IN THE INTERNATIONAL DHS FAMILY Family News
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US: 30th anniversary of the Associates
On Saturday, October 13th, members of the three branches of the Congregation gathered in force at the Provincial House in Putnam for their annual Province Day that was capped off with the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Associate Program.
The lovely celebrative liturgy and the renewal of Covenants by all Associates present,helped recall and underscore the rocky beginnings of the movement.
In the early 1980's the idea of an Associate Branch, presented to the General Council by the US Province, was rejected and ignored for all practical purposes since it was an unknown concept at that time in France. The US Daughters persevered and presented the concept again at the General Chapter of 1984 when further research was encouraged and a directrice of the program named in December of 1986.
By November of the following year recruiting efforts yielded several interested candidates and the first formal orientation session was held at the Provincial House. After attending various other informational meetings and participating in times of preparation, the first Associates -Yvonne Despathy, Mary MacDonald (photo) and Diane Summa-, made their initial Covenants and became the charter members of the DHS Associate Program in the USA on October 23rd, 1988. Shortly thereafter on December 8th, two new candidates from Southbridge, Massachusetts were received. Thus was born a program that has grown to be an integral part of the Congregation today and into tomorrow.
Over the years the Associate Program hascontinued to expand on both the east and west coasts of the United States. Both men and women compose this valuable group that binds itself to live and share the charism/mission of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit wherever they are and in whatever they do. There are currently over 100 Associates in the USA, and the Associate movement has spread throughout the congregation totaling some 546 members internationally.
The meaningful liturgy, enhanced by music, song and symbolic lively decorations that reminded one and all that the Spirit truly dwells and acts among us, inspired all present to renew their enthusiasm for and their support of this potentially powerful group of dedicated individuals whose joint efforts with the Sisters and Consecrated Seculars to bring the Spirit to life in our everyday world clearly define the Spirit at work today and leading us into a renewed tomorrow.
Congratulations to all our DHS Associates, in the USA and throughout the world!
Françoise Gauthier. Published October 17, 2018