January - February - March Issue



(VOL. 43, No. 1 /January*February*March 2016)


Spiritual Life

Meditate to Better Mend — André Gadbois

Just as human beings need to laugh, they also need moments to pause and reflect. Animals don’t laugh, and as far as I know, neither do insects. People who rarely crack a smile are just as disquieting as those who spend all day in peels of laughter. Laughing “heartily” is a sign of good health, and the effect it has on others is apparent; it lightens the mood, expresses happiness and hope, and doesn’t make much noise. Like a budding tree, laughter cleans the air around us. Laughing and smiling are steps that elevate us, allowing us to rise above the human condition and participate in the Beauty of the Earth, “daring complicity and co-creation”. In the portico of my
house, we recently hung a drawing of Jesus of Nazareth. His hair and beard are long, and he’s smiling warmly, raising a glass. Is he at the wedding at Cana, at Zacchaeus’ house, at the Last Supper, at the inn on the road to Emmaus? Ever since, five visitors have requested a photocopy of the drawing. A Jesus that laughs! How wonderful!

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Cultures and Mission

Transforming the Old Into the New — Audrey Charland

While wandering through the streets of an Indian megacity, you don’t have to be a seasoned people-watcher to notice the poverty lingering on every corner. Slums spread out here and there, a collection of sprawling tin-roof huts. Children kneel over basins and wash themselves with murky water.

Women sit on the ground, their hands dry and cracked from hard work and too much sun, their fingers grasping notepads filled with letters that have yet to form words. Under the benevolent gaze of the sari-clad nuns, they are trying to change their sad fate — one letter at a time..



Flight for Survival — Françoise Royer, m.i.c.

I remember that, after the genocide in Rwanda, many were quick to say “Rwanda, never again!” And yet, what is happening to the Syrian refugees today is eerily similar to what the Rwandans, Vietnamese, and Burundians experienced.

When I was working as a nurse-midwife, I experienced first-hand the turmoil and chaos of refugee camps. I learned that the refugees’ psychological suffering often led to suicide, because all hope had been extinguished. For freedom and survival, you must be willing to do whatever it takes: to leave your country, your home, and your job, to give up your rights and your very identity.

We know that the conflict ravaging Syria involves different groups, including an authoritarian regime, rebels, Kurds, and Jihadists. How many people have died thus far? How many exiles have been thrown to the streets? The thought of these deportees brings up some painful memories.




Truth Followed by Reconciliation — Émilien Roscanu

For over a century, more than 150,000 children were forcibly removed from the influence of their families, were placed in boarding schools and assimilated into the dominant Canadian culture; residential schools systematically undermined the Aboriginal culture across Canada. The unhealthy conditions of these institutions were such that more than 3,200 children died. Psychological, physical, and sexual abuses were widespread in those schools where children were coerced to forget their language, their culture. Poor  sanitation, severely inadequate food and health care compounded the misery these little ones had to suffer. The harsh treatments and
inhumane conditions left psychological and physical scars that even time cannot heal.


Our Passion for Christ’s Mission — Rosario Zari, m.i.c.

We are present in Bolivia, Peru and thanks to two groups of Associates (AsMIC) we are also involved in Chile. For several years these three countries have had a democratic system, which means that “coups d’état” and military dictatorships are things of the past. However, there are serious political, social and economic problems. Bolivia and its president Evo Morales are going through a process of change supported by the history of native cultures expressed by “the good life”. Many natives and country people have been feeling
in recent years that they are a part of government policies. But there are also great deceptions. Meanwhile, in Peru, we have a neo-liberal political system. In spite of their ideological differences, both countries are experiencing similar problems.


Music: A Healing Balm — Rollande Ouellet, m.i.c.

In July 1971, Mr. Cartier, a psychologist, escorted an inmate to visit a group of Catholic Sisters. Surprised at how beneficial the music-filled afternoon was, he asked if I would be willing to give music lessons to the inmate who was preparing for release after 13 years of incarceration. First, we needed to convince the penitentiary director that music could help offenders reintegrate into society. In the end I was given permission to teach music, provided that I offer group lessons. And so, I found myself standing in front of ten inmates at
the St. Vincent-de-Paul Penitentiary. The end of year assessment was stunning. My music and singing lessons had affected these “hard-as-nails” inmates much more than I expected. The experience led me to work in different penitentiaries, teaching singing and music as a form of therapy. I started with the prison chapels, where I could accompany the church service and, slowly but surely, form a choir.



The MIC Imprint on History
— Marie-Paule Sanfaçon, m.i.c.

The little bud containing life characterizes the mission of our MIC Sisters in Cuba. Seven very active Sisters reach out to the youth, the families and also work in parishes. They sow words of encouragement, and proclaim Jesus Christ. Notwithstanding the few positive steps, the social context generates frustration and provokes emigration especially among the youth.


The Spontaneity of Children — Mizuko Komada, AsMIC.

In a world where time swiftly goes by and where money imposes its culture, there are “angels” who appear on the scene. Without imposing themselves and without calculating their time, they lend a helping hand. No need to look very far to find those “angels”… they are close to you. They are the volunteers, discreet and dedicated, always ready to offer their generous support.



Stand up !

Standing up in all his dignity — this is how Man appeared when he first sprang forth from the heart of God. Standing up! Christ looked
at the crippled woman, put his hands on her bent and crooked back, and immediately she straightened up. A look of kindness, an act of compassion, and a woman was reborn after eighteen years of suffering. (Lk 13:10.16)

Recently, Pope Francis said: “Jesus of Nazareth, by his words, his actions, and his entire person reveals the mercy of God.”1 Mercy is an outstretched hand, welcoming, forgiving, and embracing. God is love. A person is more important than all the offensive acts
they’ve ever committed. God is forgiveness and mercy. The theme of this issue, “meditate to mend”, touches on the injuries we experience throughout life. Sometimes, all it takes is a small gesture to cause change and bring someone inner peace. These opportunities to sow and spread happiness are around every corner.

Thousands of people suffer everyday because of wars and natural disasters caused by human negligence. Today, we have to mend  many wounds that could have been avoided if there had been more meditation. But there are many gestures of goodwill that are within our reach.

In his apostolic letter on mercy, Pope Francis entrusted us with a mission: “During this Jubilee, the Church will be called even more to
heal these wounds, to assuage them with the oil of consolation, to bind them with mercy and cure them with solidarity and vigilant care.”2

Let us follow Christ’s example by opening our arms and our hearts, and by giving back a little dignity and joy to the world.

Deep down, every person carries a profound desire to be recognized and respected by others. We must go beyond our perceptions
and see that everyone — be they migrant, prisoner, homeless, victim of AIDS or even of leprosy — has the right to their dignity. This is what the following articles will explore.

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.

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.

Audrey Charland, Editorial Board

Audrey Charland, a 25-year-old graduate student with a master’s degree in Religious Studies, is trying her hand at something new: first the thesis, now the news article! After studying the history of Catholic missionary nuns in India, she has joined the MIC Missionary News team as the new Communications and Development Officer. This position will allow her to take on new and exciting challenges, and put her knowledge and skills into practice.

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 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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