January-February-March 2014 Issue



VOL. 39, No. 1 /January*February*March 2014


Spiritual Life

Tiny Buds of Trust — André Gadbois

When an individual or a people have been duped, it becomes difficult to trust and to find the Truth.

On the first work day of the year, January 2, 2013 at 1:18 p.m., the one hundred highest paid CEOs in Canada had already earned $45,448 according to the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives. It will take one year for the average full-time worker to earn that amount of money.1 In this kind of context, how can we regain our trust in and for a better world? Is it possible to dismiss being suspicious? Can we avoid thinking of a system that encourages tax evasion? Looking farther away, if we examine the wages and working conditions of the average worker in developing countries, we fall off our chairs; the hope and the confidence we had for a better world are crushed like puppets whose strings are cut off. When we become AWARE of this reality how is it possible to renew that
trust, that confidence which is so necessary to keep us from becoming lethargic?

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Cultures and Mission

The Voice of the Voiceless — Kateri Diab

Endowed with strong faith and convictions, Kateri is a remedial specialist deeply committed to young children and toddlers. Tactfully she comes to their defense; for her the word ‘justice’ is for young and old alike. Let us hear what she has to say.

In December 2011, I returned to Cochabamba, Bolivia. My goal was to see, once again, the Foundation Estrellas en la calle 1 (Stars in the street); this is where I worked, from 2006-2008, as a lay missionary associated to the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. This was an unforgettable reunion, I was under the impression I had never left the place. It was most encouraging to see that the Foundation continues progressing and the projects begun in the early stages during my stay are well managed; it was most
gratifying to meet the young pioneers of the “prevention program”2 who are now, for the most part, university students.



An Abundance of Trust — Émilien Roscanu

Can we trust? Trust in what, in whom? Do gestures of confidence make us free? Do they make us more human? Émilien exposes us to a vibrant plea that incarnates confidence. What if trusting would be a witness to faith?

A young child comes home from school, crying he falls into the arms of his mother; a man kneeling before his loved one asks her to marry him; a couple decides to begin a family; a terminally ill man is accompanied by his loving family… In all these situations which can occur in a lifetime, we rely on the unique sentiment of trust. This word is so simple yet it has major repercussions. Trust is a  fundamental element in our society; it arises from our interdependence with others. It enables valuable social interactions, respect,
and helps avoid chaos. However, trust is a fragile sentiment—it is earned in drops and lost in liters, as Sartre once stated. True, it is
much easier to lose confidence in someone or something than to confer our trust. This is the reason why the sentiment of trust is
of great value, though it can be difficult to maintain, it can be gratifying as it moves us to a higher level, intellectually as well as spiritually.



A surge of trust

Standing Strong With Dignity — Claudette Bouchard, m.i.c.

They trusted and were empowered. One step at a time, they became acquainted and journeyed with the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (MIC). It has been a long haul—24 years—for the Mangyans Alangans 1 of Siapo, Philippines, to become
self-assured and take their destiny into their own hands. It all began in 1989.

With glowing missionary hearts, the Filippina MIC Sisters favorably responded to a request made by the Vicar Apostolic of San Jose in Mindoro, Bishop Vicente Manuel, S.V.D. On this Island the Sisters established themselves first in Siapo, then in Sipuyo, a hamlet farther away in the mountains and finally in Santa Cruz. Upon their arrival, few Mangyans could read or write. Those who did were the privileged ones who had received some basic lessons from a Visayan guest, Mr. Martin Dimacutac. The Sisters’ tasks were immense. Without delay, they responded to the Mangyans’ urgent needs which they divided in three categories: livelihood, health and literacy.


A Smart Phone for God — Marie-Paule Sanfaçon, m.i.c.

Is it possible nowadays to think that young people from around the world can hear God’s call? God is not at the end of His resources and He knows that today’s population has multiple ways of communicating…

Many Christians worry about the future of the Church. They say that there are no more vocations, the clergy is aging, and members of religious communities are taken aback by sickness as well as having to sell their houses. All this is true, but... there is a but. We must recognize that the Holy Spirit is at work and from His cellular, He travels all over the globe calling here and there to young people asking
them to abandon all their possessions and to follow Christ. From Europe, the Spirit crosses the oceans to reach the Americas, Asia, even Africa, Haiti, Madagascar and the Philippines. The call is being heard all over the social networks: iPad, Twitter, Facebook,
and Internet. The Holy Spirit knows how to communicate with the young people right where they are and they can respond.


