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30th General Chapter of the Religious of the Assumption

3 eventWednesday, 17 July 2024

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Newsletter 12 - Being born anew

Today Sister Sr Rekha Chennattu has been re-elected Superior General of the Religious of the Assumption for the period 2024-2030.

Election day began with the same atmosphere of silence and prayer that reigned in the Motherhouse since Saturday afternoon. During Lauds, we asked for the intercession of the Saints as we sang the litany of the Saints begging them to guide this important day of the Chapter.

Monsignor Laurent Ulrich, Archbishop of Paris, celebrated the Eucharist this morning, and presided over the election. The Capitulants left in prayerful silence towards the Chapter Hall, while the Sisters of the ‘diakonia’ and those coming from the nearby Communities of France and Belgium waited, like so many Communities and friends, for the beginning of the announcement of the proclamation rite in the Chapel.

It was an international, fraternal and joyful celebration, which we were able to share with so many people via the internet, which transmitted their messages of joy, prayer and closeness. Those present were able to communicate a brief word and give a hug to Sister Rekha in the traditional gesture of obedience.

The celebration continued with a snack prepared with great love and work by the diakonia community and the staff of the Motherhouse, which was followed by a special lunch in the garden. After lunch we all enjoyed a fraternal moment with Sister Rekha, during which we shared songs and dances, and she answered several questions on her vocation, her dreams, desires... Others passed on to her some of the many messages coming from some of the Provinces.

For those who do not know Rekha, she was born in India in 1963, she made her First Vows in 1984, taking as mystery “Jesus the Redeemer”, and made her Perpetual Vows in 1992, taking “Logos” as the word which was engraved on her ring.

After her studies in theology, she specialized in Sacred Scripture, her great passion, teaching at the University level. She has carried out various missions in her Province, and has been able to collaborate with different Asian and universal ecclesiastical institutions and other academic spaces..

We thank her for her great availability and joyful dedication in welcoming this new mandate that she sees as “being born anew”.

In thanksgiving and prayer that the Lord bless Sister Rekha in her mission

Newsletter 11 - Rooted in Christ

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The week ended with the creation of a new province in the Congregation: the Province of Central Africa, made up of two countries, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

It was emotional when Sister Delphine, now provincial superior, shared the story of the Assumption in these two countries, giving thanks to the missionaries who have given their lives there, as well as the different governments of the congregation that have accompanied this road and the various provinces of Africa and other continents, which have collaborated in the process of the initial formation of the Region. Some of these sisters, present at the Chapter, have gratefully shared their lived experience.

The party continued, as you can see in the videos, sharing a large and delicious cake and a glass of champagne that the logistics team has been preparing since yesterday. The joy was eventually transformed into music and dance.

Today's Eucharist offered us the opportunity to thank God for the life and mission of the sisters in these African lands, and to pray, as the sisters expressed, that the roots of the Assumption become solid to sustain this beautiful tree.

And because roots are important, during the week, different groups have been able to enjoy a visit to the Archives Museum. Sister Veronique, our Archivist, helped them understand every detail, to delve deeper into the life and work of Saint Mary Eugenie and her first sisters. They have all been grateful for this opportunity and the great work done by the archives team. We take this opportunity to thank you for your careful and professional work.

Newsletter 10 - The essential is invisible to the eyes

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 The beginning of the new week has been marked by work, reflection and discernment on aspects necessary to continue sustaining our life and mission: economy, government structures and restructuring. The responses to the questionnaires given to the Sisters and lay people continue to emerge, as do the synodal experiences presented and the rest of the pre-Chapter documents.

The deep and detailed report of Sister Cecile, our General Bursar, has provided new elements. She creatively used different scenes from the story of The Little Prince to convey to us how our life and mission need knowledge of the financial dimension to take responsible decisions faithful to the present reality. This report has helped us understand the culture of care presented by Antoine De Saint-Exupery:

“Here is my secret, which could not be simpler: only with the heart can you see well; The essential is invisible to the eyes. […] What makes your rose more important is the time you have wasted with it.”

Sister Brigid Lawlor of the Congregation of the Sisters of our Lady of the Charity of the Good Shepherd. She has helped us to continue the reflection on the “new paths to live synodality” to which the them of the Chapter theme us.

As you can see in the photos, there is no shortage of moments to celebrate thanks to the number of birthdays we are celebrating these days. The prayer for the Sister whose birthday it is, is after lauds with the singing of “Las mañanitas” and “Happy Birthday” in different languages when we leave the chapel in the morning. A bouquet of flowers and gifts on the table in the Chapter hall and a small muffin are expressions of the life we ​​celebrate.

