Posted October 15, 2014 in MH Regina SK:
Notes From Near and Far: Marian Centre Regina

by Doreen Rousseau.

Last summer, Hugo Isaza, with the help of some of our volunteers, brought beauty into our neighborhood. The flowers he planted all around our house were a joy to all who passed by.

One flower pot near our back door we named "the survivor." Twice petunias were planted in them, and twice they were uprooted by two lovely little girls who live in the house behind us. The third time, the petunias lived long enough to bloom.

To make friends with our little neighbors, Nancy Topping brought out soil, seeds, and two pots and asked the little girls to help her plant flowers in them. Then she showed them how to take care of them. They were delighted to have their own flower pots, and they faithfully watered them every day .

But life is not always easy no matter what age you are, and because of the circumstances these little girls live in, both flower pots were destroyed. But trying again, we put the flower pots in a safer place, and this time they survived.

Dundee, one of the men who on and off frequents our soup kitchen, told Nancy that he has felt blessed by our prayers.

He told her that he had been sleeping outside but has now been able to get veterans’ assistance and has gotten a place to live. He will be getting a monthly check that will cover all his needs, and in gratitude, he wants to give a donation to Marian Centre.

Blair Robert, the new emergency service manager at the rescue mission across the street from us, is responsible for their soup kitchen, clothing room, and shelter. He dropped in to visit so we could get to know each other, since we are dealing with the same people and doing the same type of work.

At one point in our conversation, he said that the men who come to his center say that Marian Centre is a peaceful place. He wanted to know how we do it, as it isn’t always so at their place.

We told him we do have days that are less peaceful, and that in order to have a peaceful house, we sometimes need to serve someone at the back door rather than letting them in or ask someone already here to leave.

However, we told him, we are present when the men come and getting to know them and befriending them makes a big difference.

This past year, we have made friends with immigrant families from India, Nigeria and Bangladesh.

Through them, we are learning how hard it is to adapt to another country and culture. And we have become more aware of the struggles caused by the lack of family support, the need for employment, and the changes in language, food, and so many other things.

At the end of June, we spent four days on retreat at Our Lady of the Prairies, a Trappist monastery in Manitoba, where the monks were most hospitable.

Bishop Noel Delaquis, an associate bishop of Madonna House who has been living with them for nine years, joined us as we listened to tapes of Fr. Wild’s talks from the local directors’ retreat before their meetings and shared our reflections on the notes from those meetings. There was so much in them to ponder.

We prayed most of the Divine Office with the monks—only six of them and they are all elderly. They truly are a witness of faith, perseverance, and total dependence on God.

The retreat was a grace-filled time for all of us.


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