My experience in different mission areas

Micheline, a novice with the Daughters of Jesus, is happy to share with us what she has just experienced during her time as a trainee in various mission areas.

I spent two and a half months on placement with various associations, accompanied and supported by the Filles de Jésus community in Yerres, where I had been sent:  

– Aux Captifs, la libération”,

– « Bonne Assiette », a social restaurant,

– Secours Catholique, Caritas France,

– JRS,

– Food Bank,

– Order of Malta,

– Parvis de Clarisses.

“Liberation for the Captives”

My experience in this association enabled me to be present with all that I am alongside homeless people who are in very precarious circumstances and prey to alcohol and drugs.

This proximity was an exceptional opportunity to approach an unexpected and unknown reality, to allow myself to be touched by their suffering, and to take time to be with them. I listened to them and ate with them, a category of people marginalised and rejected by society. At first, I was afraid because of the physical violence they experience. The first contact was a shock, but very quickly we became familiar with each other in a spirit of mutual respect.

In collaboration with the other volunteers and the people in charge of the centre, I believe I lived a moment of mission where my words, my gestures, my physical appearance and my vision of the world and reality became the very vehicle for proclaiming the Gospel.

The way I looked at others brought me back to my own humanity and encouraged me to accept, love and care for it as a divine gift.

At the “Secours Catholique”

At the Secours Catholique in the parish of Yerres, twenty kilometres south-east of Paris, I took part in distributing clothes and food to the needy. My presence in this association, which works to give joy and hope to migrants and the poor, was a source of life sharing, as I exchanged information about Africa and the realities of France; I can say that it was a cultural opening.

The image of a homeless, destitute couple with a child, and where the wife was pregnant, remains in my mind. This situation continues to evoke in me the Gospel of Mt 25:31-46, “For I was hungry, and you gave me food; I was thirsty, and you gave me drink; I was a stranger, and you welcomed me; I was naked, and you clothed me; I was sick, and you visited me; I was in prison, and you came to me!”  The text we had read on the Sunday of Christ the King of the Universe.

“The Open Table”

At “La Table Ouverte“, where meals are distributed, I encountered another category of people who needed to nourish their bodies. What struck me was seeing people travelling some distance from Paris, to come and have a meal in Yerres.

It takes three hours by train to get there, if they can afford the ticket, otherwise they walk. And when I think of the crowds of men, women and children suffering from malnutrition or hunger, I felt hat it was to work to put people on their feet in the manner of the compassionate and merciful Jesus.

EHPAD Sofia and Sodia

In this residence for those who are elderly and dependant, I had a wonderful experience working with frail elderly people. However, as a woman from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, I experienced the culture shock of seeing grandfathers and grandmothers separated from their families. Seeing the attention they received from the staff, I felt energised and wholeheartedly available to help them. The times of prayer or Eucharistic celebration were most enjoyable; some of the residents took an interest in my training, and others said to me: “We’re praying for your vocation“.

Everything I have been through has been a very profound experience for me because it has enabled me to live the charism of our Congregation, the Daughters of Jesus: “To honour the Sacred Humanity of the Son of God“. (Rule of Life no. 3)

The different apostolates have revealed my weaknesses, my riches, my gifts, and everything I need to continue to grow, spiritually and humanly.

My feet became an instrument for accompanying and sharing with the homeless who live on the streets of Paris and the south of the capital.

Striving to imitate his virtues, especially his love, …and caring for  the sick.

Rule of Life no. 3

Micheline Mposa

Novice Daughters of Jesus

Pavillon-sous-Bois, France

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