At the beginning of her mission at CANA International, Sister Audrey wondered what a consecrated single woman could bring to couples. With the Holy Spirit, she looked for what was beautiful and great and, in constant thanksgiving, discovered that she had brothers and sisters all over the world.
Sr Audrey JOLICOEUR, CNC
At that time Jesus spoke up and said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.” Mt 11:25
The CANA mission was for me the place where the Lord’s word was fulfilled and the sign of his constant fidelity. It is this fidelity that has allowed me to surpass myself and has evangelised my outlook. It has made me aware of what the Lord’s word – “have compassion” – really means for me and for others. It’s about being able to look for what’s beautiful and great in others and in myself, before focusing on what’s wrong.
My 8 years with CANA International have been years of constant thanksgiving. They were years during which I grew personally and spiritually in praise and constant thanksgiving. Years during which I experienced Mary’s words to the servants at CANA’s wedding feast: “Do whatever he tells you”. John 2:5. With these words of Mary, I have moved further with the Holy Spirit, I have incarnated him more in my spiritual life.
Without this life in the Spirit – where Jesus’ words to his Father take on their full meaning – I would never have believed that I could travel the world so much and meet ‘locals’ in the concrete reality of their daily lives. I grew up in this life in the Spirit to which the Lord constantly calls us. This life in the Spirit, which overcomes all fear and has helped me a great deal to move away from myself. This life has enabled me to remain in thanksgiving and to see that the little Mauritian who comes from an island lost in the Indian Ocean has met brothers and sisters from all over the world in everything that is small and poor, but also great and beautiful.
Among the many memories that will remain engraved in my mind, this one in particular touches me: I stayed with a family where every evening we had a time of prayer and sharing of the Word, together with the staff present. One evening, a young man said: “I feel that the Lord is calling me to give more of myself and not to dwell on what I haven’t given today: it doesn’t matter what you give, just give”.
I still remember the first time I went on a mission abroad, to a country where I didn’t speak the language. I said to myself: “What can I, a consecrated single woman, bring to couples?” It was then that the couple in charge approached me and said: “We thank the Lord for your presence, because through your presence we feel why we have been called to the CANA mission. And above all, we need you, the singles, to help us make our YES a reality in our life as a couple and with the Lord.”
As the saying goes, “All good things must come to an end”! This is the end of my 8-year mission with CANA International, years of joy, encounters and constant challenge. Years that will be forever dear to my heart. Years during which I was able to experience the truth of these words: “Amen, I say to you, no one who has left a home, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children or land for my sake and for the sake of the gospel will receive a hundredfold even in this time: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and land, with persecution, and in the world to come, eternal life”. Mark 10:29-30
Today, I can say that I have brothers and sisters all over the world, and I’m full of thanksgiving for all that the Lord has revealed to me! To all of you, I say: “I wish you all the best in your future endeavours with the Lord”. I have very fond memories of the different meetings and relationships that are dear to my heart…