July-August-September Issue

Summary

SPIRITUAL LIFE

Become What You Are Meant to Be – André Gadbois

Ethnic and religious tensions ran high in Jesus’ days and as an adult he was conscious of the problems. The Samaritan-Judean hostilities had become a burden for many; Judaism was a complex mixture of social, political, and religious ideologies. Every day, Jesus would observe the heavy burdens laid upon his people; he noticed their lack of social audacity and common projects to overcome the crushing political power. It almost seemed as if liberation was impossible and freedom out of reach.

Jesus’ mission was to redeem people, to love people into goodness, to save people from distress and errors of their ways. One day, he heard his cousin, John the Baptist cry out to the people: Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Mt 3:2). You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance (Mt 3:7.8). In other words John the Baptist was telling the people to change their lives and to act accordingly. He commanded tax collectors to stop collecting deceitful wages; he was telling them to open their hearts to the Light and become who they truly were meant to be. He called people to repent so as to be free from within. The authorities of the time considered those statements dangerous and disturbing.

 

CULTURES AND MISSION

Bringing Forth Life in Mission – Éric Desautels

In the history of 20th-century Canadian mission work, nuns played an important  role in the founding and functioning of hospitals, clinics and maternity homes.

They have not only educated many women in Asia, Africa and South America, but also helped improve the quality of healthcare in general. Today’s public often forgets the missionary nuns’ roles as midwives, neonatal nurses as well as their contribution in training the local people in those fields. They shared their knowledge and helped combat child mortality, thus life expectancy increased. Many of their initiatives have endured over time: free clinics, prenatal clinics, mobile clinics, midwife training, children’s organizations, collecting donations for children, etc. Here, I offer a brief overview of this subject

 

YOUTH

Délia Tétreault — A Model to Propose – Micheline Marcoux, m.i.c.

As I contemplate nature, I catch myself searching for signs of renewal. With the arrival of summer, there is barely any time for spring to chase away the last remnants of our harsh winter. Can those who have never seen our autumns and winters even imagine life emerging after so much bleakness and cold? And yet…!

It’s easy to spot new growth in nature. How do these signs manifest themselves in the current mission that has been entrusted to me? At the heart of this particular Church service—working towards the beatification and canonization of the Venerable Délia Tétreault, our foundress—some meaningful activities over the last few months have allowed me to notice signs of vitality in which we can recognize the Holy Spirit’s creative action.

 

IN FOCUS: THAT LIFE MAY EMERGE

Make a Commitment to Whom and Why? – Estelle Fontaine, m.i.c.

Claudine Delière, the director of

Claudine Delière, the director of cultural mediation and community commitment at Bluff Theatre1, invited me on behalf of Éric Jean, stage director, and Luc Tartar, author of  plays and novels, to participate in a meeting with students from the Montde-La-Salle school. These two artists sought to enhance their thinking for the next Bluff Theatre creation that will focus on commitment. The presence, the attentive listening, and compassion that took place during this meeting was a moving moment for both the young people and the adults accompanying them.

100 Years — The MIC Sisters in the Diocese of Quebec

– Évangéline Plamondon, m.i.c.

On November 10, 1919, three young nuns of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception moved into a temporary living space on Sainte-Julie Street, in the Basse-Ville area of Quebec. In August, their Foundress, Mother Marie-du-Saint-Esprit, Délia Tétreault, received permission from Cardinal Louis-Nazaire Bégin to open a home in his diocese; it was time for the young missionary institution, founded in 1902, to take action. There, the goals were many: to work within the Chinese community, to implement a postulate, to offer closed retreats for women, to open an office for the works of the Holy Childhood and the Propagation of the Faith. An apostolic adventure for everyone!

MIC International Scholasticate – Marie-Paule Sanfaçon, m.i.c.

Every year, before taking their perpetual vows, the Sisters who are in their final stage of formation are given the opportunity to come to Quebec, Canada in order to become acquainted with the origins of their spiritual family—the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. During their stay, they deepen the Institute’s spirituality of Thanksgiving bequeathed by our Foundress, Venerable Délia Tétreault.

Since the scholastics come from different countries, they experience living internationally and they learn from each other`s backgrounds. They also are given the chance to meet all the Sisters who live at the Mother House, many of whom worked years in their countries. With a sense of intrigue, they learn to adapt to the Canadian seasons, especially winter and spring.

Upon their return to their homeland, these scholastics become witnesses of what they heard and saw. They are called to transmit the Good News of Jesus Christ and in a spirit of Thanksgiving live their religious and missionary life according to the Gospel, in service to others at home or wherever they will be sent.

Let us support them by our prayers!

With them, let us uphold the flaming torch of faith!

 

ABOUT THE MICs

A Vibrant Magnificat – Rose-Philomène Gédéon, m.i.c.

Seventy-five years ago, on December 8, 1943, Haiti was consecrated to our Lady of Perpetual Help. That same year, a group of Missionary Sisters of the  Immaculate Conception arrived on the Haitian soil. On December 8, 2018, this wonderful coincidence prompted numerous expressions of gratitude from the Haitian people as well as from the MIC Sisters.

Solidarity Between Missionaries and

Latin American Populations – Maurice Demers

These past two years, I had the pleasure of communicating with more than a dozen missionaries; my aim was to prepare a documentary about their life experiences. Those  men and women, Oblate Missionaries of Mary Immaculate, the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, priests of the Foreign Missions Society, the Daughters of Charity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus told me how they shared with the local people the ups and downs of their daily living. Many missionaries played an important role in

Latin America, defending the rights of individuals particularly between the years 1970-1980, a most difficult period of time in many countries.

 

To Succeed in Life

Every person on earth dreams of a better life and longs for more. From the very beginning, a child must conquer its fear to take its first steps, a student must study to succeed, a scientist must do extensive research to discover the unknown. Each person hopes to surpass oneself, to go a step further and leave a mark. In fact, in the heart of each human being exists one goal: to have a successful life.

Missionaries all have at heart that goal. In the name of one’s faith, the person dedicates his or her life to a humanitarian cause such as education, health care, development, pastoral guidance. The missionary hopes that through one’s implication, life will emerge, that it will take a dimension beyond his expectations somewhat like Jesus who brought life to those who were lost or in need. Éric captures the reality of such a dedication in dispensaries where lives are saved. In his own way, Maurice gives examples of how missionaries have had to adapt to changing times so that human dignity and Christian life may come forth. All are convinced that faith adds an eternal dimension, a spiritual ray other than mere human success.

From very simple actions life bursts forth. Sister Micheline describes the joy of young people at Panama’s World Youth Day -- a Church in action leading us to next October’s super grand mission month. Sister Estelle, who worked years in Madagascar, relates the importance of recognizing leaders, encouraging them to pursue their studies to become professors in the field that suits them best, and in turn help students shape their own future. Sister Évangéline, highlights the 100 years presence of the MIC Sisters in the diocese of Quebec City—a colorful, universal, apostolic adventure.

Dear readers, this edition comes to you during the lovely summer season. For many, it is vacation time; this is a beautiful occasion to encourage young and not so young people to “reach out” where help is needed. These good actions will be forever recorded in their hearts.

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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