What is all the excitement about at Tavibois on this Sunday, August 7th 2016? Over two hundred people are present in front of the small oratory: a beautiful gathering in this natural scenic environment! It is our annual outdoor mass. It is also a special occasion to celebrate the fifty years of presence of the Daughters of Jesus at Tavibois and the transfer of ownership to the Herouxville Development Corporation (Quebec, Canada).
The celebration is preceded by a short choir practice, followed by a song composed by a group of friends and accompanied by the three parish guitar players who will animate the mass. “How can fifty years of dedicated love by the Sisters at Tavibois be forgotten? To them, we express our love and gratitude.” To them, we express our love and gratitude.”
Sr. Gisèle Lacerte, Vice-provincial of Three Rivers welcomes us, “The Sisters keep referring to Tavibois as the Bethany of our times. ( Luke 10, 38-42). Tavibois is an oasis of peace, joy, silence and contemplation. Because of ordinary human gestures, done in the manner of Jesus, we can today give thanks. In union with all those who have spent time here and have given meaning to our lives and mission, we wish to celebrate life.”
The Mayor of Herouxville presents Sr. Jacqueline with a plaque on which is written, “Sincere thanks to the Daughters of Jesus for their fifty years of presence… we are very proud of your contribution to the well-being of all those who have crossed your path here at Tavibois.”
Father Paul-Emile, our parish priest, shares in his homily, “During fifty years, they have welcomed others to the exceptional beauty of Tavibois, where in nature, it is possible to find harmony and peace simply by listening to silence, to birds singing, to hear God’s gentle voice near the waterfalls. During fifty years they have prepared as needed for their Sisters and other vacationers the small cottages, the well-kept trails favoring intimacy, fraternity and solidarity as needed. During fifty years they have welcomed believers, regardless of their beliefs, to their Chapel always artistically decorated favoring an encounter with the Lord. There, we can find a basket filled with special intentions which testify to this fact. During fifty years, forty-one Sisters have served and have presented on the altar their desire to welcome, their faith, their presence, their service, their sincere respect, their generosity and their smile.”
At the end of the Celebration before the final blessing, Sr. Gisèle intervened: “I now invite Mr. Bernard Thompson, Mayor of the Municipality, Mrs. Diane Jacob and Sr. Monique Brûlé to join me. I also invite Sr. Jacqueline Houle to bring the torch that burnt throughout the celebration and which represents for us the fire of love that Jesus came to light on earth. I invite the three of you to hold to hold the torch as a sign of the transfer of ownership of the property and the mission of Tavibois to the corporation. I invite Father Paul-Emile to bless this act representing the past as well as the future with its projects and challenges. Your Honor, Mrs. Jacob may the fire which animated us during these years be also for you a source of joy and dynamism. Be assured of our fraternal support through prayer and solidarity.”
Micheline Cormier, our new Superior General, surprises us by her presence. As she reminds us of an African saying, “A few drops of rain fell to bless our day.”
Father Paul-Émile concludes the celebration with the prayer: “Together we pray that the new owners, who have expressed the desire to keep the same spirit alive in Tavibois, may don the clothing of service and may offer to all who will come here, a banquet of love, fraternity, silence, solidarity, joy and peace so that they will find in this place solace when they need it.”
Afterwards comes a time for refreshments. Near the cottage, Le Manoir, Mr. Jacques Lefebvre is in charge of entertainment: music, singing, dancing. At the Sisters’ residence, on the balcony, Sr. Louise Provencher plays the accordion. Sr. Angèle, amuses many by going from place to place playing the harmonica.
At the end of the afternoon, the Daughter of Jesus community of Tavibois and the members of the corporation and its director spend time together in fraternal sharing.
Long live Tavibois!
Sr. Agnes and community