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Jubilate... to the Secular Branch.
On November 3rd, 2019 in Clohars-Fouesnant, Finistère, county in Brittany, France, Solange Nerriec made her first commitment to the secular branch of the “Daughters of the Holy Spirit”.
In a beautiful little church, 14 consecrated laywomen were there to live this key moment with Solange. Were also present, proud and delighted, her 90 year old father as well as her brother and nephew, her friends and colleagues from the Jean Vannier Arch community of 'Caillou Blanc'. All had a smile of complicity and admiring glances for their "big sister" of home life. Sisters of the Congregation were also present : Sister Yvette Le Grand, delegate of the consecrated life in Finistère, Sister Marie Douguet, companion of Solange in the past and founder with other people of this Home, Sister Jeannine Le Bras; Brother Antoine, monk of the Abbey of Landévennec, former colleague of Solange at the 'Caillou Blanc' also attended
The communities of the Arch are places of life where people with disabilities and those who come to help them share the same daily life. Companion and those accompanied weave mutual relationships that go beyond help and work. Together, the Arch members, whether they have disabilities or not, build their community life: involvement in daily tasks, decisions, reflexions, parties and gatherings and care for each other. Everyone is invited to contribute according to their own ability, their own capacity and desires, to live together in such a way that 6 to 9 people with disabilities and 3 to 4 accompanying members live in the same facility, a simple and fraternal daily life. Meal times are the most important moments of the day where everyone is gathered around the same table.
Solange, who brought us together, is seeking to live this within the 'Caillou Blanc' for the past 26 years! Over the years she discoveredanother way of living her life sourced in the Gospel: the one whom Marie Balavenne has initiated with Renée Burel more than 310 years ago in the Légué Port near Saint Brieuc : they had opened a "house of charity", where they committed themselves to following Christ by consecrating and devoting themselves particularly to the Holy Spirit. Putting the poorest at the heart of their action, they saw in it the face of Christ and they had for all a great respect. They wanted to allow themselves to be led by the docility of the Spirit of God who speaks to all by the attractiveness of its unique grace." Thus were born the Daughters of the Holy Spirit.
Another place that has a lot of meaning for Solange is the Abbey of Landévennec, the place where she deepened this call that she felt and deepened the meaning of what the encounter of Jesus with Martha and Mary (Luke 10,38-42) tells us. Spiritual life is seeking that all our lives may be animated by the Spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of the Gospel. Consequently we are at the same time Martha and Mary, sometimes devoted to service and sometimes more willing to pray... Including at the Arch !
This commitment that you are making today, Solange, comes in the wake of your baptism. Your steps today is a step further towards this consecration, in the gift of yourself to Christ. "For me this choice of Consecrated Secular is strongly linked to my commitment to the Arch inserted among these small people." As you saida few days ago in your group of exchange.
In what we are celebrating together today, each one of us is called to embrace everything as a gift from God, to contemplate his presence in all things and especially in every human being, to give him thanks for his limitless love revealed in Jesus his Son and to let the Holy Spirit lead her life.
Marie-Thérèse MOCHET, Consecrated Laywomen. Published on December 7th, 2019.