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Olney: Retreat


In the week before Pentecost (May 2016), 35 sisters and several associates gathered together at Olney for a retreat led by Sister Yvette Le Grand. Yvette led us on a deeply spiritual and amazing journey following in the footsteps of Marie Balavenne, from her early years, then as a wife, mother, widow, and eventually, as the foundress of our DHS Family. Yvette shared with us a wealth of material, reflections and prayer, opening up for us in a new and exciting way the treasures of our rich DHS spirituality and heritage, ‘a gift from the Spirit.’

Marie Balavenne was a ‘real woman’, as Yvette stressed, humble, gentle, compassionate, strong and courageous.What Marie has really passed on to us, says Yvette, is the Gospel: “with Marie Balavenne and our first sisters, listening to the Gospel and to the echo it found in their lives, we should feel at home. In fact while listening to their history, we will undoubtedly be able to say (to ourselves), Yes… I feel at home in what they have lived- it is my own life, our community life, our life in congregation, that God is coming to visit today.”

Their spiritual experience lived out 300 years ago…is an experience in which we can recognize ourselves, even if the world (today) is no longer the one in which Marie Balavenne herself used to live.

‘Mother, happy in her daughters,

he invites us today to the well of the Encounter

where life is changed.

The Lord of the Source still comes to sit there

and it is He whom she shows,

having lost herself in Him, so long ago.’

“The hidden Souce”,  by Sister Madeleine Le Saux.

Patricia Purchase, FSE, Northammpton  -  Publié le 23/05/2016.



Filles du Saint-Esprit 15 bd. Sebastopol 35101 Rennes Cedex 2 France

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