ABOUT US Marie Balavenne Year March 2016 August 2017

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Bedford. DHS Associates...

Celebrating Marie Balavenne with other Associates and Secular Groups in Bedford, in England...

In the 350th celebratory Year of Marie Balavenne, Bedford DHS Associates recently invited the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary Seculars (SS.CC) and the order of Franciscan seculars (ofs) to a special evening of adoration, and to a presentation on the history of the DHS Congregation.

The evening, on 4 May 2016,  marked a first-ever event in Bedford to be held in the Sisters house with the two other local Associates/Secular groups. The event was developed as part of our 'getting to know each other' as we learn about each other's congregations, and continue joint evangelisation projects within local parish communities. For four poignant hours, sisters Margaret and Mae's home was filled with around 20 people. Beginning with adoration and prayer in the chapel, we sang, we waited, we listened... to the blowing of the wind, the movement of the Spirit... Listen to the cry of the voiceless. Listen to the pleading of the hungry. Listen to the pain of the homeless. Listen to the crying of the children...

In Bedford, many of those present are already involved with the voiceless, the hungry, the homeless and sick children. As we came together in the beautiful chapel, in God's presence we felt affirmed and guided as individuals and as an energised, evolving group. Later, the DHS Associates spoke passionately about Marie Balavenne and the DHS Congregation. Clustered around her image, each Associate had written their own personal cameo, illuminating how the DHS charism strongly weaves within our lives: with our dear families, in our Church, and in our communities. Afterwards, as we shared a simple buffet, a resonance enveloped us; it seemed as if Marie Balavenne, Renee Burel and Jean Leuduger had also spent the evening celebrating with us.

Our next 'joint associates' event is a presentation to the parish on the Way of Mercy in October. With joint resources collectively shared, evangelisation becomes enriched and sustainable. In this way, we greet Sr Anne Marie Foucher's challenge, "Marie Balavenne is for us today a modest woman, happy to rely on the collaboration of others ... " * 'Are we happy to work with others?' (Year of Marie Balavenne booklet). Yes, we are!

Maria Fordham, DHS Associate, Bedford. Published on 3/06/2016


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