An encounter with the children next door

The present-day community of Bignan, France, continues to be at the heart of the origins of the Daughters of Jesus. Successive generations of Sisters have sought to maintain a link with both the teachers and pupils of the neighbouring nursery school.

On the 4th of January, the first day of the new school year 2020, the pupils discover a courtyard and a garden where they don’t usually enter. Plus, it is snowing! An ideal ambiance therefore in which to visit the creche not only in the church but also in the house of the Sisters.

In going to visit the Sisters with the teacher they are keeping up a tradition and living out the link between the school and the community.

Admiration before the creche

 

The procession of nursery school children is a moment not to be missed. The different age groups arrive with looks of surprise and wonder before the creche and the three kings, whose names the older ones know. The younger ones exclaim their admiration quite simply “At home, the crèche is beautiful but it is small”. But the older ones also ask questions. And of course, there is the important moment when each visitor receives his or her “papilotte” before reading out the motto or joke hidden in the wrapping paper of this traditional Christmas candy.

 

The tenderness of God incarnate

 

For us, this party atmosphere expresses something of the fragility and tenderness of the incarnate God.

Meeting these children with all their spontaneity and liveliness reflects back to us an image of life in movement and of a God who is eternally young.

 

A beautiful neighbourhood

 

With the community situated as it is, we live as neighbours to these children and their teachers and are in close contact with them. We see each other in the simplicity of every-day living, as we come and go. We wave to one another, or a child says to us: “There are lovely paths in your garden and lots of flowers!”

Today’s visit, and this meeting with the children before the creche, seems to us however, to be a special moment when we can experience, keep alive and enrich the memory of our Origins.

 

The community of the Daughters of Jesus, Bignan, France

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