TRIBUTE TO JEAN MONBOURQUETTE
On August 28, 2011, Heaven welcomed a great man who left an extraordinary legacy to Quebecers and to all humanity. Jean Monbourquette, author of numerous bestsellers, priest, OMI and psychologist, devoted to transmitting much of his life through his books and lectures, the fruit of his studies and his life experience, primarily on grief, the mission of life, self-esteem and forgiveness.
His book, A chacun sa mission, marked me deeply. By doing the exercises suggested in his book, I had the inspiration to found Spiritours. I had been offered this book in 2000 when I was at a crossroads in my life and did not know what direction I would take. I went on a trip with this book in which I referred to it on a daily basis. Jean Monbourquette says rightly that, « it is essential, especially at times of transition in life, to withdraw from normal activities, to enter into ourselves and reflect on the dream of the soul » and that is what I did. The experience of being immersed in another culture combined with the realities that I discovered thanks to the book A chacun sa mission opened my eyes, heart and mind to new horizons of the world and my own inner world. Later it became the slogan of Spiritours, but it’s really what I experienced. Three years later, in 2003, I founded Spiritours, a tour operator specialized in organizing trips to enable individuals to stop, take stock in their lives and to recharge.
In 2007, I went to see Jean Monbourquette at a conference he gave at the Centre Saint-Pierre to thank him for the gift he had given me through his book and to let him know what fruits it had created. I invited him to participate in one of our trips and to be a special guest. He agreed, but unfortunately, about 10 days before departure his doctor forbade him to make this trip because of his aneurysm. They were all very disappointed, him being the first. Fortunately a lady formed by Jean Monbourquette, Theresa Landry, was leading the workshops and we were able to watch a video of Father Monbourquette based on the theme of the only conference he was supposed to give. Two years later he came to meet us at the Spiritours offices in Montreal with his assistant Isabelle d’Aspremont. We were planning a trip to France on the theme of forgiveness, but this trip was unfortunately canceled. I have kept as a souvenir, a promotional video that we did with him on Salt and Light Television for the trip. He believed in the mission of Spiritours and it really touched me. I will miss him!