FCJ Companions in Mission (CiMs) come from different countries and continents, genders, ages, and walks of life, all called to the same mission. This mission has its roots in baptism – sent like Jesus to bring about the reign of God in our world. CiMs are called to live out in their concrete realities and daily lives the spirituality gifted to the world by the Holy Spirit through Marie Madeleine d’Houët, foundress of the FCJ Society, a spirituality of companionship. Presently there are 142 Companions in Mission across the FCJ Society.
The 2019 General Chapter of the FCJ Sisters recommended that a Companion in Mission be appointed as an International Coordinator, working closely with an FCJ Sister, to carry forward our joint vision (Chapter Calls).
As Faithful Companions of Jesus we rejoice in the growth and diversity of the Companions in Mission over the past eighteen years. We thank God for the enthusiasm, gifts and commitment of each one, dispersed over eleven countries. This new expression of the Charism is a source of inspiration and hope and we truly value the treasure that the Companions in Mission are to the FCJ Society and to God’s world.
Chapter Calls, FCJ General Chapter 2019
We are happy to announce that Lisa Gilead, CiM has been appointed as International Coordinator of the Companions in Mission for the next 3 years, effective July 1, 2020. Lisa, from Calgary, Canada, is a spiritual guide and retreat team member at the FCJ Retreat and Conference Centre. She started her journey as a CiM in 2010. In a letter to all the Companions in Mission and FCJ Sisters Lisa writes:
When I first started Formation in 2010 it was never my intent to become a part of a faith community. However, I was very attracted to the Sisters Faithful Companions of Jesus way of life. I came to learn that companionship with Jesus in the spirit of their Foundress, Marie Madeleine, was the essence of their being and I wanted to know how I could be part of this way of life.
It was on the Pilgrimage in July 2019 with CiMs and FCJ Sisters from around the world that being part of a faith community really came to light for me. To experience and to share Marie Madeleine’s life with others who really embraced her charism confirmed what I was missing in my own life. I cannot live a spiritual life alone.
The gifts and the graces I have received by being a part of Companions in Mission I would never have been blessed with if I were not part of this faith community.
So, it is with great honour that I accept this role as International Coordinator for Companions in Mission with the FCJ Society.
To tell you a little about myself: I offer Spiritual Direction at the FCJ Christian Life Centre in Calgary. I received my training through a 2-year program offered at the Centre. I have completed the 19th Annotation Retreat of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola and will be a member of the Ignatian Exercises Team as a group director. I volunteer with other CiMs as Sacristan and participate on the Resource Team at the Centre. I recently served as local Co-coordinator of CiMs, Calgary.
I retired in September 2019 after working as a Chef for 21 years in the private kitchen of a Calgary law firm. I am an avid sports enthusiast supporting our local football team. I have participated in various road race events which included runs from 5k to a full marathon. I am involved in local charity walks such the Coldest Night of the Year with CiMs and FCJ Sisters, as well as, the Santa Shuffle supporting the Salvation Army Christmas Food drive.
I look forward to getting to know and working with you all. Love and Prayers,
Lisa Gilead CiM
International Coordinator for Companions in Mission