Canada - The "Maison Orléans" in Montreal

The "Maison Orléans" project came about through an appeal made by some persons to one of the Little Sisters of the Assumption. These people were experiencing all sorts of painful situations in a difficult economic and social context. They were in quest of mean-ing and seeking a path of humanization.

It is already 13 years that the "Maison Orléans" (in the rue Orléans, hence its name), situated in one of the most deprived areas of Montréal, has been in existence! Over the years it has become a haven for persons who are seeking a meaning for their life and wish to find their place in present-day society. It offers each person the possibility of sharing their life experiences, of identifying their talents. It offers those who so wish the opportunity to shed light on their life through an inter-cultural and spiritual sharing. 
 
There, each person is welcomed, listened to and loved. They may express themselves through participating in one of the groups that have been formed to respond to the different needs and, if they so desire, they can be accompanied in their journey. The integrity of each person is recognised. 
 
The various activities of the Maison, their variety as well as the fact that the people who come to the house take responsibility for them, indicate signs of solidarity, mutual help and support and openness to the setting. 
 
In June 2011, the Etienne Pernet Family Services set out on a long process of autonomy with regard to the Little Sisters of the Assumption, while remaining deeply rooted in the spirit that animates them and which is at the heart of our mission. Indeed, Etienne Pernet placed the marginalised and forgotten people of society at the centre of the concerns and the activities of the LSA Congregation and he sought to bring together persons from different social classes in common projects. The persons who come to the Maison Orléans are indeed often people who are "left aside" whether by society or by the Church to which they belong. 
Today, life is leading us towards new challenges. 
 
Animated by the same spirit as Etienne Pernet and Antoinette Fage, laity and Little Sisters are working together to ensure the continuation of the Maison and are seeking with the different groups that constitute the Maison Orléans guidelines for responding to the needs of persons, while taking into account the reality of the society in which we live and all that shapes it: culture, belief, ethnic background, ideologies, the economic, social and political system. 
The study that we are undertaking in the group "At the heart of the Common House", which is to enter deeply into the spirit of the Beatitudes proposed by Jesus to our contemporary world, inspires and supports our commitment in the mission that we wish to continue. 
 
We wish to become artisans of hope for a better world! 
 
Yveline, member of the animation team 
 
22/04/2013
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