Magazine Rencontre : Building Bridges in Many Ways

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In its latest issue, the Christian Cultural Centre of Montreal‘s Rencontre magazine (in French only) presents a dossier on the evocative theme of “Spirituality and Culture”. It presents a number of topics that illustrate the multiple interrelationships involved.

It includes an article by Francine Vincent. She discusses the relationship between cultures and faith. The review of the Saint-Jean-Longueuil diocesan delegation’s recent participation in World Youth Day in Portugal is revealing. Moments of contrast are sometimes very striking, judging by the coordinator’s remarks concerning “cultures that collide… and a faith that unites.” The event also marks the 20th anniversary of the Semaine de la Parole (Week on the Word of God), launched in 2004 in Brossard.

Indigenous peoples

In an interview with editor-in-chief Louise-Édith Tétreault, Mathieu Lavigne talks about the process of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. Known for his work in the field of restorative justice and for his role as host on several Radio Ville-Marie programs, the director of Mission chez nous (Mission Among US) lifts the veil on this organization founded in 1993 by the Assemblée des évêques du Québec.(Assembly of Quebec Bishops)

After Pope Francis’ visit in 2022, he shares what he is learning from contact with indigenous peoples. He admits that the reconciliation process is a long-term one, involving everyone. “The indigenous tell me that there aren’t enough of them to spend their time educating us. We have to do it ourselves, by listening to them, educating ourselves, raising awareness around us and rectifying the facts.” 

Religious and spiritual tourism on a roll

Also in the dossier, an article on religious and spiritual heritage highlights the growth of this sector in the Montérégie and Quebec. We’re talking, of course, about the Saint Lawrence River Shrines, the first structured religious tourism circuit in the province, created in 2016. Center Marie-Rose was one of the founding members. Since then, new initiatives have emerged, notably with the creation of the Association de tourisme religieux et spirituel du Québec (ATRSQ). (Association of Religious and Spiritual Tourism of Quebec)

The worldwide interest and enthusiasm  for “religious tourism ” is increasingly being felt in Quebec. It has accelerated the awareness of regional tourism associations. This finally materialized in the summer of 2023 with the introduction of religious tourism tours in a number of tourism regions, including the Montérégie, Québec, Eastern Townships and Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean.

Other topics include an article on interfaith dialogue in the Philippines, and an interview on the crisis in Israel and its opposing political parties. Don’t be surprised to see a message from the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM) in connection with the theme of the dossier. It’s one of the SNJM’s expressions of support for the Centre culturel chrétien de Montréal (Montreal Christian Cultural Centre) [see page 19].

Enjoy your reading!

Read the article on religious heritage in French (PDF file)