April-May-June 2014 Issue



(VOL. 41, No. 2 /April*May*June 2014)


Spiritual Life

Disconnect to Better Reconnect — André Gadbois

The desert—a dry, barren, hot, and silent place! In such a harsh environment, the human person changes; alone with the ALONE, the human conscience can hear and be transformed by the Essential. Here, a blurred conscience is disconnected.

Recently, I had the opportunity of walking in the desert, descending into the depths of many canyons so that I could barely see the sun through narrow crevices. I climbed mountains and reached their rocky peaks; at the summit I was astonished before the grandeur of such overpowering beauty and mystery. The towering red cliffs, fanciful geological formation, rock
columns with jagged shapes with hardly any vegetation stretched out for miles; the spectacular view was awesome. This was a perfect occasion to reflect, meditate, to question the beginning and unfolding of Creation and to give thanks for the beauty of our planet Earth. While admiring such splendor, an episode mentioned by three of the four evangelists came to my mind—
Jesus tempted in the desert shortly after His Baptism in the Jordan River. The desert is synonymous with silence, solitude, bareness which leads the soul, the mind to reflect on what is essential. The desert is a place where truth breaks forth within the realm of conscientiousness and saturates it with its reality. The desert is a place that can affect our mind, bring it to stillness and prepare it for deep inner reflection.

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Cultures and Mission

Bolivia – Teenagers in Mission — Christine Husson

A few years ago, in collaboration with the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, Christine and her family were leaving for Bolivia. This adventure had been planned and thought of at length. Their positive, enriching experience inspired Christine to pass-on to the youth of Quebec the meaning of sharing, perseverance, resourcefulness, togetherness, self-knowledge. Once again, she saw a sign from God and she responded to His call

Leaving with seven teenagers to take up a missionary project is quite an adventure! The idea  began to take shape when, as a family, we gave a witness talk describing how in the year 2009 we had lived at the Institute of Rural Education (IER). Upon hearing us, the young people who
attended the talk began saying, “I would also like to go...” and the response came spontaneously, “why not?”In



Being – Consciousness & Conscience  — Émilien Roscanu

We are not only made of flesh and bones, we are more than simply organisms. Human beings are endowed with intelligence; we have the capacity to be aware of our existence. In other words
we are conscious of our ‘being’. We have the ability to be conscious of the world around us, to marvel; we have aninnate curiosity that incites us to discover the unknown, to reach new record highs in whatever field. It is thanks to our consciousness that we are capable to apprehend
our existence. We situate ourselves in time and space thanks to that awareness. We are conscious of our finite life and during the years given to us, we can use that time as we deem pertinent and meaningful. It is by way of our conscience and consciousness that we are able to give a sense to our actions and to our whole life.



Connected to What?


Fukushima, a prefecture located north-east of Japan, is now known all over the world since the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami that took place on March 11, 2011. Though in the  Japanese language “Fuku” means happy and “Shima” means land—a land covered with trees and beauty all around, these characteristics are no longer seen and the name Fukushima has become a byword for the cursed place; there is very little hope here and time seems to stand still

From the Fukushima bus station which is a lively regional city revived thanks to the local people’s efforts and a lot of support, the bus drove us east to Kawamata. In less than ten minutes, the  green landscape becomes countryside scenery. However, we were told that all of this area has been contaminated by radioactivity; the paddy fields have turned into wasteland and are ruined; the place is utterly deserted though we have seen here and there men in their coveralls trying to decontaminate the road shoulders.


Save the 182 Trees Movement — Milagros Duque, m.i.c.

All trees are key to survival in this beloved City of Baguio in the Philippines. Trees do not only provide life for the people who breathe fresh oxygen and clean the air of carbon dioxide, nitrous
oxide, sulphuric oxide and other persistent green house gasses (GHG) but trees continue to ensure water supply, prevent erosion and excessive water run-off. Luneta Hill and its trees are not only of ecological and cultural importance but they have an historic value to Baguio City and its people. Without fresh air and the pine trees Baguio City could not be what it is known for — the City of Pines.

SM City, Baguio – What does it stand for? The expansion of a shoe store chain became ‘ShoeMart’ the largest shopping mall in the region. The entire complex stands on a land area of 860,000 sq. ft. It was formally opened on November 21, 2003. This cruise ship-patterned mall is surrounded by towering pine trees and luscious green gardens. In 2011, expansion was announced to the public. A seven storey parking lot was already designed and ready to be built. Hundreds of naturally grown Benguet pine trees were to be cut. With a battle cry, people reacted, “We need the trees, not a bigger mall.” It was then decided that the trees would be earth-balled and replanted in designated cites.


