october-november-december Issue

Summary

contents

(VOL. 61, No. 4 /October-November-December 2018)

Columns

Spiritual Life

As We Remember – André Gadbois

The theme of this issue, MEMORY LINKS, led me to reflect upon the proper vocation of each human being. True, memory is important because it helps us remember persons we once knew, or events that took place; it helps us to study, to foresee, to  consider. But could we say that the memory is the faculty which best characterizes the human person?

Today, computer memory can store information that can outperform the human memory. The artificial memory can execute specific tasks by figuring out for itself what information to hold in its memory. So then, what is proper to the human person?

That is the big question... Our Lord, during the Last Supper, said to his disciples: Do this in memory of me. What did he mean? To remember or to repeat the act? It was more than that. Sharing the Eucharistic meal is to be in the presence of Jesus, to share in the life of Christ and his message which is to love one another as he loved us. Love is the human person’s specificity.

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Cultures and Mission

Day of the Dead — a Feast Full of Life – Maurice Demers

The Día de los muertos celebrations which take place on November first and second have great importance in Mexico. To highlight this holiday, families create altars decorated with flowers, images of Our Lady of Guadalupe and photos of the deceased persons.

Children who passed away are remembered on November first, the adults on the second. In 2008, this tradition was inscribed in the  Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Being an ideal occasion to stimulate tourism, Mexico City organizes grandiose public celebrations and a parade followed by millions of people. However, to understand the importance of this feast for
the Mexicans and to live an authentic experience, we must go to the city or village cemeteries where families place their offerings on the tombs and decorate them with flowers. People spend the night in the cemetery; they gather around the tombs and recall the important moments in the life of the deceased. During that time, some will eat or play cards. Briefly, the Day of the Dead is a feast full of life.

Youth

Mission in Its Humble State – Audrey Charland

It must have been around four in the morning when the plane landed in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. Although this was my sixth or seventh flight since I left Canada, I must admit that the turbulence foreshadowed an adventurous stay. As soon as I arrived at the airport, dozens of AMC51 volunteers welcomed the travellers who were somewhat dazed from lack of sleep, slightly nauseous from the aerial roller coaster, shivering from the Siberian cold quite unusual in this generally tropical climate, and immersed in a new linguistic environment. Without  realizing, I found myself being taken care of, put into a car with a Cuban man and a Peruvian woman, on the road in the early morning to an unknown destination... The mission in its humble state!

The Fantasies of God in Délia’s Life – Suzanne Labelle, m.i.c.

Could we say that Délia was a bit secretive? Starting from her own childhood and youth memories, from what we know of her adult life, we can easily perceive in Délia a tendency of keeping to herself that which was most private. If, one day, she decided to talk about it, it was out of obedience because she was asked to express the blessings she had received from God.

Thus, at a young age, Délia discreetly would climb the attic at her house to read the Holy Childhood magazines. From reading the stories, a
desire within her was awakened, she too wanted to go share the faith with those who did not know the God of Jesus Christ. She admitted that she had no intention of mentioning to anyone, not even to her mother, her desire or her dream.

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IN FOCUS

MEMORY LINKS

With the Youth, Proclaim the Gospel to All – Pontifical Mission Societies

In October 2017, Pope Francis declared that an extraordinary missionary month would take place in 2019. He also wished that October 2018 would be a month to prepare for the following year’s event. Below is an extract of Pope Francis’ letter dated October 22, 2017.

On November 30, 2019, we will celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the promulgation of the Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud… In the light of this, accepting the proposal of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, I hereby call for an Extraordinary Missionary Month to be celebrated in October 2019, with the aim of fostering an increased awareness of the missio ad gentes and taking up again with renewed fervour the missionary transformation of the Church’s life and pastoral activity. The Missionary Month of October 2018 can serve as a good preparation for this celebration by enabling all the faithful to take to heart the proclamation of the Gospel and to help their communities grow in missionary and evangelizing zeal. May the love for the Church’s mission, which is a passion for Jesus and a passion for his people, grow ever stronger!

Délia on Stage – Marie-Paule Sanfaçon, m.i.c.

Before Confirmation, many pastoral agents organize events for the future confirmands. The aim is to help them understand the meaning of this sacrament and experience the faith at a deeper level somewhat like what the apostles experienced on the day of Pentecost.

At Saint Maria Goretti Parish in Pointe-aux-Trembles, Diocese of Montreal, the pastoral agents decided to choose some candidates to act out on stage the life of Délia Tétreault. Her story could help the youngsters better understand, in a concrete way, the commitments they are about
to accept. A photoreport is worth a thousand words!

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Malagasy Celebrations — Veneration of Ancestors – Emilienne Raherimalala

Madagascar is a unique territory where Africa and Oceania meet; therefore, traditions and customs are diverse. Each region has its own music, dances, processions, legends and they all symbolically express a Malagasy value. In this article you will read about the main stages in human life and their accompanying celebrations according to Malagasy beliefs..

The Malagasy people know that there is one God whose name is Zanahary, the creator of all things, who is omnipresent in their conscience
and memory. This God is also called Andriamanitra or Perfumed Prince. They also believe that Zanahary is a distant God but one who sees all, is above all and is the origin of all that exists. This divine presence accompanies the Malagasy throughout every aspect of their life. Whatever happens, happens because of God. For example: when a baby is born, it is a gift from God and when a person dies, it is God’s will. This way of thinking leads people to do good deeds and live a virtuous life.

