Here is the translation of an article that has just been published in France. This will be the message for the beginning of the New Year 2013.
THE FAMILIES FOR JESUS
Second interview with Father Melvin Doucette, from Prince Edward Island (Canada), published on December 24, 2012, in La Voix de Cartier
“May the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose faithful servant I am, give you all Her protection in 2013.” – Isidore Grao
IG – Father Melvin, it has been two years since you kindly gave an interview to our electronic journal lavoixdecartier.com. In that interview that was realized on September 24, 2010, and which is found in this journal, we became acquainted, learned about your childhood with your parents, your experience as missionary in Africa (where your healing gift was revealed to you), and your return to Prince Edward Island, Canada. Man of faith and full of energy, you do not hesitate to travel to all parts of the globe. We can say that you walkedyour pilgrim’s staff in many countries! Why all these trips?
FM – To raise awareness of people and deliver them the Word of God.
IG – You also undertook, without any official aid, to build near Tignish a chapel to accommodate the hearts in search of inner peace. Can you tell us the purpose of that chapel, which at first glance looks pretty isolated and far from society?
FM – The chapel, which was built progressively (for financial reasons) welcomes all pilgrims who come to hear the Word of God. They can live retreats and healing ministries.
IG – But now you have started a project still more important, that of creating within the Church an organization called Families for Jesus. This organization you define as follows: “A fundamental organization within in the Church for Christian couples (husband and wife) who have received the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony and are faithful to their vows. As matrimony is a covenant between two people who form a community, their union is a Christian covenant community.”
What do you expect of this new community?
FM – My action follows the request of the Holy Father Benedict XVI concerning the new evangelization. Jesus wants to establish a lay movement focused on families, especially Christian couples. He wants to form groups of families who strive to follow him and not as religious but as lay Christians. Wherever a couple of the organization is present, the community is there.
We will refer to them as the “Families for Jesus,” since Jesus Himself revealed this name to me.
IG – How will its action materialize?
FM – Each group will experience a total spirituality suitable for families and based on the famous words of Jesus: “Where two or three come together in my name, there am I in their midst (Matthew 18, 20).”
The couples will freely apply to join and undergo a probation period before being accepted as full members. To become members, they will make a promise to God to be faithful to the Constitution and live up to the obligations of membership. They are expected to attend church regularly and support their parish. They will work hard to bring about the “civilization of love.” They will fight the immorality of the times such as euthanasia, abortion, and all other evils against marriage.
The Families for Jesus are designed to help couples live as committed Christians, imbued with the Spirit of Jesus, and willing to work to Christianize their homes, their communities and workplaces. They can also give their time to help the poor, the sick, the elderly, and the less fortunate in their communities. They can also address other issues such as the rights of the person, justice for all, or the improvement of political, economic and social areas.
All couples who wish to join the Families for Jesus will commit one evening a week for a whole year in order to be initiated into this community. They will work through seminars, courses, talks, discussion groups, workshops and retreats as part of their training. The Brothers and Sisters of Jesus will guide these couples in these weekly gatherings of prayer, religious studies, spiritual formation, and in their apostolate, working together and sharing their lives with one another. They will also welcome visits to their homes by the Contemplative Brothers and Sisters. There will be no financial obligation. After the year of formation is completed, the candidates can apply as a couple to join the Families for Jesus.
IG – One of your texts states the objective of the “Families for Jesus.” These families are intended to help couples to live as Christians committed and willing to work to Christianize their homes, their community and their work. If I understand your message, it is to spread and multiply the Word outside the parish church, which is the house of God, while inside the church this is reserved to the priest’s mission.
FM – It is to evangelize, to spread the Word of Jesus through all the opportunities that life presents to couples who want live as committed Christians.
IG – In these “Families for Jesus”, what is the role of parents towards the children?
FM – The role of parents is to evangelize their children and let them know the Word of Jesus in all occasions, right from their early education, so that they later become couples who are committed Christians. Parents, husband and wife, will therefore help their children rise in Christianity, following the example of the Holy Family.
IG – Do you see a difference between the words “couple” and “marriage”?
FM – For me, a couple is a man and a woman united by marriage. So, I do not make any difference between these two terms.
IG – Currently, there is a great debate in France about same sex unions. Our Civil Code recognizes marriage only between only between two people of opposite sexes. What do you think about that issue, you who are from a country that allows that kind of unions? (Many Americans are going to neighbouring British Columbia to get married.)
FM – In Canada, all provinces allow marriage between persons of the same sex. This is a federal law. But in fact, marriage is reserved to a man and a woman who want to start a family and have children. This is not the same thing for persons of the same sex, who will need third parties if they wish to have a child. This poses new issues, such as the quality of the offspring.
I know gay people who live in celibacy. They know they cannot get married if they want to continue to live as Christians, attending Mass and receiving communion.
Their sexuality is affected by sin. But in their souls, they can remain true Christians.
IG – What do you think about cardinal André Vingt-Trois, president of the Bishops’ Conference of France, who will not participate to the manifestation of January 13, 2013, a demonstration against “marriage for all”? He will only go and greet the demonstrators, for according to him “he is not a political actor nor an organizer of events, and his role is to provide benchmarks, not to organize public protest.”
FM – Cardinal André Vingt-Trois is not in favor of marriage for all, i.e. between persons of the same sex. He cannot participate in the conduct of the event. But coming and greeting the protesters is a significant gesture that shows his interest for this issue.
In conclusion, I hope that the Families for Jesus will be able, with the help of the future Contemplative Brothers and Sisters, to spread the love of Jesus by the new evangelization. Amen.
Isolated on “a few acres of snow,” as Voltaire said, we discover a haven of peace that is built stone by stone. This is Father Melvin’s project, a Little Shrine built in honor of Our Lady of Prince Edward Island which, despite great difficulties (especially financial), welcomes you in a magnificent setting.
At your leisure, in that Little Shrine you can:
– attend the Holy Mass every Wednesday and Thursday at 9:30 a.m.;
– participate in rosaries and Healing Masses. Generally, these Masses are held on the first Friday of each month;
– participate in retreats.
The address of the Little Sanctuary is as follows:
1704 Palmer Road, RR2