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Our Extended Family Picnic

Smiles, whispered and loudly proclaimed hello’s and how are you’s, hugs, kisses, Oh my goshes and is it really you? were seen and heard on this late June Saturday morning that promised bright sunshine after downpours and hours of catching up after long periods of separation.  This was the long-awaited day of the DHS extended family picnic that would gather the Sisters, the Associates, the Consecrated Seculars and former DHS.

A simple yet meaningful celebration of the Eucharist in the chapel of the Provincial House set the tone for the rest of the festivities. 

Slowly but surely the large delegation made its way to the Pavilion where refreshments gave everyone renewed energy to continue participating in the well planned reunion. The lively conversations were interrupted by a word of greeting from Sr. Gertrude who facilitated the gathering prayer celebrating life and the transforming power of summer.  The final lyrics :”You who are gathered here share life and love together.  It is the Spirit who calls you out to give” of the closing song* were the equivalent of a ‘one, two, three, go’ signal, that launched every single guest at this large gathering into an orbit of live, loud, loving and caring chatter that continued through lunch, paused momentarily for story telling by associate Pat Krodel, resumed as a dull roar during the drawing of door prizes and picked up again briefly into a photo session and a classic water balloon contest hosted by associate Diane Summa, and then gradually softened as folks bid long and poignant farewells and departed, fully hopeful that the next time would come quickly.

This special day for our Province held many unspoken treasures for the attendees from all branches of the family tree, treasures to be held safely in our hearts while being shared with those with whom we interact daily.  Yes, “blessed are you, summer, you encourage us into playfulness...surprise us with a variety of gifts...your energy drives us upward and onward”**; blessed are you Spirit of life and of transformation for bringing us together, for renewing our kindred spirits and for keeping us as one in spite of time and distance.

We trust all of you will enjoy the photos of this peak experience that can only leave all of us anticipating our next extended family picnic.

*”Celebrate” by Monica Brown     **”A Summer Blessing” from The Circle of Life by Joyce Rupp and Macrina Wiederkehr

Françoise Gauthier and Sister Gertrude Lanouette. Published on 12/07/2017





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

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