Scarboro’s new lay missioners

October 2001

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In April, 2001, a Mass and ceremony was held at Scarboro Missions to bless our new group of lay missioners and send them on their journey in mission. At the ceremony, each missioner signed their three year contracts to Scarboro Missions and presented their mission statements, in the presence of family, friends and the Scarboro community.

Anne Quesnelle

Anne has a degree in finance and is a very accomplished pianist. She and her husband Marc Chartrand celebrated their third wedding anniversary in August 2001. They will study Spanish in Bolivia and then join the Scarboro team in Riobamba, Ecuador, in December 2001.

I, Anne Quesnelle, with the grace of God and accompanied by my companion of life, Marc Chartrand, commit myself to walk for three years with the people of Ecuador as a Scarboro lay missioner. In my heart I carry with me all those who have touched, inspired and influenced me these past 26 years. From now on I will risk the road less travelled and I will dare to remain open, surrendering myself to God who invites me to this life adventure. May I always be reminded of my inner goodness and be able to share my burning heart.

To those who hunger for love and presence, who thirst for laughter and light, I will try to be God’s heart and God’s hands to love all. The Lord has seized me as his instrument of peace and I ask that he continue to give me eyes of the heart so that I may see deeply and discover the needs of each person I meet on the way.

A sincere thanks to all of you present here today. I ask that you continue to pray for me so that I may go to mission with a courageous spirit and as a witness of God’s true love in all the dimensions of my life.

Marc Chartrand

Marc is a high school teacher and a guidance counsellor. He has a degree in Theology after studying with the Dominican religious order. He is a great guitar player.

I, Marc, in the presence of family, friends and my Scarboro family, commit to serve with Scarboro Missions as a lay missioner. God has called me to live simply, to leave everything behind and to follow.

My saying yes to this call has led me here to Scarboro Missions and to live and be with the people of Ecuador as part of Scarboro’s team in Riobamba.

I feel very fortunate to have found someone like Anne with whom to share my life journey. Deep within me will always be the memory, the love and the wisdom of all those who have touched my life.

I ask you all to pray for me so that I may be filled with the Holy Spirit and be able to face what awaits me with love and compassion. Pray also that I may be an instrument of peace for all those around me and to help those who seek justice.

Peter vanZyl

Peter is a counselling social worker with expertise in drug and alcohol treatment. He is using his professional skills as a counselor to walk with the people of New Amsterdam, Guyana.

Trusting in you God and with your graces, I, Peter vanZyl, commit myself together with my wife Magda, to walk with you in serving the people of Guyana as a lay missioner with Scarboro Missions for three years. In solidarity I want to share their daily struggles, to learn from them what they share with me and to be a healing and quiet presence among them.

I hope that I may see your face Jesus, in the faces of the poor, the rejected, the handicapped, the sick and the elderly in the town of New Amsterdam. I pray that when I hesitate to be with your people, when I question my own flawed and imperfect presence, when I do not see the needs of those who are suffering, when I want to run away from the call of giving, that you will walk beside me and give me your strength and courage.

Jesus said to the rich young man: “Go, sell everything, give it to the poor and come follow me.” I ask for the prayers of all of you during my time in mission that I may be faithful to this call.

God, I offer my hands, my mind and my heart, my all. Here I am Lord. I come to do your will.

Magda vanZyl

Magda was part of the L’Arche team in British Columbia and is an Early Childhood Education teacher by profession. Magda will be working primarily with special needs students at a school in New Amsterdam, Guyana.

In answer to your call God, I say, “Here I am.” I, Magda vanZyl, commit myself to serve as a lay missioner with Scarboro Missions for the next three years. I make this commitment with my husband Peter at my side.

Creator God, I thank you for the precious gift of my life and I praise you for all the people you have sent my way. People who have inspired me, encouraged me, called forth my gifts and helped me become the person I am today. I am now ready to share the gift of myself with the people of New Amsterdam in Guyana.

