July-August-September Issue

Summary

For True Solidarity to Emerge – Éric Desautels

 The years 2020 and 2021 have been a time of trial. Bereavement, isolation, job loss, depression and domestic violence have more than once
made the headlines. Despite these considerable challenges, new forms of solidarity and mutual aid have emerged. Through trying times, we had and still have to seize the opportunities offered to us to adapt and innovate. It is important, in a way, to harvest the fruits that issued from this crisis.

In Search of Fresh Air – Marie-Paule Sanfaçon, m.i.c.

 This pandemic, as frightening as it is, is also an opportunity, because it awakens consciences and shakes up habits.

... Here I am on the lookout for national and international news. Knowing what is happening in Quebec and to our American neighbors, in
Europe and everywhere in the world, is a priority for me. In this pandemic climate, I ask myself, where I stand as a missionary? I have to face the challenge of these new situations: the Eucharist often on the internet, restricted contacts, funerals in private, prohibitions to visit our loved ones. However, I find myself lucky with my job at the editorial office of the magazine. I communicate with all our subscribers, I meet people via
internet or the telephone, and nowadays, Skype, Messenger, Zoom offer many possibilities.

Each of these meetings is for me a time of revitalization. Fresh air enters my heart, oxygenates me and gives me the boldness to think about tomorrow, to open up to others and to adapt to new missionary paradigms

Escale Myriam or Escale Delia – Marie Nadia Noël, m.i.c.

Perhaps in your house, dear reader, whatever its size, there is a corner that serves as your sanctuary. In our convent in Pont-Viau, I like to go to the Myriam stopover. It is an oasis, a place of rest. I forgot to tell you that the name has changed. Now it’s called the “Escale Delia.” The location has changed too. It was in the eastern part of the building. It is now on the third floor of D Block West. A lot of changes in a very short time. Do you know who lives there? The Sisters! The living monuments! I call them the sparks.

Let me tell you their reality. The “escale” is the place of transition between the central house and the infirmary of the MIC Sisters in Quebec. In everyday language, we often hear the expression “to stop over,” to stop for supplies. It is a stop or a pause. It is a situation or a time of transit. It is a stopover or a halt. 

A Total YES – Marie-Paule Sanfaçon, m.i.c.

Is it not surprising, that young people today dare to pronounce perpetual vows, to consecrate themselves to God by a total yes? And yet, God continues to call young men and women to follow Him in the mission of proclaiming His message of love for humanity.

At the time of Venerable Delia, 1941, young people were also listening for the call of vocation, and enrolled in our apostolic school to get to know each other better in order to listen for the call they felt in their hearts. Faith requires boldness, deep convictions, listening to one’s deepest self in order to discover the traces of God who calls one to surpass oneself in a service of the Church.

Before this great day of commitment, these young people were supported to discern within themselves the sources of this call to follow Jesus.
Why choose a Marian, missionary community? As it did for Mary, the strength of the Holy Spirit acts in them and inspires them to leave everything behind, in a gift of self without return.

They bring to the Church the beauty and dynamism of their youth and, with Mary, in thanksgiving for every gift received, they will be able to say: Do whatever He tells you... 

On a Note of Joy – Micheline Marcoux, m.i.c.

“Y’a d’la joie, Bonjour, bonjour les hirondelles, Y’a d’la joie, ... ”, this old tune, by singer-songwriter Charles Trenet, goes round in my head like a dance! Soon it will be summer, the sun will be out, joy will be in the air! Joy? An emotion, a feeling, an attitude, a gift, a grace? A bit of all of this, I think, and more!

How many works of art have been produced on the theme of joy! In all eras, this subject has been treated or lived under one aspect or another according to sensibilities and experience. Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, still relevant today, is based in part on the famous Ode to Joy, an original poem by Friedrich von Schiller written in the eighteenth century! A recent book by the well-known philosopher Frédéric Lenoir is titled The Power of Joy, while Pope Francis chose The Joy of the Gospel, as the title of his apostolic exhortation on mission. 