And... The Current was transmittedI   — Marcelle St-Gelais, m.i.c.

As we read through some pages of Sister Marcelle’s missionary life, we come to notice that she always remained connected to the Essential—the Word of God. This explains why a special current was transmitted whenever she encountered challenges; the inner awakening and consciousness was vital in her life. Let us read her story and “see”.

For me, to be inwardly aware is to hear the inner calling to live my life fully in the Light of Jesus and to follow Him. It is to courageously keep my focus on the Resurrected Christ and like Him to give my life for others. At one point, during the time I studied nursing, I strongly felt the Call to leave everything behind and to follow the Lord Jesus’ invitation. It took some time before giving my final ‘yes’; I prayed and seriously reflected upon where this could lead me. Seduced by the Lord,no one could pressure me to change my option for Him; my mind was definitely
made up. With this final choice came great joy and profound peace. In 1948, I entered
the Institute of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception.



A LIFELONG COMMITMENT (cont.) — Monique Cloutier, m.i.c.

In the Fall issue 2013,1 an interview presented by Sr. Huguette Turcotte, m.i.c., gave rise to much interest and admiration. At the end of the conversation, Sr. Huguette invited Sr. Monique to write a summary of her sixty years in Japan. In this issue, she responds to the invitation.

At the outset of my apostolate in Japan, when I began to share the Good News, I soon realized that my religious terminology had no equivalent in the Japanese language; I therefore had to explain, paraphrase each word so that its meaning would be well understood. To express each
spiritual reality in simple ordinary words, I had to ponder at great length over the content. This led me to dig deeper and to personalize my own faith; I consider this as having been one of the greatest graces of my missionary life. I was sent to communicate the faith; it is in Japan that I
rediscovered it


WONGANI - A Dream Comes TrueSu— Huguette Ostiguy, m.i.c.

After many months of construction and preparation, a new school, Wongani Primary, welcomed more than 120 children from standard (grade) one to five. The Assembly, on opening day, was an emotional moment for us, the MIC Sisters of Malawi, Africa. Our dream of a primary school in addition to our kindergarten has finally come true.

Malawi is over 118,000 km2 (45,560 sq mi) with an estimated population of 16,777,547 (July  2013). A landlocked country, Malawi ranks among the world’s most densely populated and is
among the least developed. It is one of the poorest countries of the world and ranks 160th out of 182. Eighty five percent of the population live in rural areas with subsistence farming and an income of less than one dollar a day... Malawi has a low life expectancy, approximately 55 years, and high infant mortality of 79.02 deaths/1,000 live births. There is a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, which is a drain on the labour force and government expenditures.



Spring 2014

In the time of Jesus, a short man wished to see what was going on. He climbed a sycamore tree to have a better view; he  wanted to connect with the person who was walking by, and his
life changed… Today, who does not feel dwarfed by the consequences of globalization, by the speed of communications
and the endless progress in technology? Having a desire to
better understand or see more clearly we plug into social media. Yes, nowadays it is good to be connected, but connected to what and why? Zaccheus, the short man who wanted to connect with the passer-by, caught Jesus’ attention, “Zaccheus, come down immediately, I must stay at your house today” (Lk 19:6). Touched by these words and Jesus’ gentle look, he understood that he was precious in the eyes of God and that he was loved. From this point on, His own conception of others and of humanity completely changed. As a tax collector, he was regarded as
a traitor and was considered as a money grabber who extorted money from his countrymen. Suddenly, Zaccheus felt the tug of grace inside his heart and went through great lengths to respond to this inner prompting of grace—he was ready to give away everything he owned.

We have many occasions to consciously grasp that our life and that of others has great value, and each one is important in the eyes of God. This reality awakens the missionary heart; sensitive to the abuses that take place in our world, there is a desire to react. Then why not be among effective altruists who act in the way that brings about the greatest positive impact.

This issue reveals how fruitful it is to be connected in order to hear, reflect, and commit one’s self in providing a more human life to those who are deprived of it. Christine, in Bolivia, motivated a group of teenagers to take on positive actions; in Japan a group of teachers who visited Fukushima, understood the psychological impact the earthquake and tsunami left on the victims of the area. They understood that after help was received they, in turn, must take up the challenges and get to work. André, Émilien and Marcelle help us reflect on the manner we are connected; not only must we be plugged-in but we must ask the question: To
what am I connected and why?

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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