The second assembly of spiritual families was held at Lourdes
from the 18th to the 20th October 2013.
A time to highlight life in the Church, to celebrate,
to share experiences, to exchange with one another.
We were 17 (10 laypeople and 7 sisters)
from the 2 provinces,
South-West France and France-Belgium.
The numerous exchanges stimulated us and enhanced our experience. They will continue to nourish and enrich the life of the groups as we draw on the texts of the different presentations.
Marie and Yves share some elements of their reflections with us, based on different moments during the meeting …
« What we have been living for some time now comes from the charism of the Daughters of Jesus … We responded to the call to participate in this meeting by also taking into account the commitment to give an account of it on our return …”
“A general impression: there weren’t only “oldies” to be seen! Almost 1300 people representing 200 spiritual families. It is estimated that there are around 40 to 50,000 Christians in France who are linked to one or another spiritual family, with a range of very diverse histories and modalities.”
Sister Bernadette Delisy analyses the evolution since the meeting of 2007.
“Living such an experience does not leave you indifferent. We are listening to Christ. It is a deeply spiritual moment; We are called to journey …”
In the light of the Father JC Lavigne’s talk we can situate our journey as Christians associated to the Daughters of Jesus in the spiritual domain: the rereading of our lives by the light of the Gospels, the sharing of our daily lives in trying to see there the presence of God. Our reflection leads us to suggest the putting in place of a pathway that would formalise our commitment to live our reality as associates.”
Father L. Vilemin and Monsignor Papin, delegate of the Episcopal conference, insist on the place of spiritual families in the mission of the local and universal Church
“The reality of spiritual families is little to be seen in our dioceses … an invitation, encouraged by Monsignor Papin, to share with our bishops … Why not have a diocesan meeting of Spiritual families?”
Sister Christiane, who is responsable for the associates in France-Belgium and South-West France, gives her point of view:
“This meeting has given visibility to a in-depth movement that touches the life of the Church. It is not fundamentally a question of congregation in themselves, one by one, but rather of the expression of the expectation of Christians in the matter of self-resourcing and spiritual accompaniment. Which leads us to think that the links created between laypeople and religious are one of the unexpected fruits of the religious life, an aspect that has gradually altered in the last few years, in France and especially in Europe. A source of hope …”
In conclusion, Monsignor Papin formulated four calls :
To the Christian associates : A call to continue on the spiritual and apostolic journey that you have commited yourselves to …
To the bishops : A call to assess in each of their dioceses what you represent and are living …
To the spiritual families : Not to hesitate to make yourselves known as spiritual families present in the diocesan Church…
To all of us : Set in motion a meeting of spiritual families present in the same diocese …
To know more: témoignages assossiée