Lydia-Myriam PARRÈS entered the Order of Consecrated Virgins during a celebration at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral on November 6, 2021.
By Lydia Parrès
Born in French Algeria to parents who had lived through two World Wars: a Jewish Berber mother who named her ‘Myriam’ and a non-practising Christian father who had been damaged by those belonging to the ecclesiastical society of his day. She studied in Tlemcen (Oranais) and embarked on a career in teaching against the backdrop of the very bloody eight-year-long Algerian civil war. This experience caused her to lose her Faith and Hope and left her deeply scarred.
Twenty-two years old in 1962, she was driven out of Algeria, which had become an Islamic republic devoid of a future, and left her native land to cross the Mediterranean with a meagre 25 kg of luggage for herself and her four teenaged siblings who had now become her responsibility, since the elderly parents stayed behind in their village for another ten months. The youngsters were distressed at this sudden imposed "deportation." They lived with benefactors for several months through this period, during which the French were often fearful, erroneously, of supposed "pieds noirs," which their family were not.
For six years she taught in France while studying for the national examinations for her Certificat d'Aptitude Pédagogique, which she obtained in Toulouse.
Providence, Lydia says today, led her to North America at the time of the 1967 World’s Fair with the desire to discover the French-speaking Province of Quebec. Here, in 1968, compelled by grace and almost in spite of herself, she was hired and began teaching again.
She trained as a psycho-educator in Repentigny, working with socially and emotionally disturbed adolescents. In the midst of this work, she met Christ in a dream in 1974. It was then that she delved into the Mystery of the Church, in the middle of the phenomenon called the Quiet Revolution, that era which saw so many Quebecers leaving the Church!!!
Beginning at that time, her commitment to work for the Church of the Lord led her to respond to a call to participate in the evangelization of Quebec society which had once been so religious but had not necessarily been deeply evangelized.
She has also been active in the interreligious Jewish-Christian dialog that takes place regularly in Montreal.
The Lord has now, surprisingly, placed in her path the care of souls who are searching for inner healing and Truth. She humbly takes on the responsibility of studying their lives with them, supported by the Word of God, with continual prayer and through ongoing work on herself, in order to ensure that Love may triumph.
In a spousal covenant with the Messiah, our Saviour Jesus Christ, her desire is to live constantly through the One and Only Living God, who uses our wounds as instruments, mercifully and at every moment lifting up all his children.
May He be always and forever blessed!