I Lost My Button  — Monette Ouellette, m.i.c.

Sister Monette, a registered nurse, has lived the Mission in Vancouver, in Taiwan and in the United States. While in-charge of the MIC Infirmary at Pont-Viau, Laval, Quebec she gave the best of herself to the Sisters who were in loss of their functional autonomy. Currently, she is working in Vancouver, B.C. and she tells us about her experience with the itinerants.

They were both standing at the bus stop, their backs to the street, hand in hand, seemingly embarrassed and not knowing what to do. The gentleman was tall, with graying hair and beard. The lady was also rather tall, but heavier set, with a cane in hand and dangerously unstable. As I stepped down the bus and was ready to take the direction leading me to the women’s dropin
center where I help prepare breakfast on Wednesdays for women in need, I felt I had to turn around and see what was happening. I asked the couple, “Do you need any help?” She answered, “I lost my button!” Her skirt was on the ground and she had little to cover her nudity. She could not even bend to pick it up. Without hesitation, I helped her pull up the skirt, tie it and put on her flashy red coat which was also on the ground, I then gave her the walking stick. Before parting, the gentleman looked at me peacefully and said, “You are a nun!” They thanked me and went off hand in hand. I, though somewhat perplexed, felt the kind of happiness that compels me to go further, to dare take risks in the Name of the One to whom I offered my life, almost fifty years ago.



Looking Towards the Future for Africa — Yvonne Ayotte, m.i.c.

Our Foundress, Mother Délia Tétreault, once said, “Missionaries devoted to gratitude must try by all possible means, even the beauties and wonders of nature, to praise the Creator on behalf of all the souls who cannot think of giving Him thanks because they do not know Him.”

My mission in the past five years was to help at our Délia Formation Center in Chipata, Zambia. This meant everyday encounters with candidates who were interested in religious life. I lived with them and led them to recognize the presence of God in their lives as well as to discover Him in the beauty of His creation, thus inspiring them to be grateful for the Creator’s love and bountifulness.


Surpassing Oneself — Colette Dufour, m.i.c.

In the autumn season of her life, Sr. Colette Dufour who is currently a missionary in Quebec, Canada, received an invitation to share with us her unique mission experience abroad. Discreetly and with a grateful heart, she graciously accepted to reveal a few pages of her life. You will note that confidence has always been her inner strength.

Whillingly, I responded to the inner callings within me though at the time I was unaware how far these would lead me.


In 1950, at the age of eighteen, I confidently decided to respond to an inner calling. I entered the novitiate of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception at Pont-Viau, Laval, Quebec. By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. (Hebrew 11.8) What the Bible says is quite true particularly when we begin our religious formation years—a time when we experience being uprooted. However, God’s grace is always present and our final profession crowns those difficult years. A professional training is then offered in view of our future missionary commitment; I opted for medical science. Having completed my studies in nursing and a year later in midwifery I was ready to leave for the country I was assigned, namely Malawi.




Challenged to Trust

Last summer, I was with a companion driving peacefully on a back road near Granby. Suddenly, a gust of wind came up. It began to rain
and thunder appeared and everything around us became dark. I slowed down, but nevertheless we could feel the strength of the wind against
the car. For a moment I felt fear, but soon calm returned. The landscape had been washed clean, the sun was once again shining brightly, nature’s
beauty was restored. That experience is worth a thousand words.

Can trust be renewed when we hear about world-wide corruption, dictatorships that oppress those who struggle endlessly to gain democracy which is less and less accessible? We dream of democracy, but does it really exist anywhere? The lure of gain, the desire for power results in numerous victims. Can we continue trusting, can we hope for better days?

The MIC Mission News magazine has as motto – To sow seeds of joy and hope. In this issue you will read about people who lived through desperate situations, when all seemed lost. However, the hope of those individuals was revived thanks to the graceful interaction that took place between the missionaries and partners working alongside in the mission field, whether in the Philippines, in Vancouver, in Quebec or elsewhere. Trust can change many things. It’s a challenge to take up especially when difficult moments arise; forgiveness is a pre-condition in re-establishing that trust.

Didn’t God take a risk when He willed to trust the human person? St. Paul himself recognized this reality when he said, “… He considered me trustworthy…” (1Tm 1:12- NIV) Yes, the Lord trusts us!

It is now our turn to develop this sentiment of trust in God and in our neighbor even within difficult situations. This is an everyday challenge, a challenge that transforms the hearts. And then, the sun will brighten our daily landscapes.

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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