January-February-March 2015 Issue



(VOL. 42, No. 1 /January*February*March 2015)


Spiritual Life

The Radiance of a Human Experience — André Gadbois

I have the certitude that in each human being there is an inner dynamism that is waiting to be activated and liberated from the heavy weight of darkness.

For a period of four to five days I had been tormented by a troubling situation; it kept me awake at night. It was a decision which could lead to the break of a precious friendship. My sleep was agitated; I was restless, tossing and turning. It reminded me of the sleepless nights I had during my ‘classical studies’; when it was time to prepare for fianl exams, I would toss and turn in bed until daybreak. Came morning, I would be exhausted! My troubled mind was suddenly awakened around three in the morning; I had not experienced such a thing for years.

Within me I could hear these words: If you have something against your brother, go speak  to him first…; if he refuses to listen, take one or two others along as witnesses; if he still refuses to listen, consult the community (Mt 8:15.17). I couldn’t help but smile; I went back to sleep ‘in the fullness of light’ and I woke up as radiant as the sunshine. It is as if
my memory of this scripture passage helped me to hope and believe. Another way of sa ying that realities well rooted within me became alive and gave me a breath of hope.
I am convinced that by scrutinizing the depth of the human experience we can come to demonstrate that at certain moments in life there is an encounter with the Infinite, though
however unknowable this Infinite may be. In each one of us there exists an inner dynamism that questions the heart, making the person more creative and loving. It is the
Infinite, the Eternal, the Benevolent, it is Yahweh, it is the Soul of the world… I like to name Him the Eternal Word, the Spirit of God, the Glorious Jesus, the Light.

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Cultures and Mission

Rejoice! Shout for Joy! — Évangeline Plamondon, M.I.C

In 1659, François de Laval arrived as Apostolic Vicar in New France; some years later he was appointed the first Bishop of Quebec. The colony was sufficiently developed
and structured as a civil and religious society to become a parochial institution. Approximately three thousand inhabitants had settled in the valley of Saint Lawrence; there
was a Sovereign Council led by a governor. The Recollets, the Jesuits, the Augustinians, the Ursulines were already well established. The humble church Notre-Dame-de-la Paix (Our Lady of Peace) had been erected in 1647 in Old Quebec’s Upper Town. Msgr. François de Laval who was a great visionary deemed the foundations to be solid; therefore, the future was contemplated. Then, in 1664 Notre-Dame-de-la Paix was officially classified as a parish church in North America dedicated to Our Lady bearing the name: The Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary.



Prism and Light — Émilien Roscanu

We are in 2003. I am nine years old and in grade three. In the afternoon, the science course begins with an experiment in physics—decomposition of light by a prism. Three  hundred thirty-four years earlier, little did Isaac Newton know how fascinated and captivated I would be by this phenomenon. How could a simple beam of white light, when passing through a prism of glass, be decomposed, converted into a spectrum of multi colored lights. When crude light goes through a catalyst it emerges enriched, emancipated so to say. Likewise, we too should serve as channels through which light can be seen and shared. Rays of multi colored lights reflecting hope, love, compassion and courage are
needed more than ever.



A stream of light

Délia A Child of Light — Marie-Paule Sanfaçon, M.I.C.

All human life has its bright side and its dark side. When highlighting someone’s anniversary, our joyful wishes express our appreciation of the one we are celebrating, and we mention some facets of the person’s life that has most touched us. This year, we are celebrating the 150th Birthday of Délia Tétreault, our Foundress. For us, her spiritual daughters, we consider the birth of this child as an aurora borealis; an amazing colorful light which appeared and transformed the lives of numerous young women and men. Indeed, her great missionary dream gave wings to the Canadian Church calling it forth to spread Christ’s Love and His Message beyond the oceans.

The story began in Marieville, a small village in Quebec. It was evening, on February 4, 1865 when a little blond girl opened her eyes to the world; but she was not alone, her twin brother was by her side. At a young age Délia learned the hard facts of life; her sibling passed away and sometime later her mother died, she was then only two and half years old. Through it all, Délia gradually discovered the deep secrets of her heart. One day, (…) the three year old little girl was looking out the window and saw her uncle (foster father) working in the garden. Suddenly, Délia clapped her hands in innocent glee and called out, “Papa! Papa!” Her uncle, Mr. Alix turned at her call and abruptly replied, “I am not your papa…” She glanced up at him with a charming smile and joyfully retorted, “You don’t know anything about that…Délia knows.” Deeply moved, the uncle entered the house and clasped the child in a strong loving embrace; from that time onward, Mr. Alix cherished his adopted daughter with the love of a true father.


On Radio Waves  — Gaétane Guillemette, M.I.C.

A woman of vision and of the Church, Sr. Guillemette contributed in improving the lives of many Quechuas women and men at Iquircollo, Cochabamba in Bolivia. With the help of the radio and the Institute of Rural Education, she was able to fulfill her dream.

A long time ago, Jesus did claim “I am the Light!” Since then, so much has happened to sustain our faith, give reason to our hope, and give us the incredible chance of becoming transmitters of light, of auroras, and of dreams.

