By Marie-Paule Sanfaçon, m.i.c.
Every person on earth dreams of a better life and longs for more. From the very beginning, a child must conquer its fear to take its first steps, a student must study to succeed, a scientist must do extensive research to discover the unknown. Each person hopes to surpass oneself, to go a step further and leave a mark. In fact, in the heart of each human being exists one goal: to have a successful life.
Missionaries all have at heart that goal. In the name of one’s faith, the person dedicates his or her life to a humanitarian cause such as education, health care, development, pastoral guidance. The missionary hopes that through one’s implication, life will emerge, that it will take a dimension beyond his expectations somewhat like Jesus who brought life to those who were lost or in need. Éric captures the reality of such a dedication in dispensaries where lives are saved. In his own way, Maurice gives examples of how missionaries have had to adapt to changing times so that human dignity and Christian life may come forth. All are convinced that faith adds an eternal dimension, a spiritual ray other than mere human success.
From very simple actions life bursts forth. Sister Micheline describes the joy of young people at Panama’s World Youth Day — a Church in action leading us to next October’s super grand mission month. Sister Estelle, who worked years in Madagascar, relates the importance of recognizing leaders, encouraging them to pursue their studies to become professors in the field that suits them best, and in turn help students shape their own future. Sister Évangéline, highlights the 100 years presence of the MIC Sisters in the diocese of Quebec City—a colorful, universal, apostolic adventure.
Dear readers, this edition comes to you during the lovely summer season. For many, it is vacation time; this is a beautiful occasion to encourage young and not so young people to “reach out” where help is needed. These good actions will be forever recorded in their hearts.
By Estelle Fontaine, m.i.c.
The above mentioned people wanted to give an MIC missionary, who had lived abroad for a long time, the opportunity to have an exchange with these young people about what they think commitment means. Is it a commitment to oneself, or to others? Is it at the service of an idea or beliefs? Can you commit to something alone? In the short or long term? Why be committed? Students were able to learn what motivates nuns to embrace certain causes and about their lifelong values; they heard about their work in the community both locally and internationally.
Listening to these young people from Montreal and France, Mr. Jean and Mr. Tartar asked them some questions: You, young lady, young man, you who look at this world with a head full of ideas, who fear missing out on life, who wants to go out and create, build, love, get involved… does that scare you? Why? What will be (what is) your life’s commitment? What cause will you like (have you liked) to commit to? Who is someone you admire for their commitment?
PLUNGING INTO THE WORLD OF GRATITUDE
Given my age, 84 years old, I was hesitant to speak in front of these young people, between the ages of 15 and 18. However, the Go… Reach Out… Get involved… Be fruitful… from our Pope Francis confirmed my decision to accept the invitation. My experience at this workshop made me dig deeper to find the reasons behind my first commitment and all those that followed after. Doing so felt like a headfirst plunge into a world of joy, trepidation, re-evaluation and, above all, gratitude.
As a rational being, I need someone who inspires me, who guides me. In Christian training, at school and with family, I have known God and understood that He loves me, that He gives me faith in Him and calls me to tell others that they are loved (in other words, I pass on to others what I have received). In my eyes, God creates continuously [ … ]
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