Jubilee on 2009 - Montreal - 50 years
Sister Denyse Delisle
Originally from Montreal, Sister Denyse Delisle became Franciscan Missionary of Mary and she knew very young that she was called to mission beyond our borders. On the occasion of her fiftieth anniversary of religious life, I submit a brief tribute to her to recognize her contribution to education, catechesis and art: music and painting.
Her involvement in these areas took place in Syria, where she worked for 45 years. It is to the students of Aleppo that she transmits her knowledge and talent that the Lord has gifted her with. Then, came the nationalization of the schools, she courageously lived 7 years in the humble village X.... Here, in solidarity with the poor, she gave all she could of herself. The people lacked everything but so did the Sisters. Nourished by faith and hope, they lived a real experience of inculturation. Good relations with the villagers led the folks to teach them the Arabic language. Sr. Denyse courageously started teaching catechesis and train women in sewing. She also visited families to ensure their well-being as much as it was possible. Then she decided to follow two years of study in literary Arabic, in Damascus.
Assigned to a new position in the city of Homs, her classes are popular with young people and it becomes the livelihood of the Fraternity. One day a youth interrupts the course to say: “Sister, you must love us a lot to do all that for us!"
In Damascus, as well as in Aleppo, she has the direction of the University, mostly Muslim youth, who often come from remote areas for specialized studies. Also a professor of music, Sr. Denyse sees her accomplishments in painting with all these students. It is very energizing, who would doubt! May her involvement in the social and cultural development inspire generations who have experienced the worth of this valiant missionary!
In 2008 a serious health drawback requiring a follow up brought her back to the country. Denyse wrote: “Despite the disease and the disappointment of not being able to return to my adopted country, I am pleased to offer free time to the Lord. Thus, my mission continues ... is not contemplation at the heart of our mission?”
Jubilee on 2009