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Testimony of religious life in parish

On the occasion of her 60th anniversary of religious life, a Sister of Christ Redeemer, Andrée, in community in Nanterre, town in the suburb of Paris, wanted us to witness religious life with her Congregation. During Mass, on the evening of December 8th, two young people and a child asked questions to Andrée, Marie Louise, Sister of Christ redeemer in Asnières (town in the suburb of Paris), and myself, Daughter of the Holy Spirit in Nanterre, who will have 20 years of religious life in 2019.

Here on some excerpts from what I answered to the questions that I was asked.

If you were 20 years old today, do you think you would hear the call of the Lord to follow him? Would it be more or less easy to answer it?

I made my commitment at the age of 34 and at that time, it was already a rare choice. I think 20 years old is a little young today to make such a choice. It is about answering a call and making sure that we are comfortable living in community. Also, 30 years is better because at this age, we have a better understanding of ourselves. If we rely on our own strengths, we can doubt and in this case it is really difficult. It is easier if we rely on the love and the fidelity of the Lord who calls.

Could you share with us, one of your bestmemories; a treasure on your journey?

My bestmemory is the ceremony and the party of my final commitment in Créteil (town in the suburb of Paris) in 2004. The phrase that inspired me for this commitment is:  "Christ has set us free! Stand, then, as free people, and do not allow yourselves to become slaves again" (Galatians 5-1). Having prepared this commitment in community left within me the feeling of a strong fraternal experience. For the decorations of the church, we had asked the help of the parishioners. For the reservation of the room for the evening party, an Associate of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit invested in the municipal council had made all the arrangements in order to help us.Looking back today, I am still marked by the phrase that I had chosen. Yes my religious life has been a path of liberation from my own difficulties. By doing God’s will we attract  blessings.

According to you, what are the priorities, the urgencies to commit ourselves to the services of the worldHere in Nanterre or somewhere else?

The priorities and urgencies of the world are the preservation of the earth and social justice to enable every human being to live in dignity. We have to fight against climatic disruptions and extreme poverty. In community, we share our resources and a part of those resources is given to humanitarian associations. We try as well to waste as little as we can and live in a sober manner. The priorities and the urgencies of the church are the welcoming and openness to all people who come. It is within this dynamic that we try to live in the parish of Saint Paul.

Could you give us an advice to enable us to live successfully?

To lead a successful life, you have to put your trust in God and in yourself. This trust nourishes itself in the reading of the Gospel. You must listen to the little voice of your conscience and radiate from the happiness of being Christian.

Sister Odile Désire, DHS. Published December 13, 2018

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

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