Canadian Fall Assembly

Kingston, Ontario

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Between October 2nd and 4th, the Region held a shorter than usual assembly in Kingston at the Providence Spirituality Center. Because of some absences, the assembly was also smaller than usual. Kingston is our favourite location because it is almost equidistant from our three main communities.

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The assembly was mainly informational in nature. There were no lengthy table discussions, no process moments. This format allowed for a greater number of topics to be presented. Since the financial report of 2016 had not yet been presented, Maurice had an opportunity to go over the numbers with us. It has been a year without too many surprises and the year ended with a healthy surplus. Also, the Procure under the able new leadership of Nicole Béland showed some gains on the Québec ledger, a bit less so on the English campaigns.

Vocations and youth
Greg Murray presented the vocation portfolio which he introduced with the Letter of the General Administration on youth ministry. With the Youth Synod of next year, the Superior General challenged the congregation to engage with youth of today. He wanted an injection of youthful points of view in our community assemblies, our life together, our viewpoints of religious life and ministry. The topic will be discussed at one of the future Regional Council meetings.

Policy and procedure
Jim Casper updated the assembly on the issue of guidelines regarding sexual abuse. He presented the new document of the Region on “Policy and Procedure for Cases of Alleged Misconduct.” It is a review of the policy that has been in place since 1992. It will be presented and hopefully approved at our next chapter and become part of our Regional Directory.

North American Migration Committee
The North American Migration Committee presented its work and recommendations on Tuesday afternoon. It included a video of the presentation of Sr. Norma at the U.S. assembly in June and information on Canadian immigration and refugee policies by Joe Gunn (pictured at right) and one of his co-workers, Deb. The Canadian Region has assumed this issue as its main component of its commitment to social justice, peace and reconciliation. After the presentation, three members of the committee, Fr. Jan de Jong, Fr. Tony Russo and Fr. Peter McKenna will travel to Ottawa and Montreal to discuss the involvement of local communities in JPR activities.

The first full day ended with a Eucharist with Roger Phaneuf presiding and Peter  Sanders preaching. Both celebrated 50 years of ordination. Maurice Légaré also 2017-10-07 09.53.31concelebrated because this year he is celebrating 40 years of religious life. Maurice also found a wonderful restaurant further down the road from the Providence Spirituality Centre to complete the festivities. Someone remarked, °It was probably one of the best gatherings we have had for a long time.” A nice tribute!

Pastoral plans of the three communities
On Wednesday each of the communities presented their community plan for this next year. In the Ten-Year Plan that was presented the previous year, it had been stated that each community ought to devise a pastoral plan for the community. If community is our primary mission, it was felt that it was important to indicate what the community does and will do to put that plan into practice. The fact that in the past year the three communities have received new leadership was an important factor in looking at the pastoral plan with new eyes.

Dehonian spirituality
Also the content of our spirituality was discussed on Wednesday morning. It consisted of a review by John van den Hengel and Gustave Lulendo of their experience of the theological seminar in Yogyakarta in July of this year. John presented the conclusions of Sr. Nikla Spezzati of the papers presented at the seminar. These conclusions were a wonderful summation of the papers of the seminar and some intuitions about the direction of the reflection on our charism and spirituality in the Congregation. It was hoped that this information would also give new impetus to the establishment of the Dehonian Family in Canada.

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Continuing the work of the international theological conference

Members of the North American Theological Commission: Fr. Gustave Lulendo N’dotony (Canada), Fr. John van den Hengel (Canada), Fr. Charles Brown (USA) and Fr. Zbigniew Morawiec (USA).

Two months after the theological seminar “Charism and Devotions” concluded in Yogyakarta, the North American Theological Commission met September 12 at the Provincialate Offices in Hales Corners, Wis. Members of the commission: Fr. Gustave Lulendo N’dotony (Canada), Fr. John van den Hengel (Canada), Fr. Charles Brown (USA) and Fr. Zbigniew Morawiec (USA).

The positive feelings about the Indonesia experience were still high when the group gathered. Fr. Ziggy called it a “coming of their own” of the Indonesian Province with its excellent preparation and wonderful hospitality. For the North American Commission, the seminar was an opportunity to set its own program of reflection and to create a contribution to the Congregation’s spirituality.

During its September meeting the North American Commission finalized “The Surplus of Charity,” the paper delivered by the commission in Indonesia. It was based on the results of the survey done with members of the Canadian Region and US Province in preparation for the international theological seminar. The paper will be among those to be published by the Centro Studi Dehoniani in an upcoming issue of Studia Dehoniana.

If you would like to read a copy of the paper, CLICK HERE.

Also during its meeting the commission decided to undertake a collaborative study of a major issue in Fr. Dehon’s writings, namely, the notion of “pure love.” How did the founder think that pure love could transform society? What did he mean by pure love?

