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May 23-27, 2016 : Redemptorists and Layty Retrait, at Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré
By Mario Doyle, C.Ss.R.; Transition by Monique Martin
The audio recordings and of the texts of the retrait are available. You have to only communicate with me by email :
Here is an outline by the diaporama below :
April 24, 2016 : Ordination of Joseph Manh, at Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré
By Mario Doyle, C.Ss.R.
April 21, 2016 : Redemptorists in Canada, Gathering in Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré
By David Louch, C.Ss.R.
I was not looking forward to this gathering. I had in my head the words of the mandate from the General Government about creating “a new Redemptorist entity in Canada” – and it reminded me of Provincial Chapters where we were writing Provincial Statutes. That was a long and laborious process, and I was 40 years younger at the time; I entered the process with great energy and enthusiasm. That energy and enthusiasm have waned over the years...
So I was very glad, after the first day here, that the words “New Redemptorist entity in Canada” were never uttered. From the start this week, we have talked about “restructuring for mission” – with the emphasis on mission.
As always when Redemptorists gather, focusing on Mission has stimulated and energized us. And as always, we have enjoyed just being together as confreres and getting to know one another from our three Canadian Provinces.
Right from the start, the spirit of this gathering has been positive and uplifting. The process has been gentle and gradual, and very respectful of all of us with our differences and our commonalities, our weaknesses and our strengths. Beginning with the exercise of remembering why we became Redemptorists in the first place, and sharing those stories, set the right tone and provided the right context for all the rest of our conversation and reflection in these days. (Kudos to Sr Michelle and the planning committee!)
Yesterday, after spending most of the day surfacing concerns, obstacles and non-negotiables, I was surprised that most of the words we voiced at the end of the day were still so positive and upbeat. I take that as a sign that the Holy Spirit is indeed at work within us and among us!
So at the end of Day 2 I had four thoughts:
1. There seems to be a general, but unspoken, presumption among us that we will choose the way of transformation (rather than maintenance). That was clearly affirmed today in the red-yellow-green sounding.
2. There are many concerns and obstacles – but none of them seem to be absolutely insurmountable.
3. However, they will only be surmounted if there is a common willingness and energy among us to make that happen.
4. That willingness and energy must be especially evident in those of us who are younger – or at least young at heart.
NOW TO TODAY
I thought Santo did a very good job of setting up today’s theme: Awaiting the Spirit. He spoke of “re-visioning” and “broadening our understanding.” He asked us to think about how the Redemptorist Mission in Canada might look in the future, and he reminded us that we are waiting on the Holy Spirit’s inspiration.
The reading from St Alphonsus about love being the fire that inflames our hearts reminded us to keep Christ at the centre and remain open to the Holy Spirit who keeps us on fire with God’s love. I was especially struck by the words “the more we do for God, the more we want to do.”
It seems to me the experience of these days confirms what St Alphonsus said.
Jack’s report on what other units have done in terms of “coming together” and “creating new Redemptorist entities” was timely and useful; however, I think it got us thinking in a direction that was premature. As became clear in the comments following the exercise about beginning to create a Canadian model, many of us thought we need to be careful not to put the cart before the horse. Ed Eherer said it most succinctly: “form follows function.”
Elaborating on that pithy statement, I would say:
1. We need to continue and increase collaboration among our three Provinces toward becoming one in mind and heart.
2. We need to keep exploring and continue the dialogue to discern what is the Redemptorist Mission in Canada at this time in our history. Then comes discussion about the governing model that will best facilitate that mission.
3. Through all of that we will keep praying to the Holy Spirit for wisdom and insight and zeal and courage to act. And, of course, we cannot cease to pray (and act) for vocations to the Redemptorist family – which includes lay partners in mission.
At the time of the closing mass of the gathering of Redemptorists in Canada, at the Basilica Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, we put out of ground a plant in the pot representing our Province; a way of remaining connected on the life. One will see well until where each one will push from here our next gathering?
April 20, 2016 : Redemptorists in Canada, Gathering in Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré
By Mario Doyle, C.Ss.R.; Translation by Hervé Gendron, C.Ss.R.
The moment my PROVINCIAL SUPERIOR ask me, one hour ago, to write what I had in mind at the end of the day about OUR REALITY, I remembered the Gospel of the morning: Jn 21. Resurrected Jesus proposed to Peter and his companions, who had been fishing all night without any catch, to lay down the net on the other side of the boat. I told myself as did the Apostles, “let’s have confidence in the Lord and throw the net to the right”. As we prayed the Holy Spirit, my look went to our visual display (water, boat, net); and then came to me a story I had heard from a friend of my father.
