ABOUT US Marie Balavenne Year March 2016 August 2017
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The opening of the Marie Balavenne year was a memorable and joyful occasion for the community. It is a very special foundation of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit in the EIW Province, because it is the only Convent which was newly built for the Sisters. The Superior General at that time authorised the use of the patrimony of one of the Breton Sisters, who came to England in 1902, to build the Convent. The chief ministry of the Sisters in the 114 years of its existence was focused on education, evangelisation, and a love for the poor and underprivileged in the area. St Joseph’s Convent is now home to the DHS Sisters in retirement, for Sisters in need of nursing care, and the sisters and staff who care for them. We can truly consider it sacred ground, as so many committed and holy Sisters have passed through St Joseph’s Convent.
To mark the occasion of the Marie Balavenne year, the Sisters planted a Japanese weeping cherry tree in the grounds of the Convent. As it was a sunny day, most of the community members were present to watch Lisa, the community gardener, plant the tree in the garden adjoining the Convent.
The Sisters and some Associates then gathered in the solarium for the special tea prepared for the occasion, and prayed and thanked God for all the Sisters who had worked in St Joseph’s Convent over the years. One of the photographs shows the sisters at prayer in their beautiful oratory. This is one of the rooms in the Convent which is rarely empty as members of the community spend much time there in prayer and contemplation. The Province holds occasional meetings in Olney which enables other communities to keep in touch with the Olney Sisters.
Josephine Egan DHS, EIW Province. Publishad on 26/04/2016