Failure Redeemed – Come and See – Kevin Gallagher

 Take a walk amongst nature, look up at the stars, see a sunrise and it’s easy to experience that God is immanent among this. But what about the other side, the human sites of suffering, the injustices and inequalities, the loneliness and poverty that surround us? Should we not also be experiencing God in these places too? If God is among the beauty of nature, is God also not there in these sites of suffering or just passively observing it all from a safe distance? If the answer to this is yes, then everything is changed.

No Harvest Without Planting – Natalie Gendron

When I plant a seed or a seedling, in that very moment, am I thinking about the work and care I will have to give it so it grows? Maybe… I certainly do focus on what it will become. Feeling the earth between my fingers and breathing in its fresh scent, I surrender my will to this ritual, so fortifying in its strict, comforting simplicity. 

thought, adorns the present moment and what is to come. Let us reflect on our other daily activities that we may be performing without passion, as a chore or a simple habit, like cooking, sending email, asking for a favour or offering one. All too often, we don’t think enough about why we do these tasks; our daily rhythms rarely allow us to.

Loving your Adopted Country – Suzanne Morneau, m.i.c.

 Adapting to another culture takes time and, above all, love. Sister Suzanne,a missionary in Japan for 40 years, like the immigrants who leave their country to adapt elsewhere, took several years to understand Japanese culture.

Looking back on this experience, which required a lot of perseverance to achieve perfection in my dance, I realized how indulgent I must be towards all those people who seek asylum here in Quebec. The study of the language and the adaptation to the culture are not self-evident and require a lot of will and love.

 

Gather It Up, It’s Free

The COVID-19 world crisis has disrupted all of our lives and disturbed our peace of mind. We need comfort, human warmth. The beautiful summer season is here: let’s go, let’s gather the good moments it offers us, let’s warm our heart to its sweet rays of sunshine and make wishes. It is free and we need it! As Godefroy Midy, sj., wishes us:

“A single ray of sunshine is enough to chase away a lot of shadow”

(St. Francis of Assisi).

 

I make you a wish: May the sunbeam in you chase away your shadow.

A second wish: May you learn to welcome your own sunbeam.

 A third wish: May you learn to look at others’ sunny side, not their shadow.

 

Your turn to offer me a wish: That I exercise my ministry as a priest from my sunbeam, constantly fighting against my shadows.

 

Good news: There is a small tabernacle deep within us where an original grace that God gives to all of us is kept. No evil, no limit, no ugliness can remove it. It is Jesus who has acquired it for us.

Simon Peter, after denying Jesus three times, heard a rooster crow and saw Jesus looking at him. Simon wept bitterly. His weeping was his ray of sunshine that chased away the shadow of his cowardice.

 

EDITORIAL

Weeping for denying his master and friend was the first great moment in Peter’s life after Jesus had chosen him to be the stone upon which the Church should be built. Peter, fisherman and sinner, became our first pope.

The greatest tragedy in life is not our sin, but our refusal to admit it and ask for forgiveness.

I too have cried a lot in my life. And that’s good. What about you? I feel sorry for someone who, for whatever reason, has never cried. Jesus knew how to cry. And so much the better.

One of my favorite Gospel scenes in Luke, my favorite evangelist, is the one that shows a public sinner crying. Jesus was invited to a dinner party. The public sinner knew that and came to throw herself at his feet. She wept so much that Jesus’ feet were flooded with her tears. She dried them with her hair. The sunbeam of Jesus, united with the sunbeam of this loved and forgiven woman, chased away the shadow of sin.

Ah, what beauty is forgiveness! How beautiful is repentance! Two beautiful rays of sunshine.

All the articles in this magazine were written with all of you in mind. May they serve as a ray of sunshine to chase away the shadows of everyday life. May they be for you a moment of relaxation and comfort. May they bring you joy and hope, the leitmotif of this publication.

 

The Team

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