October-November-December 2014 Issue


October-November-December 2014 Issue



(VOL. 41, No. 4 /October*November*December 2014)


Spiritual Life

 Love Is Dialogue — André Gadbois

Initiating dialogue at birth—isn’t it a beautiful way to convey that the caregiver has something good and wonderful to say?

Nine months in the mother’s womb gives mother and baby time to relate. Bonding takes place; then comes the day when this tiny baby sees the light, hears the sounds of soft voices and feels the comfort of warm hands. Out of the inner comfort zone, images, colors, shapes and  words become clearer; with time the child grows, develops and learns to express feelings, to speak and to dialogue. Nurturing is vital at this stage—it is a secret ingredient that enables children to develop properly and to eventually have self-confidence in a changing world. Somewhat like the young nation that had to learn to dialogue to find its place and arrive at the Promised Land (ref. book of Exodus), so must a child learn to interact and to dialogue.

Before speaking with words, the newborn infant’s world is made up of faces, food, fondling, songs, perfumes, tender care… few words but many expressions of “I love you”. Many persons will take the initiative of dialoguing with the child so as to bring about confidence, joy, reassurance and well-being. With time, the child will develop and find comfort in the new family environment to the point of expressing himself in words. How often we hear parents say, my God, he does not stop talking or, she is a real chatter box!

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Cultures and Mission

Small Cell Church — Rita Ostiguy, M.I.C.

During my many years in Huancarani, a small village in the Bolivian Andes, I saw the presence of the Risen One in the numerous words and deeds manifested by the people who shared their talents and respectfully served one another. I saw the reality of a small Kingdom  taking shape in humility, serenity and love.

Before taking the road back to Quebec, I was told that once there I would find a “sad Church” where the young generations  had thrown “everything overboard”. When I arrived, I had the opportunity to attend various activities: weddings, anniversaries,
funerals, organized trips; I was touched by the surprising and rapid transformation that was actually taking place in the local Church of Quebec. There are changes that could be frightening if we did not perceive the strength of God’s  Spirit in this new and silent Church which is taking root. In fact, I repeatedly noticed that people have strong convictions according to values that could be formulated in line with the Gospel teaching love one another. Many are seeking the Lord who is waiting for them in a world that is in process
of transformation. A good number of people are taking courses in theology so as to deepen their faith and express it in
the way they live their daily lives. There is a growing desire to know the Gospel. People have become more conscious and critical as to what is being done and said. There is a certain search for spirituality and mysticism. Are these not signs revealing
the Spirit of God is at work?



Dialogue, an Essential Exchange — Émilien Roscanu

To dialogue is easier said than done. The obstacles are numerous, but so are the occasions. What winning conditions are necessary to succeed in an exchange of ideas, of emotions and of knowledge? How to ensure the dialogue is sincere?

Before anything else, dialogue must be sincere. Both parties must prove that they have an open spirit, that they are indulgent, that they accept differences and are willing to concentrate on that which unites. Equally important is altruism and empathy towards the other. To turn a deaf ear on what the other is saying must be avoided. Whether in the political or international arena, or simply how we interact
at work, hypocrisy and pretentiousness are serious hindrances to dialogue. Many wars and world-wide conflicts endure because
of a lack of willingness to dialogue in all transparency, openness, honesty. False and senseless exchanges cannot help humanity grow in harmony and peace. In their 1964 hit song The Sound of Silence, Simon and Garfunkel wrote and sang—People talking
without speaking, people hearing without listening. A precise summary of individuals who come together with set minds, pretending
they are listening to what the other has to say but are unwilling to budge from their position or personal point of view.
Dialogue is a bi-directional exchange; for it to be successful both parties have to truly listen, really hear what the other has to say, sincerity and openness are essential elements.




Dialogue on the Island of Chiloé — Monique Larouche, m.i.c.

When hearts and hands meet, a profound evangelical dialogue can be established. Sr. Monique Larouche lived this passionate adventure as a missionary in Latin America; she shares her joy with us.

Dialogue—“a channel to peace” has its requirements. It is not any kind of dialogue that can become a channel to peace.
A dialogue must reach the other at heart level, otherwise it risks remaining a simple exchange of words and of ideas without
necessarily leading to action and to change. This brings me to share with you an experience that I lived in Chile where I
worked for twelve years. When I arrived at Ancud, on the Island of Chiloé where I had been stationed for the last five years, I was
offered many assignments; when it was proposed that I work at Hogar de Cristo (Home of Christ), I felt attracted. I was asked to
function as chaplain at this center. What a challenge! The first meeting was with the directress who graciously and confidently
welcomed me. For such a long time I had this dream in my heart and it was about to come true: to welcome the less fortunate,
to look after the deprived, to reach out  to the street people, collaborate in offering them a place where they can live with dignity,
where they can be heard, appreciated and loved—my dream was taking shape.


Dialogue Can Be Therapeutic  — Léonie Therrien, M.I.C.

Every person has a special place to meet with a friend and dialogue. It can be on a veranda, a terrace, in a garden... Without an agenda, without a schedule, we are simply in the presence of each other and time is on our side.

