Living at Kermaria
An opportunity or a hardship ?
In 2008, Nicole Louis accepted the responsibility of a community at the mother house.
At the end of her mandate, she shares her experience with us.
« Going from a small community of 4 sisters to one of 28 made my head spin. However, the welcome offered to me by the sisters and alleviated my fears and gave me the deep desire to be alongside them.
Accompanying the sisters is lived out in different ways.
- Together we have journeyed by way of celebrations, anniversaries, illness and bereavement, as befalls everyone in life. The sisters love to celebrate, to mark moments of joy in diverse ways : songs, poems, parties and even dressing-up.
- With the professional staff of the care team : lay nurses and sisters. On site 24/24, four aids to daily living are at our side to help with hygiene and other needs. They accompany us in the dining rooms, where community links are also built up. Three sisters come in to work alongside the sisters of the community in a voluntary capacity, helping as needed day by day. Since 2013, we have also had a much appreciated aide during the night.
- When one is aware of the isolation that many elderly people experience, living out one’s old age in community is good fortune. But some days can be more difficult than others: when people are slow, repeat themselves, are demanding, forget things, or when deafness makes exchange difficult. It’s then that we have to exert patience and a lot of love so that handicaps do not become obstacles to good relations in the community.
Prayer together is a privileged moment in our mission today. As many sisters say to us … “We need your prayer, it’s vital to us and to our mission on the outside.”
Kermaria is a beehive where employees, families, and friends rub shoulders with each other: having a few young people around us does us good. The community does not hesitate in inviting others to a meal. In this way we can put a face to the group of Associates as some of them have shared a meal and prayer with us several times. Our sisters are not turned in on themselves but are open to life right to the end.
So no, living at Kermaria is not a hardship. There are days when it is more difficult, it is true. Nonetheless, it has been for me an opportunity to live out the charism in the reality of “letting go”, of death passing through our ranks without destabilising us, of life without artifice. Fidelity to daily prayer in community situates us in the truth of the journey we have undertaken and in the welcome of that Love so often implored.
Over the course of these 6 years at Kermaria, “confidence” has done its work, and St Joseph the rest. Thank you!”