11 avril 2015 03On the 11th April,

the Associates of the Province France-Belgium

came together at Kermaria for their annual meeting,

with this year’s theme of

« Daring to meet”.

They came in large numbers from Paris, Eure et Loir, Brittany and Limoges.
One of the highlights of the day was the meeting with the sisters of Kermaria. From 10h30 to midday, 11 groups of associates spread throughout all of the mother-house listened to the sisters speak about their lives.

“We had been waiting for this sharing for a long time” the associates said.

Very simply the sisters related a whole slice of their life or a moment that had deeply marked them. For example, caring for the ill at home or in hospital, working with the young in colleges and grammar schools, being with children in schools and parishes, the first departures for Canada or Africa or elsewhere, their presence in the missions, etc…

From the associates’ point of view, certain themes recurred constantly in their comments on the meetings :

11 avril 2015 01

“Receiving and giving”
The sense of service which came across in all of the testimonies
The separation from :
. family
. country
. successive departures : different obediences in France, for Canada, Latin America, Africa, Haïti
. the great “YES” pronounced on profession day and all the little ‘yeses’ of everyday
. the solidarity and fraternal help

. daily personal and community prayer
. the power of the Word of God that “helped me”
. “the Word of God” guides me”, a sister said

This moment of meeting 11 avril 2015 00

with the associates

has been a very intense one and will help us

to continue on our route united with them in prayer.

Thank you for this moment of joy.

REACTIONS from some of the associates after the meeting of the 11th April

“I am happy to have met the sisters. I think it was a very good idea, both for the associates and for the sisters in the communities. It was a real exchange and sharing of our lives. The testimonies of the sisters … represent a richness which we should keep traces of … the im-portance of prayer, of community life lived out from day to day, and how they have found, and continue to find, a strength that surpasses all the trials they have encountered. That gives me strength in my own prayer life, and I hope that our associate meetings will also be a way of living in community.”

Michel

« The sisters’ testimonies revealed to me the importance of the « little yeses » for the sisters and for us. They invited me to be “at the service of others”. Each day I give thanks for this sharing and these lives.”

« What I have retained :
– The importance of life in community for the elderly and sick sisters.
– The sense of others and of the poor in their activities and their concern to transmit their “know how” by forming others
– The importance of daily prayer
– The care for their family and their presence when it was needed.”

« As usual, the welcome was excellent and the ambiance very friendly, favourable to reflec-tion and prayer.
The presentation by Christiane Lorcy : a very good reading of the “text and an interpretation that gave indications for personal study.
Very profound testimonies, sincere and open, with different experiences of life, a good sense of personal engagement on the part of the sisters. What came out of it was the importance of “service” alongside the children and the sick. Their engagement finds it origin in their family history and community life (a new family) is a prolongation of it.”

Michelle and Robert

11 avril 2015 02

« I passed a very good day and particularly appreciated the time of sharing with the sisters. They gave us beautiful testimonies of faith. For some, this moment was a way of being in direct contact with the associates; it was the first time they had heard why we are associates and what we live in our groups.
The input of Christiane Lorcy on the text of the man born blind was also very interesting. These meeting are always occasions for rediscovering texts that we have heard so often be-fore.
In all objectivity, the Mass was also very good.
As always, the day as a whole as very well organised, from all points of view.”

Sylvie

– A very beautiful day at Kermaria on the 11th April
– The organisation was perfect.
– The meeting with some of the sisters was very enriching. I didn’t think that sisters expressed their feelings. From it I deduced that the sisters in charge were “enlight-ened”.
– In the afternoon, Christiane Lorcy’s presentation was “exceptional”: Jesus and the man born blind
– The Mass : the sign of penitence (the washing of the eyes) pleased me very much. I went up to it thinking of the man born blind, who without hesitating, went to Siloa.

Maryonne

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