The Daughters of Jesus website is already more than 20 years old. Retrace its origins with us and discover how Sr Raymonde Tessier of Canada contributed to this history.
I have taken the title for this article from another entitled, “A New Challenge“. In the latter, the new website correspondent for the entity of Trois Rivières, Canada, talks about how she accepted to live this service of Congregation. In faith, she sees herself as moving forward « in the footsteps of our predecessors”. Her immediate predecessor as correspondent was Sister Raymonde Tessier, who left us suddenly on December 22, 2020.
A return to the source
Sr Raymonde had been the correspondent for Trois-Rivières since 2019. To say this, however, is to forget that she embodied much more in the history of the Daughters of Jesus website. Raymonde can, in fact, be considered one of the “founders” of the site and we cannot let her depart without honouring her in this capacity.
The origins of our website can be traced back to the General Chapter of 1998 when a debate took place around the entry of the Congregation into the era of the new technologies. Once the decision was taken to embark on the adventure, there followed the stage of formulating ideas. The debate continued at the next two Councils of the Congregation. The project was finally launched in January 2003 when a decisive meeting took place at rue d’Arras between a team of Sisters and the technician Mr Pierre Gauer. Raymonde was a member of this working group.
Mr. Gauer, who continues to accompany us and “keep us on track” almost 20 years later, remembers that meeting. He talks about how he immediately felt like family and how there was no distance between him and the sisters present. He says:
“It was my first contact with the Daughters of Jesus and it was through working with Raymonde that I discovered the Congregation. I found a community at the service of Christ, which cared for Christ in others.
I appreciated Raymonde’s directness, her simplicity. She approached subjects in a concrete way and she did not waste time. She asked questions and expected answers. “
The first coordinator of the web site
As a member of the General Council at that time, Raymonde worked assiduously to set up and nurture this new instrument of communication and apostolate. In 2004 she was appointed as the first Coordinator of the site.
The management of the site was assured by a team of Sisters from the France-Belgium Province until 2012 when the team became truly international following a meeting of correspondents in Trois Rivières, Canada, on “The Challenges of Communication“. 2013 saw a second departure for the site when the site was restructured and given a new « look »
And there is Raymonde, in the back row,
second from the right !
The web team came together again for an international session in 2018, this time at the motherhouse, Kermaria. By this time, Raymonde was no longer part of the team but I think she would have been comfortable with the theme we adopted for the session “Learn, Connect, Contribute“.
Towards the future
Since then the current website team has as a reference, a document of the General Council, entitled “Following Jesus on a path of humanity“. The text mentions the changes that the site has undergone since 2003 and the periodic renewal of the team members. In the conclusion the Council writes :
“Finally, we would like to thank all those who welcome the call to contribute to the website with generosity and availability. We hope that it will a path for them, that will enable them to go on discovering the God who comes to the heart of our humanity.”
As the 4th coordinator of the site, I would have added “have welcomed” because, if the current team have known how to take up the challenge of communicating well today, it is thanks to the many Sisters who have preceded us in this work. This number includes Sr Raymonde Tessier and we thank her warmly.
For Raymonde, the race has come to an end. She has “run the race to the finish and kept the faith“. (2 Timothy 4, 7). The baton is now in other hands and it is now up to us to carry on developing what she put in place. It is an honour for us, Raymonde, to continue to “fight the good fight“ for you!
Sr Rhona Burns dj
for the web team