October-November-December Issue

Summary

SPIRITUAL LIFE

Jesus Exhorts and Questions – André Gadbois

I always loved Halloween. When I was ten years old, my mother would disguise me and my sister Thérèse; we would go from door to door along the streets of our neighborhood to collect candy bags. Somehow, it was a way to trust a humanity who shares and believes in reciprocating.

Later in life, when teaching high school students in difficulty, I would enthusiastically speak about that holiday and I would invite the students to use their imagination, to be creative, and to share. When I became school director, I did the same; I did all I could for Halloween to be well highlighted annually on October 31st. I made sure human bonds were created and that fraternal joy be experienced among people from different continents.

CULTURES AND MISSION

Awakening to the Wonders of Nature – Marie-Paule Sanfaçon, m.i.c.

Recently, I met a young woman who, with her innate environmental sense, piqued my curiosity. Wanting to know her better, I went to Sainte-Clotildede-Châteauguay to see her ingenuity at work…

As a young girl, Vicky came to visit her great aunt, Sister Rolande Vincent, a Missionary of the Immaculate Conception who at that time lived at our convent in Pont-Viau. She was fascinated by the meditative, peaceful atmosphere and inspired by the beauty of the place on the banks of the Rivière des Prairies. What she experienced nourished her taste for culture and increased her environmental sense. She wanted to do something to save the planet. Like any young girl, she wondered…

The MIC Spirit in South America – Gisèle Lachapelle, m.i.c.

During the years I was in Chile, I accompanied our AsMIC (associates) in developing a spirituality of Thanksgiving, a legacy which our Foundress, Délia Tétreault left us. It is with much joy that I join them, once a year, to support them in their commitment. Very faithful, they are always present…

The Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception worked in Chile for a period of forty-five years. With sadness, we left the country in May 2008, due to a lack of personnel. I was the last one to arrive in Chile and after thirty-seven years of service, I was assigned to Bolivia. A death... a new birth!

Chile – A Church on the Move – Gisèle Lachapelle, m.i.c.

 Recently, we have been made aware of the Church’s fragility… How to react before such sexual misconduct? Does it weaken our faith? When young, we learned that the Church is holy because its Founder is holy. That will always be true and it is on the resurrected Christ that our faith is based. However, reality has knocked at our door and allows us to question ourselves. I worked many years within the Chilean Church, and I share with you my observations.

he Chilean Church is currently living through a painful time. It hurts all the more because in the sixties to the eighties, during the dictatorship regime, the Church accompanied the populations in their sufferings and hopes and it was deeply committed to social justice and respect. As of the nineties, what has happened? How could our Church walk away from its objectives? The prophetic spirit became more silent, social justice
was on the back burner, messages from the social encyclicals were diluted, preferential option for the poor was hardly mentioned. Worst
of all - bishops, priests, religious were involved in clerical sexual misconduct including minors. What to do?

DÉLIA-TÉTREAULT MUSEUM

Objects and Their Secret Life – Alexandre Payer

When you enter the Délia-Tétreault Museum, you are surrounded by hundreds of objects and images which have crossed the ages and oceans. In the upcoming issues of MIC Mission News, the Museum will present you some of its treasures, highlighting objects including their history and their key role in Quebec’s missionary adventure up to this day.

Before some twenty intrigued children, Sister Gratia Blanchette set up her material. It all happened in 1926, in a small parish school of Saint-Germain-de-Grantham, Quebec, Canada. Curtains drawn filtered the morning light. Somewhat unusual, the silent students were in the semi-dark room; something magical was in the air. A click was heard. A light flashed from the little wooden box set on a table near Sister Blanchette: a window onto another world suddenly appeared on the opposite wall. All eyes were on the unfolding images as they watched
and heard a distant voice explaining to them the realities of those faraway children.

IN FOCUS: EQUIPPED FOR THE FUTURE?

In Pursuit of God’s Inspiration – Lilia Frondoza, m.i.c.

Throughout the centuries, there has been a shortage of men and women willing to point humanity toward the right path. However, in every age, there has been people who tried to respond to the needs of humans, such as food, clothing, shelter, and promoting social implications necessary to their particular era.

In our age, there is certainly no shortage of books, CDs, DVDs, podcasts, web sites, radio shows, seminars, television programs attempting to speak to our very real needs in ways that are relevant and engaging. But amid this apparent abundance, there is a great poverty – the  shortage of men and women willing to lead humanity along the right path with the example of their own lives. During the course of history, authentic lives have been ever so rare.