The commission will meet again in February, 2018, with each member contributing pieces to the research on the study.

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Regional Council meeting: August 18

At the end of the retreat at the Queen of the Apostles Renewal Centre in Mississauga Regional Council took the opportunity to meet. The meeting was called to discuss the Assembly in Kingston from October 2 to 4, and the North American councils meeting in Montréal on October 16-17.

1. Regional Assembly

Between Monday October 2 in the evening and Wednesday October 4 noon, the Canadian Region will meet in Providence Spirituality Centre (1200 Princess Street) in Kingston. After supper on October 2 the community will meet to do a check-in. On Tuesday morning the topics will be the 2016 Financial Statement, a reflection on the letter on vocations of Fr. General and our response, led by Greg Murray, our website and blog, and a review of the Region’s Power of Attorney statements and Last Wills. On Tuesday afternoon the Immigration Commission of North America will meet with the Region to discuss their plans. At 4 p.m. the community will gather for Eucharist with our Jubilarians of this year. After Eucharist we will have a social and a meal in a place to be determined by Maurice Légaré.

On Wednesday morning we will examine where we are with our ten-year plan set up last year, a report on the Theological Seminar in Yogyakarta this summer and looking ahead to our setting up of groups in the Region who will become part of the Dehonian Family. The assembly will end with the noon meal.

The communities of the Region are asked to indicate their presence by September 5.

2. The Meeting of the North American Councils

At the meeting the council members also discussed the NORAM meeting. It has become customary that the councils of the United States and Canada meet twice a year. On October 16 in the evening the North American Councils will gather in Montreal for dinner with the community.  On October 17 the two councils will discuss items that the two entities share with one another.

  1. Report on the communities
  2. Dehonian Family
  3. Immigration Committee
  4. Theological Commission
  5. Vocations
  6. Retreat Committee
  7. General Conference of 2018
  8. Religious response to the current situation
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Retreat at Mississauga August 14-18

For a full five days 25 Dehonians from both Canada and the United States listened, reflected, shared with another person and opened up in a small group what it is that binds us together spiritually. The reflections by Fr. Jim Schroeder, David Schimmel and Fr. John van den Hengel, the organizers of the retreat, helped that participants to reconnect with the spiritual life of Fr. Dehon and its current application. It was good to return to what in the last 50 years, since the chapters of renewal of 1973 and 1979, has come to us in the Rule of Life. As one of the participants said, °It feels as if I am now finally able to understand and enter into what we were given in the Rule of Life. Why has it taken me 50 years to appreciate and grasp what some saw way back then?” The retreat ended on Friday evening, August 18. The next retreat will be in given in Racine, WI, in May 2018.

Mississauga retreat 2017

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Frère Luc Coursol scj

On Saturday, August 12, the date of the death of our Founder, Frère Luc Coursol scj died in Montréal at the age of 66. The community will gather in Montréal on Tuesday August 22 to hold a wake service and on August 23 in St.-Janvier, Mirabel for the funeral rites.

Read here the tribute to Frère Luc from the Montréal community: 550098_Luc_Coursol

Luc Coursol

Visite au Salon funéraire (Memoria, 2645 boul. Henri-Bourassa Est, Montréal), mardi 22 août 2017, de 1400 à 17h00 et de 19h00 à 21h00.
Funérailles à l’église de St-Janvier (17737 rue Sacré-Coeur, Mirabel, QC), mercredi 23 août, à 11h00. La famille recevra parents et amis à compter de 10h00.
Inhumation a Grenville, Québec
The funeral arrangements for Luc are:

Visitation at Memoria Funeral Home (2645 East, Henri-Bourassa Blvd, Montréal), Tuesday, August 22nd, 2h00 PM-5h00PM and 7h00PM-9h00PM).
Funeral Mass: Wednesday, August 23rd, at 11h00 St-Janvier Church, 17737 Sacré-Coeur St, Mirabel, Quebec. The family will receive condolences from 10h00AM-11h00AM.
Burial at Grenville, Québec.

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July 2017

Regional Assembly

From October 2 (evening) to October 4 (noon) the Region will gather at Providence Spirituality Centre in Kingston for an assembly. It will give the Region a chance to discuss further the ten-year plan, the work of the Migration Commission, Vocations, finances, and our Region’s anniversaries. Roger Phaneuf and Peter Sanders celebrate their 50th anniversaries of ordination. So keep the dates open. Further information will be provided soon.

Theological Seminar in Yogyakarta


Between July 20 to 25 Gustave Lulendo and John van den Hengel took part in the Theological Seminar: Charism and Devotions in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. All of the reports and pictures have been made available through the good services of the US Province communications. The papers delivered prior to the seminar and the summaries given during the Seminar will be published hopefully during the Fall. The work begun through this seminar is far from complete. We hope in the future to come back to the topic.

