On October 28, the Missionary Sisters of Christ the King celebrated the 90th anniversary of their congregation’s founding. Archbishop Lépine joined them for this special occasion, to celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving in the lovely chapel of their motherhouse in Laval.
There was so much joy: the sisters were joyful and welcoming, a great number of the faithful and friends came for Mass, the songs, and the chapel decorated in gold and white. Everyone came together to celebrate 90 years of gratitude, 90 years of mission and prayer, 90 years since the foundation of a congregation that is “exclusively missionary, in a diocese (in 1928, in Gaspé) that was mostly poor: it took a miracle”, said superior general Sister Claudette Morin, m.c.r. in her opening remarks.
“Make my life a response of Love” – Mother Frédérica Giroux
After a festive opening song sung by Boboto, Mission Notre-Dame d’Afrique‘s choir, sister Claudette Morin spoke about the congregation’s founder: Mother Frédérica Giroux. “Love was her aim, her mission, because she was consumed by love. (…). She sacrificed her own desire to go out on mission in order to welcome God’s project and prepare many missionaries for the Church.”
In his homily, Lépine also emphasised love. The Love of God that Sister Frédérica experienced: “Discovering the Love of God is in itself being sent out on mission: if we discover it, we can make it known and become aware that God illuminates hearts.” If this mission is long and difficult, if we have to wait for results, “Sister Frédérica encourages us to take the time to count on the Holy Spirit to work in hearts: this is how she leads us to the heart of the mission.”
"Each person is chosen by God: at the very moment of our conception to exist, at the moment of our Baptism to be saved and discover the Love of God, and finally at the moment we are called to be a disciple and a missionary. Disciple so as to discover the Love of God, and missionary to make the Love of God known."
Feasts of the Sacred Heart and Christ the King
Sister Frédérica’s life had but one goal: “She was an arrow shooting straight toward God.” Since her childhood, Frédérica had a great devotion to the Sacred Heart. At the age of 20, she entered la congregation des Sœurs de l’Immaculée Conception. Bit by bit, a new spiritual path took hold of her and her vision of a missionary charism and Christ-centered spirituality took a shift. Then, some years later, she left les Sœurs de l’Immaculée Conception to found la congregation des soeurs missionnaires du Christ-Roi: she kept the name Sister Marie-du-Sacré-Cœur. Archbishop Lépine also spoke about the strong ties between the feast of the Sacred Heart and the feast of Christ the King. The first shines a light on the incredible Love of God, but also reveals our sins, our rejection of the immensity of this Love of God. The feast of Christ the King reveals that in order to consecrate oneself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we need to “become conscious that God calls us to respond to this Love. It is at the moment of this response that we celebrate Christ the King.”
Most Rev. Lépine concluded by borrowing the words of Mother Frédérica : “When we respond to the Love of God, when we are thirsty for God and this thirst becomes a revelation and an encounter with God, this Love makes each one of us a child of God: that is where I can make my life a response of Love”.
After the celebration the sisters, smiling “to heaven”, singing and dancing with the Boboto choir, greeting friends and the Sunday faithful: “This celebration, so full of joy and prayers, is like what we live each day”, said one of the sisters.
Everyone was then invited to celebrate the anniversary with a small drink and a festive meal.