The semifinals of the soccer match of the Euro Cup also brought together several Sisters from different Provinces who watched it on the big screen in the Chapter hall. More than just being there to see the game and who was winning, we were there to share a moment together.

Newsletter 9 - Discovering the Magic of Paris

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After a week of intense work, we were able to enjoy a day of rest on Sunday during which, personally or in groups, the Sisters of the Chapter Community took the opportunity to visit Paris, meet friends or family and recover our strength. Although some had to dedicate some time of the day to the specific work that they left pending, in general we all enjoyed a day of rest.

We were able to experience how the streets of Paris bustle with people from all over the world, who mix with the preparatory work for the imminent Olympic Games. We witnessed a capital that became an Olympic stadium; stands were built; sports fields were prepared; this beautiful city was well decorated.

As evening approached, the Sisters returned to Auteuil to pray Vespers. At dinner the conversation was marked by the exchange of experiences and the expectation of the results of day’s elections in France. At the beginning of work on Monday, in the world news that the Communication Team prepares for the Chapter assembly every two days, we were able to share the majority that the left-wing New Popular Front coalition obtained in the French legislative elections.

And so we begin a new week of work where the themes of the Chapter that we express in the motto of the Chapter are filled with content, calls, dreams. We feel very close to each one through your messages and prayers.

Newsletter 8 - Assumption Together

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The week shared with the Lay Delegates from our Provinces/Region is coming to an end. It was a rich experience of fraternity, prayer, liturgy, work of reflection and discernment. The fruits of that rich experience will be known and deepened during the transmission of the Chapter in each Province/Region. Sister Rekha, superior general, addressed them some words of farewell and gratitude that expressed her appreciation of the synodal experience lived in these days.

The Delegates are presented in the videos we published on the Religious of the Assumption channel Assumption Sister - YouTube

Before their departure we were also able to take various family photos. See the photos.

This last day ended with the thanksgiving Eucharist whereby we were grateful for all that we experienced together and for the gift of the Charism of the Assumption as expressed through our different vocations and modes of life. Our Lay Friends were sent off with a symbolic gesture which you can see in the photos in this mentioned above album.

The celebration continued with a festive dinner and an evening animated by a team that coordinated the different dances, songs, games... presented by the different groups of Lay people and Sisters. Once again, the beauty and richness of our internationality were manifested, a beauty , made of sounds and colors. See the photos.

Newsletter 7 - Together in the Assumption

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The Capitulants, both lay and Sisters, continue to journey together with the desire to live the charism and spirituality of the Assumption, a gift from God in the Church to collaborate in the transformation of society from the values ​​of the Gospel.

The work during this new day of reflection, discussion and discernment strengthens the conviction that our charism is lived and enriched from the different Christian vocations.

As an Assumption spiritual family, we drink from the same source of the charism granted to Saint Marie Eugenie of Jesus. The phrase that accompanies our theme in this 2024 General Chapter, expresses well what animates our work of discernment: With “our gaze fixed on Jesus Christ and the extension of His Kingdom", we want to pass on the passion that dwells in us, transforming society together according to the Gospel through education.

This day of deep reflection on our different vocations culminated with the celebration of the First Vows of the four young novices who have done their novitiate in Lyon, France::

  • Sister Larissa of Jesus and Sister Celestine of the Incarnation, from the Province of Madagascar
  • Sister Marie of the Trinity, from the Province of France
  • Sister Valeria of Jesus, Son of God, from the Province of Ecuador-Mexico.

We rejoice in their “yes” to the Lord at the Assumption and in the dedication of their lives in a prayerful and apostolic Community committed to the extension of the Kingdom. We thank God and pray for them, along with their families, communities and friends, those who were able to join us here in Auteuil and those who were able to join us by zoom.

The celebration is registered at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlFvwUED4hA

Photos of the celebration and moments in Diana's life can be seen at this other https://photos.app.goo.gl/m2aiEWk81PS2S94P9

 

Newsletter 6 - "We are all foundation stones" Saint Marie Eugénie of Jesus

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Throughout the presentation of the synodal experiences and the calls from all the provinces/region of the Congregation, the different language groups distributed at the tables of the chapter house identified many challenges. The thanksgiving for so much life and dedication in the realities where the Assumption is incarnated was intertwined with the prayer of petition for the situations of suffering in our world. This work of rereading and reflection was enriched by listening to, echoing and deepening the report of the Superior General, