ABOUT US Marie Balavenne Year March 2016 August 2017
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USA. Marie Balavenne forever our ally!
After having celebrated the life, accomplishments and legacy of Marie Balavenne (1666-1743), co-foundress of the Congregation and first Daughter of the Holy Spirit, for a little over a calendar year, Sr. Gertrude Lanouette led the Assembly into a simple ritual for bringing this notable year to closure.
It was immediately before the final blessing at the Jubilee Mass on Pentecost Sunday that the Provincial stepped to the podium to remind one and all that our Province had joined our international congregation in honoring “the 350th anniversary of the birth of Marie Balavenne by reflecting on her call to minister to the children, to the poor and the sick in Brittany, France. We celebrated the gift she has been to each of us as she gave herself totally to the promptings of the Spirit.”
Then Sister invited Marie Balavenne, portrayed by Bonnie Theriault, to come forward to join in our celebration. After warmly embracing Marie, Sister said, “As we officially close this year dedicated to you, Marie, in the name of all the members of our DHS Spiritual Family we thank you for opening the door and leading the way. In your humble way in the boldness of the Spirit you generously loved and served among the people of your day. We believe that you have journeyed with all the Daughters of the Holy Spirit here in the US and throughout the world during these 300 years. Our prayer is that you will continue walking with our DHS Family as we remain open to the stirrings of the Spirit in our hearts and faithful to our mission in the world today.”
In response Marie, who had been facing Gertrude, turned to the assembly, gently extended her hand over the group and prayed very simply: “I pray that the Spirit will fill your hearts and your lives with His love. Day by day, may all the members of the DHS Spiritual Family be open to the promptings of the Spirit, the calls to grow in their love of God and continue to give themselves to the mission of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit. May the seeds that were planted in Brittany more than 300 years ago continue to grow in ways we do not know and cannot even imagine.” Heartfelt applause followed as Marie returned to her pew for the final blessing and the concluding traditional hymn, ‘O Jour le Plus Beau de ma Vie’. Following the banner dedicated to her and the honor guard of the Knights of Columbus, Marie exited the pew and processed down the aisle arm in arm with Sr. Lanouette.
The photos should clearly enhance the above text and leave one and all with the impression that this very special lady, so responsive to the signs of her times and the designs of God for her life, lives on and is forever our ally, our dear friend, our sister.
Soeur Gertrude Lanouette et Françoise Gauthier. USA - Published on 11/06/2017