In 2016, four SCSL from Western Canada moved into Providence Care Center in Calgary. With them in their luggage came music and song, talents they have used to bring joy and good cheer whenever they interact with the other residents. The Sisters see it as their special ministry to make newcomers feel welcome, to accompany the lonely, to companion the dying by praying with them, and to reach out particularly to those recently bereaved.
Louise-Elizabeth House has “adopted” St. Dominic’s elementary school. On June 1st it was the Grand Tour. Pedometers in hand, all set out on foot, some with a cane or a walker. Sisters, teachers and children took great pleasure in this exchange. After the walk, the pupils planted beautiful pink geraniums in the cross in front of the Sisters’ House.
Joy flowed from all sides; the Sisters were pleased and touched to see their mission still alive, forging links between generations.
On 3 June, Fr. André Thivierge blessed Louise-Elizabeth House. In his homily, he recalled the meaning of the ritual: "to Bless", that is to speak well of; "to bless a house is to welcome God in, who wants to say good things about us." So, we would like God to give us the grace to love and to achieve the desire of Mother St. Louis: "to return Him Love for Love". In 2017, it is the staff of the House who best described its atmosphere: "We don’t come here to work, but to love!"
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Sharing an inheritance
Being committed to the charism of the Sisters of Charity of St. Louis, incites me to know Mother Saint-Louis better. She is a source of inspiration, a model of courage, perseverance, faith and charity towards the downs and outs. She invites me to testify with deeds while remaining available to welcome others and listen without judgement or prejudice, respecting their dignity and limitations. At work, in my contacts or volunteering, Mother Saint-Louis invites me to give of my best and more.
Mother Saint-Louis lived through difficult times during the Revolution; she knew poverty and death so she can help us understand that even in the darkest moments we are never alone… God is always there. She taught me to discover that God’s plans are not always what we expect; to say yes to them nurtures and enriches our lives.
Walking in her footsteps, I own this inheritance and share it. Our present world where individualism is rampant needs these values: cut off from others, many people live isolation under various guises. Each day, I see occasions to reach out to others. Through her unconditional yes, Mother Saint-Louis guides my steps and actions. I wish to make Mother Saint-Louis’ values known so as to create a better world:
“Everything is important, when it is done in love.”