IN THE INTERNATIONAL DHS FAMILY Family News
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Our spiritual experience in the School of Spirituality
Following our first article published on July 27th 2018, the school of Spirituality has offered us plenty “Water from the Source,” we have drunk and we wish to share the joy that springs up from this “Source.”
The thirteen of us began gradually to open up with respect to each other’s sacred space. Voila! Fraternal relationship started! International community is formed. Friendship intensified indeed, we shared in each other’s joys and sorrows through our lived experience in the school of Spirituality. Living among our older sisters at the Mother House -Saint-Brieuc, France- was also a blessing to us and the sisters. We are indeed companions on the journey in the footsteps of Marie Balavenne and Renée Burel.
In order to explore our DHS Spirituality, we were taught how the Spirituality of various spiritual fathers of the period our congregation came to birth, influenced our Spirituality as a congregation. -Spiritual Fathers like: Frs. Louis Lallemant, Vincent Huby, Jean-Joseph Surin, Jean Leuduger and Francis de Sales-. We came to understand and appreciate the spiritual attitudes of our congregation better.
We are filled with awe to discover the beauty and richness embedded in the Present Rule because it was born out of the lived experiences of our sisters. No wonder, this rule is always alive! We discover that Docility to the Holy Spirit through Simplicity, Humility and Gentleness -little virtues that are needed in everyday life- is a gift to be received and cherished. We have a beautiful heritage! We were all drawn to the method used to explore our Rules and are ready to apply the same to help other sisters to rediscover, appreciate and live out the Rule of Life in our units.
It was fascinating when we studied at the place of the Trinity, Scriptures and especially Mary in our Rule of Life. Mary is to be given her real place as the woman totally surrendered to the Holy Spirit, a real model of faith journey towards God.
We had the opportunity to participate in the diocesan Pilgrimage to Querrien on the feast day of Assumption. The Bishop of Périgueux spoke of Mary in his homily as if he was present with us during our session on Mary. What a joyful evening we had with the bishop of Saint Brieuc, Mgr Denis Moutel who celebrated mass for us and over a meal, shared about the diocese: synod, priests fidei donum, and his joy of having 8 seminarians…
The visit of our sisters and friends on the 18th - 19th of August was life-giving. We are also grateful to all who took the pain, either through letters, phone calls and otherwise, to show us affection and love.
Our last session was on our Spiritual family – what a wonderful discovery! Secular Branch is another form of consecrated life. We also received more light on the statutes of the Associates.
The school of Spirituality has been for each of us an enlightening, enriching and empowering experience. We remain forever grateful for such opportunity given to us by the General Council and the leadership team of various Units; to our dynamic organising team, who, gave us the best without counting the cost; to all those who contributed to our growth: our teachers, service team of our archives, and those who worked behind the scene (translators, secretary, kitchen crew, maintenance team and all) to make the programme a success.
“To whom much is given, much is expected” (Lc 12:48). We are filled with new energy to transmit what we have received.
Stella OLUWAFEMI, DHS - Nigeria. Published August 24, 2018