IN THE INTERNATIONAL DHS FAMILY Family News
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Joy and friendship characterised our two meetings as we met the Sisters and our friends among the groups. This year we decided to have two regional meetings: April 28th and May 26th 2018
This was to facilitate travelling and to help with communication among locally placed groups. The first one was held in Abergavenny for our Welsh and Devon groups and members of the secular branch. Sister Josephine welcomed us and mentioned that some of the first EIW associates were part of the Abergavenny group. Our women in their 90s were still full of life and shared a deep faith. The second meeting was held in Northampton at the Provincial House and we welcomed members of the Northampton, Bedford and Olney groups, Sisters and candidates. Mary Johnstone was received as an associate by Sister Mary Regina and witnessed by her six children and those who attended the meeting. It was a special moment and full of joy. Two of the Bedford group were responsible for her formation. Mary will belong to this group. Anne Busby and Ann Marsland, of the Secular Branch, were then welcomed back into the associates and received their emblems and Book of Life.
At both meetings the day began with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to be present in our sharing and our lives, which set the theme for the day. We watched two Power Points. One on “Who are we?” the other on the International family Assembly in France. Sister Maire shared some of Sister Therese Revault’s presentation from the Family Assembly in France which was relevant to the lives of the associates and there was time for reactions and comments. During the afternoon we had time for mixed group discussions: “How has contact with the Sisters and other associates helped you deepen your spiritual life?” “Share the history of your group. How did it begin?” “How would you describe the mission of your group or group members?” Time was given for comments and general discussion.
There was a general consensus that time together as a group deepened their spiritual life. It was felt to be a safe place where problems and joys could be safely shared. The departure of the Sisters in some areas was a loss but has led to greater responsibility and initiative among the associates. There was a feeling that mission was more an individual initiative which the group supported. For example the work of two Street Pastors in Newton Abbot. Other groups have worked together on fund raising. One candidate asked about the Mission of the Church as lived through the DHS Charism. The group were encouraged both to use their Book of Life as a reference for their lived experience and to meet with other DHS associate groups where possible.
Our day finished with a beautiful prayer prepared by two of our group. They linked the parable of the Mustard Seed with the Spiritual Family of the DHS and invited us to reach out to our brothers and sisters in the spirit of Marie Balavenne and Renee Burel.
Ann Wright. Associated. Published June 15, 2018
photo 1 associate meeting in Abergavenny photo 2 associate meeting in Northampton photo 3 Mary Johnstone makes her commitment as an associate photo 4 Mary with her six children photo 5, 6 Group discussions photo 7 Book of Life photo 8 Emblem