked to complete a questionnaire to help the coordinating group get a better sense of the Dehonian Family throughout the world, including its needs and concerns.

In analyzing the results it was no surprise to see a wide diversity among the groups. They range in size from just a handful of members to some that are in the hundreds, and even thousands. Many entities have structures at the national, and in some instances (such as Latin America), continental level. Funding comes from a variety of sources, but very few have an organized program for ongoing financial development. Formation varies as well, though many are now utilizing the Spiritual Path in some form.

The challenge of good ideas

Often the challenge of good ideas is to find people who have the time and then the resources to implement them.

Meeting participants discussed the areas of focus identified in the questionnaires. Some involved communication, especially via the internet. Communication is vital in helping members of the Dehonian Family feel connected to each other, to build the “Sint Unum” that was the theme of the 2017 gathering.

Newly elected committee

Formation at all levels is essential in spreading the charism of Fr. Dehon. It can be an invitation to others, or ongoing spiritual nourishment for those who have been with the Dehonian Family for many years.

Many smiles are found in the “family photo” taken at the Dehonian Family gathering. Just as with any family, it is good for members to come together in assembly, to have a family reunion.

Communication, formation and assemblies – good ideas were suggested regarding all three.

But as with most good ideas, there is the question of “who and how?” Who will be responsible to bring these ideas to fruition?

Overwhelmingly the delegates to the Dehonian Family Conference agreed that there needs to be an International Coordinating Group to continue the work of the ad hoc committee.

Ideally, that group will work in collaboration with a secretary or coordinator at the general level. This person would not necessarily need to be an SCJ. Among the secretary’s responsibilities would be communication, including social media for the Dehonian Family.

One of the last acts of the Dehonian Family Conference was to endorse the members of the coordinating group, the ICG. Several names are familiar because they also served on the initial ad hoc committee established in 2014: Fr. Bruno Pilati, SCJ, Rosalie Grace Escobia and Silvia Bertozzi. New is Vincent Bruono Cavalcanti de Oliveria. Their term is for three years. Ida Coelhjo of Brazil was thanked for her service on the initial committee.

The conference ended with Eucharist celebrated with the Rome communities. Fr. Heiner Wilmer, SCJ, superior general, was the main celebrant. Among the concelebrants was Archbishop Claudio Dalla Zuanna, SCJ, former vicar general and now archbishop of Beira, Mozambique. He was visiting briefly with the community.

Fr. Heiner ended the Mass by thanking the Dehonian Family for its presence. “We need each other, we must pray for each other,” he said.

David Schimmel, director of Dehonian Associates for the US Province, and Fr. John van den Hengel, SCJ, regional superior of Canada, represented North America at the meeting.

Click here to view photos from the gathering.

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P. Dehon: Visite au Canada 1910

Mgr Joseph Laurent Philippe (1877-1956)

Deuxième supérieur général des Prêtres du Sacré-Coeur (1926-1935) Quatrième évêque de Luxembourg (1935-1956)

Extrait : La Congrégation des Prêtres du Sacré-Coeur : Son origine et son développement

A l’occasion du 75e anniversaire de sa naissance

(31 juillet 1877 – 31 juillet 1952)

De 1952 à 1955, notre revue « Heimat und Mission » a publié une série d’articles pour le 75e anniversaire de la naissance de notre Congréga-tion. Cette histoire des débuts de notre Congrégation con-tient beau-coup de documents intéressants et de souvenirs personnels de Mgr Phi-lippe, qui fut notre deuxième Supérieur général, après avoir été l’as-sistant du Père Dehon et avant de devenir le quatrième évêque de Luxembourg. (Inter Fratres, 3-5-2017)

Le congrès eucharistique de Montréal offrit au Père Dehon une bonne occasion d’accomplir cette visite. Mais ce qui le décida le plus à entreprendre ce voyage, ce fut une nouvelle fondation réalisée au Canada, en avril 1910. L’archevêque qui éprouvait de grandes difficultés à accueillir des Prêtres du Sacré-Coeur dans son diocèse n’hésita pourtant pas à les recommander à un autre évêque. Le choix se porta sur Mgr Grandin, évêque de Edmonton-Al-berta, membre de la Congrégation des Oblats de Marie. Mgr Grandin était un évêque d’un grand zèle apostolique et d’une grande piété. Il est d’ailleurs mort en odeur de sainteté. Son procès en béatification a de-puis lors été introduit. Il voulait donner des prêtres et des pasteurs à son jeune diocèse qui aujourd’hui est devenu archidiocèse.

L’ouest du Canada était alors en plein développement grâce à la construction du chemin de fer continental, le Canadian Pacific Railway qui a gardé jusqu’à nos jours le nom de « Grand Trône » que le peuple lui avait donné.

La ville d’Edmonton, florissante et ouverte vers les lignes polaires nordiques, est devenue un carrefour ferroviaire important. Mgr Grandin confia aux Prêtres du Sacré-Coeur le nouveau quartier Elm-Park de sa ville épiscopale, là où devaient être érigés les ateliers du nouveau che-min de fer. En même temps les religieux devaient s’occuper de la pas-torale des ouvriers le long de la nouvelle ligne ferroviaire. Peu à peu se développèrent de nouvelles colonies et les Pères se chargèrent de la pastorale jusqu’aux limites du diocèse. Je voudrais m’agenouiller et prier dans chaque église construite par les Prêtres du Sacré-Coeur, de Elm-Park jusqu’à Chauvin.

La station la plus importante était Wain-right, où se trouvaient les réserves de charbon et les dépôts des locomotives. Une petite église en bois et une maisonnette pour le prêtre constituaient un point de rassemblement pour les catholiques. Le dimanche, les Pères se déplaçaient à partir de Wainright vers les nouvelles colonies en suivant la ligne du chemin de fer.

