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Community life and personal fulfillment


From Friday 11th, 4 pm to Saturday 12th, 4 pm, about sixty sisters representing the communities of the Province of France-Belgium gathered at the Mother House in Saint Brieuc, France to study a still relevant topic: how to combine personal fulfillment and community life? 

In the room we were well received, we began by being all assembled by a calling prayer to the Holy Spirit, psalms, listening the words of God -"We do not live for ourselves only..." (Romans 14, 7-9)- and intercessions. Then it is still together that we were invited to turn our eyes towards the screen to consider the Province's  current  situation:  the overall situation of the sisters and the communities, the distribution of the communities by the number of sisters, by  the type of insertion and  mission, and the distribution of sisters by age group...  It's in this way that the first moments of the reunion were held, when we could already thank Sister Jeanne Le Roux, provincial and her team, for the layout of the room, it's flowering, the precisions and the smooth running of this enlightening presentation.

The host, Father Georges Cottin, SJ (Societas of Jesus) had sent us a seven points preparatory work, work which was to serve as a basis for the reflection of the day: my holy and sacred history, my interests, my values, my abilities, my temperament, my knowledge and finally my environment. It was after the simple and serene presentation of our host, that now, in small groups of six to eight people, that each could express in a quasi spontaneous natural confidence the rereading of her personal history. Intense moment of listening in discretion and respect because it was about situating our personal life in relation with the congregation life and the indispensable elements to the self-fulfillment of each of us in community! Afterwards in the evening, the viewing of the American movie "The Visitor" released in 2008. It depicts a man who is locked up through various circumstancesand radically changes his behavior by welcoming an undocumented refugee couple in his apartment... This movie anchored us in thebelief that anyone can change if they take advantage of the events that happen to them. In a community, while being dependent on each other, everyone grows in their specificity and our differences, even our divergences are more or less obvious: history, abilities, centers of interest.. etc. But the resulting disagreements can be fruitful and sometimes very little is needed to maintain freedom and fulfillment: listening, peaceful exchange, forgiveness, gratitude, goodness, a little bit of humour... A great and beautiful task as that of being at the service of personal fulfillment in community life! A climate of serenity emanated from the assembly from where each continued on their road, enriched with exchanges, good moments of conversation at meals time and times of prayer... with some keys, such as research wishes, in community, of what can promote the development of each person. 

"It is Youwho send us and You stay with us on the way, we have your Word. And your Spirit is there, creator today as in the beginning. Together we will continue. In time of trials and joy , prayer and action, sometimes silence, loving and caring with all our being. In our littleness your power bursts. You are the sower and You are the seed, You grow within us and yet You need us. To prepare the earth, You can count on us my Lord!" (Sister Madeleine Le Saux, DHS - Statement of prayer leaflet)

Armandine, with input from de Thérèse, Marie Louise, Marie-France et Marie Thérèse. Published May 16, 2018



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

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