On 25 February, 23 confreres participated in an assembly of the Canadian Vice-Province. This meeting, foreseen in article 11 of our Statutes, is aimed at allowing the participation of all the confreres in the life and the orientations of our entity.
After the opening prayer, Fr. Claude Sigouin, Vice-Provincial, gave us a picture of the situation of the personnel and the various residences. Let us briefly note the following:
• Our current incorporation as “The Montfort Fathers” has been updated according to the new norms of the Province of Quebec.
• The Mission Procure continues its work. As well as Mgr Deschamps and Fr. Béland, Fr. Richard Larouche works there. The magazine ‘Les Nôtres’ continues to appear, thanks to the good work of Violaine Gagnon, FDLS and Ronald Brisette S.G., in collaboration with the personnel of the Procure.
• The Parish of Our Lady of Lourdes is very active and increasing in numbers, given the support of a section of the population of neighbouring parishes that are amalgamated or disappearing.
• Father Ronald Beaulne, who took on the pastoral care of the parish of St Casimir in Ripon, is seeing his work increase because from January 2014 he also has to look after four other parishes: Montpellier, Saint-Sixte, Notre-Dame de la Paix and St-André-Avellin. • The community in Pointe-du-Lac comprises 12 confreres. Our contract with the owner, M. Pronovost, ends in 2016 and would normally be renewed.
• The residence of the Shrine of Our Lady Queen of All Hearts comprises 13 confreres. To that number must be added our 6 students at IFHIM. Some of these will be finishing this year, but three others—from Indonesia, Brazil and Colombia—are due to arrive to learn French and begin the courses in September. The activities that take place at the Shrine are numerous and “Au Fil des Jours” reports on them regularly. The fact that the church was filled twice over for Ash Wednesday, gives an idea of the size of its clientele.
• Our house in Drummondville continues to render important service to the local population and to the groups that make use of it. On 6 March, the official agreement for the sale of the property will be signed, but one clause in the agreement foresees that we will be able to continue living in the house until January 2017.
• The property at Poisson-Blanc being less and less made use of, it will be put up for sale. There again, a clause in the contract of sale will permit us to enjoy the use of the premises for a few years more.
• As for the Provincial House, it is occupied by four confreres who are still active in the ministry, either at the Shrine or in parishes, or in an Old People’s Home, or in parish retreats.
After the midday meal, Father Wilfrid Bergeron gave us an overall view of our financial situation. An actuarial study having been carried out, we have a better knowledge of our needs for the coming years. Our finances will not only allow us to meet our own needs, but also to help the young Montfortian entities, which are often rich in vocations but poor in material resources.
Afterwards, based on a document prepared by Father Georges Madore, we reflected on the future of our works and on the options available to us to continue with them. A choice has already been made: we want to continue our presence and our work in the Shrine in Montreal, as well as in the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes. Steps have already been taken to ensure that young confreres will come to take up the baton.
Three other interventions took place at the end of the day: a presentation by Father Therriault on exorcism, a reflection by Fr. L.-P. St-Laurent on Vocations promotion, and information concerning the web sites by Br. Gilles Paquette.