At the 2011 General Chapter, we identified our corporate stands as a common ministry in response to evolving situations. It is a way of continuing our mission throughout our lives. The current crisis of human migration invites us to take a stand in favor of welcoming immigrants and refugees.
A process leading to a vote by the Sisters, who will approve or reject the proposed corporate stand, has been introduced. On February 4, the Sisters and Associates were invited to Maison Jésus-Marie to participate in the first step.
Mr. Jacques Morin shared his experience of welcoming immigrants and refugees and reflected on what led to this reality. With great competency, he spoke to us about his knowledge of the Syrian reality and of welcoming immigrants and refugees. He drew inspiration from the Gospel, from the history of our Community; for example, when our predecessors welcomed three Irish orphans. He also referred to materials prepared by the Congregation to show the importance of our commitment. He then led us to identify ways of committing ourselves to integrating these people into our milieus. The applause which followed his presentation clearly expressed how much his words were appreciated.
Members of the Justice and Peace Committee then presented the steps that will lead to the vote on May 10, 2017.
A big surprise awaited those who were at the meeting: the Allaham family, who had been sponsored by our SNJM Congregation and a group from the Saint-Jean-Longueuil Diocese, joined the participants for light refreshments. The sharing of pastries, some made by Mrs. Allaham, and various discussions took place during this time.
To everyone’s great joy, the family then went to visit the Sisters on the two floors of Pavillon Saint-Charles. The supper shared with the Sisters from Pavillon Saint-André brought this friendly meeting to a close. The day, marked by openness to diversity was a source of enrichment.
In short, it was a successful first step!
*This article was written by Sr. Marie-Paule Demarbre in collaboration with Srs. Claudette Bastien, Thésèe Laplante and Denise Riel.