28 September 2021
28 Sep 2021

A meeting of Cultures in Canada

The Canadian Region held its annual assembly in Arnprior, Ontario. The theme was “Fraternal Life in Community."

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The Canadian Region held its annual assembly in Arnprior, Ontario. The theme was “Fraternal Life in Community.” Fr. Jean-Hubert Thieffry from La communauté du Chemin Neuf, led the SCJs in a reflection on Pope Francis’ encyclical “Fratelli Tutti.”
Participants did several exercises that allowed the group to reflect on their cultural roots; there were nine cultural groups represented at the assembly. Each culture was asked to give a presentation. Also included was a reflection on the aboriginal people of Canada.
“When Fr. Gustave proposed at Regional Council that at this assembly each one of us would give a reflection on our cultural roots, I responded by saying that we ought not forget the deeper cultural roots in Canada, which is with the aboriginal peoples,” wrote Fr. John van den Hengel, SCJ. “When I proposed this reflection, the discovery of the unmarked graves at former residential schools was uppermost in the minds of the country. If we are to talk about cultural roots and what that means in Canada, we have to take into account that outside of our birth cultural roots and the French and English cultural roots – our Canadian roots – there is another factor, another enrootedness, that we have tended to overlook. This is the relationship with the aboriginal peoples of Canada. We cannot be Canada and Canadian unless we delve into our past and assume a relationship with the aboriginal peoples. We cannot get ahead as a nation, as a people, unless we go back in our search for roots by uncovering the past of Canada and owning it in a new way. This awareness is of recent date although there has been a pervasive, unmentioned consciousness of this reality.”
Read Fr. John’s full text at the following link:
The Region also celebrated profession and ordination anniversaries in a closing Mass. Fr. Richard Woodbury, SCJ (50 years of ordination) was the main celebrant, and Fr. James Casper, SCJ (55 years of ordination) gave the homily.

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