… a Mission of Service and Presence
This year’s theme for the Quebec Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary opens the door wide for much sharing of knowledge and of experience. This is what the participants at the October 5th provincial gathering learned from the testimony given by Sr. Lorraine Beauchamp. In order to benefit as many people as possible, we have reproduced the following version of her account of very significant encounters with our older Sisters.
Our province theme, “A Mission of Encounter”, certainly offers us a way of implementing our Constitutions which state, in Rule 1 in the section entitled Mission in the Church: “Our apostolic mission is a lifelong commitment.” (The French text reads: “a commitment for life”). Indeed we will always be on mission!
However, I would like to add a second meaning to the expression “a commitment for life“. It is a commitment to be engaged with life, to help life grow and flourish to its fullest. This is a goal I have for the activity, Memory Game, which I am leading at Pavilion St-Charles for a third year now.
This activity, in the form of weekly meetings, allows me to live a MISSION of SERVICE.
What service? Primarily, that of offering activities or exercises fostering the health of our dear “memory” which, at our age, often fails us. Would it be too ambitious or presumptuous to call the activity “pivot-santé de la mémoire” (memory health centre)?
“Keeping our minds alert …”
These meetings also offer many other benefits, clearly expressed by various participants, as you can see from the following quotes:
“The Memory Game activity:
- keeps our lamps lit, our minds awake
- inspires gratitude for all that we are still able to do
- occupies part of our free time
- offers us a pleasant activity every week
- nourishes our desire to continue learning and reminds us of our worth
- gives us the opportunity to gather together for a different type of meeting
- takes place in a relaxing atmosphere
- gives us yet another reason to be happy … ”
I would like to emphasize here that our meetings include a valuable EXCHANGE OF SERVICES. My Sisters receive from me, and I receive from my Sisters.
In our Memory Game activity, I meet several companions of very respectable ages – one is 101 and a few others are 95 and over.
Through this activity, I have the immense privilege of getting to know my Sisters better and appreciating them with their wealth of knowledge, wisdom, good humor and inner vitality.
Enriching Sharing for All
They may not know it, but by their presence and the witness of their lives, these Sisters are like a SCHOOL for me. They teach me that it is possible to “live one’s age” right up to the end, in peace, serenity and hope.
For me and for many others, I am sure, encountering them is a source of inspiration. They are definitely on a mission of encounter, a mission of presence and of service.
I would be remiss not to mention also the happiness I experience in animating a monthly Sharing of the Word in Pavilion St-André. For me, animating these meetings is a mission of service. In these fraternal gatherings, as the word sharing indicates, each of the six participants, by her attentive presence and rich reflections, continues her mission of welcoming, listening and service.
Here again, we live an EXCHANGE OF SERVICES: I bring you my reflection! You bring me yours! What an amazing enrichment!
A MISSION OF ENCOUNTER. . . WHAT A WONDERFUL MISSION!