Extraordinary Mission Month 2019
A Summer Mission
Truly I say to you, as you did it
to one of the least of these my brethren,
you did it to me. Mt 25:40
'To go out of self' and privilege missions in the peripheries. (Province Plan)
On July 31 2019, I left for Toronto filled with energy for my summer mission. It was the fourth time that I was teaching Jinghpho to Kachin (Burmese) children. Peter and Laurence were waiting for me at the bus station. They first drove me to Peter’s house for supper and then took me to our community of St. Joseph Artisan.
In the evening, I received an e-mail from the Kachin Association containing the names of the students, the timetable of the sessions, and the apartment numbers for the classrooms. The next day, August 1, we began the course with much joy, as the children were very happy to have the opportunity of being together for the summer. The schedule was one day in the first week, three days per week for the next two weeks, and five days for the last week. There were twenty-four students, separated into eight groups.
The students at the closing ceremony in the park
It was the fourth summer with the children. The last three times, we taught in Holy Cross Parish hall. As the parish hall was undergoing renovations, we had difficulty finding a place. Thank God, eight families offered their apartments for our mission and they were all in the same building. Each day, we taught in two apartments, one for Sr. Maria Maran and the other for me. We went from quarter to eleven in the morning until 7:00 p.m. We each had four groups a day.
Réunion de prière pour l'anniversaire
I am very satisfied with my teaching this year because the children improved greatly compared to the last three times. When we taught in the parish hall from 2016 to 2018, we separated the children into three groups and taught them together at the same time in this large space. The children had difficulty concentrating because of the noise and they were very easily distracted, making it difficult to complete our lesson plan.
Rosary at Mary Lake Shrine
This summer was truly fantastic as each group studied the language during one hour a day in a calm environment. In this way, we were able to teach with success and pleasure our daily lessons. The parents also realized that their children were progressing faster than the previous years. We celebrated the closing ceremony at Woodbine Beach, and we combined it with the annual barbecue outing of the Kachin Association.
On our days off, Maria and I went to visit the families, participated at the prayer meeting for the birthdays of two students, and went to the Hospital for Sick Children to pray for a little boy who has been in hospital for six months. We went on a pilgrimage to Mary Lake shrine with some families. It took more than an hour to get there by car. We prayed and ate with the families in the large church complex. Two families invited us for a relaxing outing at Centre Island.
Closing Ceremony and Annual Barbecue
Delightfully, the families prepared daily typical Burmese dishes for lunch and for supper. I really appreciated as I felt as if I were in my native town in Myanmar eating typical food of my country and speaking my mother tongue.
Thank God, all the children are interested in learning Jingpho. Having completed my summer mission, I came back to Montreal on August 27. I wish to thank Sr. Françoise and Sr. Liliane, for giving me this mission. I wish also to say a sincere thank you to Sr. Gaby.
Let us go ahead together!
Patricia Maran, fmm
September 9, 2019