October-November-December Issue



(VOL. 43, No. 4 /October-November-December 2016)


Spiritual Life

What Breath Remains? — André Gadbois

What remains of Lucien who, in 1952, after 18 months of lying in a hospital bed, alone and ignored, died on Good Friday at the age of 42? I remain – his son. I’ll never forget his tenderness, his festive spirit, his beautiful drawings, and his generosity. I draw breath from these memories every day. What remains of the fire that burned in the middle of a snowy forest on Lac-des-Seize-Iles on the eve of Easter 1959, where I promised on my honour “to
do my best, do my duty to God and the Queen, help other people at all times, and carry out the spirit of the Scout Law.” 1? My experiences remain: the joys of brotherhood, adventure, and the gift of self still make me smile today. What remains of the small house on Parthenais street, with its old tin shed and
narrow third-floor gallery, the first home I shared with my beloved Diane? We started our life there together, and there welcomed our daughter Marie-Claude into the world. Forty-one years later, a garden remains: love and friendship continue to grow and nourish us every day, comforting our tears and broken hearts.

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Cultures and Mission

Do We Remember? — Audrey Charlan

In our postmodern era, we have witnessed some amazing technological advancements. Only a few centuries ago, we never would have believed in such utopian possibilities. In this age of speed, ephemera, and neverending novelty, forgetting the past is easy. The younger generations, eager consumers and seekers of strong stimulation, are often ignorant of the history that made them who they are. For this reason, it seems relevant to highlight a few Montreal institutions rooted in women’s religious communities.


Our Future’s Heritage — Émilien Roscanu

Where do we come from? The answer has become increasingly complex in our globalized world, where cultures cross and intersect at a frantic pace. Our
modern society is made richer by all these different influences; nonetheless, it is our duty to remember where we came from and preserve our cultural history. We must protect it from dissolving into a worldwide American “monoculture” perpetuated by new communication technologies. To fight hegemony, we must remember our origins, preserve our culture, and communicate our distinct heritage with respect for others.



Witnesses of the Mystery — Monique Fortier, m.i.c.

I was on the mountain where the shepherds live, contemplating my difficulties, disappointments, worries and fears in the growing darkness, when a  shepherd approached. He touched my arm and pulled my attention toward a light shining in the valley. It flickered mysteriously, as though asking me to step outside myself and come closer. Wordlessly and respectfully, the shepherd invited me to investigate with him and the others. With my last bit of faith, I joined the group in their trek down the mountain. The closer we came, the brighter the light burned, and I felt my heart fluttering with every footstep.
We noticed the stable, its door wide open. We approached in silence. I sensed a mystery in the deepest part of my being. I stopped thinking and let my emotions overtake me, feeling the joy flowing freely once again rising from a place within me no one and nothing will ever alter. The closer I came, the stronger my joy became. I could tell that the shepherds surrounding me also felt the same inner fullness, as though we had become ‘one being’ turned
towards one single experience.

Then, we saw the Mystery. In the light that had beckoned us from the darkness, we saw the Child. He was there, in front of us, in all his humility and simplicity, with his parents watching over him tirelessly. The LOVE we felt was whole and given without restriction. We kneeled in wonder, filled by the event and overwhelmed by prayer. We touched the Fullness, the Infinity. In silence and immense poverty, we met our God.

And then we left. We had Good News to share with the world. We had witnessed joy, love, sharing, and the Kingdom to come. We had become Missionaries.




Out of Necessity — M.-P. Sanfaçon, m.i.c.

When time comes to plan the future it means looking reality in the face, studying the situation, making the right decision, and following through, sometimes at a heavy cost. Nowadays, many seniors must go through this difficult process. The same goes for us missionaries. Today, we are saying goodbye to our Mother House, located at 314 Côte-Sainte-Catherine Road, Montreal, Quebec.


All You Have to Do Is Look — Louise Lemire

The Apostles needed to “learn how to look” at the world around them. Jesus often asked them to look at “the birds in the sky” or “the lilies of the field”. Is
it possible that we, too, need to look with renewed eyes? Nowadays, faith is dwindling. The bowed heads in church are all silver and white. Louise Lemire helps us gain a new perspective filled with hope.


Spin the Wool – Spin the Days — Monique Bigras, m.i.c.

One knit stitch… one purl stitch… one stitch at a time and everything becomes possible. In the Andes, a community weaves a better life into the fabric of their future. They invite you to hang up your most improbable dreams, to “hitch your wagon to a star!”1 It sounds impossible, but why not? To your knitting!
To your professions!



What Remains of My Mission — Lucie Gagné, m.i.c.

What remains of my missionary work on the Asian continent in the service of Jesus’ mission? I remember the chorus of a song I wrote back in 2014, to celebrate my Golden Jubilee year as a religious Sister: Fifty years later, always the same refrain — remain in love, today, every day. Follow Jesus Christ, share His passion. Give your life to His mission.

I certainly have wonderful memories of my missionary years spent in the Philippines, Hong Kong, and continental China. They are locked safely in my heart, but also immortalized in the many photographs, old and new, taken over the course of twenty-five years. I dare say, from my youth to old age. Let us revisit a few moments of my life as an MIC.


Trusting the Future — Leticia B. Dotollo, m.i.c.

Celebrating a fiftieth anniversary of presence within a country incites us to look at the road travelled, to give thanks and to continue the journey adapted to modern times. To better understand the MIC mission in the Philippines, let us ponder upon some of the realities this nation has to deal with.



Letting go

Life is filled with surprises, both good and bad. How should we approach them? Our deepest self doesn’t always react well to changes that disrupt our daily routine. Letting go is realizing that, while we can’t change life’s unexpected events, we can change our perception of them. Letting go is about being flexible, accepting the inevitable, resisting internal struggles, and saying yes to life. During hard times, our faith is a bottomless well of happiness and inner peace.

When we chose the current issue’s theme, What Remains?, we were thinking about all the difficult moments that eventually occur in one's life: the death of a loved one, a sudden illness, an unexpected move, a disagreement, etc. These moments leave scars. The Lord himself experienced it in the Garden of Olives: “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Lk 22:42). This was more than a mere acceptance; it was an acceptance in faith.

Presently, a page of our MIC history is being written—the sale of our Mother House. What remains? A multitude of memories are written on these walls, and especially in our hearts. We could cry and complain, but we won’t. Today, life calls us to move forward, and we need to welcome it with unwavering trust. Let us rekindle our faith and look to the future. Each article in this issue asks us to let go and find enduring happiness.

Soon, we will be preparing for Christmas and celebrating the arrival of God incarnate, who came among us to share our joys and our pains. How many displacements did he experience? Very many! When he became a nomad, he rarely had a place to rest his head. (Lk 9:58) When we are confronted by life's difficulties, let us turn to the One who understands our distress. Let us go with Him in good faith towards a better tomorrow. What remains?


Good memories, forgiveness in our hearts, and shared loved.

These are our wishes for the New Year –

Let 2017 be filled with joy, faith and spontaneity.

A Blessed Christmas and Happy New Year!

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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