When he was 16 and was learning his craft as a fisherman, my father used to go with his uncle on his 22 feet (6.7 m) boat. It was in the early 1950. In those days the lobster fishermen relied on the lead sinker to verify the type of sea bottom: sand or rock. Unhappily it happened that my father sent a “thrall” (group of lobster pots tied together) too near those of my great uncle. As they were working out the ropes, this one would tell my father: “Alphonse, never will you become a good fisherman if you keep sending your pots on top of some the other fishermen’s”.
My father was cut to the quick. But his passion for fishing was such that he tried to get good results without being a pest on others. His dream had been of going to sea on a larger boat. He had studied different techniques of high sea fishing at a specialised school and had trained on different boats. Then he joined a government program for the construction of a 60 feet (18.3 m) trawler. That is where he realised he could use one of the different instruments of the boat (sonar) for his intended lobster fishing. That sea sounding instrument describes the bottom of the sea and helps the fisherman to choose the better rocky sea bottoms.
When the lobster fishermen of Grande Entrée, Îles-de-la-Madeleine, saw my father going to sea with an instrument equipped with a roll of paper on his small boat without a cockpit, many of them laughed at him. But later they realised that Alphonse was coming back with many more catches of lobsters, they all wanted that sounding instrument on their own boats.
I was inspired by this so real story, and then, by our common reacting of the day on our own reality, so that I shall take the risk of a few thoughts with the help of our visual display –the boat and the net.
The net is used at different depths in the water. Pots are used to catch lobster or crab on the bottom of the water. For surface fish (herring, mackerel) different types of fishing lines and nets are used. For catching semi-pelagic fishes, (halfway in the water) other types of equipment or nets are being used. In the end, different types of nets are used for different targets.
Peter the fisherman, unlike a farmer, had to adjust himself to the types of fishing –moving targets, wind direction, temperature of the water, currents… What Peter, the Apostle, was doing with his nets, Jesus challenged him to do the same with the human beings. He told him that He would make of him a fisherman of human beings. Following on the apostles, I would say that these nets being different for different depths are, indeed for us living in different situations, or with different clienteles. Here we can see how the above example reaches up to the redemptorist Units of Canada: We all work in the same country for people speaking French or English, in different catholic rites: Latin and Greek. And even when our numbers are decreasing and the average age of the members is getting older, confreres will testify that it is not a question of age or numbers, but of a passion toward Christ.
The ship we boarded the day we were professed is the Church and for us, the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer; and we set sail on Canadian waters. As a matter of fact, we also belong to a fleet of ships sailing several seas: Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic. Thus, as we respect the two official languages of the country, when the crew is predominantly francophone we speak French; when the crew is predominantly English, we speak English. In any case it would be well advised to have bilingual posters for public utilities such as drinking water, toilets, etc.
As it was for Peter and his companions, the real world forces us to adjust to the reality of the mission. The meeting of Christ in the midst of our life, personal and community life, feeds in us the divine fire. As a conclusion, I leave you with a question: What is the nature of this passion that inhabits you? As far as I am concerned, I answer again with a firm gesture and a loud voice: YES!
April 19, 2016 : Redemptorists in Canada, Gathering in Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré
By Mario Doyle, C.Ss.R.
Redemptorists in Canada present at the gathering in Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. In the forefront, one notices Michelle Audet, of the “Soeurs de Notre-Dame du Rosaire”, our person resource during these three days of meeting. Among the participants, one recognizes with the 3rd rank on the left, the Fr. Michael Brehl, Superior General, and right with the left back, the P. Jack Kingsbury, coordinator of the “North-American Redemptorist Conference”. See in the new page, the photograph with the names...
Visual of the meeting, the 18 at April 22, 2016, Redemptorists of the three canadian Units : Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, Edmonton-Toronto and Yorkton. Under the topic “Diversity of the Traditions, Unit in the mission”, the majority of Redemptorists in Canada were present. A simultaneous translation facilitated the communications into plenary. Exchanges in small groups according to the language made it possible to tackle varied subjects: personal history, tradition, reality, mission… The liturgy of the morning and the celebration of the Eucharist in the Latin rite and the Slavic rite made us taste the richness of our inheritance connected with the church. The abstract exchanges with the meals and in evening have enabled to us to better know us. The three ground pots of our visual represent the three redemptorists Provinces in Canada ; we begin a new plantation…
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Director: Fr. Mario Doyle, C.Ss.R.