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Family Assembly. "The strength of our History"

"Oh! Come Holy Spirit, powerful breath, breeze of love, Current of life" It is with this song that our Family Assembly opened on November 30th, 2019, in Saint Claude, in Jura County, France.

We have been thinking about it for several weeks. Bringing together the group of 10 associates from Jura with our two communities of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit of Poligny and of Saint Claude, to live a time of exchange around the document "The strength of our History", as suggested by the Provincial Council in March 2019. It was also the opportunity to celebrate the renewal of the commitment of the associates with a feast on December 8th. And it is Annick Bourret, Associate -in Indre-et-Loire Country-, who responded positively to our wish for help to lead the day when Monique Guérin, Associate -in Creuse Country- and Sister Nicole Ponchau -Paris-, members of the Bureau of the Associates, joined us.

Annick shared with us her joy to have worked on the draft of the common document "The strength of our history" and conveyed to us with a lot of conviction, her experience. Here are some snippets: « History is our spiritual heritage. » What struck me, she tells us, are the constant evolutions. What is established,what has just been created does not last: It is about being watchmen in order to reinvent other ways of being present in the world... Starting without knowing what it will produce….; at the same time that one invents, one is called to detach oneself... Today, also, it is a question of being " benevolent". We can see that since our beginnings, from 1706 until today, the Congregation is in perpetual outreach… towards the peripheries. From the beginning, the Sisters are renowned in their charism for taking care of the poorest and healing social relations... In this chapter concerning our history, there are turning points, references, constant lines. Throughout history, what do we want to save? Our skin or the breath which imbued the Congregation?"

After a time of conviviality around a shared meal, we continued our meeting with a re-reading : What makes me hold on to my commitment ? How am I compelled today? Echoes from the exchange: - Humility in service – Importance of openness – Going to the periphery in a giving/receiving - From beginning to beginning, always a new start, after hard times, we bounce back, that is our hope – in a giving /receiving, we evangelize each other, the children of the catechism are evangelizing us, the people met through Catholic relief services are evangelizing us. The authority is problematic in the Church and in society but in the DHS everyone is equal – Associate for Christ, not for the Sisters – to live the Gospel, our support is the charism.

Yes, this day was very rich in a GIVING/RECEIVING

The Jura communities. Published on December 5th, 2019

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

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