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The last Mass celebrated in the Chapel

2- in France - Date of publication 06-15-2009
This Mass had been announced in the parish news letter. On this Pentecost Sunday, May 31, a large crowd assembled in the chapel which was beautifully decorated. There were people from the parish who usually attended as well as friends and Sisters.

The Mass was celebrated by the parish priest, Fr. Trocherie, assisted by Fr. Esnault. At the beginning Fr. stressed that it was a Mass in thanksgiving to the Sisters and a farewell Mass. The congregation sang with their whole heart to implore the Holy Spirit on this solemnity of Pentecost. The chant of the Sequence of the day was particularly beautiful. It was prayerful and serene and inspiring. The symbols were very meaningful. Seven lights representing the seven gifts of the Spirit, incense which demonstrated our prayer, ascended several times, and the paschal candle which was extinguished at the end of the celebration.

Fr. Trocherie's homily was simple and moving. Here are a few extracts: The winds did not seem to be favourable to the disciples on that Pentecost morning... humanly speaking, the group of disciples seemed to want to disappear, but by the breath of the Spirit this group became Church. In our aged Europe today the winds do not seem favourable either; with indifference, quarrels between Christians, grave scandals in the Church, vocations crisis, and closer to us, the news that a great threshold will finally close its doors. Like you, dear Sisters and parish members, this news grieves my heart and my eyes. Every time I crossed that threshold, I received friendship, encouragement and faith. Sisters, how many times did I hear you say," The parish is doing well, continue the good work"

For that I am grateful: grateful to you  for having inspired my ministry with the charism of your Congregation: to let myself be taught by the poor, for having an attitude, not of disdain, for those who acknowledge their poverty, but rather an attitude of hope .I owe you that and I think the parishioners owe it to you also.

You are involved in the parish; continue to be involved as much as you can. You are present in several continents; keep our parish in touch with the universal mission of the Church.

How can we, parishioners, remain in contact with the Sisters who have welcomed us over such a long period of time? 

We could become very sad and regret the fact that we will no longer have beautiful celebrations, held  at a convenient time in a well heated place. We could be tempted by that but on this Pentecost day let us see that sadness, nostalgia and regrets are not numbered among the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The feast of Pentecost invites us to remain close to the Sisters in another way: to live in the same Spirit, live in the spirit of their charism "to serve Jesus Christ poor in the person of the poor".

Our parish is probably smaller and less visible that in the past. It does not deserve less love, less care, however.

If at each side of the threshold, we share the same respect for people, the same desire to serve the community - parish and religious - the same sense of service to our brothers and sisters, fragile in health and in faith, even if our encounters are less frequent, the Holy Spirit will help us to remain in communion.

After Mass Father Trocherie invited the members of the congregation to express their thanks to the Sisters and to take time to chat. This was a very emotional moment spent in friendship and peace. We felt very united even though our hearts were sore and some eyes were red with tears.


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