Assumption Province began this jubilee year with a Provincial Congress entitled “The Emerging Future of Life and Mission – Responding to the Signs of the Times in a Transformative Way.” From January 18-22, all members of Assumption Province and invited guests prayed, shared their experiences, and also tried to discern the future directions for their ministry and mission.

Among many guest speakers were the following individuals:

  • Father Superior General Louis LOUGEN, from Rome (by Skype);
  • Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche Community (by pre-recorded video): Who are the poor in today’s society?;
  • Gabriela Kasprzak, a young history professor from the University of Toronto: What’s Emerging from our History? – A Lay Person’s Perspective;
  • Fr. Pawel RATAJCZAK, from Rome (by Skype): How I see the future of Assumption Province.

Here are some memorable quotes from the Congress:

  • Jean Vanier: “Who are the poor? Those who have been humiliated, those who have been pushed aside. Those who have been seen as no good, as no value. We see it in St. Luke; the mission of Jesus is to announce the Good News to the Poor. What is that Good News? It’s not just that they are loved by God!
  •  But you are precious, you are important, you have value! And how can we reveal that? By entering into a relationship with them. The way we listen to them. The way we give them a place in our hearts, but also in our society.”
  • Superior General, Fr. Louis Lougen: “Your job is not only to take care of those who go to church, but those who do not. That voice of the founder needs to be heard in Canada today…”
  • Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto: “… I encourage you to look forward with renewed hope as you continue your mission to evangelize those marginalized and abandoned in the world.”
  • Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop. Luigi Bonazzi: “… through your witness show the merciful and compassionate face of Christ …”
  • Archbishop. Terry Prendergast, S.J., of Ottawa: Providentially this special year occurs within Pope Francis’s Jubilee of Mercy in which the whole Church is exhorted to go into the peripheries, searching out the marginalized, sharing the mercy of God and the Good News of Jesus Christ. This mission continues to be at the heart of your mission and identity.
  • Gabriela Kasprzak PhD: “In your particular case, I say ‘let your [collective] history define you’. Do not be afraid to be radical.”)