ABOUT US Marie Balavenne Year March 2016 August 2017
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Pilgrimage. Consecrated Seculars
On 19th March, to begin the year of Marie Balavenne, we, Anne Busby and Ann Marsland, decided to mark this important day by going on Pilgrimage to St David’s City in Pembrokeshire, Wales. This very tiny city was the birth place of St David. He is the Patron Saint of Wales.
Near the cliff edge there are the ruins of the house where his mother, St Non, gave birth to St David. There is nearby a Shrine to Our Lady, and a Well. The water in the Well is said to have healing properties. Legend tells us that the Well appeared during a thunderstorm, the night of St David’s birth. Not too far away there is St Non’s Retreat Centre and beside the Centre is a very small chapel – St Non’s Chapel. The Door to the Chapel is left open so that cliff walkers can visit there. It is one of the Doors of Mercy in our Diocese.
In preparation for the Year of Marie Balavenne we have been reflecting on her life. We have visited Le Legue, her place of birth, twice. To us Marie Balavenne was a very humble woman who allowed the Spirit to guide her. She experienced many hardships and challenges right from the very beginning of her life. These experiences led her to reach out to others as they face life’s hardships – to the sick, the poor, and the children. This Foundress of our DHS Family lived simply, her mission is often expressed through SIMPLE, HUMAN GESTURES – although not of significance to her meant everything to the sick, the poor, and the children amongst whom she ministered.
We came here on Pilgrimage to commit ourselves to focus on one of Marie Balavenne’s spiritual gifts – we are going to make a special effort each day to try to live simply and be humble as she was. We are going to concentrate on simple human gestures to those people we encounter each day. Smiles, hugs, a gentle touch, a kind word, praise, a listening ear, are so easy to do and can mean a great deal to those we encounter – God-given encounters. Over the years we have gathered so many material possessions – we are going to “de-clutter” and find worthy causes. There are also lots of friends who are sick or need support and we are going to keep contact with them through e-mail or telephone to show we care. While on Pilgrimage we visited St David’s Well and we scooped up water from the Well and prayed for those we know who are sick or are facing operations in hospital. While in St Non’s Chapel we lit candles for these people, dedicated ourselves to our Mission during the Year of Marie Balavenne, and restated our Vows as members of the DHS Secular Branch.
We were uniting ourselves with our EIW Province Sisters and Associates who were gathering together on this day, and also with the Special Celebrations taking place in our Motherhouse in St Brieuc. France.
Anne Busby and Ann Marsland, Consecrated Seculars of the Region of the Americas (EIW Province) - Email . Published on 1/04/2016.