Regional Meeting of RHSJ Associates in Saint Basil - May 2015

This meeting took place on May 30 and 31, 2015 at Hotel Dieu of Saint Basil, New-Brunswick.  51 persons participated from Saint Basil, Bathurst, Campbellton and Tracadie, with Sr. Louisette Lelièvre as invited speaker.

The principal theme of the gathering was based on the question, “What does it take to build a family?” We began with spiritual reflection on the meaning of the common mission of our lay people and religious, thus evoking rays of hope as we probed its meaning in our daily lives. 

“To proclaim to the world a God of love who unites and frees” was a response to the thematic question of this gathering. It is our common mission in response to our baptismal vocation.

Sr. Louisette was most interesting and her words were a source of inspiration for most of the persons who were present. She knew how to define our future.

In brief, we can say that these two days allowed the associates of Saint Basil, Bathurst, Campbellton and Tracadie as well as the religious who were present, to become deeply aware of the expectations of the RHSJ regarding the associates and the expectations of the associates regarding the RHSJs.

Discussions in small groups brought to the fore these expectations. This enabled each of us to become aware of his or her responsibilities in spiritual and family life. A growth in faith is imperative, which involves a huge emphasis on charism, a facet of the love of God. A common project, of mutual sharing, of spiritual exchanges, of associates acting as multipliers, while making room for understanding, respect, openness and the promotion of associates, is the objective. Sr. Louisette also gave an overview of the document developed during the 2014 General Chapter: To build the lay/congregation relationship.  This document provides directions for the future.

The challenge is to continue the mission of Jérôme Le Royer in today’s world, which is in perpetual change, while adapting to contemporary realities with deep faith and in each one’s state of life.

Besides the conferences, socio-recreational activities took place during the week-end. An icebreaker allowed associates to get to know one another better and weave deeper relationships.

Each group had to lead a section of the big gathering, highlighting the realities of each  group. The glass of friendship was enhanced by the participation of the Tracadie group with lively, local, musical colors.

A typical dinner of the area was prepared by the Saint Basil group with good humour and a desire to share.  The event was animated by the group from Bathurst, who then organized discussion in small groups.

Afterward, the associates were given a guided tour of the Museum of Hotel Dieu of Saint Basil. Sr. Bertille Beaulieu, archivist, guided the groups in this historic and patrimonial adventure. This beautiful patrimonial hall had opened its doors in 2015, just before the Acadian World Congress. Afterward, the groups went to the PBP Gallery of the Maillet Centre to see the exposition of visual art of the Très’ Art Group, of which the Director  of the Saint Basil associates, George Pérusse, is a member. At the exit, the associates were invited to stop at the interactive fresco “Salute to you dear Hotel Dieu of Saint Basil” where Sr. Lorraine Soucy gave a commentary on the diverse historic paintings.

The night was beneficial for all after a day of travelling, meetings, discussions, exchanges, sharing, visits and animation.  Associates from outside the area were lodged at Hotel Dieu, at the sisters’ chalet or in host families.

Sunday began with a Mass of Thanksgiving, led in music by the Campbellton group.  The Eucharistic celebration was followed with a commitment ceremony for two new RHSJ associates from Saint Basil, who accepted to become part of the big family of RHSJ associates for the first time.  Also ten associates from Campbellton and Saint Basil accepted to renew their commitment.  To mark the occasion, Sr. Colette Lemieux favoured us with a thanksgiving hymn.

Notes brought together by Pauline Banville Pérusse
Pictures signed Diane Martin

Pauline Banville Pérusse
Responsible for Communications