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Meeting with the Vancouver religious

During its first meeting of the year held in Vancouver March 19 to 21, the CRC’s Administrative Council took the opportunity to meet with consecrated persons involved in ministry in the Vancouver Archdiocese.

Thanks to the support of Archbishop Michael Miller, CSB, and the diocesan team, the Council invited the religious of the region to a supper and time of sharing. The evening opened with a Eucharistic celebration on the feast of Saint Joseph. More than fifty religious answered the Council’s invitation.

During the evening, Fr. Timothy Scott, CSB, Executive Director of the CRC, gave a presentation about the CRC, the demographics of its members, its role and the services it makes available to religious congregations in Canada. Fr. Louis Cinq-Mars, OFM Cap, President of the CRC, also addressed the guests. He spoke of the challenges of making religious life visible and offering a prophetic witness in our Canadian society.

In this western part of Canada, about three-quarters of religious belong to communities who are not formally members of the CRC since their superiors reside outside of Canada. They are involved in various ministries and respond to different needs in the diocese, following Christ and reaching out to the most disadvantaged of our society. This is a witness both to consecrated persons’ self-giving as well as to the vitality of religious life in our society. This opens new perspectives for the work and reflection of the Council, in order to discern how the CRC can include these communities.

Near the end of its stay, the Council visited the Dominican nuns in Squamish, north of Vancouver, at Queen of Peace monastery. Built in 2009, its spectacular location favours prayer and contemplation of the Creator and of Creation. During the visit, the nuns shared with the Council about their daily life and spiritual journey. Of the twelve sisters, hailing from different continents, some have lived many years in consecrated life while others are only beginning. Though contemplatives, under the leadership of Sr. Claire Rolf, their community welcomes visitors regularly. Their “Come and See” weekends for young women discerning a call to religious life are a notable success. Times of silence, prayer, work and hospitality make this a vibrant monastery.

These encounters in British-Columbia were a fruitful and grace-filled time for all. The Council sincerely thanks all those involved in making this trip a success.