Who are the Associates in the province France-Belgium?
They are Christians who, having encountered the Daughters of Jesus (or sisters of Kermaria, as they are often called):
- – feel comfortable with them,
- – are interested in what they live,
- – meet them in the course of various apostolic commitments,
- – wish to know the spirit or charism of the Congregation better, so that in their turn they may live according to this spirit, which is a gift given to the Church.
There is no formal obligation between the associates and the Congregation, in either direction. The bond is more at the level of a spirit which both the associates and the Sisters wish to live as well as they can.
This implies a shared search: the sisters share how the Congregation has understood and lived the charism up till now, while, in their turn, the lay people share their understanding of the charism and the effect it can have on their lives.
How did the Associates begin?
It started after the 1998 General Chapter. In February 1999, a commission was set up which proposed a meeting to consult all the sisters who were interested. A decision was then made to organise a first meeting of lay people, to be contacted by sisters and communities. This took place on 1 July 2000 at Kermaria.