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Epiphany and... Commitments.
This Saturday, January 6th, the bells of the Saint Yves Church in Saint Brieuc ring at full peal. Five p.m. approaches, everyone, after greetings and wishes of a happy new year exchanged on the parking lot, hurried towards the church… It is in this parish that the event will take place.
Five women from the suburb of Saint Brieuc -Hillion, Pordic, Plérin, Ploufragan- are preparing to put their footsteps in the wake of Marie Balavenne. Carrying lit candles, the Associates present followed by the five future committed -Annie Guinard, Elisabeth Kerlaouézo, Florence Roussel, Françoise Desbois-Nizan, Isabelle Castillo- advance in procession towards the altar and deposit their lights there.
Father Gerard Nicole presides over the Eucharistic Celebration on this Day of the Epiphany. The combination of this celebration and these engagements is “a spiritual intelligence” Gerard tells us in his homily: “Like mages carrying their treasures to the manger, Annie, Elisabeth, Florence, Isabelle, Françoise, will enter with all the Church in an evangelical lifestyle in the manner of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit.” What a beautiful setting that is this Celebration for this moment of commitment of each of them. God remains faithful and surprising! He joins us throughout our humanity, our bonds, our relations. Two dimensions of the christian life are lived, worship and serve, God and neighbours, in connection to the Gospel Matthieu 25 of course...
Following the Symbol of the Apostles comes the moment of the commitment. The accompanying Sister, with Marie-Reine, Associate, echoes the events that punctuated the training of these five women. Sister Jeanne Le Roux, Provincial, welcomes the commitments and two associates give each candidate the Book of Life. Then another Sister offers them a sculpted reproduction of the dove of the high altar in the chapel of the Mother House: this is truly symbolic! The sister who accompanies the members of the Associates’ Office takes the floor and speaks of the partnership that takes place within the Daughters of the Holy Spirit Family. The song, ‘La Première en chemin” (The first on the way) closes this celebration; let us not forget that the Virgin Mary, celebrated on the 8th of December, and the Holy Spirit, celebrated at Pentecost are anchors of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit’s spirituality.
After this strong moment, we are invited to celebrate the event with a glass of friendship in a room under the church, a welcoming room, with its carefully prepared decor, a place of conviviality. We hear the nice sound of the popping corks… and the beautiful bubbles of the crémant that rise in champagne flutes. The canapes are delicious… The conversations are going well, bonds are forming until late in the evening.
Each one of us will keep in our hearts the memory of a magnificent lively evening.
Christiane Lefilleul, Associate. Posted on 12/01/2018
Extracts from the homily of Father Gerard Nicole: homily.pdf