The Canadian Region held its Regional Chapter. Some challenges that must be faced with courage and boldness are: the aging of members, interculturality and the integration of members of other entities who come to study or exercise ministry for a more or less prolonged period.
The Canadian Region held its Regional Chapter from August 28 to 31, 2023 at the St. Francis Center, near Toronto, Ontario, under the theme “Being Community in the Process of Synodality”. It opened on the evening of August 28 with the singing of the “Veni Creator Spiritus” and a moment of exchange between the confreres on their personal situation.
The next day, in his opening speech, Fr. Gustave Lulendo N’dotony, Regional Superior, did not fail to highlight the participation of almost all the members of the Region (only three absent due to health reasons), as well as the presence of Fr. Stephen Huffstetter, General Councilor.
In presenting the theme of this Regional Chapter, he mentioned some challenges facing the Region, namely the aging of members, community life and the pastoral plan. He also expressed his gratitude to the Provinces of Indonesia, Congo, Cameroon and Brazil for their staff assistance, which allows us to serve 14 parishes in 5 dioceses, in addition to working with migrants and refugees, Indonesian communities in Toronto and Montreal, and collaborating closely with other entities of the Congregation, in particular by our Mission Procure.
He also thanked the Chapter Preparatory Committee and introduced Professor Myriam Wijlens who will moderate the discussions for the Chapter members.
In her presentations, Professor Myriam led the members of the Region to take a clear-eyed look at the situation in the Canadian Region, highlighting some challenges that must be faced with courage and boldness. These include the aging of members, interculturality and the integration of members of other entities who come to study or exercise ministry for a more or less prolonged period.
Her words provoked frank discussions at the tables, and it will be up to the Regional Council to revive local communities to continue the debates and identify possible solutions to face these challenges.
At the end of the afternoon, Wednesday, August 30, we took the opportunity to mark the 60th anniversary of the ordination of Fr. William Marrevee as well as the 65th anniversary of religious profession of Fr. James Casper and Fr. John van den Hengel. Fr. Marrevee presided the Eucharistic celebration, assisted by Fr. Yuliwan Maslim and Fr. Aegidius Warsito who were also celebrating their 30th anniversary of ordination.
The last day of the Chapter was devoted to the reports of the various commissions of the Region, as well as to the updating of certain parts of the Regional Directorate. Finally, there was the election of the delegate to the General Chapter, Fr. Willyans Prado Raposo, and the alternate, Fr. Gregory Murray.
The chapter concluded with a Eucharistic celebration presided by the Regional Superior who once again thanked all the participants, the preparatory committee, Professor Myriam and Sister Laura Reitsma, sscj, who provided simultaneous interpretation from English to French and vice versa.