On his return from a mission centred around the “CANA Fraternal Life” week at the other end of the world (October 15-24, 2022), Gilles CORMIER notices how generous Providence had been and how happy he is to have met a local team ready to give more…
Three years after the last mission and at the request of the local CANA team, I went to New Caledonia to facilitate the “CANA Fraternal Life” week and to continue the formation program. The week took place on the island of Lifou in the east, where CANA had developed almost 30 years ago, where church practice and piety are very active. In New Caledonia, 90% of the members of the fraternity and the participants in this week are Kanak.
Twelve couples were able to participate which is very good considering the economic difficulties or the possibility of having a vacation after the pandemic. Housekeeping and meals were provided by volunteers from the local tribe. Providence was generous.
The fraternity leaders, having never experienced this week themselves, were also able to participate. All of them had a wonderful experience and I could feel their great thirst for formation. Here are the main topics that caught their attention: praise, Ignatian prayer, review, how to grow in transparency, the prayer of the brothers, testimonies, the teachings at CANA.
They are very numerous! Here are some fruits – verbatim -:
- I discovered praise in my prayer
- I was able to grow in the truth
- I was able to see Christ in my brother/sister
- I received confirmation of the mission that the Church has entrusted to us
- I learned to speak in confidence
- I discovered that the word of God speaks to me today
- I finally understood the importance of reviewing, in group and personally…”.
Meeting with the CANA team of New Caledonia
We were able to take a good time to review together what we had experienced, to see the strengths and weaknesses and to envisage the future for the CANA mission in New Caledonia.
Here is what came out of it:
- There is a great need for training on the subjects mentioned above
- Many couples are in difficulty in this territory. CANA couples are often asked to help them; they have therefore requested training on how to accompany couples in crisis
- CANA is now quite well known throughout New Caledonia. Priests or family ministry teams call on them especially for marriage preparation
- Couples have real difficulties in keeping their commitment to participate in weekends or fraternities
- To be considered for next year: the possibility of launching CANA Parents and CANA Welcome in certain places
This is the first time that CANA met with Bishop CALVET, Bishop of Noumea, who was very encouraging for what CANA is doing in a modest way.
A motivated team ready to give more
Altogether this was a very beautiful mission which was essential to confirm the work of these last years. The CANA team is motivated, united, spiritual and eager to learn in order to give more and better. In order to develop, they hope that couples from Noumea will join them and count on Providence and good communication to welcome them.