WEBINAR – on Blessed Dina Bélanger, RJM
Some of us had the opportunity to follow the webinar on Blessed Dina produced by the University of Laval in Canada in conjunction with the Centre Dina Bélanger, in celebration of her 125th birthday on April 30th. The program, entitled, “Listening to Dina Belanger – What inspiration for today?” consisted of four parts.
The first part was a series of interviews with some of our retired Sisters in Canada who heard stories of Blessed Dina from M. St. Elizabeth, her novice mistress. Sister Françoise Barras also gave a reflection of Dina’s life.
The second segment was an attempt to understand Dina’s spirituality. The presenter sifted through Dina’s writings to reveal three main attitudes: A desire for God, living ‘for others/the Other’, and that suffering leads to compassion.
The third segment examined Dina’s writings from a theological viewpoint, noting how it flowed from the prominent ideas of the times prior to Vatican II, living a life of ‘perfection’ as understood by living in imitation of Jesus as shown in a devotion to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus. This basically flowed from the prevalence of the devotion to the Sacred Heart with an emphasis on Jesus’ self-giving in the Eucharist.
Dina’s music was the topic of the final segment, as seen through the eyes of a musicologist from the University. It traced her musical development from childhood through school and finally, in her compositions during her time in New York city.
What fascinated me were the insights gained by these relatively young, modern people who had only recently read the Autobiography and how they gleaned these themes in her writings, while not getting hooked on notions that might not fit in with today’s ways of expressing these same notions.
You can visit the Dina Bélanger Center at: https://www.jesus-marie.ca/centre-dina-belanger/ or follow on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/centredinabelanger/, where a recording of the webinar in French is available.
– Sr. Doris Bissonnette, RJM