On September the 19th, 2021, after several months of absence due to the pandemic, we gladly welcomed our Associates in Trois-Rivières, Canada.
Wearing masks and keeping a two-meter distance apart it was good nevertheless to meet up for the renewal of commitments. Our President, Mrs. Mariette Marchand, greeted us with a warm welcome. Our Regional Superior, Monique Brûlé, then presented the new structures of the Canadian Province.
Singing out the charism
We began our celebration with a hymn that expresses our charism so well.
“O Jesus, you forever lead us on the paths to human life.
Teach us to give without return
when the cries of the world reach our heart
and to love as you would love.”
Following a reflection on the Word of God, a few Associates presented a testimony based on their experience. Here are two such experiences.
Prayer and reflection
“The pandemic has been a very difficult experience for me. I was living in a residence where there was neither chapel nor convenience store. During the outbreak which lasted two months, there was no housekeeping. We were not allowed to go to the laundry, nor could I go visit my mother. Thirty-eight people had Covid, 7 of which died. I had 5 Covid tests and in spite of myself, I was scared. I was not entitled to a caregiver since I was considered autonomous. A security guard walked the hallways on all floors so that no one would leave their apartment. One person was even tempted to jump down from his balcony.
What helped me was prayer and reflection. Every evening I searched for the positive elements of my day and this led me toward a path of hope. I came out stronger and filled with gratitude.”
(Mrs Andrée Marchand)
Come Holy Spirit,
open the way of life to us
The Holy Spirit at work
“The pandemic did not bring us only negative aspects, such as the closure of our churches which lasted a long time. Indeed, after a few months of confinement, the members of our parish community of St. Stanislas, Quebec felt a great void. But the Holy Spirit was watching over the seeds… It was at this particular time that the Community Life Team (CLT) proposed that we come together on Sundays to share the Word of God. This suggestion was accepted and eagerly put into action, thanks to the participation of the Associates. We often came close to the maximum limit imposed by Public Health authorities, i.e. the presence of 20 persons.
Throughout these encounters, all the participants expressed themselves and this sharing intensified from one meeting to the next. This need to come together to pray also became an occasion to create bonds, to gradually trust one another, and above all to prevent our faith from dwindling. Finally, we felt like family. We realized that the Holy Spirit had inspired us with the right approach. This kind of sharing is a foretaste of the future for Christians.”
(Mr. Jean-Paul Rousseau, Mère Ste-Elisabeth group)
The first ones to renew their commitment were those of 2020, followed by those of 2021. It was heartwarming to see all these people trying to live as much as possible like Jesus in the simplicity of their daily life.
We confide ourselves to Saint Joseph
We ended the ceremony with a hymn to Saint Joseph.
O patron saint of Kermaria, please accept our songs,
stretch out your arm over us and bless your children!
To you, our prayer rises with fervor.
Are you not our Father, O Guardian of the Saviour?
Faith and prayer
Back home, I asked Mrs. Gilberte Angel, an associate of the Yves-Marie Coeffic group to tell us about her experiences over the past few months.
I can say that my life has changed completely. Neither my partner Pierre nor I, as well as my daughter, had ever had any real health issues. Our streak of bad luck began with my daughter who experienced two successive retinal detachments.
Then Pierre was diagnosed with cancer and had to have a kidney removed. After six urinary infections, it all ended with prostate surgery. It was naïve of me to think that we were immune from disease. I somewhat lost control, but I thank God since my faith saved me. I prayed a great deal and also invited people to pray and I am convinced that our prayers were answered. I now know that nothing can be taken for granted and life is much more precious to me than it was a year ago. The pandemic has been difficult, but my faith is now stronger and I now have a greater belief in the power of prayer.
(Mrs. Gilberte Angel, of the Mother St-Elisabeth group)
Associates or Daughters of Jesus,
we all share the same call to
honor Jesus in his Sacred Humanity
through small gestures.
Sr Angèle Lépine dj