Online meeting enriches English-speaking Associates

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On May 9th of this year, 23 people including 6 Sisters participated in the first Zoom meeting for English-speaking SNJM Associates. Organized by a team of three (Sister Marjorie Moffatt and SNJM Associates Beverly Redmond and Vita Lewis), this meeting was greatly appreciated by all participants.

What seemed to be a challenge ended up being a springboard for future meetings of this kind, according to Sr. Marjorie who exercised and shared her technical skills by using the Zoom tool that breaks a group up into small groups for sharing.

“The success of the meeting and the enthusiasm of the people present give us courage to continue this online experience,” mentioned Sr. Marjorie who hopes for another meeting, perhaps to highlight the feast of the Holy Name of Mary in September. The significant feasts of the SNJM Congregation have always enjoyed a good turnout of English-speaking Associates.

“If the rules for social distancing lighten up in the future, it might be possible for Marylrose Residence to welcome a few Associates, especially those who do not have access to internet, so that they can participate in the next Zoom meeting,” hopes Sr. Marjorie who is working on a session based on the writings of Mother Marie-Rose.

Immersing ourselves in the spirituality of Mother Marie-Rose

The meeting on the 9th of May was a prelude to this future meeting on the spirituality of Mother Marie-Rose. After the welcome, all participants presented themselves and shared a moment of grace. Around the drawing of the seal of the Congregation, the song “Jesus and Mary, my strength and my glory” was sung. Readers presented short Scripture texts from St. Paul on the subject. This was followed by times for reflection and sharing in small groups. After reassembling for more music, there was time for a heartfelt group hug, led by Vita Lewis, as an entertaining closure to the meeting.

“I appreciated the meeting right from the start with Beverly’s word of welcome and her accompaniment on her guitar for our opening song. We had the chance as Associates to learn about the creativity and goodness of each one of us and to share the good news from the heart,” pointed out Vita Lewis who was the technical host for the meeting. “We were left with virtual hugs and kisses that could then be shared with our families and friends,” she added.

A significant presence for the Sisters

Remembering her part in the first team of Sisters who prepared the two years of formation meetings for English-speaking Quebec Associates before they made their initial commitment in 1984, Sister Marjorie speaks of her pride in the road travelled since then.

Having helped with the foundation of the first Associates in Peru, she speaks of how refreshing and renewing the Associates can be for the Sisters of the Congregation and for the Church. “It is enriching and encouraging to see how deeply the Associates can identify with the charism of the Congregation.  They take our mission to heart and participate in it, while maintaining bonds with the Sisters.” This kind of sharing of SNJM values with lay people creates the image of passing the flame and of assuring a certain continuity and sustainability.

On average we can count on thirty Quebec English-speaking Associates who had formed three groups for meetings and who have recently regrouped into one. Two people are “Associate candidates”, while one has just joined the meetings.

During these times of confinement due to COVID-19, times which have weighed heavily on many people, we are happy to know that there was enough interest and determination to carry out the plan of this meeting which consolidated ties between the members of the group while planting spring joy in their hearts.