Your light will shine

By Marie-Paule Sanfaçon, m.i.c.

Imagine a bridge covered in lights! To commemorate Montreal’s 375th birthday, the city will be undertaking this lavish project. The beautiful bridge will light up the city. Everyone will celebrate!
Our city and our world are becoming more and more cosmopolitan as migration flows increase. It takes real courage to leave behind your home in search of a better life. Imagine fleeing your country in desperation because of political turmoil or war. In honour of Montreal’s 375th birthday, let us welcome new arrivals and build bridges to unite our different cultures. Let us greet them with lights of openness, understanding, and friendship, so that everyone who sees them shining will say: You are my neighbor! You are my city! You are my country! New arrivals will be grateful for our spontaneous acceptance and welcoming heart.
Délia Tétreault once dreamed of a world without borders. This is our fundamental mission: to be one (Jn 17:21), to build bridges between communities, but especially between human beings and their Creator. Isn’t God our father? Aren’t we all sisters and brothers?
This year also marks the centennial of the Pontifical Missionary Works (OPM). On this occasion, Pope Francis asked that all baptized individuals nurture their evangelical passion and share their Christian faith by performing small, daily gestures. Collaborating on shared projects, like the beautification of an alley, new relationships can take root and blossom. Every day, we are faced with so many opportunities to spread happiness. Do you remember Expo 67?1 Fifty years ago, the project allowed Quebecers to discover different cultures and new technologies. Man and His World pavilions were so admired! Expo 67 had a welcoming and creative spirit. Not only did it make the city even more beautiful, it opened us up to new discoveries.
What a wonderful mission to celebrate Montreal’s 375th birthday: building bridges lit by the love we offer our neighbour, whoever they may be. The present issue would like to convey this message: let us open our arms and our hearts to others; our light will shine for all.


Alley of Peace

By Suzanne Boivin

Exclamations of joy erupt from all sides of the flowering alley. Summertime in the city is in full swing. Children run and play hide and seek. Tricycles and bicycles cross paths. Flocks of multicoloured doves decorate the ground. Residents of all ages, once strangers, now gather and chat amicably. Some wander through the alley together, while others sit on brightly coloured benches and watch their children play. The Alley of Peace is alive with the buzz of cicadas and the hum of new relationships.

The idea for the Alley of Peace stemmed from a need for a communal space, one that was green, welcoming, peaceful, and safe for the young and old alike. In the spring of 2015, a recurring incident became a major source of irritation for the residents of the 12th and 13th avenues in Saint-Michel, Quebec. They decided to take matters into their own hands. A child’s ball landed one too many times in a neighbour’s front yard. She eventually grew tired of the continued disruption and, the next time the ball bounced onto her property, she confiscated the children’s beloved ball despite their cries and protests. But Miss, we only wanted to play! said little Mohammed in his beautiful Maghrebian-accented French, while his friends Tang and Ebénézeire grumbled in Creole.

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