Each year in September, a great event occurs for the benefit of all, young and old: the launch of a new pastoral year!
Everyone will be happy to meet again to launch the liturgical year under a theme taken from the Gospel in the parable of the lost sheep: “There will be joy.” All will try to bring joy in the various groups and activities, Father Pierre Rivard explains.
And vast is the array of choices. The pastor and its army of volunteers offer indeed a wide range of activities and groups in which everyone will fit, whether young or old, believer or sceptic.
A Wide Selection
In Saint-Esprit parish, catechism aims at the youngest, but also at young adults, as well as the 40+ and the 65+ in the Vie Montante group. Teenagers are not left behind either: The GAMA group enables the confirmed – and those who wish to be confirmed – to journey as they meet every other week. On Monday evenings, they will meet and discuss on the subjects of their choice: extraordinary biblical accounts, mysteries, science and faith, the supernatural world and other subjects they relate to. Another theme called “Witness and Activities” will enable them to know saints better and to get inspire by them, and also to spend time with the elderly and the homeless, if they wish to. Last year, approximately ten young girls from the group and Simon Roy, their leader, put on a play as part of the Pentecost Mass celebrations.
This year, Simon Roy, pastoral agent, will organize conferences called “Les Colloques du Saint-Esprit”. Every other Tuesday, at 7 p.m., conferences will take place after Mass. Sister Lorraine Caza, CND and doctor in theology, will present six conferences under the theme of holiness. “Holiness is close to us, right next door. One does not have to have great religious knowledge or to make a heroic effort of will. It deals with God’s mercy (…)”. Sister Caza was the first woman in the world to occupy the position of dean of a Pontifical Faculty of Theology!
The Communauté du seuil: when renewal is necessary
Saint-Esprit parish is alive and dynamic, but also quite welcoming to people who have wandered astray from faith. Martin Fontaine has been taking care of the Communauté du seuil for several years now. He welcomes those who do not go to church, who have never believed or, who have also known suffering because of the Church. Every two weeks, on Sunday afternoons, time is set aside to eat and share. Participants decide upon the course of action: having a discussion on a book or on various topics. “Those are people who usually like debating. Often they know Christ’s message, but they have appropriated it in their own way,” the leader explains. These people who are at the threshold of the Church find here a place where they can ask questions, think about Catholic faith and revisit it, to get honest and current answers. It requires first to listen and to understand with respect for others, and to enable the message from the Gospel to fill everyone’s heart in order for them to return to Christ. “Let them all be touched by the Word of God,” is Martin Fontaine’s wish.
With the launch of this pastoral year, Father Rivard extends his joy to his parish: “joy will prevail if peace first prevails”. As Simon Roy says: “The Holy Spirit will assist us, as the patron of the parish to vouch harmony and joy!”