Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Change in Ownership of Seminaire Salesien in Sherbrooke

Change in Ownership
of Seminaire Salesien in Sherbrooke

Provincial Announcement
March 3, 2017

The following letter was published on March 3 by the authority of Fr. Timothy Zak, vice provincial.

The Salesian Province of New Rochelle, N.Y., with presences in the Eastern USA and Canada, has been in a process of reshaping, so as to give clear witness to our charismatic identity as Salesians and our vocation as consecrated religious. We have spent significant time in study of the signs of the times and in prayer and reflection to understand better this reality and make some decisions that will enable the mission and spirit of Don Bosco to grow.

As part of our reshaping process, we feel the importance of working closely with the groups of the Salesian Family, collaborators, and the local Church. The Salesian mission is extensive and shared by a vast movement of people working together for the education and evangelization of the young and the poor.

To this end, the Salesian Province of St. Philip the Apostle announces the sale of Le Salésien in Sherbrooke, Quebec, to the Corporation of Séminaire Salésien, represented by their Board of Directors.

The sale of Le Salésien has been under consideration for a number of years. The decision is made now as part of the process of reshaping the entire Salesian province is working through. This decision has the support of Archbishop Luc Cyr of Sherbrooke and the Rector Major, Fr. Angel Fernandez Artime, SDB, and his council.

The Salesians of Don Bosco will remain active participants in the mission at Le Salésian. The agreement between the Salesians of Don Bosco and the Board of Directors assures the continuity of the Salesian charism in school in a number of ways: the presence of SDBs on the various leadership groups, a full-time position on the staff, space in the school for youth ministry offices and programming, formation of the faculty in the Preventive System, participation in province events, some rooms reserved for a Salesian library, offices, and workshops, etc. The SDB community will continue to reside in the residence a short distance from the school. In fact, all of this is already being done very effectively by the SDBs, and is well received by the administration, faculty, and students.

A very positive indication of the vibrant Salesian spirit at Le Salésian is the Salesian Cooperator center, which recently had new members make their promises. As in the time of Don Bosco, they will work closely with the SDBs to advance the Salesian mission to the young and their families.

The Salesian province is grateful for the dedication of the Salesians at Le Salésian, to Raymond Lepage, the current principal, and his administrative team, to Fr. Richard Authier and Claude Métras, commercial mediator. The Salesians feel confident that this decision is an effective way to preserve the charism of Don Bosco without being bound to administrative offices. For over 50 years, Le Salésien has helped thousands of young people grow in knowledge and faith; we pray that fidelity to this mission continues for many more decades.
Le Salesien's CYM Fr. Alain Leonard (bottom, 2d from right)
with some of the school's Salesian Youth Movement members.
Your humble blogger notes that at present the Salesian community in Sherbrooke consists of 6 confreres, 2 of whom are priests working directly in campus ministry at Le Salesien; in addition, 2 priests help out with religious activities, and 2 brothers assist with some extra-curricular activities--including the province's oldest confrere, Bro. Gerard Richard, who's 94. Five of the 6 are French Canadian and 1 is Haitian.

Another 4 French Canadian Salesians are in Montreal--2 in active ministry and 2 in retirement.

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