Thursday, September 8, was a special day for both the CRC and the Canadian Church.
If September 8 is the official date to honour the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, it was also the opportunity for the Committee of Contemplatives of the CRC to celebrate its 50th birthday.
About 40 nuns from all corners of Canada attended the 26th General Assembly of the Committee. The celebration of this 50th anniversary has closes this biannual meeting, which was held at the Ermitage Sainte-Croix, a place founded by the Sisters of the Holy Cross on the shores of the Lake of Two Mountains in Pierrefonds.
From September 4 to 7, the Committee members attended a conference on the theme of the Assembly “Contemplative Life and New Evangelization.” The talk was given by Mrs. Thérèse Nadeau-Lacour. Mrs. Nadeau-Lacour based her presentation on Pope Francis’ first apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium” and on the teachings of Saint Marie of the Incarnation.
Among the teachings, we can note: “The contemplative are missionaries who announce the Gospel in a different way. Apostolic life is a prerogative to every Christian and requires a contemplative look (John 15).”
Each day alternated lessons (morning) and plenary procedures (afternoon). At the end of the exchanges, the Committee of Contemplatives members elected a new leadership team:
- Sister Gabrielle Audet, CSO, President
- Sister Sarah Shaughnessy, OCD, Vice-President
- Sister Louise Marie Dupras, RM, Secretary
- Sister Isabelle Toucheboeuf, OP, Treasurer
On September 8, Most Reverand Douglas Crosby, OMI, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), was invited to give a talk. He highlighted “particularly the invaluable contribution offered by the contemplative nuns to the life of the Church in Canada.” Crosby reminded: “God often chooses the one with little acclaim or renown to to fulfill God’s purpose.” He added: “In a world that is often misguided by division, greed or derision, there is an urgent need, perhaps more than ever, for the powerful witness of contemplative prayer.” “By their lives of simplicity and abiding faith in God, that they will not be distracted or deterred as they seek to fulfill their mission to the Church, Contemplative religious women and men are models for us.” As Pope Francis, Crosby asked the nuns to keep Canadian Bishops into their prayers. He subsequently presided the Eucharistic celebration.
Following a festive meal, the re-elected President of the Committee, Sister Gabrielle Audet, presented a booklet recounting the 50 year-history of the organization. It highlights the work accomplished through those years. The booklet also focuses on the Committee of Contemplatives’ future. Thereafter, the presentation of a 30 minute video about the Committee closed this day of celebration.
To see more photos of the fiftieth anniversary, click here.