Notre Dame de Vie members share lives of spiritualité
The biennial National Congress of Secular Institutes was held on September 16 at “La Madone” in Trois-Rivières. It gathered 115 people from 10 secular institutes as well as special guests. The main speaker was Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, Archbishop of Québec, whose conference was pretty well appreciated by all the participants. Consecrated lay women formed the majority of those attending, along with the couples, priests, lay consecrated men and associates.
The Chairperson of the Canadian Conference, Fr. Marcel Caron from the Pius X Secular Institute, opened the Congress after a dynamic musical presentation by Jean-Noël Laprise. Referring to Ecclesiastes 3, he stressed that “now” is the time, more than ever, to present our vocation. In fact, in preparation for the Synod of Bishops, the Church will be deepening the theme: “Young people, faith and vocational discernment”.
The theme “Go out! It’s our time!” refers to Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, “Sow the Joy of the Gospel”. Joy was palpable throughout the gathering, in conversations, as well as during the priesthood ordination of Gildardo Noreña, of the Voluntas Dei Secular Institute which took place at Our Lady of the Cape Shrine at the end of the afternoon.
The Cardinal began his talk from a text of the Scripture by illustrating the four following points such as to welcome, to accompany, to discern and to integrate, and he invited the participants, with humour and skill, to enter into the prayer and future mission as we go out. Later on, with several scripture quotations he added four more points like to reach the youth, to share with the poor, to evangelize and to renew the world. Following the reflection, all the participants gathered as teams and discussed in order to deepen the eight steps as individuals and as institutes. Finally, the leaders of the teams gave an account of their discussions in a plenary session.
In the afternoon, the Cardinal elaborated on how Jesus went out when it was the time, and how he encountered various persons by underlining how the four first points were put into action with quotations of some gospel passages; for example, in Jesus’ meeting with Zacchaeus, with the Roman Centurion, Nicodemus, etc.
After a question and answer period, Fr. Marcel Caron concluded the session by urging all the participants to go out and live the prophetic vocation of the secular institutes in the heart of the Church as well as in the world.
*If you are reading this and you are between 16 and 29 years of age, do not hesitate to click on this link to reply to Pope Francis’ survey: https://survey-synod2018.glauco.it/limesurvey/index.php/147718
The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life published in June 2017 a letter addressed to the bishops of the Catholic Church on secular institutes. This text is now available in Canada at the Librairies Paulines.
Consecration and Secularity is a refreshing text that presents in a concise and renewed way the vocation of secular institute members. More than a simple letter to the bishops so that they may better know the specifics of our vocation, this document can be very useful for all secular institute members. It can serve as an introduction to present the reality of secular institutes and even be a tool for the formation of members.
You may acquire this publication for $5.50 by calling :
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This document is also available in Spanish and French.