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Life of the communities

« Nuns, they are a dying race! »

2- in France - Date of publication 02-20-2006
Apostolic religious life in the West is beginning to change as we move into
the 21st century.

    Another version: « there are no more young people entering with you. Your congregations are going to disappear. » This is what apostolic religious often hear today. It is a fact that sisters are getting older and few people are entering the noviciate in France. But vocations are not drying up in their communities in Africa, India, Madagascar, for example. As numbers go the outlook is bleak. But have we ever known a time when there was no horizon? Certainly, in the 19th century religious congregations experienced a time of plenty with spectacular entries into the noviciate. It was just after the French Revolution and before the separation between Church and State. The socio-political situation was "favourable". Religious were teaching everywhere, in small and large schools throughout Mayenne and elsewhere. They provided cheap labour in the hospitals and hospices where they carried out all sorts of jobs: cooking, cleaning, caring for the sick, administration, etc. Their statute as « members of the household » entitled them to meals, laundry, lodgings in the hospital, most of the time with the sick.
    The training and arrival of laywomen in the hospitals and schools changed this situation. Today, thanks to the NGO’s, young people can offer their services in any country in the world. The French government pays teachers and nursing staff. There is no longer any need for congregations to provide education, nursing care, to fight poverty and injustice or to go to foreign lands. So, of what use is apostolic religious life, which is defined as a service to others?
    When we could see sisters giving themselves unstintingly to teaching or caring for the sick, perhaps we lost sight of what is in reality the essence of their life. There isn’t, and there never has been an apostolic religious life without a response to a call from God to live in a radical way the essence of the Gospel: to serve, at one and the same time, both God and our brothers and sisters, to live « in the depth of our hearts » a « passion for Christ » and at the same time a « passion for humanity ». And this involves living together, in community, for « living together » is full of challenges. Families are well acquainted with this. It is in rubbing shoulders with others in everyday life that we live out the Gospel message « love one another as I have loved you. » Apostolic religious are fully human, they are part of this humanity that Jesus Christ made His own. A humanity already saved yet still in need of salvation, for everyday we have to choose God, to choose to live according to the Gospel. Then again religious give freely of themselves: they are there to listen to, sympathise and rejoice with everything that happens in the village, the district, the place of work or leisure. Sometimes they facilitate or maintain links between people. Often they act as prisms allowing the light which comes from beyond themselves to shine, the light which comes from Christ who they contemplate each day in prayer and before whom they present the people they meet. The « depth of their heart » is turned towards God and they try to be the hands, the eyes and the heart of Jesus for all people. This is done without noise or show just as Christ is present in our humanity. Just by looking at them one can understand what motivates them. But if you want they would be willing to
share this with you.
    Young people who enter religious life today, and there are some, have this same love for the Gospel and it inspires their work and their community life. A real « passion for Christ, for Humanity » dwells in them.young and old form the apostolic religious life of today knowing that those. That is why who are young will open up their own way for the future.

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A HAPPY INITIATIVE!

2- in France - Date of publication 06-28-2010
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School of spirituality
Young People and Adults share with the sisters, the charism of the Foundress Perrine Thulard...
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Our history
The "Society of Daughters of Charity" is founded in 1682 and dedicated to teaching and care of the sick...
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The founding intuition
"Conserve Charity, Simplicity, Union an Humility" still directs our way of life
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Structures
We are of roman rite, divided into Provinces or Delegations...
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