On June 8th, on a rainy and rather cold day, the majority of the Sisters of the Moncton Canada Entity gathered to pray a final farewell to our beloved cottage. It was also a time to reflect together, while enjoying our lunch.
Like everything, “goodbye”, is always painful but there is also thanksgiving. We were there to pray, to remember and to say goodbye to what was a second home for many of us.
The theme of the prayer was in keeping with Ecclesiastes 3:1. « Everything that happens in the world happens in its time. »
During the prayer, we looked at our past, our present and, of course, we looked to the future, and what we could wish for the new owners.
The prayer was done in 3 stages: The past, the present and the future. Three candles symbolized these three steps.
After each step, the sisters were asked a question and wrote their answers on a slip of paper. This paper was then placed in a small wooden box for later use.
The past – The first candle was lit: the history of the cottage, if you will, was about those that preceded us sixty years ago; those who had the vision of a cottage for the sisters: a place of rest, a sanctuary, a place to simply “be” with God.
Each sister was then asked to reflect on a memory she would have heard from our predecessors about their experiences at the cottage, and after wrote it on their slip of paper.
A prayer of thanksgiving followed
The present – The second candle was lit. During our lives we have all felt certain natural places that gave off an energy that is difficult to explain, that gives rise to a feeling of spiritual elevation in us. This was the case for many sisters.
For many years, during the summer months, the cottage has been a gathering place for our provincial days, holidays, retreats, sessions, etc. As the old saying goes, “If these walls could talk,” what they would have to tell us!
The sisters are asked once again to write their own memories of those times spent here at the cottage. The papers are put in the box for later.
The future of the chalet
The last candle was lit: Together we proclaimed a blessing for the cottage, as well as for those who would be the owners:
“May the Lord bless this cottage and make it a home of generosity for all who will visit it, brimming with hospitality and contentment for family and friends, a haven of peace day and night, a place of refreshment, growth and happiness. May the Lord bless this cottage and make it a home filled with His love. Amen.”
The sisters were then asked to write on their last paper, a heartfelt desire they have for the new owners, for their project which they hope to realize in this magnificent place. All the papers are placed in the small wooden box.
The small box was then buried in the cottage garden. This means that we were here, that we took full advantage of it and that we are now passing it on to others. Maybe one day, the little box will be found? If this was the case the new owners would be able to read all that was expressed during our time of prayer!
The prayer ended with the Hymn “the Psalm of Creation” (by Patrick Richard).
“My God, you are great, you are beautiful
Living God, Most High God
You are the God of love
My God, you are great, you are beautiful
Living God, Most High God
God present in all creation. »
A review of the day
This time of reflection and prayer to say goodbye to this cottage was lived in a prayerful, free and peaceful atmosphere.
All the sisters appreciated this time together; to remember all that this beloved cottage has been for us.
This prayer helped us in the letting go of the cottage and even to rejoice in the glimpse of what we foresee for this magnificent place.
Srs. Joyce Brochet and Jeanne Comeau, fj