Finally, after four years of long-distance contacts, Gilles & Véronique are back on site to meet the Hong Kong team, support the Bible retreat and meet the CANA Hope team (April 27 – May 5, 2023). A much-needed mission!
Gilles & Véronique CORMIER, CANA International
Like the CANA Hope retreat, this one took place on the island of Cheung Chau at the Jesuits’ Xavier House, who were able to reopen their house after years of Covid. A place of silence and beauty that encouraged a lot of prayer. 10 couples experienced the retreat for themselves and 6 couples were at the service.
The group was joyful and participative. On the review, all the couples were very happy to have been able to experience such a retreat, and the fruits are many:
- Rediscovery of contemplative dialogue, trialogue and personal prayer.
- “A good time to renew our covenant”.
- “I was very touched to have been able to carry the Cross with my wife” during the time of reconciliation.
- The discovery of a living Word of God – “it came into my heart – I’m committed to reading it regularly”.
- Better self-knowledge
- Joy of brotherly relationships
It was a question of renewing links, since for over 5 years the team had been leading the training weeks and weekends without any external support on site. The team is well acquainted with CANA’s pedagogy and does its best to bring it to life, despite the difficulties imposed mainly by lack of time.
For the first time (in CANA’s history perhaps), the CANA Hope team offered its members the chance to experience a week of Fraternal Life, which also took place on the island of Cheung Chau. There were 18 participants (average age: 40) and 7 servants! It was a wonderful retreat for everyone. We were able to review the situation with the current leaders, who are very dynamic: 2 women, who have been through the ordeal of divorce, and a couple in support. The mission is doing well and has grown despite Covid with 5 fraternities. They are very interested in the programme CANA Parents because these single persons are in great need of educational support.
Meeting with fraternity leaders. In the 11 fraternities, all are happy with what they are experiencing in this specific context, and the Fraternity brings them a great deal.
Meeting with the national team. We discussed the possibility of renewing CANA to attract young couples. In fact, as in many countries, the younger generation is very involved in their work, runs out of time – often have many other activities and can rarely take a week’s break.
Meeting couples from the first CANA generation. We were able to meet the couples who have experienced the CANA Week between 2011 and 2018: these were strong and joyful moments!
A much-needed mission
This was a much-needed mission to finally reconnect after 4 years of long-distance relationships. They need us, Western Christians, and we’ll do what we can to support them. Their tenacity encourages us!