History

The Foundation began its activities in 1980.

In 2015, the Foundation celebrated its 35th anniversary.

In 1974, the Sisters of Providence created a separate foundation whose mission was helping the world’s most destitute people in the spirit of the Blessed Émilie Tavernier-Gamelin. It was named the RONCALLI INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION in honour of the ‘Good Pope’ John XXIII, recognized across the world for his love and work for the poor.  

However, legal and fiscal arrangements delayed the transfer of funds from the Congregation to the Foundation. The funds were finally transferred in 1979. Fortunately, interest had accumulated on the initial capital during this time. In this endowment, the capital was kept intact and only the income was made available for use. Not only have the Sisters of Providence contributed the greatest share of capital, they have also made substantial contributions to the funding of our projects year after year.  

Since 1985, many Canadian religious communities have generously contributed to the Foundation.

In 2001, Mrs. Suzanne Marineau died in a car accident. In her will, she named the Foundation as beneficiary of her estate. This bequest was truly unexpected. She had always dreamed of going on mission trips around the world. What a gift from Providence!

In 2005, the Foundation, led by Mr. Jean Meloche, launched an important fundraising campaign to increase its endowment capital and to ensure its durability. Thanks to this campaign, many congregations helped perpetuate the mission of the Foundation. 

In 2008, the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre-Dame made a signification donation to our Foundation and have since officially joined the corporation as voting members.The Foundation is grateful for the confidence that the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre-Dame have placed in us as well as for the commitment and openness of the Sisters of Providence, who have supported our mission since the beginning. 

The Roncalli International Foundation has close ties with several religious communities and, in the same missionary spirit of its partners, is committed to helping people in distress / poorest of the poor (???) in developing countries.

What lies ahead for the Foundation? Due to greater economic instability, a rise in emergencies and an increase in funding requests, we are more and more reliant on contributions from our partners. 

Annual funding for projects (other than the capital)

The Roncalli International Foundation had a funding agreement with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) from 1985 to 1991. Since then, the Foundation has not required support from the government.

Over the years, the Foundation has appealed to the generosity of many religious congregations to help it respond to the funding requests it receives each year, by donating to a specific project or to our annual fundraising campaign.

We have also invited non-governmental organizations (OCIs) to contribute to the Foundation. Their response exceeded all of our expectations.

From 1992 to today, more than 60 religious congregations have generously answered our call.

In 2010 the Foundation invited other types of donors to contribute to the Foundation’s mission and projects.

Following the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010, the Foundation established the Emergency Relief Fund – Haiti. 

The Founders

In 1974, following a decision from the Members of the General Chapter, the Superior General and the Members of the General Council of the Sisters of Providence established the Roncalli International Foundation.

Here are the members of the first Board of Directors, elected at the first general assembly of the members of the Roncalli International Foundation Corporation.

  • Sister Marie-Paule Levaque, SP
  • Sister Anna Knapp, SP
  • Sister Dolorès Girard, SP
  • Sister Pauline Lauzon, SP
  • Sister Cecilia Abhold, SP
  • Mrs. Ghislaine Bélanger
  • Honourable Judge Lucien Ménard, from Edmonton, Alberta
  • Rev. Fr. William J. Ryan, SJ, from Washington, USA
  • Sister Madeleine Payette, MIC
  • Mr. Léo Cormier
  • Honourable Judge Gilles Filion
  • Mr. Gilles Trahan, FCA
The Presidents

The Foundation’s first Board of Directors was presided by Judge Gilles Filion, followed by Mr. Jean-L. Renaud, who was appointed President in 1994. He acted as President for nine years before stepping down in 2003.

Mr. Jean Meloche, MBA, succeeded Mr. Renaud.

After, Mr. Robert Bélisle, FCA, FCPA was appointed in 2009.

Mr. Guy Courchesne has held the position since January 1, 2011.

The Executive Directors

Mrs. Sophie Labrecque, MBA, has been the Executive Director of the Foundation since 2009. 

Mr. Gilles Trahan, FCA, was Executive Director for 18 years, from 1989 to December 2008. 

Mr. Jean-Claude Leclerc was named Executive Director of the Foundation when it was created in 1979 and held the position for ten years until 1989.