Ils attendirent avec impatience l’arrivée de leur « Très Bon Père ». Ils avaient réservé des chambres à l’hôtel pour lui et pour son accompagnateur. Nous connaissons Mgr Tiberghien depuis Rome. Ce qui le caractérisait d’emblée, c’était sa générosité exemplaire ; il ne lésinait pas avec son importante fortune et menait une espèce de vie communautaire dans un palais du Corso Vittorio Emmanuele, près de l’église du Gesù. Deux prélats, originaires comme lui de la région de Lille, Mgr Glorieux et Mgr Vanneufville, désignés communément comme étant « la Presse française » vivaient avec lui. Ces prêtres vaillants étaient les correspondants romains pour la France de journaux catholiques importants : Mgr Glorieux pour l’« Univers » fondé par Louis Veuillot et Mgr Vanneufville pour « La Croix » où il signait ses contributions de son pseudonyme : « Sienne ». Dans ce cercle d’amis, le Père Dehon se sentait comme chez lui, et il y fut souvent invité avec le Père Dessons. Mgr Tiberghien était un hôte accueillant. Lui et ses amis ne manquaient d’ailleurs ja-mais de participer à nos fêtes. C’était une joie de se trouver en leur compagnie. On comprend comment, dans ce cadre, se sont ébauchés les premiers projets, visant à effectuer un véritable tour du monde.

L’étonnement des Pères, teinté de joie radieuse, fut grand lorsqu’ils accueillirent leur supérieur et son accompagnateur prestigieux à la gare pour les conduire à l’hôtel. En fait, le Père Dehon y laissa son accom-pagnateur tout seul, lui-même voulant demeurer pendant son séjour chez les Pères dans une misérable baraque en bois. C’était le religieux parfait et, en même temps, le supérieur. La localité de Wainright possédait un grand parc naturel pour la sauvegarde des animaux sauvages. Un mirador y faisait découvrir un immense panorama au coeur des Montagnes rocheuses. Le Père Dehon l’a sûrement gravi pour y scruter l’horizon. Vingt ans plus tard, je me suis moi-même trouvé au même endroit. Lorsque j’ai vu au loin s’avancer un yack avec ses congénères, j’ai préféré me retirer. Mon accompagnateur, le Père Gaborit, fondateur de la mission au Canada, eut en 1910 la joie d’accueillir le Supérieur Général à Wainright. Il raconta plus tard les détails de cette visite. Mgr Tiberghien ne voulut pas être battu en matière de courage. Ce que son ami avait donné à voir à travers le sacrifice d’une pauvreté choisie, il a voulu le faire en distribuant ses richesses. Il s’informa auprès des Pères pour savoir de quelle manière il pourrait leur faire un cadeau ou leur rendre un service. On se mit d’accord sur le choix de deux chevaux afin de faciliter les déplacements missionnaires. Ce n’est pas le lieu ici de décrire plus longuement le développement de la mission au Canada. Cela sera fait ultérieurement.

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Exploring common concerns of SCJs in North America

Twice a year the administrations of the US Province and Canadian Region meet to discuss common issues, seek ways of collaboration and update each other on their ministries and communities. This time it was the US Province’s turn to host; the spring meeting took place April 24 at the Provincialate Offices in Hales Corners, WI.

Fr. Aegi

Their last meeting was in October at St. Thomas More Parish just east of Toronto. Then, as now, migration and immigration were topics of significant focus. Fr. Tony Russo updated the councils on the work of the North American Migration Committee. Recently established, the group is a continuation of an ad-hoc committee that developed following the 2013 North American Conference. Membership now includes Karen Mahoney, a parishioner at Resurrection of Our Lord in Ottawa. Karen was instrumental in helping the Dehonian community in Ottawa set up sponsorship for a Syrian refugee family last year. Also new to the committee is Fr. Louis-Marie Kayamba Butari, an SCJ immigrant from the Democratic Republic of Congo who is now administrator of a three-parish pastoral team in Montréal.

Fr. Tony noted that when the committee held its first in-person meeting in February they invited several immigrants, including one who is undocumented, to share their stories not only with committee members, but with the SCJ community at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake. The committee has prepared prayer materials centered on migration issues and is assisting in bringing speakers on such issues to the US Province assembly in June.

Dehonian Family

The North American administrations also discussed expanding efforts to share the Dehonian charism beyond the Priests of the Sacred Heart. In Mississippi a group concluded its first year of meetings utilizing the “Spiritual Path,” a ten-session formation process for people to learn about the Dehonian charism. It is a North American adaptation of similar program developed at the general level of the congregation.

Fr. Richard

Fr. Jack Kurps, who led the initial group, noted that four of the ten participants were not Catholic. “But this just highlighted the many commonalities that we have in our faiths,” he said. “Theologically we may have differences but when it comes to the level of human experience we are all so similar. We had wonderful discussions about the Eucharist, about Mary and about baptism. It was very worthwhile.”

That initial group of ten plans to continue to meet, starting in fall. However, they hope to invite others to join them, with original members of the group leading the Spiritual Path process that they already experienced.

Fr. Quang takes a “mowing break”

Two staff members at St. Joseph’s Indian School in South Dakota (Mike Tyrell and Donna Dean, both members of the province’s Dehonian Associates Committee) hope to begin the Spiritual Path at the school later this year.

Other topics discussed at the meeting of North American administrations included the Dehonian retreats planned for SCJs in the US and Canada beginning in August, senior life issues, the North American Theological Commission (members of the commission will be attending the General Theological Conference in Indonesia in July), the 2018 General Conference (Fr. Quang Nguyen, US vice provincial, is chairperson of the conference planning committee), and vocation ministry.

The administrations will next meet October 16-17 in Montréal.

Click here to view more photos.

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