26/08/2014

CAN - The Canadian Region in Chapter

2014-08-26 CAN

In the quiet Ermitage Ste-Croix in Pierrefonds, Québec, on the shore of the beautiful Lac des Deux Sources eighteen members of the Canadian Region have begun their 2014 Regional Chapter. Not everyone of the Region was present, breaking the tradition of full participation at such events. The two members of the Canadian Region George Coppens and Walter Van As are both in their nineties and find such meetings beyond their energies. Two other members were absent because of an illness in the family or travel. Otherwise the whole Region participated.2014-08-26bis CAN

Over the years the Canadian Region has become international. Although the Toronto community is recognized within the Congregation as an international community, also the Montréal and Ottawa communities are equally international. “It has been a real blessing for us,” said Fr. Bill Marrevee, SCJ, the regional superior. “With twelve members of our small number over 70 years of age, without the help of members from elsewhere we would hardly be able to maintain ourselves.” Currently, the Region has three members from Indonesia, one from Cameroun (with one more coming), one from D. R. Congo, two from Brazil Sao Paulo and five from The Netherlands. In the Fall a member of the Region of India will come to study pastoral counseling in Ottawa.

The chapter is an assembly chapter. The topics of the chapter outside of the election of a delegate for the General Chapter and an approval of the finances, were derived mainly from a report on the state of the Region by the regional council. The main questions raised by the Council were the functioning of the Region in its new constellation, community life, internationality, regional committees and the aging of the original Canadian members. The chapter made a number of recommendations for the Region to tackle such as the number of required committees to assure that transparency and participation by the members was assured, the aging of the Region, a policy of internationalization, and the improvement of community life.

2014-08-26ter CANVocations are not plentiful in Canada. Fr. Peter McKenna, SCJ reminded the members of a line in the pastoral letter of the Superior General after the visitation last year: “A community without a vision towards its continuance slowly loses its energy and its capacity to live the future.” Some expressed the hope that with the new younger members coming from other countries, the Region would receive new energy in this difficult ministry. With the acceptance of a new, multi-cultural parish in east-end Toronto there is new hope that its youth groups can bring a new stimulus.

The Chapter ended on Thursday at noon with a Eucharist after approving a reflection on the theme of the General Chapter and election of the delegate of the Region to the Chapter Fr. Claude Bédard, SCJ and his substitute Fr. Élie Kasongo Muzungu Ngoy, SCJ.