Here the final message of the seminar:

Dear Confreres,

From July 20 – 25, we were together in Yogyakarta (Indonesia) for the theological seminar of the Congregation which had as title “Charisms and devotions: Towards an inculturated Dehonian identity.” We were more than fifty confreres from more than twenty countries, an expression of a Congregation truly international.

The seminar – when put alongside those held at Lisbon (2008) on the Theologia cordis, at Brusque on the Missio cordis (2010) and at Taubaté (2014) on Anthropologia cordis – has succeeded in deepening the bond of our charism with the devotions which express it and give it form. We have confirmed the richness of the spiritual legacy of Fr. Dehon which needs to be re-stated each time again in new forms. At the same time, we have understood how our identity must express itself, of necessity, in plural ways in order to be in touch with different social and cultural forms.

The seminar was prepared by the work of the continental theological commissions (some constituted only recently) which they shared. Each presentation was largely worked out in its own context. Alongside listening to the discussions and the reflections, there were moments in which we were given the opportunity to see first hand some ecclesial and culturally significant experiences: the Mass with the renewal of vows at the scholasticate; the participation in the ballet of Ramayana in front of the Hindu temple Prambanan; the visit to the Buddhist temple Borobudur; the pilgrimage to the sanctuary of the Madonna at Sendansono and the one, built in Javanese style, dedicated to the Sacred Heart at Ganjuran. All this was possible thanks to the outstanding welcome and the perfect organization by the Indonesian Province. To them we owe a debt of sincere gratitude.

It was the task of the continental theological commissions to develop the richness of the intuitions of these days. But this presupposes a broader involvement of the whole congregation. The seminar was only an initial push in order that the communities, the provincial assemblies, the commissions of the different entities could follow up on the reflections. A great number of the aspects of our legacy merits to be taken up again and deepened. For example: Eucharistic Adoration, which places us before the anterior gratuity of the love of God and the service of reconciliation to which we dehonians are called. Our charism is rich and current. It pertains to each one of us to make it come alive by building an identity which we must constantly deepen and by giving testimony to a love which enriches the union to the Heart of Christ and which translates into faithful practice.

From Yogyakarta we send greeting to all with the wish that our Sint Unum may grow daily more strongly and that “with open heart and mind” we may live for the service of the advent of the Reign of God.yogya

Communications in the Congregation

The sector on communications in the Congregation has been quite busy in recent months. Communications was a major issue at the last General Chapter. In spring the General Administration set up a Communications Commission with Fr. Radek Warenda (vice general secretary) as its director. Besides Fr. Radek, members of the commission are Fr. Stefan Tertünte (Centro Studi Dehoniani), Mary Gorski (USA) and Fr. Antonio Rufete Cabrera (ESP). Andrè Lorenz of André Lorenz Medien (Germany) and Fr. Pedro Iglesias (secretary general) are also working with the commission.

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The commission’s work is based in the Mission Statement that was developed and approved by the General Council earlier this year. With that statement as a backdrop, the commission hopes to develop a communication strategy for the congregation. This includes creating a common identity for the congregation; in marketing terms this is often referred to as a “corporate image.” It is a set of visual cues, such logos and colors, along with words or phrases that quickly bring to mind the organization that they represent.

Whatever the ministry, whatever the community, it should easily be identified as “Dehonian.”

The commission has developed a website about the Mission Statement. Click here to access it. In the months ahead more initiatives from the commission will be shared with the congregation.

Youth day in Pliszczyn, Poland

From June 26 to July 1 about 500 young people gathered for the XXIVth Dehonian Day for Youth in Pliszczyn Poland. The young people did not only come from our parishes but also from other parishes in Poland. A very enthusiastic tradition has developed around these Dehonian youth days. The theme of this year was: Fired by the power of the Spirit.

The young people live in tents and take part in giving personal witness and in prayer. They are also given an opportunity to listen to all sorts of great discussions and presentations. But more important, perhaps, is the opportunity to form new friendships, to receive reconciliation, and to eat the famous soup.

It would be difficult to imagine to hold this festive gathering anywhere else. It has become a yearly event to which the ever generous inhabitants of Pliszczyn contribute greatly to make this event memorable for the youth. This year the groep Exodus gave a concert attended not only by the young people but also by the local people.  During the event the local bishop came to confirm the youth of Pliszczyn. A wonderful event!

Ordination of Bishop André Vital

On July 8,  André Vital Félix da Silva, scj, of Brazil was ordained Bishop for the diocese of Limoeiro do Norte by Bishop Virginio Bressanelli, our former Superior General. Bishop André was known in the Congregation for his theological work. He was a member of the Latin American Dehonian Theological Commission. His motto is



“Aspicientes in Jesum”.


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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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