The Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM) and Associates joyfully gathered at Maison Jésus-Marie to launch the 2018-2019 new year of activities under the theme "A future full of hope". The timing of this province gathering on October 6th coincided with Mother Marie-Rose's birthday and death date.
A song composed by Robert Lebel set the tone for this dynamic meeting:
Let's be what we need to be
And we will see the seeds of the future!
Let's be what we need to be
And we can be reborn with the breath of the Spirit!
These meaningful words conveyed the spirit of the message delivered by the members of the Provincial Leadership Team. Referring to the highly evocative symbolism of "The Parable of Workers in the Vineyard", they proposed focusing on the lived reality experienced by the Congregation in Quebec.
They further recalled the mandate entrusted to them to "do things differently" to prepare for the future taking into account the current situation of the community. They once again stressed the three paths proposed, namely co-responsibility, transmission, mission, before focusing on several elements, including:
• Our future is in the unity and solidarity we create among ourselves and with others.
• We have a cultural and spiritual heritage to impart.
• It is important to leave meaningful signs of our presence.
• Remain confident that other vine dressers will take over.
• Stay on mission until the end!
• Corporate stands are our common ministry.
• Collaborate with others to build a better society where interculturality and interreligious dialogue are possible.
The meeting continued with inspiring messages from emblematic SNJM figures. Mother Marie-Rose, portrayed by Mrs. Geneviève Noël, addressed those present, followed by Mother Veronique-du-Crucifix and Mother Thérèse-de-Jesus (respectively portrayed by Sr. Monique Bonin and Sr. Mary Ellen Holohan). A breakout session and a plenary session completed this portion of the meeting.
The members of the Provincial Leadership Team then presented their action plan for the year 2018-2019, which will inspire everyone to live out the theme of the year "A future full of hope". This theme will be developed around three priorities: a legacy to live by, to celebrate and to transmit.
Subsequent to this presentation, our General Superior, Sr. Linda Hadock, highlighted how the Sisters and Associates of Quebec have brought "light for the whole of our Congregation during its175 years! ". She gave some examples of actions that are "full of hope" lived out in our other provinces and in the Mission Sector.
The gathering ended with a missioning ceremony during which each person was invited to commit to "building community and being people of hope.” At the exit of the chapel, a flier was handed out inviting the participants to take concrete action in favor of action to protect the rights of workers with an immigrant background.
Special refreshments were served in the cafeteria after which the participants were invited to attend Saint-Antoine-de-Padoue Cocathedral for the Eucharistic celebration, presided over by Bishop Claude Hamelin, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Saint-Jean-Longueuil. This Mass marked the conclusion of the public celebrations of the 175th anniversary of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM) in Quebec. Wine and cheese were then served in the lobby, to the Sisters, Associates and parishioners.
Indeed, a fitting way to end a rejuvenating afternoon.
Text: Sr Marie-Paule Demarbre