The Congregation of the Daughters of Jesus considers different persons as its co-founders. It is not rare, however, that an individual Sister is attracted more towards one or other among them. For Sister Francine Paquette of the Vice-Province of Three-Rivers, it is Mother Marie de Saint Charles, who captivated her all her life. After ten years of researching, for her own personal benefit, Sr. Francine accepts to present us with the fruit of her work.
Mother Marie de Saint Charles marked the Congregation, not only by her rich personality, but also by the impetus she gave it, as an apostolic religious. From the beginning, the cover page of Sister Francine`s work helps us to discover the spiritual heritage that this foundress left us. The mosaic presents her as a zealous woman, capable of communicating to all ages her love of the incarnate Christ.
Francine`s original idea is to allow us to encounter this woman, not in a biographical form, but in the form of a tale. Starting with a fictitious letter written in 1882 by Mother Marie de Saint Charles, Francine has her going to a community to settle a problem. She will profit of her passage there to dialogue with young boarders who wish to know her.
Her life search to know the will of God
Notes of rereading, writings gathered and integrated by Sr. Francine, illustrate well, for this predecessor, the `Here I am Lord to do your will` that oriented all her life. In joy and in adversities, in the smallest and in the greatest moments of her function, her constant desire was to seek in all things the good pleasure of God.
And for us today?
Even if life of the 19e century differed greatly from ours, the influence of this woman continues to guide us today. For Sr. Francine, by bringing to light these traits in the life of Mother Marie de Saint Charles, they can stimulate us to continue our life following Jesus, and as he did, on a path of humanity and humanization.
In fact, she notices how much the life and the writings of this co-foundress actualize our charism for her time as it does for us today. Her witnessing invites us to remain open and to listen to the needs of our world, and like her, to move forward with audacity and creativity.
Holy Spirit, fill us with gratitude for our history.
Walking in the footsteps our founders and foundresses
May the word of God impregnate our lives!
Increase in us the trust that does not betray
and the openness that give dynamism to our journey
on the paths of life and happiness.
Colette Gélinas fj