Pilgrimage to the Sources: an uncertain beginning – a luminous ending.

Our pilgrimage to the springs, which began uncertainly on 4 August, ended brightly on 31 August 2023 with songs of joy and thanksgiving. The last days of our pilgrimage (28-31) were very important moments for us as we took the time to do a general review of our experiences: personally, then with our different small groups formed during this pilgrimage and with our Superior General and her Council.

From our re-reading, we were able to make a review of our many discoveries, some of which include: the knowledge that our Congregation “Daughters of the Holy Spirit” is truly rich in history, culture, heritage, charism and spirituality received from our founders -Marie Balavenne and Renée Burel- despite our simple and humble beginnings. We have also discovered, through the testimonies of the people we have met during our visits to the different places where our sisters have lived and worked, that our Rule of Life is not someone’s invention but an experience lived by our sisters. This knowledge has led us to cherish our Rule of Life more than ever and to strive daily to follow the example of life it contains. From a general point of view, we discovered that there is indeed a rapid decline in Christianity in France and throughout the northern hemisphere, which calls us to be open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and to pray intensely for the call to the Christian life, to the priesthood and to religious life.
During the concluding prayer of our general review, we all drank the water of the Source and received a gift of openness, availability, simplicity, wisdom, kindness, humility…, to be lived and shared with the people to whom we are sent.

Over the last few days, we have had the privilege of celebrating with one of our elderly sisters, Denise DURAND, her centenary. It was in a joyful atmosphere that we, the Daughters of the Holy Spirit of Africa, celebrated our sister in our different cultural outfits and entertained the whole community with our various dances. What a joyful moment!

On the evening of this day, we put down our bags, said goodbye and thanked all those who had taken part in our pilgrimage, through which we have been enlightened and now know more about our history as a Congregation. It is on this note that we thank our Superior General and her Council, the Pilgrimage to the Sources team and all our sisters from the various Units of the Congregation. May the Holy Spirit continue to protect what he has planted.

Sister Valentina Lucy IYISHU, DHS, Nigeria. Published on 1st September 2023