News
October 2022

From 2022-10-12 to 2022-11-12

LIFE CAN BE THE VICTOR

Daily news which is part of my life, keeps informing me that there are currently many people living in desperate conditions, unable to get out of their misery, and the good Samaritans are insufficient. When great catastrophic events take place, there are always the official caretakers

who are at work with their admirable competence; however, there are numerous small catastrophes during a lifetime which are unattended and these can gradually lead to greater disasters. I therefore ask myself, without judging or accusing anyone— could the family circle be a privileged place for its members to learn good behavior, to avoid hurtful insults or blame, to come to the rescue of those who are abandoned and left to themselves? Are families aware that, somewhat like Jesus, they are first hand pedagogues in the way they teach their children the art of being attentive to the other, and, by their example, show how to apply the balm of tenderness?

 

THE GOAL OF EDUCATION

The family has a direct influence on the children’s development; parents guide them toward finding a true sense of self, they teach them to ‘wait’ without getting edgy, to share willingly what they have, to endure even though it bleeds. Parents play a fundamental role in forming the values of children. They are ‘key’ in helping children to humbly realize that they have strengths and limitations, that truth is to be spoken, that silence and solitude are important, that forgiveness is a must, that to serve the one most in need is very rewarding, and to be attentive to the environment is a responsibility.

The goal of education is to develop a child’s capacity to an attentive awareness, to an awakened presence of the other. At a time when much of the focus is on play, distractions, entertainment, when the ‘me, me, me’ takes center stage, when the ‘me’ is too distracted to seeing dangers, there is a risk of making mistakes. Who then will help out the child before it is too late? There can be no other but the family; only the family can humanize our society. Educating a child to be attentively aware of the ‘other’ is a blessing for the whole of society.

Jesus did not propose a family model but sensitized his entourage to the presence and importance of little children “for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Lk 18: 15.17). In other words, the fullness of LIFE is theirs. LIFE will be victorious not when the deficit zero will be reached or when churches will be full, but rather when society will become more humane, and when the family circle will be a place where attentiveness and tenderness are learned. What do we teach our children today? To what kind of messages do we expose them? In what direction do we draw their attention? To whom do we entrust our children? What time do we have with them? And during those hours, what content, what kind of conversation do we engage in?

 

THE LAW OF THE JUNGLE

Nowadays, those who govern the countries of our planet make troubling choices which endangers LIFE and poisons it in small doses: weapons of all sorts, pollution, monopoly, intimidation, dictatorships, reckless competition, GMOs… “A good number of young people have become incapable of believing that others can interact with them in a friendly manner, with respect, generosity, and a spirit of cooperation or willingness to create newness together… We are under the impression that we have all lost confidence in the collective institutions.” For LIFE to be the victor, families will need to regain the art of being pedagogues—initiating the children to be attentively aware of the ‘other’ and teaching them to use the balm of tenderness. For this to happen, parents will need to be supported in more ways than one. Our society which stresses consumerism, trading, rivalry, competition is overlooking the aspect of solidarity. The law of the jungle is the motivation. However, when solidarity is put into practice, “each member feels comforted and secure in its existence.” Today’s families, no matter their background or ethnicity, are called to face with courage and determination the current challenges as well as the ones yet to come. LIFE will be the Victor when man will shape the world in keeping with human dignity.

André Gadbois

From 2022-10-04 to 2022-11-04

A Fridge ON THE FORECOURT

Anita: When did this kind of sharing come to your mind?

Suzanne: I belong to a Walking Club and one day my sister Diane and I noticed a fridge sitting on the church’s front yard. We noticed it was empty. Since then, each week, we fill it up with perishable and non-perishable foods for people who are hungry. Moreover, in an outdoor cupboard we place practical articles. The beneficiaries who receive this service are most grateful. We always take time to speak with each one and to listen to their stories. I often remember Mother Teresa’s words: It is not what we give that is important but the love with which we give. It is a beautiful mission!

 

Anita: You are associated with the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (AsMIC) which means you live according to Mother Délia’s charism and her spirituality of Thanksgiving in a Marian way. When did you begin realizing you have a mission to accomplish in life?

Suzanne: At a very young age I had a strong inclination to become a missionary. I dreamt of going to the country where little Chinese babies were baptized. With time, I realized that my mission was here in Quebec; first, with my family, and then with the people who crossed my path. Pope Francis tells us that evangelization is transmitted from person to person. Moreover, when we were young, our parents taught us to share... that also can be transmitted! Now it is my turn, as a grandmother, to teach my grandchildren who accompany me. I am proud to see them take the initiative in sharing their toys or goodies. I see that as the fruit of my commitment. A thought from Pope Francis confirms my experience. He wrote: I have a mission on this earth; that is the reason why I am here in this world. 1

 

Anita: Thank you Suzanne for this testimony. Do you have another message to give to the readers of MIC Mission News which will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2020?

Suzanne: I think of Mother Délia who invited us to sow happiness by the handful. She strongly believed that this was the bread most lacking on our earth.2 When I look at my wardrobe or go to a shopping mall, I ask myself Pierre-Yves McSween’s question: Do you really need it? This is a way of resisting consumerism and to continue being committed to my family and my surrounding in the name of my faith which is supported by the spirituality of Thanksgiving as an MIC  Associate.

From 2022-09-04 to 2022-10-04

The MIC Spirit in South America

Yes, true to their commitment, the two groups –one in Santiago, the Capital, the other in Ancud, on the Island of Chiloé– still exist and continue meeting on a regular basis. With enthusiasm, they live the spirituality of Thanksgiving which helps them be missionaries in their own milieu. United to the MIC Congregation, they joyfully receive all the communiqués from the provincial superior and respond to all the great Christian and community feasts such as Pentecost, Christmas and Easter.

Now that I am in Bolivia, neighboring country of Chile, I have the joy of visiting, once a year, the two AsMIC groups. It is such a pleasure to meet all those wonderful friends again; people I know well and love. Sister Nancy Campos, who occasionally visits her family in Ancud, also meets with the associates when possible.

It is such a grace to be able to deepen the MIC charism with the Chilean people and to see how committed they are in living and witnessing the Good News in their milieu. It is rewarding to hear about all the good memories they keep of the Sisters and of their apostolate among them. Truly, the missionary spirit of Délia lives on in the Chilean people.

Gisèle Lachapelle, m.i.c.