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Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
September 3, 2006
A Passion for Living the Gospel

    The recent war in the Middle East has served to rouse the attention of anyone and everyone who has any sensibilities regarding politics, peace and justice or social equality.  Regardless of our political affiliation we  probably all have some opinion of the situation.  Now that there is a ceasefire, regardless of its tenuousness, many people will turn their attention to the next hot media sensation.  Not all people are in that boat however.  Many, hopefully all of us, will continue to be riveted to the aftermath of the war simply because we are Christian.  Perhaps taking a more personal view would help us not to forget the horrors of war.

    Some three years ago, I met a woman by the name of Sr. Michelle Loisel.  We met at a course in Spiritual Direction.  We have continued to meet yearly as the course required.  Michelle is a citizen of France but her religious order serves the people of the US in the capacity of hospital work.  She is a nurse by profession but she also enjoys doing Pastoral/Spiritual work with the people.  That is why she came to this country about four years ago.  She had previously served as a nurse but now felt called to give of herself in a spiritual as well as physical manner.

    Michelle  served the people of Lebanon for 28 years before coming to the US.  She was in Lebanon during the long and painful war between Israel and Lebanon in the 70's and 80's.  You can feel the pain she experienced during those years when you see her facial expressions as she speaks of those years. Her compassionate heart was and is a constant reminder of the Gospel message.  The only reason she left was because she was totally exhausted and needed a well earned break.  She asked to come to the US primarily because American hospitals have Pastoral Care centers where she could work.  This is not yet an option in France. 

    This past week we, her friends,  received an E-mail from her telling us that she had been contacted by three major superiors of her religious order asking her to return to Lebanon.  Since she had spent 28 years there she is very familiar with the culture and  knows the language well.  She is also a much needed nurse and spiritual care provider.  After a very short time of reflection she said Yes.  Michelle has returned to a place that is suffering in every manner possible.  She will not be able to communicate on a regular basis because the war knocked out the electrical system.  She will be working very long hours and using every skill she has developed over the years.   Although returning to such a deprived area will be a challenge for a women who is now in her early 60's,  she accepted the request because, she said, “the people of Lebanon are constantly being challenged to simply survive.”  How much more Passion for the Gospel can anyone have?

    I have shared this with you only in the hope of being able to ask for your prayerful support for Sr. Michelle and the people she will be serving. The people who are suffering are innocent human being who were caught in the crossfire.  They had no choice even of leaving the country since many of them did not even have enough gas in their tanks to make the journey across the border.  If you would like to help in a financial way, you could send a tax deductible donation to CNEWA (Christian New East Welfare Association) in New York.  You can contribute by check or online at their website.  In any case pray for Michelle and Lebanon.
                               
                                Lorette P. Nault