• Our actual commitments

A house for the entire world

SASV'S and UNANIMA INTERNATIONAL


Social justice concerns are unceasingly at the heart of our preoccupations.

Within the beginning years of this 21ST century, an era of social justice networks, we must think and act internationally and globally.

In order to inform our decisions and actions we asked to join UNANIMA international.

UNANIMA is an NGO (non- governmental organization) housed at the United Nations in New York, USA that works for international justice and improving economic and social conditions for all people in collaboration with the charter of the United Nations.

UNANIMA is comprised of two words: anima, the principle of feminine life, what animates and gives life and un which connected to anima speaks of a will to work together as “one heart and one spirit”.

The goal of UNANIMA international is to promote justice for

  • women and children in impoverished situations
  • immigrants and refugees
  • and to assure respect of the environment and of the universe

UNANIMA's plan for the next three years is to abolish at its source the trafficking of women and children who are victims of sexual exploitation and to put an end to this reality.

In March 2009 our Congregation presented its criteria and was accepted as a member of UNANIMA. We joined a group of twenty other congregations of men and women committed to this cause.
Our delegate is Judith Curley SASV from Lowell, MA. USA

Twenty-three SASV's witness to their commitments:

  • Advocating women and children
  • Defending the rights of minorities
  • Ministering to those who suffer

Mariette Milot

Quebec, Canada
Nicolet
Diocese of Nicolet

CATHII (Committee against internal and international trafficking of women and children) is the organized response of feminine congregations of women religious in Quebec to the USIG (international union of general superiors) call of 2001 TO ACT TOGETHER AGAINST THE TRAFFICKING OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN. The USIG represents over a million women religious throughout the world.

At that time I asked our Congregation to commit itself to this cause. The goal is completely in the spirit of our charism related to the liberation of women in our country and throughout the world.

In partnership with two Daughters of Wisdom I minister in the conscientization of secondary level students and junior college students as well as with group of adults in educating them about this sad and dire situation. Together we have created two resources to sensitize people: a DVD theatre production and a resource guide. These tools have now been translated into five languages and have reached sixty countries through UNANIMA international connected to the United Nations.

At this moment in my life I commit the best of my energy and resources to my sisters victimized by human trafficking.

Denise Laquerre

Quebec, Canada
Trois Rivieres, Quebec
Diocese of Trois Rivieres

For over twenty years I have offered my services to FAR
                 Familles      Accueil      References
a pun on the word Phare meaning lighthouse
an organization that shelters women in difficulty or victims of conjugal violence.

My involvement means a formation program given over six weeks for two hours a day.

I want to“be with”, to accompany these women who are in search of resources.

I want to be a listening presence by welcoming their sufferings, their questions, their aridity and their broken hearts.

I find myself privileged to be a witness and partner in their interior journeys. Each one possesses within herself the ability to take one step, then another... with the support of the staff and other guests.

The most exacting and also the most gratifying, is the step toward self- identity.

As an SASV I see myself living our charism, in recognizing and supporting women who are in difficult situations. I am the only woman religious on a beautiful team of fifteen people. I love this commitment that allows me to give the best of myself and to see before my eyes unexplored potential emerging in these women.

Margot Genier

Ontario, Canada
Earlton
Diocese of Timmins


ONE LOVE    CANADA/JAMAICA
I love young people and therefore have been involved in pastoral ministry with youth for my entire career as an educator. In 1986, I suggested to 15-18 year olds to join me in organizing an annual twelve- day trip to the third world. For twelve years now our project has been called “One Love” title taken from the celebrity Bob Marley, whose mission is to sensitize youth to the realities of the poorest in Jamaica, more precisely those in the capital of Kingston.

Here are the stages necessary for this pilgrimage to succeed in responding to the call “I was hungry, thirsty, I was homeless...”

Before- This kind of a project doesn't happen automatically and cannot happen by improvising. We prepare and engage in formation for one year. We pray. We fast. We collect donations.

During- Upon arrival, we as teams of adults and young people go out to meet the Jamaican people to be touched by them, to open our hearts to receive, to enrich ourselves within these diverse cultures and surely to work with them in constructing houses, in visiting schools, hospitals and orphanages. We welcome what presents itself to us each day.

After- Back home, we reflect upon the trip amongst ourselves by rereading our journals and gathering for a three-month post evaluation of our experiences.

Over these years I have now engaged in almost thirty trips with about 450 youth and adults. I hope I have handed on to them a desire for deep sharing and a vision of the new humanity desired by God.

