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A very moving celebration

2- in France - Date of publication 06-15-2009
9th May 2009. All the sisters in France wanted to come together to remember and give thanks in this Abbey which has been the heart of our family for 206yrs.

From 13.30pm most of the sisters were there to revisit together places which were dear to us, talk to one another and chat.

Then the meeting had two parts: In the T.V.room with the help of beautiful photos, we had a brief recall of the history of each place, and the events which had taken place in this Abbey. Very little commentary but a few texts taken from our sisters writings...and a contemplative silence... this was a time of remembering, of wonder and already thanksgiving.

We were gently directed to the chapel, welcomed by the Gregorian chant of the Benedictines of Solesmes.

The beautiful illuminated Christ awaited us...in this place where the strong voice of our commitments the joyful song of our anniversaries, the welcoming moving song of our burials, the thanksgiving of our celebrations, the prolonged silence of our adoration had resounded.

Perrine also welcomed us. After singing the testament she left us, we took up some of her  phrases which helped us to formulate the rite of reconciliation.

The hymn "Bear in mind that Jesus Christ" introduced us to thanksgiving taken from our heraldry,several parts of which are sculpted on to the altar or etched on to the tabernacle... not forgetting our beautiful stained glass windows.

After having once more confided us to Mary, Cecile sent us out with these words:

The time to leave the Abbey has come after more than 200yrs of presence in such a  beautiful house!

It is also the time for a new beginning, for a new stage which is beginning in the living out of the long history of our religious family.

It is an event which touches each and all of us in the Congregation, but certainly more acutely, you who have lived for many years within its walls. What memories!

We are called to-day to live this time in Faith, of course that does not remove the pain that we feel.

Some word of Fr.Rene Jacques, eudist,on 23rdApril last support and encourage us.

He said: "The eyes of Faith see everything in the light of Easter.  This new vision changes everything and enables us to do thing which appear to be impossible.  To-day we are all living a Paschal experience.

We are confronted, by an upheaval' a moving out, a change which uproots our certainties, our habits.

This Paschal experience, forces us to make a choice: to abandon oneself to death, or to take a risk with life, to look at everything through the eyes of the risen Christ, is to seek life when everything is pushing us to let ourselves die, is to trust when there are no guarantees, is to transform the suffering of separation into labour pains of new life"

Perrine's trust in God, her belief in other people, her faith in the future, are an example for us to follow. That is why I would like express her words in my own way:  "Let us go together, teaching one another by word and example, in all charity ,simplicity union and humility."

These strong, soothing words, will help us to live out more serenely the coming days.  Let us keep them in the depths of hearts.

Our history is not coming to an end. It begins anew each day... in France, Great Britain, Canada Ivory Coast, Burkino Faso and Peru...

The afternoon continued with a tea-party which was, all the same peaceful and joyful!

 

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A HAPPY INITIATIVE!

2- in France - Date of publication 06-28-2010
A celebration of religious life was held at the parish of Saint Pierre/Saint Vénérand in Laval the 30th and 31st January 2010.
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