July-August-September 2013 Issue



VOL. 40, No. 3 /July.August.September 2013


Spiritual Life

Observe the Vital Signs — André Gadbois

One of the great qualities which scouts of yesteryears tried to develop was that of observation—a sharp eye, patience and vigilance. The scout founder, Lord Robert Baden-Powell gave it a capital importance; he taught scouts to be observant of all signs including discovering God in their everyday life and  dealings. The activities were numerous: walking along trail signs, star gazing and observation, Kim’s games, navigating with a compass and map relay. These and many more allowed young people of the time to be attentive, present to people, to nature and to the Divine inner space. In Jesus’ days, scouts did not exist, but I humbly think that Jesus was the perfect scout of His time. In the four gospels we read words that Jesus spoke, such as: be vigilant, be watchful, look, observe, open your eyes… To all those who wanted to be His disciples, Jesus invited them to be attentive, to see, to be awake at all times making sure that the inner flame be kept bright and not allowed to die.

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Cultures and Mission

A Land of Great Expectations — Monique Bigras, M.I.C.

The author was a missionary in Bolivia for fifteen years. Communications and the promotion of native women were her fields of interest. Sister Monique experienced what it is like to be uprooted from one’s country and she knows the ups and downs of integration into a new culture. Life moves us forward, a fact that is portrayed in this article as the author relates her encounter with two immigrant women. One is originally from Tunisia, the other from Morocco, both are Muslims. For the International Day of Women, they were invited to the Mother House of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, in Montreal, to share their experience of integration in their new country.
No place is more beautiful than my own country! Having to leave it is like amputating a corner of one’s heart. Nothing can really replace my land, my house… and yet, at times the only choice that remains is to emigrate. It is not easy to part from our homeland; Lamia and Nadia are living through the experience. Two names, two faces, two hearts which crossed our path of life. They came, Lamia from Tunisia, Nadia from Morocco. The Maghreb, with its large stretch of desert sands and majestic palm trees will forever remain in their memories.



Modern Contemplation — Émilien Roscanu

A musical note, a mechanical vibration directly in our pocket; a message has just come in from somewhere. The world stops! Could it be a co-worker who asks to be replaced or a boss demanding that a report be given in without delay? Could it be a family member in need or the co-tenant who forgot to buy milk? No matter, the next few seconds of our attention will be drawn to this metal and plastic gadget. The message is read, the reply is sent, and life goes on. Constantly in communication with others and with the world, we can accomplish multiple tasks all at once. However, every now and then, it is vital to leave behind these gadgets or devices so as to take time to imagine, to contemplate nature’s beauty and try to detect the signs of God--signs which are sometimes buried within the self but are there to help, to guide and to advise us along the way.




Ready to Fly to the Father — Josée Bailly

The Ivory Coast is where Josée Bailly was born and raised. She lived in France and studied international law. Passionately, she loves God and humanity. Josée greatly desires to transmit to the world, the great and the small, the notion of God’s greatness and goodness.
A few years ago, while I was sitting alone in a church in France, I prayed and thanked God for His goodness. At that time, I was a student preparing my thesis in international law. In retrospect I saw my life as it unfolded, surrounded by a warm family atmosphere on the Ivory Coast; then I thought of my life in France with my family and lover. I lacked nothing though sometimes I have known certain sufferings. I could have plunged into a chaotic lifestyle, but the Lord safeguarded me, made me strong so as to serve Him.


Keeping Their Lamps Burning — Thérèse Lebeau, M.I.C.

In 1991, upon her return from Peru, Sr. Thérèse decided to update her knowledge. From St. Paul’s University in Ottawa, Ontario, she obtained a Master’s degree in Missiology, and completed her studies in Theology with a focus on the four evangelists. From 1994 to 1999, she went to the Island of Chiloé, Chile; she worked full time with the Fiscales and accompanied the animators of the radio station “Estrella del mar” founded and directed by Msgr. Juan Luis Ysern.
According to me, being a witness of 'signs' is a unique experience that can never be forgotten.  It is a moving encounter leading to a greater adventure.  When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch" (Luke 5:4).


Did You See Me? Asked God — Anita Perron, M.I.C.

In our spring issue, April-June 2013, the Institute of Rural Education in Bolivia was spoken about; perhaps the story delighted many of our readers. In this summer issue, Sr. Anita invites us to capture the face of God which is revealed to her at the Institute as well as in people whom she encounters along the way. She has seen God… and the following is her reply.
The Institute of Rural Education (IER) is a boarding school which welcomes more that eighty women from villages; some are seventeen years of age, while others are older. Surrounded by flowers, fruits and their vegetable garden, these students are accompanied by Sr. Cipriana Ccahuana, m.i.c., who is their counselor and by Vilma Penafiel who is their teacher.



