an Associate with the Daughters of Jesus,
lives in Ploërmel, Brittany,
with her husband, Réné.
After 36 years in primary education,
she is now retired.
Following a 10 day stay this summer
as a volunteer at our mother house, Kermaria,
she shares her experience with us.
I have known the Congregation for a long time because I had a great aunt who was a religious sister – Sister Zacharie (Germaine Morio) – and I used to go on holiday at her community in Saint-Brieuc-de-Mauron. From 1962 to 1969 I then went to secondary school at the Marie-Immaculée Juniorate and I finally taught with the Daughters of Jesus at St. Joseph’s School in Ploërmel.
Until this year we looked after our grandchildren during the second half of August. They are now grown up and independent so I found myself with some free time on my hands. René and I had already enjoyed our holidays fromMay to mid-August so it seemed normal to take a little time to put myself at the service of others.
As I am one of the Associates of the Congregation in the Ploërmel group, I asked Sister Simone if I could make myself useful at Kermaria. She put me in touch with Sister Marie-Thérèse and on Thursday, August 16 I found myself at 9 am at the reception desk. Sister Lysiane accompanied me to my room and introduced me to Sister Bernadette in the cafeteria. For three days Bernadette « coached » me and showed me all the little things I had to put in place for the different meals of the day. At first, I was a little tense because everything was new to me but Sister Bernadette explained the work to me very kindly and we quickly got on well together. On Sunday, I was alone at the controls but well accompanied by the Sisters. I did not get lost in the maze that leads to the cellar !
During this stay, I discovered life in community, with its precise schedules, working hours, prayers, and an openness to the world through the reading of newspapers and watching the news on TV. I met other people as I walked around the park or visited the Sisters I knew. I had the joy of seeing nuns who had been my teachers and to whom I owe a lot. I also experienced moments of fruitful solitude, conducive to meditation and reading. I went home, happy to see my husband again. If my health allows, I will gladly repeat the experience in 2019. “