Welcome to all

Last summer from July 5 – 19, the Congregation was given a time of grace.  Some experienced joy, prayer, suffering, but all worked hard. It was the 2014 General Chapter.  Let us recall the challenge that was left to us in the directional statement:

«... Let us dare to be disciples of Jesus through prophetic deeds …”

To dare is not the sweet repose of happy bliss. To dare, we read in the dictionary is, “To have the boldness, the courage of … it is to attempt, to take up with courage, with audacity.  And once we begin, we have to continue with the same boldness, the same courage, perseverance and constancy to arrive at the goal.”
Jerome Le Royer, our father in faith, in response to an inspiration welcomed in prayer, DARED to undertake three immense projects to which he had been inspired: the foundation of Hotel Dieu of La Flèche and elsewhere in France for abandoned sick persons, that of the Hospitallers of Saint Joseph and later the foundation and establishment of Ville Marie in Canada.

All these foundations he thought about, planned and accomplished with great courage, not for himself, but because he felt called to RESPOND TO THE CALL OF GOD, for the evangelization and care of the suffering people of his time. We cannot be wrong in believing that the graces of courage and boldness to dare, were given by Him who called him. Dom Guy-Marie Oury emphasized that Jerome Le Royer “did not look for great things for themselves, but carried them out because he had heard the call of God” (Positio, p.531).
These graces of confidence, faith and audacity gave him the strength to dare to accomplish these prophetic actions of foundation, while responding to the dissent which came to him from all sides. To the objection that “the Company of Montreal was reckless, spending a fortune more suitable to a King, not to mention the perils of navigation and shipwreck” he replied: “You did well to say that it is the work of a King, because the King of Kings  is involved, the sea and the winds obey him, and as a result we do not fear shipwrecks which he will create when we need them and these will be for his glory.” (Positio, p. 531- 532). To dare these deeds of great prophetic action our Founder was abandoned to God in total confidence, in perseverance and constancy. 
From Ville-Marie, Sister Marie Morin will later witness that he was fully committed to this work of God: “He spared neither trouble nor care to contribute to this great work … including even his personal fortune.”  He gave everything, even his life. After sending to Ville-Marie the first three Hospitallers, he died in the midst of great suffering on November 6, 1659.

And today, we, persons of many backgrounds, aspirants, postulants, novices, associates, RHSJ of all ages:  active, retired, tested through illness, what can we DARE in order to respond to the call of God, to the cry of suffering and disadvantaged persons? What prophetic deeds are we ready to undertake in the footsteps of our Founder, without fear of perils and “shipwrecks”?

Sister Marie-Thérèse Laliberté, R.H.S.J.
Superior General

Montréal, November 6, 2014.