Parting — Recalling — Celebrating – Éric Desautels

Parting is an integral part of the missionary life. Before modern means of transportation and the existence of telecommunications, parting took on various forms. Missionaries left behind their motherland to embrace a new land. In 1932, the Missionaries of Africa (formerly called The
White Fathers) asked the question: Will our love of the new land destroy our love of motherland? Not really as it can be compared to the love of a spouse which does not destroy the love one has for a mother. The distant homeland we left behind, is the mother; the new land we have adopted is somewhat like the spouse; in Scripture, the Spirit of God said: Man will leave his mother to be united to his wife (Mt 19:5).1 Thus, there were two partings: leaving one’s country and a well-established life style to adopt a new one without all the material wealth so prevalent in the West.

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ABOUT THE MICs

The Path of Being – Marie-Paule Sanfaçon, m.i.c.

In Haiti, the people live shattering situations which affect them deeply. Whether living in poverty, or stricken by natural cataclysm, or dealing with daily conflicts, the person who lives these traumas sometimes has difficulty seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Sister Micheline Joseph, school directress, lived through heartwrenching situations and came to realize that beyond her religious training and being an educator, she needed a solid formation in psychology. Given the proper tools and knowledge she could help others come to grips with themselves; a person’s journey is always a complex and delicate matter.

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Our Hearts Are Restless – Cecilia Hong, m.i.c.

What are our youth searching for today?
We often think of youth as a group of youngsters who search constantly for pleasure and entertainments. And yet we are unaware that deep
in their hearts they are ‘restless’. They are ‘restlessly’ searching for their identity, the meaning of their existence, the need to belong and be accepted. However due to a lack of proper guidance and support, many derail along the way and follow addictive behaviors and develop multiple personality and emotional disorders. Our youth needs our caring support and guidance. Youth are delightful, generous, passionate, dynamic and full of possibilities. They are gifted but fragile. Like ‘seedlings’ they need ‘good soil and loving care’ in order to bloom and blossom. This is why St. John Paul II had grasped deeply the needs of our youth and started World Youth Day. Since then, millions of youth have been affected and changed the course of their life. The impact of WYD has imprinted Christ in the core of their heart.

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Entirely Human

The theme of this issue, MEMORY LINKS, led me to reflect upon the proper vocation of  each human being. True, memory is important because it helps us remember persons we once knew, or events that took place; it helps us to study, to foresee, to consider. But could we say that the memory is the faculty which best characterizes the human person?

Today, computer memory can store information that can outperform the human memory. The artificial memory can execute specific tasks by figuring out for itself what   information to hold in its memory. So then, what is proper to the human person?

That is the big question... Our Lord, during the Last Supper, said to his disciples: Do this in memory of me. What did he mean? To remember or to repeat the act? It was more than that. Sharing the Eucharistic meal is to be in the presence of Jesus, to share in the life of Christ and his message which is to love one another as he loved us. Love is the human person’s specificity.

The moment loved ones are no longer with us, memory takes over. We remember the kind of persons they were. Every year, certain cultures hold great festivities in memory of those who died; countries like Mexico, China, Madagascar, emphasize the importance of remembering. In different ways commemorating loved ones is somehow highlighted

It is equally important to underscore anniversaries. Organizations such as the Christian Formation Center called Agapè has been preparing young people for the missions over a period of thirty years. On the other hand, l’Entraide Missionnaire1 must close its doors after sixty years of existence; this organization has left its mark in the hearts of many who received help from their various programs.

We wholeheartedly thank all those who devote themselves within the Church, sowing seeds of love in the hearts of others. Those who work quietly in the background also deserve our gratitude. The focus of this issue tells us about the many blessings we receive from people who radiate lavishly God’s love among us.

Enjoy reading!

The Team

Marie-Paule Sanfaçon, Directress of publication

Originally from Quebec, Sr. Marie-Paule was a missionary in Haiti; she worked with high-school students in the field of catechesis and also in youth ministry.  She is now directress of the MIC Missionary Press.

Translator : French to English - MIC Mission News

Sr. Claudette is a former missionary in Malawi, Africa.  She also worked in the Archdioceses of San Francisco, California; Toronto, Ontario and Vancouver, British Colombia as Archdiocesan coordinator and promoter of mission awareness activities. Within parish contexts, she coordinated religious education programs and accompanied youngsters on their faith journey.

André Gadbois, Editorial Board

Married and father of two children, André Gadbois, after several years in pastoral work, taught children with serious learning disabilities for 20 years and was school director for ten years. He has been very involved with catechumens of the Church in Montreal, and is the editor of their journal, le Sénevé.

Audrey Charland, Editorial Board

Audrey Charland, a 25-year-old graduate student with a master’s degree in Religious Studies, is trying her hand at something new: first the thesis, now the news article! After studying the history of Catholic missionary nuns in India, she has joined the MIC Missionary News team as the new Communications and Development Officer. This position will allow her to take on new and exciting challenges, and put her knowledge and skills into practice.

 

Éric Désautel, Editorial Board

Éric Desautels is a PhD candidate in the department of

Humanities at Concordia University’s Centre for

Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture.

 

Maurice Demers, Editorial Board

Maurice Demers is an associate professor in the Department of History,

Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of Sherbrooke. He is the young father of three children.

 

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