Items filtered by date: April 2018
In February 2018 I went to Laos, a country with a population of 6 800 000, to visit the Laotian Oblates. The Vietnamese and Thai companions joined us and we gathered at Paksane, Laos. The spoken languages and cultural differences were manifest. The interpreters did their best navigating between Lao. Thai, Vietnamese, French and English. Differences become secondary when we meet between Oblates even if we don’t know each other well. We are among family united in the same commitment: consecration by vow lived in the midst the world.
We reflect on our spirituality expressed in the 5-5-5 which consists of prayer life, the daily exercise of the evangelical attitudes and the practice of charity in action. We share a deep reflection with the charism and the mission also in mind. Between us we see, we share, we listen. What a joy to follow Christ as members of the Institute of The Oblate Missionaries of Mary Immaculate!
To each of you, Oblates of South-East Asia, I say thank you for witnessing of Unconditional love in your respective milieus.
Denise Desrochers, President
- Oblates Vietnam Oblates Vietnam
- Oblates Thailand Oblates Thailand
- Oblates Laos Oblates Laos
- Welcome ceremony (Baci), Paksane near the church Welcome ceremony (Baci), Paksane near the church
- Manichanseng Sayarak, teacher at Pak San mai School, with Denise Manichanseng Sayarak, teacher at Pak San mai School, with Denise
- Dance by students of Pak San Mai School Dance by students of Pak San Mai School
- Rice paddies where Khamphat Phiakhamta works. All receive some rice Rice paddies where Khamphat Phiakhamta works. All receive some rice
- Denise with students Denise with students
- Welcome at school Welcome at school
- Young dancers of Pak San mai School Young dancers of Pak San mai School
- Denise meets the first Cardinal of Laos : L.M. Ling Mangshanekhoun, V. I. Dei, at the Vientiane bishopric Denise meets the first Cardinal of Laos : L.M. Ling Mangshanekhoun, V. I. Dei, at the Vientiane bishopric
A golden key during illness
You are no doubt familiar with TV ads of people bowled over upon learning they have cancer. I once thought these reactions were exaggerated. I don’t think that any more.
In this video I witness in all humility to how the grace of the present moment became a source of life and hope for me when I myself was diagnosed with cancer.
To view the video (available in French only) go to:
Louise Fleury, Volunteers of God
The week of April 15 the Maurician Popular Education Services Centre in Three Rivers, Quebec, acknowledged its volunteer workers. A banquet was served in honor of all the volunteers involved with the Centre. Prior to the banquet a ceremony took place that I found touching. The Administrative Council, at the suggestion of the Alpha section, announced that an art gallery would be named after me in recognition of my 20 years of service in the literacy program and I was invited to cut the ribbon at the inauguration of the gallery. I was deeply moved by this acknowledgement.
Pauline Charest, April, 2018
Our congratulations, Pauline, for you faithful commitment to promoting literacy in the community.
To you, readers, allow me to say I am a Volunteer of God and a pastoral worker in my milieu. Yves and I sold our house in the country to move to the city. We were obliged to move March 30, 2018, that is Good Friday morning. Since we were given the key to the house Tuesday morning we decided to clean up before moving in. Surprise! That Tuesday at 1:30 p.m., a rag festival took place. My team of Volunteers with their spouses came with pails, mops and rags in hand.
We saw the rise of a tornado of friendship caused by the Chénard siphon and, as if that wasn’t enough, a volcano of love erupted spurred by a gigantic 10 on 10 earth quake. After 3 hours, the house was clean from top to bottom. To you, dear friends, our heartfelt thanks for all you have done for us that day. At times I was moved and Yves was speechless before such gratuity. How can we have deserved such love and support.
To each of you, our gratitude for having followed Pauline’s initiative of ‘giving forward,’ in keeping with spirit of the Volunteers; generosity manifested in a marvelous ambiance.
Even the Volunteer journalist supported us to till the end. Thank you, Jacqueline, for your presence and for your eye trained in taking photos. Here are some extracts from interviews:
“It is with pleasure that I do this for Louise and Yves whom I greatly appreciate.” “It is in the footsteps of Mary who helped Elizabeth that we offer our services today,” “It is easier for me to help than to ask for help.” “It is motivating for me to help people in need.” “It makes me happy to be of service; it revitalizes me.” “For me, it is ‘giving forward’. (I needed assistance in September, 2017, and I appreciated the generous help I received.)”
