ABOUT US Marie Balavenne Year March 2016 August 2017
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Plestin-les Grèves: Notre-Dame House
8 December 2016. The chapel of Note Dame House at Plestin-Les-Grèves, -Brittany, France- brightly-lit, and in prayerful silence, was ready to welcome Sisters, nearby communities and friends and with, in front of all of us, the banner of Marie Balavenne catching the eyes.
Mgr Moutel, bishop of Saint-Brieuc-Tréguier diocese, surrounded by Fr Jean-Jacques Leroy, the parish priest, Fr L’Hénoret, a local retired priest, and both the Chaplain of Notre Dame House and the Chaplain of Ile Blanche, had expressed his wish to preside over this feast day. He told us his joy to be with us as DHS Family. Sr Marie Claire, head of the House, warmly welcomed each and everyone.
The celebration was beautiful, imbued with peace and joy. In his homily, Mgr evoked our origins. “On 8 December 1706, at Plérin, Marie Balavenne and Renée Burel pronounced their vows, and it was then that they founded the Congregation. Today, we are assembled here to give thanks to God for the gift we have been graced with in the person of Mary, His Mother and for the gift of our two foundresses”. At the end of his homily, Mgr opened the Book “Prière du temps present”, and started to read these few lines from a hymn in the honor of Mary:
“Behold! Dawn before daylight, Here is the virginal mother, Her heart filled with an ineffable waiting. She offers to God the silence Where the Word dwells The Spirit embraces her under his shadow And gently keeps her therein.”
Then came a convivial moment, much appreciated by all: getting-together and sharing… while savoring the glass of friendship, the staff members coming and going, attentive to each one, offering their handmade delicious preparations. In the dining room, our elderly sisters and the residents invited the guests to come and sit at their tables and enjoy the dinner. Hurrah for the cooks who had prepared such delicious things for that special day!
The Sisters of the community urged each and everyone to exhibit one of their gifts and talents: songs, poems… Mgr Moutel stood up and sang one of his preferred songs “La Loire”… Loud applause! A moment of sheer Bliss!
The time had come to say goodbye. Both Mgr Moutel and Marie Claire were expected upstairs, to the bedside of the most vulnerable and suffering sisters. Mgr approached each one, bending towards them, smiling and listening. He was ready to go down when suddenly members of the staff asked him to kindly go and visit a sister just back from hospital which he gracefully responded to. Ineffable moment!
Sr Marie-Claude Caroff and Anne Prigent, Community of Lannion. Published on 14/12/21016