Good News From Mati — Claudette Bouchard, M.I.C.

Humble beginnings can be compared to the tiny mustard seed which needs darkness, isolation and soil of the earth in order to germinate. It often goes unnoticed until it becomes a shrub and later a tree. Humble beginnings are as such—there are no drums, no trumpet sounds, nor do they make the headline news. Rather, simple beginnings take root in the stillness of inspired thoughts which gradually unfold silently and take shape in life-giving actions. Here, we are given a glimpse of what was and is now happening in a specific area of the Philippines.
The Philippines is a country composed of 7,107 islands, not all are inhabited. With over 150 languages and about 100 ethnic groups there is diversity as well as cultural elements unique to each region. It is here, in this colorful country, that the first five Missionaries of the Immaculate Conception arrived in 1921. The pioneers who had travelled 44 days by cargo boat were more than happy to set foot on land. Manila was their destination and from the onset they assumed the administration of the already existing Chinese General Hospital.


IMD, A Risk – A Success — Cyprien L. Gary

Sister Délia Tétreault’s personality, her humanistic approach and the work which she accomplished throughout her apostolic life is still, to this day, a source of inspiration for the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. Such a dynamic creative spirit was highlighted during the tenth anniversary of the school’s foundation which bears her name.
The Institution Mother Délia (IMD) is an educational institution built on a picturesque mount.  It is located at No. 7 Renoncule Street, Port-au-Prince, Haiti along the route to the airport.  This school which bears the name of the MICs Foundress, Délia Tétreault, opened its doors during the 2002-2003 academic year.  To highlight its tenth anniversary, a religious and cultural ceremony took place on February 4, 2013.



Built on Rock

Become A Meaningful Sign !

A sign is a mark, a movement, a shape intended to have a particular meaning. It transmits a message, it indicates, it orients, it can even provoke. Signs are all around us, sometimes they attract our attention but most of the time we are unaware of them.

Jesus often used signs (miracles) to reveal His Divinity; He even raised Lazarus from the dead. It seems that if we had been there, we would have believed! To believe, we need not look for extraordinary signs. We have eyes to see, ears to hear, a heart to love; these are means through which we can capture the signs of God’s presence in our midst.

How often I have seen in the metro or on the bus individuals giving their seat to someone else, or young people helping an elderly person, or teachers working overtime to help students, or someone exhibiting goodness, gentleness, love towards others. These are all signs. The Church also offers us signs through the sacraments; these signs tell us that grace is at work within the soul. For Christians the greatest sign is the symbolic ritual gesture of the Cross. When we make the sign of the Cross we transmit the fundamental message of our faith.  Precisely, by the glorious Cross we become children of God and eternal life is given to us. It is not an automatic sign but it is the mark of our faith.

In this issue, you will discover simple signs that reveal God’s infinite love particularly so in the article—Did you see me? asked God. During this summer season, let us detect God’s creative presence so that in turn we may become meaningful signs. Profoundly convinced of God’s revealing Love, we can be bearers of Light and of Hope. Let us heed our Pope Francis’ words who said to the Cardinals during his first homily in the Sistine Chapel: If we do not confess Jesus Christ, it is no good. We will become a humanitarian NGO, but not the Church, the bride of the Lord. Let us therefore be authentic agents of the Word who witness, in all simplicity, the love of Christ for humanity.

The Team

Editorial Board



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 and Provincial Superior of the MIC Canadian Province.




Carole Guévin, Direction's assistant

Assistant Director of the MIC Missionary Press, Carole lived in Nicaragua and Lebanon as a lay missionary.


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.

Louisa Nicole, M.I.C., Editorial Board

Sr. Louisa was a missionary in Japan.  She is currently involved in the Chronic Pain Self-Management Program as a master trainer and workshop facilitator under the direction of McGill University Health Center.  She also gives time in spiritual accompaniment according to the Ignatian Pedagogy, teaches adult catechesis, and journeys with the AsMIC of Granby, Quebec.

Léonie Therrien, M.I.C., Editorial Board

Occupation: She is a member of the editorial team for the missionary magazine Le Précurseur/MIC Mission News. She is also responsible for a group of MIC Associates (ASMIC).

Experiences: Educator; youth group animator as well as animating groups of Associates; member of an intercommunity mission animation team.

Emilien Roscanu, Editorial Board                                                                            

Emilien Roscanu is a CEGEP student who is currently studying humanities. History and politics are his passion as well as the arts scene and dramatic art.  Dedicated to his community, he is a young man who also loves debating ideas.                                                                                                                          

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