As I go on this new journey, I ask for help along the way. Please pray with me that God will grant me the courage to live out the Beatitudes, so that I may become the song of the Gospel. May I be open to recognizing each person as a gift, no matter how insignificant or broken. I pray for a humble heart to continue to learn from those whom God sends me. May my time in mission be a true journey in faith.

(CREDIT Michael Traher, S.F.M.) L-R: Fernande Barnabé, m.o.; Peter and Magda vanZyl; Marc Chartrand and Anne Quesnelle; Dorothy Novak; and in front, Scott McDonald. (CREDIT Michael Traher, S.F.M.)
L-R: Fernande Barnabé, m.o.; Peter and Magda vanZyl; Marc Chartrand and Anne Quesnelle; Dorothy Novak; and in front, Scott McDonald.

Fernande Barnabé, m.o.

Sr. Fernande, of the Missionary Oblate Sisters, taught primary grades in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. As well, she has worked with correctional services and with the deaf. She has previous overseas experience working in Chad, Africa.

After language school in Bangkok, Sr. Fernande will be working with exploited women, teaching them English and French in association with the Good Shepherd Sisters in Pattaya, Thailand.

I, Fernande Barnabé, in solidarity with the charism of Scarboro Missions and the Missionary Oblate Sisters to opt for the poor, make this commitment to the members of the Scarboro community to work with the women and children who are victims of injustice and exploitation and stripped of their dignity in Pattaya, Thailand.

May the God of compassion take me to the ones who hurt. May I see you in every face. May I hear you and welcome you in each relationship. May I give freely with true generosity. Help me spread your love everywhere I go. Penetrate and possess my whole being so fully that my life will reflect your compassion. Shine through me and be so in me that every person I meet will feel your presence in my spirit.

I trust that God will be my faithful companion and that Scarboro, my community and my friends will strengthen me during difficult times.

Scott McDonald

Scott is a Little Person, being 4’7”, who has travelled around North America fundraising with a Little Persons’ basketball team. He has done extensive work in schools with the Don’t Tease Program and worked for awhile with learning disabled students. After language studies in Bangkok, Thailand, he will teach English at the Redemptorist Vocational School for the Disabled in Pattaya.

I, Scott McDonald, with the grace of God, in the presence of my family, friends and the Scarboro community, commit myself for three years to serve as a Scarboro lay missioner with the people of Thailand.

I commit myself to work for justice for the poor and disabled, in whatever form that presents itself. I feel blessed to be able to walk in faith with the people of another culture and know that they have much to share with me in their struggles, dreams and joys of life. To my family and friends I am so very grateful for your love, prayers and support and I ask that you continue to pray for me as I embark on this new journey.

Dorothy Novak

While in Canada, Dorothy owned and operated a home for the physically handicapped elderly. As well, she was music coordinator, Eucharistic minister, catechist and choir director at her home parish in Nova Scotia.

Dorothy will spend several months in language studies and then, in association with the Good Shepherd Sisters in Bangkok, Thailand, she will be working with exploited women.

In response to God’s call to “love one another as I have loved you,” in praise and thanksgiving to my Creator and to all here at Scarboro Missions for this opportunity, I go to serve in mission with the people of Thailand.

I, Dorothy Novak, from St Anthony Daniel Parish in the Antigonish Diocese of Nova Scotia, make this commitment to Scarboro Missions and the people that I will serve, to continue the charism of Scarboro, to be open and receptive and to let my light shine through with all that I am and all that I do.

My heartfelt thanks to all who have been and are a part of my life, especially my parents, my children, Cathy, Terri Lynn and Mitchell, my family, my beautiful friends. It is only through the grace of God, your prayers, sacrifice and support that I leave for mission, knowing deep in my heart that each one of you will journey with me and that we will continue to pray for each other to build the Kingdom of God.

May the Holy Spirit continue to guide and strengthen me.

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