“For the past twenty years, journeying with migrants, especially refugees, has been one the special blessings of my life. On a volunteer basis, I have assisted many ‘’brothers and sisters in Christ’’, of different races, cultures sand religions, as they struggled to grow new roots in our Canadian soil. Their gratitude, courage and resilience have often greatly impressed me. These past years, tutoring has become my favorite pastime. It enables my learners to gradually find English words to express their feelings and share their life story; at times bringing tears to my eyes. They have so much to teach me that I often feel at the end of the receiving line, giving praise to God for the privilege of knowing and walking with such wonderful people.”
Sr. Mariette Bilodeau
Some of our sisters work as advocates for the immigrants and refugees who have just arrived in Canada. By being open to the people’s culture and listening to their joys and difficulties as newcomers to Canada, “together” they integrate slowly to the Canadian culture. The sisters spend a great deal of time “being with” the families and ministering to them in their physical, mental and spiritual needs. They help them in ways such as: their reading and writing skills, grocery shopping, finding employment, finding a school for their children, renting an apartment, and providing them with just living conditions. The sisters have a network of friends, parishioners and family members who assist the immigrants and refugees to become integrated in society and sometimes in a faith community. In summary, they come to the country as strangers and foreigners but in no time they are surrounded by a loving, caring community and become like brothers and sisters.
“After spending 30 years in Africa, four in Mozambique and twenty-six in The Gambia, I had to come home because of the malaria bug. Since my return I work with immigrants arriving in Prince Albert. I help them live their faith, improve their English and pass their citizenship test. Sometimes I have the opportunity to help them find lucrative jobs enabling them to better their home conditions. By being their friend I hope to make it easier for them to adapt to our culture. I participate with the retired ladies in the CWL and Thrift Shop. I am involved with the RCIA candidates, animate the French Marie Rivier associates apart from enjoying a semi-retired life with my own Presentation Sisters.” S. Murielle Savard
Our Sisters also have at heart the needs of our displaced peoples who find themselves on our streets, even though they may be born in Canada. The Sisters spend many hours sowing and knitting clothing which they donate to be given to those in need.