Sister Françoise Laflamme, missionary from Malawi in Canada.
When I heard around me “Missionaries in the street,”
I wanted to know exactly what it was and I went to see first-hand how things were. From the outset I was conquered by this particular form of apostolate, which was somewhat in line with what I was doing in Malawi. And I decided to commit myself to it.
Of course, this sometimes raises questions. It is not unusual to wonder, “What exactly do you do in this group?” I can only answer: “I DO nothing special.” I’m neither a social worker nor a preacher. Actually I just walk in the street, especially around the area of St Rock. I greet people and sometimes we enter into conversation. I am confident that by our mere presence, we are someone to someone.
In reality, these are impoverished people we meet every day.
They are subject to many prejudices! But through our regular exchanges in the street, we discover their inner wealth. Beyond their injuries, we see a heart capable of love, expressing their truth without masks, showing their faith in God … Moreover, once the contact is established they help us overcome our prejudices. They allow us to develop compassion; we learn to “be” with them. simply to listen without looking for solutions.
Today we are twenty people: laity, religious and a priest who form the group of street-missionaries. In addition, our project is integrated into the objective of the parish: “Together, let us be witnesses of Love.” A great challenge, which I try to meet with conviction.
Sr Françoise Laflamme, Canada