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Meeting of the Associates. France-Belgium

March 10th, 2018, in Paris. In the morning, after the exclamations of joy and "hellos", Michèle Le Page, President of the associates of France-Belgium, made the "official welcome" of Sister Jeanne Le Roux, Provincial of the DHS of France-Belgium-Holland, who was kind enough to come share this day with us; of Giovanna Commissionne delegate of the consecrated laymen, of Bernadette and Florence who represented the new associates of this year... and then of all the other associates and Sisters!

"Let all your creatures serve you!" (Judith 16, 14): It was the theme of our "year orientation": each group symbolically brought the "Fruit" of his work, and presents it to all… We let the words echo within us, and let it become a common prayer.

Michèle then gives the floor to Madame Monique Baujard, once the director of the Family and Society of the Bishops of France Conference commission - who came to deepen our understanding of the Pope François' encyclical, Laudato si', of which she develops some important aspects: - It's a universal message, addressed to all, well beyond the Christians, because it speaks of the "commun good" and the problems that affect all our humanity. - A message that relays the cries of the planet and those of the poor people, all intimately linked, and which calls us to an "integral ecology". - It's a demanding call: it invites us to "invent a new way of life" where happiness is something more than "material possession and accumulation of wealth", which deepens inequalities and exhausts the Earth. However it's also a message full of hope, if everyone agrees to walk side by side, to pay attention, listen, serve one another and always in an open dialogue. Some associations, projects, ongoing projects rise here and there and invite us to optimism, in spite of the crisis which crosses our planet. - And finally an appeal to us, Christians, to be a church "at the level of man", "feet on the ground", on this path where we need to get together, with many others, because we need the contribution of everyone.

This very strong intervention, followed by an exchange with Madame Baujard, formed of course, the heart of our meeting. But let's not forget about "the lunch break"… a special moment to share and to take the time to know each other, the opportunity to exchange fraternal news and ideas…

As for any association, the afternoon was devoted to the life of the "Associates" group. News of the DHS Family, highlights, reports, assessments, votes… the current office members are renewed and Maryse an associate from Brittany, is now part of the team… what makes us really happy! In the prayer that ends the day, we entrust them, as well as the associates and the whole DHS Family, to the Holy Spirit, so that in us and through us, he can continue his work of love.

Marie- Madeleine Raymond, associate from Brittany. Published the 13 of March 2018.

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

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