Since September, all the communities of the Daughters of Jesus and the lay associates have been on the way to the General Chapter 2022.
Communities are coming together to live a celebration proposed by the General Council.
“By following in the footsteps of Abraham, John the Baptist, our founders, and foundresses, supported by a promise of fruitfulness, we are invited to take up our pilgrim’s rod, to place ourselves under the gaze of God and to allow ourselves to be guided by his Word.”
First of all, we share what “moving towards a General Chapter” evokes in us. We then meditate on the Gospel of John 1:35-39 “Rabbi, where are you staying?” … He said to them, “Come and you will see.”
Asking for the grace of a free heart
Afterward, the General Council challenges us: At this moment in our history, Revive the gift of the charism that God gives us. Ask for the grace of a heart that is free, humble, unattached, and selfless in order to better discern urgent calls and respond to them with courage, creativity, and dynamism.
The words of Mother Mary of St. Charles are proclaimed: « … Think only of doing God’s work with a new zeal; we are all his children, members of the same Congregation; the intimate union of our hearts is necessary to the glory of the one and the prosperity of the other.» A.R. 1873
Then each one, as a member of the Congregation or as a lay associate, is invited to let rise in her or his heart a grace or a gift of the Holy Spirit that they would like to ask the Lord, either personally or for the whole Body: “Trust”, “God’s fidelity for each one”, “For the leaders of the Congregation and the delegates of the General Chapter: the gift of wisdom and daring”, “May the Holy Spirit grant me and each member of the Congregation the gift of discernment to continue on the way”.
To show our commitment, we are invited to place in the visual the symbol we have chosen: a backpack, a walking stick, a lamp, the Rule of Life…
The communities share their experience
“The communities of Ploeren, Carnac and Ste Anne d’Auray, met in Carnac for the celebration of the beginning of the General Chapter. Prepared in advance by each of the Sisters, it took place with prayer, sharing, and simplicity.
The light supper that followed allowed us to continue sharing and to enjoy a friendly moment together.”
The communities of Baud and Pontivy met together: “This special moment spent with another community was an opportunity to feel more deeply the dimension of being part of a ‘Body’. As we followed the different stages we listened to and showed respect for each other. Starting out from the reality of today, the sharing was very enriching, open and questioning. The texts touch our lives and invite us to grow together in faith and hope. The visuals that drew our attention were enriched by the symbols chosen and placed by each one. All these gestures signify our commitment to be Witnesses of the Gospel in our daily lives.”
“We lived this community sharing in trust.”
“After a time of personal prayer, each one was able to express herself freely.”
“We took the sharing and expression of what lies deep within us as we walk towards the Chapter into our prayer.”
“I liked the beautiful visual prepared for the three stages: a lighted candle symbolising the countries and the life of the Daughters of Jesus, steps on the way. In our daily community prayer, we are taking up again the prayers written for the celebration.”
“To set out on a journey is to move in space but also to step out of oneself. In front of the visual, the prayer given to us at the end of the celebration gathers us each evening and draws us towards the future.” (Bignan)
On the road
We set out on the road with confidence, in communion with each other, and sure that the Lord goes before us.
Interview by Agnès Miquel, fj, Pontivy, France