Activities of Retired Sulpicians
popularity : 8%
Like so many other religious communities and dioceses, the aging of the clergy is a reality in the Sulpician community. But recent visits by the Superior General, Father Ronald D. WITHERUP, p.s.s., has confirmed that retirement, for many Sulpicians, is not merely an extended vacation. Many Sulpician confreres continue to be involved in active priestly ministry.
In the last month Father Witherup has visited three Sulpician retirement homes, one in France and two in Canada. (See accompanying photos.) The first visit was to Le Foyer de la Solitude at Issy-les-Moulineaux, situated near Le Grand Séminaire (see Canonical Visit).
More recently Father Witherup spent two weeks in Montréal, Québec, Canada where he visited the two retirement homes of La Résidence du Vieux Séminaire, located in old Montréal next to the historic Basilique Notre-Dame parish, and La Résidence du Grand Séminaire, located at the site of the major seminary on rue Sherbrooke Ouest. The former residence, directed by M. Réal LEVESQUE, p.s.s., houses eighteen retired Sulpicians and is equipped with some nursing facilities, whereas the latter, under the direction of M. Pierre BOUGIE, p.s.s., is still an independent retirement facility maintained for twelve retired confreres. In both houses the confreres show an active engagement with current ministerial activities.
While in Montréal Father Witherup used the occasion to visit the pastoral team of la Basilique Notre-Dame, where be became more familiar with the present state of the parish. The team is led by M. Robert GAGNÉ, p.s.s., assisted by MM. Marcel DEMERS, p.s.s., Miguel CASTELLANOS, p.s.s., and Réal LEVESQUE, p.s.s. They informed Father Witherup of the many parochial activities that continue to grow as the Basilica becomes more and more a parish and not simply a popular tourist destination in Old Montreal. With the retirement home next door, there is also a built-in group of assistants who can help out when parish activities become hectic.
In short, the Superior General found out firsthand that “retirement” for so many Sulpician confreres is simply a change in the intensity of the ministry rather than its cessation. We wish all our retired confreres: Ad multos annos!