The Gospel on radio waves was a dream I spoke about in our magazine Le Précurseur, (May-June 1976) and for the most part it came true. That dream became a ray of light and through radio waves vast numbers of people partook in the universal Church network. In the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Paul VI, which finalized the debate between evangelization and human advancement, we read, …The Church has the duty to proclaim the liberation of millions of human beings, many of whom are her own children—the duty of assisting the birth of this liberation, of giving witness to it, of ensuring that it is complete. This is not foreign to evangelization.


This Little Light of Mine — Mrs. Nakagawa, Mrs. Guckian

Children of all ages, youth choirs from around the world have sung and are still singing — This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine, this little light of mine..., let it shine, let it shine, let it shine. This gospel children’s song written by a pastor and music teacher Harry Dixon Loes has been around since 1920. There are over thirty distinct versions of the song and no matter who is singing it, this little light of mine keeps shining through time. But what little light are we talking about?

There are many kinds of lights and the young Japanese children of Setagaya Seibo Kindergarten know that very well. There is one special kind of light they can identify with. Here is a story among many others which describes how one little boy discovered the unfailing light. Masao had been enrolled in our Catholic kindergarten which offers a three
year program. After the second year the parents decided to place him in a public school to follow the primary course of studies. Three days after being admitted he rushed home in a tempestuous mood. Swallowing his sobs, he explained his displeasure to his parents and grandparents : I hate that old school, I do! I’m not going back anymore. We can’t say any prayers or sing hymns; we’re not allowed to visit Jesus; nobody knows anything about Maria Sama (Our Lady), not even the teacher! I want to go to a school like the one I went to last year, a school where everybody loves Jesus. Deeply touched by the boy’s request, the family agreed and the mother added: I hope that our little ‘king’ Masao will draw us all after him to the Jesus his young heart loves so well.



Living the Mission Differently — Lise Temblay, M.I.C.

What’s new in Haiti? The University of Notre Dame d’Haiti opened a campus in the Diocese of Hinche. Hundreds of young people are registering to begin  their professional training in the medical field. This is an exhilarating project. Sr. Lise who was in Quebec for a short while was invited to take part… she simply could not resist.

Thirty six years have gone by since my first mission experience in Haiti. It was on January 15, 1978 that I began to realize my dream as a missionary. At the beginning I had to learn the language and the culture, and then I worked as a nurse throughout all those years. At the hospital as well as in dispensaries I gave hours of medical care to numerous
patients. Unexpectedly, a new calling came about for another mission, very different from what I had previously known. The Bishop of the Diocese of Hinche, in Haiti, Msgr. Simon Pierre Saint-Hillien, was seeking the collaboration of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception for a project concerning the training of future male and female nurses. Since October 21, 2012, the recent campus of the University of Notre Dame d’Haiti has been receiving more than one hundred young students wishing to acquire a professional training in the field of healthcare.


Bonds Between the AsMIC in Japan — Atsumi Ono, AsMIC of Koriyama

The annual AsMIC “Hearts Gathering” which takes place in Koriyama, Japan, is an opportunity for the members to develop a sense of belonging to a group that is spiritually oriented. Our faith is strengthened through sharing, praying and reaching out to others in a spirit of gratitude. Last September the AsMIC group of Koriyama invited to their “Hearts Gathering” other MIC Associates from Tokyo, Saitama and Aizu Wakamatsu; thirty-three members were present. It was the first time that the four groups came together and though we never met before we felt we knew each other. And why was that? Our Christian vocation lived in a spirituality of Thanksgiving is our binding force. Upon seeing
all the members happily coming together with a smile, I had a strong feeling that Mother Délia, Foundress of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, had invited us to this “Hearts Gathering”—and there was a reason.



Shouts of Joy

God said, Let there be light... and there was joy in the world. In Haiti, I often experienced power outage. Everything would be immobilized. Gradually, people would light candles and life would resume. But when the electric light was restored, a joyful cry could be heard from all the small houses. Light is joy, it is life!

UNESCO proclaimed 2015 the International Year of Light and Lightbased Technologies. There will be numerous commemorations highlighting major scientific events in the field of optics including the anniversary of the discovery of the laser and the use of fiber optic telecommunications. Undeniably, the achievements of light science and its applications have raised the quality of life worldwide.

This year, the MIC Sisters will have the occasion of commemorating two important events. We will be celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Délia Tétreault’s birth, the Foundress of our Institute and the 95th Anniversary of our mission magazine Le Précurseur/MIC Mission News. Through her ingenuity and steadfastness Délia radiated Christ’s message in many ways, one of which was via our mission magazine. What a luminous treasure, what an aurora that, for years, has been radiating joy and hope around the world.

The sun! The light! An everyday joy! Can we imagine a world without light? A little candle, no matter how small, brings life, comfort, it is a spark of hope.

In each person’s heart, there is a bright little candle that gives meaning to one’s life. It has to be well maintained otherwise if it dies out life becomes gloomy and sad. On the day of Pentecost, the Apostles were sad and could not understand what had just happened. The Holy Spirit imbued them of His Light; all were transformed and they became messengers of the Good News. It is the same for us: let’s open the door to our heart and let all sadness out; keep it wide open to allow the energizing Light of our Christian faith to come through.

We are children of the Light and our treasure is to be shared. Let us keep our bright little candle burning to sow joy and hope in our world which is so much in need. The articles in this issue present you with a message pertinent for our times

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 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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