ABOUT US Marie Balavenne Year March 2016 August 2017
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Brest. A spiritual figure…
A vocal announcement under the form of a brief but vibrant testimony by Maryse, a DHS Associate, at the Sunday mass of the previous week, a few written invitations… And so it happened that, on 27 November 2016, in spite of the glorious sunny weather calling them to go out for a walk by the sea or to enjoy the countryside, a group of parishioners responded to the invitation and in the afternoon, the parish hall was packed: over 80 women and men including the 5 local Associates, the 2 Consecrated Seculars and the 12 religious women.
Sr Anne B. welcomed each and everyone in the name of the “DHS Family”. With Marie Balavenne’s banner displayed, high up, in front of the assistance, she briefly retraced the main events of her life, while evoking the social living conditions of the people at Plérin-Le Légué in those days. It was a good occasion to evoke the memory of Sr Anne Boivineau- Sr Renée Benjamin who was born and worked in Brest for a number of years and whom some participants had had the privilege to know. She is the artist who realized that portrait of Marie Balavenne. Loud applause…
Then, way to the viewing of a few photos selected by Maryse, and commented upon by Sr Yvette in an atmosphere of undeniable listening attitude. In her presentation, Sr Yvette said that a distinction had to be made between what pertains to the oral tradition and the historic traces relevant to that period, all the while drawing out the spiritual portrait of Marie Balavenne and putting forward the Congregation charism which today also animates the Consecrated Seculars and the Associates. One cannot mention the origins of the Congregation without mentioning Taden and evoking the conversion and generosity of Mr and Mrs de La Garaye. One cannot speak of our origins without evoking the growth and development which the Congregation has been graced with, up to the present day. In a few words, Yvette brought up the challenges the Daughters of Marie Balavenne have had to face and to live through, over the years.
Finally, way to the reactions of the participants. Some evoked old faces and places in Brest where the DHS used to work at the service of the population! On the other hand, some recognized that they were not very familiar with the appellation “DHS Family” and expressed the desire to know more… "What about the appellation 'Daughters of the Holy Spirit' " ? A DHS in the assembly tried to give an answer in a few words: - The DHS Congregation was born at the beginning of the 18th century within the context of the Breton missions. It was in that context that, the Daughters of the Holy Spirit, initially called Sisters of Charity – better known under the appellation of the “White Sisters of Brittany”- chose to devote themselves to the service of the poor, the sick, the children. Knowing that the love which animated them came from the Spirit, they chose to be called "Daughters of the Holy Spirit".
"Why not visit those places as a DHS Family and make a pilgrimage to the Sources? It would be a means to better perceive the spiritual intuitions of the foundress!” “Yes, that’s a good idea”, said Louis, one of the participants who had already been to Le Légué on the occasion of an exchange between the Pontanezen group of Secours Catholique with the “Amarrés du Légué. "Moreover the setting is magnificent”, he added. “So, why not organize a journey by car?” the parish vicar exclaimed.
The next get-together is to take place on the 8th of December on the occasion of the celebration of Mary Immaculate, prepared and animated by the “Family” and will be followed by “le verre de l’amitié”
A group of participants. Published on 7/12/2016