SMA-OLA Session

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Like the Apostles...

He found them asleep



The mission of the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles (OLA) is lived in Quebec (Canada) as an exchange, as a migration, as solidarity ... since the presence of the Congregation in Canada more in the past 60 years.

In the article entitled Mission as exchange, as migration, as solidarity ... published in site of the Lyon Province of the OLA, Sr. Camilla Martin, Leader of the district of Canada, emphasizes OLA Canada is group of 12 women apostles from inspired by the ecclesiastical renewal of Vatican II. They have become by the call they heard deeply in their most intimate selves, missionaries in an International Institute. And that is where lies’ their strength and pride! 

By becoming OLAs, continues Sr. Camilla, we have enlarged the space of our tent and we have committed ourselves to the dynamic of movements that characterizes the mission of our Institute. Movement from one continent to another, from one Church to another, has never ceased since the foundation of OLA in Canada in 1955. For Sr. Camilla, the international character of the communities has been maintained over the years by welcoming of OLA sisters and other religious who travel to Canada either for sabbatical periods or to further their studies.

Today, with the help of Sr. Marian Doss from Egypt, OLA Sisters in Quebec have actively become involved in the integration of Syrian immigrants who face political and social challenges of Quebec society. The mission commitment to the refugees in Canada is done without undermining the main objective of the institute which is mission to Africa. Hence, Sr. Camilla Martin says that clarifies that the home commitment brings a missionary dimension to the Church of Canada: by being active members of the Inter Aid Missionary body of the Women Religious Conference of Canada and the Association of Women Religious.

OLA Sisters are engaged in social pastoral care and in various national and international struggles against the impoverishment of people. They take at heart questions of justice and peace are important, the reason why they part of networks that denounce, conscientize and take actions aimed at fostering the emergence of a new world of solidarity and justice. The sisters do not have apostolates of their own in Quebec. Nevertheless, they are able to live OLA mission here as in other places thanks to the solidarity and the generosity of the Congregations present in Canada.

For a partial conclusion, it might be useful to once again hear Sister Camilla as she says:

Of course we are a Little remnant that is always in solidarity with our entire Institute: A good number among us have served OLA in the General Council, at the Provincial Council in Africa, at regional leadership in Niger and in Chad. In Africa, we live mission of presence in area of formation and accompaniment in OLA and with the sisters of other Congregations become an important dimension of our mission today. Wherever we are, we live in intercultural communities. This is a missionary testimony that we uphold. Our solidarities and our prayers are meant to be universal extending especially where we have forged ties over the years and our various migrations.

The collaboration between the Missionary Sisters Our Lady of the Apostles (OLA) and the Missionaries of the Society of African Missions (SMA) in Canada is cordial and distant. The presence of the SMAs in Canada dates back to 1948, following a decision by the 1947 General Assembly, which decided to create a Foundation in Canada. The project was entrusted to the French Province of the East and Father Eugène Geisser (Eastern Province) who lived in Los Angeles (USA) was set aside for this new mission in the America. He was to recruit and train SMA missionaries for the francophone countries of West Africa. 70 years after, the SMA is still present in Canada, precisely in Quebec, where Father Geisser received a warm welcome from Mgr. Pelletier, who had studied theology in Strasbourg. The latter had great appreciation of the Alsatians. Today, the SMA community in Canada has 9 priests permanent members and 2 honorary members. 2 Canadian SMA are currently on mission to Tanzania in Africa. Although sMAs and OLAs rarely collaborate in Canada, Sr. Camilla acknowledges in the interview that the OLA Sisters from Quebec and SMA missionaries have worked well together in mission countries. She acknowledged that more can be done, especially with this new awareness of the importance of collaboration between the both institutes.

Sr. Camilla Martine, ola interveiewed by Papou Joli, sma

Papou Joli, sma

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