By Fr. David Purcell, C.Ss.R.
“Dominion from sea to sea….”
These words, taken from the prophet Jeremiah and engraved on the tower of our Federal Parliament building, were a perfect title for our conference of over 800 attendees, associated with Catholic Christian Outreach. A conference with representatives from every province of Canada, from over 70 college and university campuses, and held in Ottawa at the end of December, in honour of our 150th anniversary of Canada. This is only one example of faith-focused conventions or conferences coming up across our country this year. May I suggest for your next community meeting, you consider attending something like this in your area, in order to promote our Congregation and make invitations for people to come and join us.
At this RiseUp 2017 conference, I connected with other coordinators of vocation ministry. For example, on the far left is Fr. Mbugua William, S.J.. Since the summer of 2017 and through to this coming summer, he is working with two other Jesuits to get them “up to speed” as they transition into this ministry. On my left is Fr. John O’Brien, S.J. and not pictured here is Deacon Edmund Lo, S.J.. On the far right, is Ms. Kelly Bourke, the Executive Director of Jesuit Volunteers, Canada. She oversees the volunteers who live in the house next door to St. Patrick monastery in Toronto.
Fr. Mbugua, mentioned to me that the Jesuits have almost 20 people from Canada in their formation program at the present time. He reported also, that one of the regions of Jesuits in the Unites States has assigned five Jesuits to their vocation ministry, and they are receiving five to ten candidates per year. This is strong experiential evidence that supports conclusions of a research project done in the United States that concluded, if a community assigns people to work full-time in vocation ministry then they will attract more members to their community. I mention this here, as we go through our own process of re-structuring for mission in Canada. I believe, it will help our mission greatly, to assign three full-time Redemptorists to vocation ministry within the country of Canada.
Thanks to Fr. Remi & community and Fr. Santo & community for hosting Come & See suppers in January.