IN THE INTERNATIONAL DHS FAMILY Family News
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800 years of history
handed over to the Lord
Sunday 29th August is a very emotional day in Poligny -department of the Jura, France-. Indeed, it is today that the parishioners bid farewell to the Hospitaller Sisters of the Holy Spirit, during the Mass celebrated in the Collegiate Church by our new Bishop of this diocese, Mgr GARIN. Daughters of the Holy Spirit from Brittany were present, including Sister Ann Almodovar, our new Superior General, and Sister Anne-Marie Foucher, who recently handed over this service.
In her welcome address, Sister Françoise Ecuyer gave a brief history of the Congregation of the Hospitaller Sisters of the Holy Spirit, founded by Gui de Montpellier in 1178, to relieve physical, moral and spiritual misery, seeing in the poor living images of Christ. The Sisters quickly spread to various European countries and arrived in Poligny around 1230 where their Mother House was established.
In 2003, after the merger of the Hospitaller Sisters with the Daughters of the Holy Spirit of Saint-Brieuc, in Brittany, France, it was in 2016 that their House was handed over to the Diocese of Saint-Claude to become the Bishopric and Diocesan House of the Holy Spirit.
Today, the Sisters are leaving their Mother House for good: a trying passage, but one lived in faith, for "we truly believe that the Holy Spirit never leads us into a dead end. In trust, together let us give thanks: Hope does not disappoint", Françoise concluded with a tone of conviction...
In his homily, Father Garin evoked the mission of the Sisters in more than 50 parishes of the Diocese where they have evangelised thousands of people. He also recalled the two pillars of the Mission "Adore and serve" in the breath of the Spirit, in reference to our Rule of Life. As for Sister Ann, in her final words, she invites us "to listen more than ever to the Holy Spirit who urges us to hear the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, one and the same cry to which we must respond...".
At the end of the celebration, four magnificent bouquets were given to Sisters Marie-Paule and Isabelle from theetirement Home in Lons-le-Saunier (Jura), as well as to Anne and Charlotte, in Poligny to this day. Then everyone was invited to go to the sunny park of the Maison Diocesain House for a drink in the company of friends (with Crémant du Jura of course!). Joy of reunion and exchanges in an atmosphere of gaiety... Afterwards, an excellent cold meal was served to the guests in the large hall. A friendly, fraternal and relaxed atmosphere!
The final point is in the chapel for the singing of Vespers. Father Garin then showed us a large beautiful cross of the Hospitaller Sisters which he gave to Sister Françoise; in turn, Sister Françoise gave it to Sister Ann Almodovar.
Thus end the pages of 800 years of history handed over to the Lord in trust and thanksgiving.
The Community of Saint-Claude. Published on 30 August 2021