40 years of following Christ

Saturday 15 October 2022, during the parish mass at the Church of Saint Vincent de Paul, parish of Saint-Brieuc, France, I invited friends from the neighbourhood and the places where I am involved to celebrate my 40 years of religious life.

The church was well filled with people who were happy to be together. The celebration took place in peace and recollection..
Father Yves Rio, in charge of the Mission Ouvrière in the diocese, gave us a homily impregnated with the Word of God from the texts of the day, to which he added some extracts from our Rule of Life. It was a homily full of truth and light for our journey through life.

At the time of the presentation of the offerings we offered to the Lord my years of mission represented by some symbols.
The Rule of Life of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit symbolised my 40 years of religious life in the Congregation, in connection with all the sisters I have met along the way.
The globe signified the internationality of the Congregation, an internationality that I experienced concretely during a two-month stay in Burkina Faso in 2018-2019.
The picture of Saint Vincent de Paul indicates that our community from the parish of Saint-Brieuc, is especially present in the Saint-Vincent relay. I have created links there in particular through the liturgy.
The book of the exhibition of the 40 years of the Neighbourhood Committee expresses the history and our presence close to the inhabitants of the neighbourhood in various fields. I participate with others in the Board of Directors.
The panel of the Mission Ouvrière, with its different movements, reminds us that children, young people, adults, nuns and priests are trying, wherever they are, to bring about a fairer and more humane world where everyone finds their dignity.
The backpack is what marks today’s migrations. This bag contains the life and hopes of migrants, but they do not know where to put it. With the migrants’ team of Secours Catholique, I try to listen to them, to help them move forward in their asylum application and their integration.
A poster of the “Collectif fraternité dignité cimetière”, reminds us of the deceased who were homeless or in great solitude. Together with other people I am joining the Funeral Home so that together we can give them a dignified funeral.

Let us welcome the bread and wine that bring together this life, these encounters, these joys, these sorrows, Signs of the presence of God who brings us together at the heart of this celebration.
It was an important time for the renewal of vows when all the sisters present renewed them with me.
After this strong time of life in prayer and recollection, an aperitif dinner allowed for meetings which only delighted the guests.


Anne-Geneviève Guérin, DHS, Saint- Brieuc. Published on 25 October 2022.