Therese Demers

Quebec, Canada
Trois-Rivieres
Diocese of Trois-Rivieres

As a volunteer at Between Friends Center, other staff members and I, assist students in Grades One through Six with school and homework. The students are of many ethnic backgrounds: African, Mexican and Korean. Amongst them are also young Quebeckers. Each one has a personal file in which staff records their student's progress. Aids-in-training assist us and lighten our tasks. Also, one afternoon a week, we offer the services of a pediatrician, Dr. l'Etoile to parents of challenged children. The Between Friends Center wears its name well. I greatly enjoy this ministry that finds me helping students who struggle academically and who live with their parents in subsidized housing. There, I feel appreciated, and I am happy to be part of this staff of volunteers.

Immersed in the First Nations since 1891

How is it within forty years of our foundation we the Sisters of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin arrived in Northwestern Canada at Onion Lake? What happened to make such an exile a reality? Without a doubt Mother Saint Joseph, general superior, was sympathetic to the request of Bishop Vital Grandin, Bishop of St. Albert in Alberta, Canada. She recalled the stories of our founder, Jean Harper from his time in First Nation missions. He had responded at 21 years old to a call from Bishop Norbert Provencher.

In Canada, once the construction of the railways was completed all that was talked about was expansion. This expansion confined the native people to the edges of the Canadian frontiers. Such expansions lead to a migration from east to west. It is within this context that we became missionaries with a mission that had two dimensions: to educate young native children and to educate children of migrant populations of francophone Canadian Catholics.

A new world was emerging, rich in differences, filled with challenges, made up of many culture and religions. We lived ecumenism before ever knowing its name, always inspired by a Biblical respect of people.

A Sister of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin living amongst the Atikamekw 1993-2009

Sister Monique Laliberte is another SASV whose heart vibrated to a missionary call amongst First Nations. Hers was an intercommunity collaborative ministry with the Oblates of Mary Immaculate where her brother Jacques is a member. During sixteen years she ministered at Manawan, Opitciwan and Wemotaci. She tells her story in a booklet entitled: “The Sisters of the Assumption in the Haute Mauricie amongst the First Nations, Quebec, Canada”.

Fernande Rivard

Ontario, Canada
North Bay
Archdiocese of Sault St. Marie

In the autumn of 2012, I was invited to live an intercommunity missionary experience at Arviat (2,000 inhabitants) a small village in Nunavut, situated 2,136 kilometers from my home in Ottawa. It all began with an invitation to assist a team of Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM) at the request of Bishop Reynald Rouleau of the diocese of Churchill-Hudson Bay. The team forms future leaders, engages in faith and leadership formation for parish, community and social service. The educator within me felt at ease to launch into this project. As for all missionaries there was the inevitable culture shock, which soon began to disappear.

To see people being instructed formed, growing and taking responsibility for their lives filled up my educator's heart. The following year I left for another trip lasting a few months and now return regularly to continue to offer my services. I deeply appreciated this experience, which invites me to share my faith, to give and to receive a great deal.

In this photo you see me at the right, in the company of Sr. Dorica, fmm and the youth of our parish.

Marie-A. Turcotte

Ontario, Canada
Sudbury
Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie

During more than 30 years as a professional social worker, I reached out to marginalized of all kinds. Despite my goodwill, and the goodwill of others, many marginalized, fell through the cracks within the social service system. This being true, I vowed, “When I retire, it is these kinds of people, the underserved marginalized, to whom I want to minister and be present. From 2005-2013, I have served as volunteer director of the Samaritan Center in Sudbury a soup kitchen that serves 200 to 250 meals each day. Also, since that time, I have collaborated with the St. Vincent de Paul Society to provide basic needs and furniture to street people who are searching for homes. With a team of very dedicated people, I assist these impoverished people to begin again and to reclaim, their dignity as children of God.

These words of our constitutions: “to work within the Church to promote the dignity of the people of God especially the poor”, resound in my heart and strongly invite me to constantly respond.

Therese Dube

Holyoke, MA. USA
Diocese of Springfield

As a chaplain and psycho-spiritual counselor, at Providence Behavioral Health Hospital, I am faithful to the spirit of our Congregation that sends us toward the most impoverished and in the spirits of our founders. I accompany, with my heart, in the Spirit of Jesus, the poorest of the poor and, in certain cases, the richest of the rich in our midst. To do this is a passion, a privilege and a blessing beyond measure!

The beneficiaries of the of Providence Health Hospital and my services are the mentally challenged, the elderly who suffering from traumas or unresolved conflicts, children and young people victimized by horrors beyond imagining, ex-prisoners in need of rehabilitation, those addicted to drugs or other substances, and clients who need intensive mental health programs.

A dedicated staff and I try to weave a red thread of love, a green thread of hope, a yellow thread of peace while we experience the daily challenges at this moment in history and at this moment in health care services in. With a grateful heart walking beside the people confided to our care, I add to the weaving a thread of joy colored by the dawning. All can begin and begin again...

Lucie Lessard

Quebec, Canada
Trois-Rivieres
Diocese of Trois-Rivieres

Since 2006, I have been employed at Carpe Diem, a community organization focused on the care of people at various stages of Alzheimer's disease.

