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Live a Healthy Life

By Marie-Paule Sanfaçon, m.i.c.

As I reflected on the theme of this issue, I thought of all the new immigrants arriving in Canada and who are being welcomed by many families in Quebec. We could say that we are in good health because being healthy is not only watching our weight, but it is also thinking of others, being open and sharing the best we have.

I was touched by a Vietnamese’s point of view expressed on the T.V. talk show TOUT LE MONDE EN PARLE (EVERYBODY TALKS ABOUT IT). She related how warmly she had been welcomed, upon her arrival as an immigrant, some years ago. Now well integrated in our society, she highlighted the richness of our country’s intercultural population. The “world” walks on our streets, takes the metro, lives next to us. This openness is a sign of healthiness!

As missionaries we have widened our space, we live the element of interculturalism in our hearts and in our houses. Some time ago, during a funeral service in our chapel, one of our Haitian Sisters made a reading; a lady came up to me and said: “You also have emigrants here?” Surprised, I spontaneously replied: “No.” She answered: “Why yes, she made a reading during the funeral.”  Without hesitation I said: “She is our Sister!”  To live fully the notion of internationality is to welcome the other wholly without reservations. One day, walking by a school yard, I saw children playing together; they were from all races and nations. They laughed, ran, expressed happiness. There were no questions of turbans, veils or headscarves. It was life in its fullest, a healthy way of life.

During His public life, Jesus of Nazareth never made a distinction in regards to the nationality of a person. He welcomed the Samaritan, responded to the request of the Canaanite woman, healed the blind from Jericho…

In the eyes of God, every single individual is precious and important; in his article, André conveys this truth. Émilien, for his part, saw his people in Romania crying out for a better life. As for the lay missionaries who are preparing to go serve abroad, they are trained in the light of being open to the people they will journey with. And what about the many little Samuels of Pucallpa?

Integration into interculturalism begins at birth. In his monologue, Fred Pellerin, a Quebec writer and storyteller, tells us very well: Let the shadows fall and let us live fully in the light. To find the positive side of each person is to find happiness; it is the magic formula to be transformed and to live a healthy life.


ROMANIA: At a Crossroads

By Émilien Roscanu

Romania is a small country in Eastern Europe, counting less than 20 million inhabitants. The country has not been under soviet control since the Romanian Revolution in 1989; nonetheless, Romania has experienced many political conflicts in the past few years. In 2012, the government announced plans to reform their health and social services systems by decreasing social benefits, reducing health insurance, and privatising hospitals. These reforms sparked controversy and raised the wrath of many Romanians, who took to the streets to protest the adoption of such drastic measures. Their protests eventually led to a retraction and the resignation of the government.

In 2013, the protests resumed with new fervour when Gabriel Resources, a Canadian mining company, announced its plans to develop an open-pit mine in Rosia Montanã. The company planned to use cyanide, an extremely toxic and environmentally harmful chemical, to extract large amounts of gold and silver from the mine. An unprecedented popular uprising against the mining project quickly became the largest civil movement since the revolution. The thought of a new cyanide mine, with all its inherent dangers, brought back memories of the tragic 2000 Baia Mare cyanide spill, one of the worst non-nuclear environmental disasters in Europe’s history. Several areas of land and water sources were contaminated, including the Danube, the second longest river on the continent. The protests and popular resistance movement forced the government to step back once again, and the mining project was turned down for good.

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