On April 7, 2018,
the Associates of the Daughters of Jesus
met up in Kermaria (France)
for their annual meeting.
“Take your boat”
What a beautiful invitation for this annual meeting of all the Associates who had come from the four corners of the Province: Brittany, Eure et Loire, the Paris region, the south-west.
After a time of welcome and prayer, we listened with great care and pleasure to Sr. Marie-Annick MORICE who gave a lively presentation based on the encyclical, “The joy of the Gospel“, written by Pope Francis in 2013. It was an opportunity to remind ourselves that there is an urgent need for the Church, and for Christians, to evangelize. We need to have the courage to come out of ourselves, to reach out to others and to listen to them, especially those who need the Gospel enlighten their way and to make sense of it.
To help us to advance boldly and confidently, Pope Francis offers us five guidelines:
- Take the initiative to dare to reach out and take the first step
- Get involved
- Accompany as Jesus did
- Bear fruit
- Celebrate the highlights and the beautiful moments of ordinary life.
Sr Marie-Annick was able to make the link between these guidelines and the attitudes and means to follow in the footsteps of Jesus that are described in the Reference Text of the Associates of the Congregation.
This time of reflection was followed by the “rope game” which allowed us to get to know each other better and to come together more as a group. It was a pleasure to see ourselves in another light and to be able to work together.
After a lunch where we had the pleasure of meeting up with those we knew, we heard from the very dynamic Associates in Chile who had participated actively in the fiftieth anniversary of the mission of the Daughters of Jesus in Chile (1968-2018). Then, thanks to Skype, we had a wonderful video conference with a group of Associates in Trois-Rivières, Canada. Despite the time difference and some technical problems, we shared a beautiful moment of fraternity and conviviality.
Before celebrating the Eucharist in the Chapel with the Sisters of the different communities of Kermaria, each group of Associates was invited to formulate a project for the year and to inscribe it on the sail of a small boat.
At the end of the celebration, each group then received their boat from Sister Christiane Lorcy, the Provincial Superior.
The traditional afternoon tea closed this beautiful day. Now we are ready to go and throw our nets out into the open sea and navigate in all weathers towards new encounters.
“Take your boat, God calls you to cross over to other shores.
Take your boat and go where the Spirit leads you.”
Michel Boscher, Hennebont-Le Bouetiez group
and Danielle and Bernard, Vannes group
Some feedback from the participants
Here is what I heard:
- “An enriching and rejuvenating day. A day full of kindness, and very, very rich … “
- “Great wealth of exchanges made with ease – the moments of sharing and the presentations were very rich – Very good participation …”
- “All these exchanges made it possible to better get to know the Sisters and their charism.”
- “A very friendly atmosphere, we felt at ease and welcomed into a big family.”
- “I have come for the first time and felt a bit fearful and apprehensive. I have discovered a warm welcome, a simple and attentive family, and I am leaving again enriched and very happy to have taken this first step. “
- Many emphasized the “extraordinary” sharing with Canada and said that this exchange was really moving.
- Everyone said that the day was very well organized and presented.
- “The Word of God enlightens and animates us and makes us grow in humanity.”
Reactions collected by Marie Annick Clolus (Associate)