When a family asks for assistance, I arrive at the home or at the residence. My ministry consists in “being with” the person, being available and listening so as to make this particular moment the happiest moment possible. According to my patients' abilities, needs and desires, we do a number of activities together, go on a short outing, cook, garden, shop or clean. The most important thing is that they feel that I am there for them.

I begin my day in remembering our SASV mission: “With Mary, place all in God's hands so as to reveal Love”. This thought informs my day and gives meaning to my life and to my ministry. Often when I am engaged in this ministry and accompanying people who are struggling with the limitations, that Alzeimer's imposes, I feel fatigued and frail.

At such moments, placing all in God's hands takes on a new meaning. I love my ministry and I believe that God awaits me in this ministry where people have so much need to be respected and loved.

Blandine Allen, Maritza Gualtero, Carmen Jutras, Therese Lacourse, Agathe Martel, Alexandra Zambrano

Quito, Ecuador(Pichincha) and Quevedo(Los Rios)
Dioceses of Quito and of Babahoyo

Carmen, Alexandra, Blandine, Maritza
Agathe, Therese

A small, but valiant team of committed Sisters of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin has served in Ecuador since 1972. We connect those in need with existing services much as bees connect between the flower and the beehive. We respond to a thirst for God's Word through family catechesis and, thus open the doors of faith formation for parents and their children.

We do not solve pastoral or social problems: we develop our gifts and use them to nurture within Ecuadorians the skills they need to solve pastoral and social problems to transform society. We pay particular attention to distressed people by being a listening presence. We give the children the educational assistance they need. For the youth and women, we form reflection-action groups. For the elderly, we provide the assistance they need to live this final stage of life with dignity.

Associates in Ecuador have become steeped in SASV history and committed to our mission and values. Our associates, like our Sisters, embrace Mary, woman of the Assumption, woman of audacity and initiative, woman of inspiration in their daily lives. Ecuadorian associates are, of course, committed to their families and local parishes. When an urgent need exists, they concretely witness this need in solidarity, drawing their energy from their meeting with the Beloved who welcomes them, enlightens their searching, and gives them a desire to go forward with the entire Congregation. Our founder, Jean Harper, would surely recognize their spirits in our diverse forms of liberating education as well as the charity that echoes in their laughter during times of relaxation. Sisters and associates warmly welcome volunteers from Quebec and graciously assist them in their transition into Ecuadorian reality.

Madeleine Brochu, San Luis, Maranhao, Archdiocese of San Luis
Pauline Legault, Recife, Pernambuco, Archdiocese of Recife-Olinda
Janice Belanger, Recife, Pernambuco, Archdiocese of Recife-Olinda
Diane Trepanier, Serra Cattita, Alagoas, Archdiocese of Maceio
Carmen Lucia dos Santos, Maceio, Alagoas, Archdiocese of Maceio
Joana Ribamar Pereira Campos, Recife, Pernambuco, Archdiocese of Recife-Olinda
Maria dos Santos Barros Fonseca, San Luis, Maranhao, Archdiocese of San Luis
Gilmarta Maria Soares Monteiro, Maceio, Alagoas, Archdiocese of Maceio
Diene Dantas dos Santos, Maceio, Alagoas, Archdiocese of Maceio
Alecsandra Carla da Silva, San Luis, Maranhao, Archdiocese of San Luis<




Although our Brazilian region comprises twelve members living in three houses, our small number is not an obstacle to our passion for our mission of revealing God's love in multitude ways.

One companion lives out our mission according to the Congregation's original call to classroom education.

Another ministers within the Education Department of Maceio concentrating on the formation of educators.

In a very different way, a third ministers in a hospital concentrating on care of children. She also witnesses to the formational dimensions of her ministry in her outreach to mothers and patient's in need of supportive services.

Some minister within base communities, offering faith formation in varied ways: liturgy coordinators, formation of catechists and communion ministers, Biblical courses, courses on the Enneagram, youth ministry and vocational awareness programs.

After receiving the required credentials, four of us are engaged in spiritual companioning/direction.

We are also involved in social service ministries. Like many international religious communities, the trafficking of people concerns us. Our most significant commitment in this realm is our partnership in the Talitha Project of the Conference of Religious of Maceio. This project rescues adolescent victims of sexual abuse who have been involved in prostitution and drug trafficking as well as working toward preventing these social evils. In addition, we work with small communities as part of “A Cry for Life”, an international movement established with the goal of eradicating the trafficking of persons.

From another perspective, our social ministries invite us to become agents of transformation in communities, where material and economic development destroys the natural landscape and isolates people from their homes and their means of survival. This destruction and isolation make the quality of health and educational services precarious.

Our meetings with our associates bear much fruit as we form partnerships in a number of shared commitments.