Holy Spirit Province Saint-Esprit
Franciscans of Canada - Franciscains du Canada
Ordo Fratrum Minorum
“Truly honoured.” Sitting in her new office, Martine Moquin is still moved by the appointment she received a few months ago. As a sign of their confidence in her, the Franciscans of Canada recently named Martine Moquin Secretary of the Province, a position that she holds jointly with Father Aimé Do Van Thong, who has become canonical Secretary.
As someone who has the good of the community at heart, she accepted the appointment with joy. “I feel close to the Franciscans, to their values. Doing this work is my contribution to the community.”
The duties of the Provincial Secretary are significant. And yet, the scope of the assignment does not worry her unduly. After arriving in April 2018 as administrative assistant, she has proven herself. Her two years among the friars allowed her to get to know the community better. The friars had the chance to discover her various attributes and her skills. Over time, a sense of trust and loyalty was established and strong relationships were established.
Minister Provincial Pierre Charland explains what prompted the Definitory’s choice. “We offered the position to Martine because she has all the necessary qualities to perform the work involved. She has excellent relationships with the friars. She is intelligent, discreet, creative and has a good understanding of Franciscan culture. And Martine’s first few months in the position reveal a remarkable capacity for learning.”
Martine succeeds Lionel Chagnon, OFM, who held this position for more than 30 years. The responsibility was therefore enormous. Humbled by the magnitude of the job, she does not claim to be able to “fill such big shoes.” Mindful of her limits, she performs her work with confidence, in collaboration with Friar Aimé, knowing that the friars are very understanding. And Friars Lionel and Aimé are never far away; she knows she can rely on them for advice or information, if needed.
Her duties are varied and correspond to her skills. She handles the friars’ personnel files, manages the immigration files of Franciscans who come from abroad, is on the Board of Directors of the Frédéric Janssoone Museum, is responsible for relations with the Franciscan General Curia in Rome, does the necessary administrative tasks when a friar dies, and produces the community directory. She also assists at the meetings of the Definitory and prepares their minutes.
During this time of renewal in the Church, offering such an important position to a lay woman is becoming more and more ordinary, a sign of the times. “In this way we are working in the spirit of what Pope Francis wants. He has clearly expressed his desire to see more women taking their place in the Church and occupying positions of responsibility. Martine has our full confidence.”