Thank you Jocelyne for your simplicity, Ghyslaine for your patience, Robert for your perseverance, Aline for your strength, Fernand, jack of all trades, for your joyful support, our friend, Axel, for his strong arms and generous heart and you, Marie Jeanne, for your smile. Please pass on our thanks to your handsome son for his dedication: we were happy to meet him and we appreciated his help.
What can we say about Paulette, a good listener for each of us, if not to express wonder from the depth of our hearts. The power of your love radiates around you.
May you all be blessed with profound joy for your spirit of service and your concern for others. As our good Pope Francis says, “Being of service is the path to happiness.” The expression thank you is inadequate in light of your generosity of spirit.
We can be proud to be Volunteers of God. Special thanks to those of you who accompanied your spouse; you were extraordinary.
Louise and Yves
March 27, 2018
Today we are before one of the wonders of the Lord: Mary! A humble and weak creature like us, chosen to be Mother of God, Mother of her Creator.
Just looking at Mary, let us reflect on three realities:
The first: God surprises us:
This is the experience of the Virgin Mary: in front of the announcement of the Angel, she does not hide her astonishment. It is amazing to see that, to become a man, God really chose her, who is a simple girl from Nazareth, who does not live in the palaces of power and wealth, who has no great accomplishment, but which is open to God, who knows how to trust Him, even if she does not understand everything: “Behold the servant of the Lord; let everything happen to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). That’s her answer. God always surprises us, he breaks our schedule, upsets our plans, and tells us: trust me, do not be afraid, let yourself be surprised, come out of yourself and follow me!
Today, let us ask ourselves if we are afraid of what God might ask me or what he is asking me. Am I letting myself be surprised by God, as Mary did, or do I lock myself into my securities: material, intellectual, ideological? Do I really let God enter my life? How do I answer him?
The second: God asks us for fidelity:
Mary said her “yes” to God, a “yes” that upsets her humble existence in Nazareth, but that “yes” was not the only one, on the contrary it was only the first of many “yes” uttered in her heart in her joyful moments, as also in moments of pain, a lot of “yes” that reach their peak in the one said at the foot of the Cross. Today, there are many mothers here; think how far Mary’s fidelity to God has come: to see her only Son on the Cross. The faithful woman, standing, destroyed inside, but faithful and strong.
God asks us to be faithful to him every day in daily actions; he adds that even if sometimes we are not faithful to him, He is always faithful, and with his mercy, he is never tired of reaching out to us to raise ourselves, to encourage us to take back the road, to return to Him and tell him our weakness so that he gives us his strength. Faith is definitive fidelity, like that of Mary.
The last point: God is our strength:
Let’s look at Mary: after the Annunciation, the first thing she does is a gesture of charity towards her old relative Elizabeth; and the first words which she utters are: “My soul exalts the Lord,” that is to say, a song of praise and thanksgiving to God, not only for what he did in her, but also for his action in the whole history of salvation. Everything is given by him. If we can understand that everything is a gift from God, what happiness in our heart! Everything is given by him. He is our strength! Saying thank you is so easy, yet so difficult! It’s easy to go to the Lord asking for something, but go thank him: “Oh, I do not think about it”.
By continuing the Eucharistic celebration, let us invoke the intercession of Mary, so that she helps us to let ourselves be surprised by God without opposing resistance, to be faithful to her every day, to praise and thank him, for he is our strength.
Pope Francis, (excerpt from the homily of October 13, 2013)
Another certificate was given to the group of women (of which I am a member) which makes quilts for babies who are born with a health issue. Each child receives one. Together we have contributed 7 00 hours of work.
TOGETHER TO SERVE
This certificate of appreciation is presented to CLAUDETTE CYR
1 000 hours of volunteer work
In recognition of your dedication, commitment
and services rendered to Saint Mary’s Hospital.
April 12, 2018
My responsibility is to welcome people who come for blood work, examinations, X-rays, etc. I serve as a guide using English, French of Spanish.
A witnessing account by Paulette Ch. interviewed by Louise F. for a video, “A Door Open onto Life,” broadcast on the community cable, Nous TV (We TV).
Production and editing: Louise F.
Production of St-François d'Assise Parish in Drummondville
To view the video (available in French only) go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1Gy7MhC4qo.