Using Music to Connect with Others – Maurice Demers

Most major religions use music as a  way to express the divine or perhaps communicate with the beyond, the Catholic Church is no exception. In fact, according to the book Music: The Definitive Visual History, the Catholic Church has been promoting music throughout its history.1
One only needs to recall the Gregorian chant, the sacred or gospel music to see that the Catholic Church always promoted music. It was also used in mission countries when missionaries would go out to meet people and to convert them. This article takes a closer look at how missionaries used music during their apostolic work.

A Fridge on the Forecourt – Anita Perron, m.i.c.

This project was initiated in 2015 by a group of students studying Anthropology, Food and Nutrition at Laval University. It was later re-launched
by a community group called EnGrEnAgE (ChAiN) of St-Roch. We collect from supermarkets and restaurants whatever leftover food they have and we place it in this fridge for the poor families; this is a way to help them and also it prevents wasting food.

 We Never Leave Haiti – Chantal Bertrand

As an adolescent, I met a Missionary Sister of the Immaculate Conception who had been in China. Her story touched me and I wanted to know
more. As I faithfully read the magazine Le Précurseur (French version of MIC Mission News) the desire to consecrate my life to the Lord became clear and the mission field was for me a priority. On August 8, 1955, I entered the novitiate at Pont-Viau, QC. My mother was very disappointed because she counted on me to help her in various ways. However, my family always accepted my choice and during the forty five years I was in Haiti they were ever supportive.

Social Dimension of the Christian Faith – Nicole Joly, m.i.c.

A UNIQUE AND INCARNATE GOD
In light of what I heard about the unique and incarnate God, I want to speak to you about my Christian faith journey. The human suffering that
I see every day, in my milieu and in the Church, greatly contradicts the Gospel message.

Which God?

As Christians we must free ourselves from all false gods. It is difficult to perceive a merciful and gentle God in the speeches of our leaders, or in the social and ecclesial structures. We have distanced ourselves from the human preoccupations of people living in our milieu. Personally, my faith is challenged when I consider our perception of the poor. For me, I understand the word poor as someone who is in need. True, we fear confronting our ways of living with the Gospel we proclaim. Often, practice does not follow our discourse. We call upon others to be responsible without ourselves being co-responsible. Currently, we question the Church’s credibility, but what about our personal credibility in regards to the
Christian faith?

ABOUT THE MICs

Serving the People – Marie-Paule Sanfaçon, m.i.c.

At Cap-Haitien, Haiti, the MIC Sisters’ presence has always been appreciated by the people. An increasing demand for health care services has led the MICs to transform an old section of their novitiate into a dispensary where people can come for firstaid treatments. This project is most applauded and appreciated by the population.

The Unkwnon

When we think of our future, we might experience mixed emotions. It can challenge us to question our next move and this can bring about many worries. The future, what does it have in store for us? We would like to head into the unknown, we would like life to evolve, but we must also think how we can best equip ourselves for that future.

We often hear: we must live the present moment. True, but a tiny inner voice whispers – but am I really equipped to continue? How much longer will I live? Will I have enough means to assure my retirement years? Who will take care of me when I become sick? Life is precarious and the unknown is frightening. Every turning point in life beckons us forward while disconcerting questions arise. It is part of the human condition... we don’t know.

However, God is always present and he calls us to trust, to have confidence, to have faith in the risen Lord. He did say: I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Mt 28:20).

Currently, we are inundated with apocalyptic signs concerning the environment, the governments, the Church. The bad news shake our faith, our trust. On the other hand, we always have the choice to look at the positive side of things, to be inspired by people who dedicate their lives serving others, like Jean Vanier who died recently.

Confronted with the Chilean Church scandals or elsewhere in the world, Pope Francis makes us understand that the Church needs everyone to respond to this crisis, individual and collegial support are necessary. How to react? Sister Nicole tells us about her faith through life’s twists and turns, Sister Gisèle admires the faithfulness of the Chilean AsMIC (associates).

Are we not all touched, all affected by the current events as well as the unknown? Our indispensable tool is TRUST; there will always be a helping hand to rescue us. The Lord Jesus walks with us on the shores of life and when his footprints become united with ours, it means he is carrying us on his shoulders, in his heart.

The Fall season reminds us that even though the trees seem to gradually become lifeless, they will reappear full of life next spring.

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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