Through Marie-Reine-des-Coeurs Sanctuary was not decked out with orange traffic cones this year, it was evident the ''Worksite'' launched by the Diocese of Montreal was well under way. Deeper LISTENING was the focus of the evening, to better recognize the needs of the Church and the world, while we continue our work toward making a ''missionary shift''.

Marie-Reine-des-Coeurs Sanctuary was quite filled on September 13 to celebrate the 2019-2020 pastoral year launch under the theme “Together, we listen!” The atmosphere was convivial and the desire authentic: to increase the community’s presence on the worksite launched last year (and 2000 years ago) for missionary outreach, and to find the world’s real needs, particularly those pertaining to the Diocese of Montreal.

Far from being insignificant, the new theme, LISTENING, is part of the ongoing theme, SEEING, launched last year. “We are here to encourage ourselves in the mission,” said the Archbishop of Montreal, the Most Rev. Christian Lépine, in his introduction. Auxiliary Bishop Alain Faubert gave a short review on last year activities to show how far we have come and how attentive we need to remain toward the realities of our communities, in order to “develop a shared view”, the one found in Montreal, but also in Quebec and in the whole Church.

A “Church connected to the Lord,” freed from fears; a “Church close to the people,” increasingly welcoming; and finally a “united Church” based on us, and on our cultural diversity and charisms, were part of the reviews. Auxiliary Bishop Faubert reminded the people about the desire to walk together toward a “Church going forth,” in the words and call of Pope Francis.

“What mission exactly,” Father Raymond Lafontaine, E.V. - director of the OEPS, asked, saying that we cannot hold anything for granted. One must transform oneself and the Church’s structure. This cannot happen instantly, which is why we must first ask ourselves where we wish to invest our energy. “We will need to sacrifice certain things,” he said. He also put forth the word “together,” inviting the audience to build solid parish teams. “How are we called to live the Gospel, here, in Montreal?” he asked.

Archbishop Lépine invited the audience to envision the mission as a “triple passion” for Jesus, the Church and mankind. This is how “listening helps to open up our eyes”. True that seeing involve high risks, but by not seeing, listening or understanding, we face greater risks. What can be done to avoid that?

“We must find a way to deal with the reality of sorrows, joys and aspirations” and “to understand people’s hearts,” the Archbishop recalled, as he gave concrete examples of actions and invited the audience to act accordingly, keeping up with their communities and being attuned to the Holy Spirit.

Over the evening, other people gave testimonies on their feelings regarding the needs. Auxiliary Bishop Faubert asked the audience to take the necessary measures to achieve the desire to sustain our mission. “Stay tuned,” he added as a kick-off. 

The evening ended up with people sharing a moment of silence to hear the call from Christ, as they were to fill the questionnaire received earlier.

This great diocesan worksite is consistent with the missionary month preparations announced by Pope Francis for October 2019.

To keep up with the worksite this year (all are invited):
Pastoral team workdays:
St-John-Brébeuf: October 8, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (English)
Notre-Dame-d’Anjou: October 16, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (French)
Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel: October 24, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (French)
The Hub of Consecrated Life: November 9
Presbyteral day: February 19, 2020
And many others… stay tuned!