We are pleased to invite you to join us on a special occasion for all of the Daughters of Jesus, an occasion to look to the future in Hope.
On Sunday, October 4, at Pavillons-sous-Bois, an event concerning the whole Congregation invited us to look to the future and to welcome it in Hope! The event was the celebration of the entry into the Novitiate of Anh Nguyen, from Vietnam, and Martina Lopez, from Honduras. In fact, the occasion gave us a double reason to look to the future. During the celebration, our Superior General went on to tell us that it was a “memorable moment” that we were living: the opening of an International Novitiate in France for the whole Congregation and depending directly on the General Council.
Located in Seine-Saint-Denis, a suburb of Paris towards the north of the capital, the Novitiate is a house a little larger than the others. It draws the eye while remaining well inserted in the neighbourhood. On the day of the celebration, the chapel was laid out simply but artfully with floral and symbolic decor full of meaning.
An event that concerns the whole Congregation
The community assembled for the occasion included two representatives of the General Council, Sister Micheline Cormier, the Superior General, and Sister Patricia Guillet. Sister Marie-Andrée Le Mouel, from the Provincial Council, represented Sister Anne Thirion, the Provincial, who was absent for health reasons, but who was in communion with us. Without forgetting the five Sisters of the Community of Issy les Moulineaux who had accompanied the two young people during their Postulancy.
Sister Marie-Claude Bit, Novice Mistress, and Sister Nicole Louis of the Novitiate community, welcomed us warmly. Sister Gelsomina Rodas, the third Sister of the community, was unfortunately still prevented from leaving Honduras and Colombia, but we know that she too was with us in thought and prayer.
The presence of the Sisters and the word of welcome from Sr Marie-Claude, made us feel connected to all the Sisters of the Congregation. Geographical distances are no obstacle to expressing fraternal support and communion in prayer.
Gathered around Christ and his Word
With Anh and Martina, we let the Word of Jesus to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well speak to us: “If you only knew the gift of God!”. (Gospel of St John 4,10). As we came to drink at the well with Anh and Martina, we let ourselves be thirsty for this living water which is Christ himself.
Wherever we are, we can welcome with them these words that have touched their hearts deeply:
“Let the Word dwell in you today,
Let the breath of God pierce you today!”
“Let yourself be worked today like clay,
let yourself be recreated today in this new man!”
Become a disciple
Their faces radiant with the deep joy given by God, Anh and Martina expressed what was in their hearts as they took one more step. Two symbols they have chosen, the desert and the cross, accompany them as they walk.
As Sister Patricia handed them the Novices’ Charter and Cross it was as if she was giving the two young women bread and light for the road: inviting them to put on Christ, to let themselves be taught to “become disciples”.
Sister Micheline gave full meaning to this event which invited us to be open, to welcome differences as a richness. It was an invitation to experience that, despite our different languages, origins, or cultures, at its heart, our life together is based on Christ and his Word.
A seed of hope
A seed of Hope was sown on 4 October at Pavillons-sous-Bois when a tree, a camellia, was given to the community to be planted in the garden. It was a beautiful symbol: a call to blossom and bear fruit! To the sound of different melodies … Honduran, Vietnamese or French … like Mary, we gave thanks to God with the words of the “Magnificat”!
Then finally, around a beautifully decorated table, we enjoyed a moment of conviviality and a taste some well-appreciated specialities!
Sr Elisabeth Blanc fj
Issy les Moulineaux