What do we talk about? Depending on our age, we speak about our projects, our children, our future. The Canadian writer, Camille Andréa, composed a song entitled—On the Porch. A married couple expresses the fun they had when as youngsters they sat on the porch, on fine summer evenings, talking about what they liked and their dreams of the future. The years went by and with a watchful eye they saw their son and daughter whose turn it was to sit on the porch with their friends talking and joking. The couple, now old, did not complain because as they continued rocking they reminisced about the good old times. Is this not a way of gathering the fruits of dialoguing and at the same time eliminating the sadness of solitude? 


Woman of God — Lucille LaSalle, m.i.c.

Communicative and attentive, Sr. Lucille loves reaching out to others. For many years she was a missionary in Africa and now in Quebec, Canada, she is particularly interested in the newly arrived immigrants. One day, she was surprised by the comment of
a Muslim lady; here she tells us how she approaches the newcomers.

Not so long ago, as I was walking out of the Promis 1 Center, three Muslim professionals greeted me and asked me if I were a nun. Upon hearing my positive reply, one of the ladies asked me what that meant besides not having my own little family. After briefly explaining what consecrated life is all about, a second lady asked, “How come in our religion we do not have this kind of commitment?” Of course, they were the only ones who could answer that question; but one of the ladies confided that she would have loved this kind of life for herself. However, at the age of twenty or twenty-five would she have been ready to leave behind all that she cherished to follow a very special calling—that of religious life? An immediate and honest “no” was expressed. As I continued speaking
about my religious vocation, the three women looked at each other and then exclaimed, “You are a woman of God; you are a mystic!” What a statement! They took me by surprise. To establish a true dialogue, three conditions are important and required: empathy,openness and respect while at the same time remaining true to one’s self.



A Diamond Jubilee Year — Michelle Payette, m.i.c.

In 1954, a new project was taking shape in Hong Kong: the foundation of Good Hope School (GHS). The author took part in the festivities highlighting the School’s 60th Anniversary; with enthusiasm and hope Sr. Michelle tells us about the Jubilee Celebrations.

Though its beginnings were very humble, Good Hope School has become one of the most reputable schools of Hong Kong. Almost 3,500 students from kindergarten, primary and secondary levels arrive daily at the school complex. Here the youngsters receive not only an academic education but an integral formation of the whole person thus training them to become tomorrow’s leaders. Recalling the beginnings and work realized throughout the years is a positive strength which encourages us to continue maintaining the vision of our predecessors. Our Venerable Foundress, Délia Téreault once wrote: Through education we are called to include moral and character development; moral virtues are to be taught. As our predecessors have done before us, we have continued striving, up to this very day, to instill in our students the essential values which Good Hope School stands for: love, hope, joy and thanksgiving.


What Drive a Dynamic Alumna — Lizzie Der

I have a long relationship with Good Hope School, almost as long as I’ve known my parents. I started in Grade at Good Hope School, when English Primary school was conducted in the convent house in Kowloon Tong area. When we reached Grade 3, the English  Primary school was relocated to Clear Water Bay Road where a new campus was built, further up from the chapel and the older campus called Mount Good Hope. Our campus was beautiful, quiet and very exclusively located alongside a steep climb on Clear Water Bay Road. Years flew by... and by the time the Secondary School Certificate Exams were over, I found that I was leaving the only school I had known. There was a sense of joy to have graduated but there was also a deep sense of loss.

After I graduated from University in the U.S., my next natural move was to obtain immigration papers to Canada to join my family. Upon arriving inToronto, I looked up the first people I knew. They were my Good Hope School (GHS) high school classmates, Julia and Grace



Preparing for Dialogue

Kozé sa-a mandé chita. The street corner is not the best place
to dialogue; we need to prepare our hearts and be ready to welcome the other person with dignity as did the Little Prince of St Exupéry. The Haitians understand this very well. As soon as a conversation (kozé) becomes serious, they invite the person to sit down (chita).

To sit, to settle down in order to prepare the mind is important. We do not dialogue when our spirit is filled with  emotions; it is of greatest importance to take the necessary time to calm down, to become inwardly silent in order to listen and understand the other person. Dialogue—a space where humanity meets, a space where open reception and mutual confidence exist.

It is good to ask yourself whether or not you have the capacity to be close to another person. Do you  understand her joy as well as her sorrow? How comforting it is to be understood. Jesus sat at the edge of the well and openly dialogued with the Samaritan woman. He took time to begin a conversation before questioning her personal life.

Doesn’t Pope Francis set before us a beautiful example of dialogue? He welcomes everyone—children, adults, the disabled, the poor, the high ranking officials; his openness reveals that the Church is for all, it is  everyone’s house.

Soon, Christmas will remind us that God’s love is for all humanity. He becomes one of us in order to dialogue with us and to reveal His motherly and fatherly love. Jesus enters in the space where humanity meets. In this issue, the articles speak about the love that is needed to enter into a dialogue.

May the content of these articles be an inspiration to all who have the art of communicating at heart. If you like reading our mission magazine why not communicate its content to others, why not begin a dialogue with people around you? Enclosed is a promotion coupon highlighting the 95th anniversary of Le Précurseur/MIC Mission News; we thus invite you to consider renewing your subscription for three years.

To you all, our heartfelt “THANK YOU” and we wish you Peace, Health and Happiness throughout the coming year 2015. 

The Team

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