Histoiry of the Canadian District
As written in the history of the institute, Canada was the cradle of the Voluntas Dei Institute, which progressively expanded to another twenty-two countries. In fact, over the years a dozen Canadian members have gone to countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, Laos, and the Dominican Republic in order to better respond to pastoral needs and environments.
In 1971, the General Assembly of the Institute made the decision to establish, for Canadian members, a different organization than the Central Administration of the Institute;this was named the Canadian District.
In February 1972, a temporary council was established to manage the new district that was officially founded in August 1972. That autumn, we determined the territory to make up the district from that moment forward.
The first assembly of the district took place in Trois-Rivières on August 6, 1982.
The founding of the US institute started in 1986 with a team in the state of Maryland. At that time US members were considered a sector of the Canadian District. On August 15, 1998, the new US Region was officially integrated.
In 1997, the members of the district were present in thirteen dioceses in Canada and the United States. The members worked in various fields of the apostolate: pastoral, parochial, schools and hospitals, spiritual resource centres, army, preaching, administration, and government, among others. There were numerous people who took part in charity work at a diocesan or parochial level.
In 2000, there was a large assembly of the Oblates and the Volunteers of God (two other organizations founded by Father Parent) on the topic “Let’s Celebrate Our Roots.”
In 2016, the Institute counted 142 members, three of which were candidates and eleven of which were spiritual affiliates.
Note: If you wish to read a more complete history of the institute and you are a member of the district, please consult the document “Good News from the Secular Institute Voluntas Dei,”which is available in the member section of the website of the Central Administration of the Institute. If you are not a member, please provide us with your contact information and send us your request through the page, “Contact Us”.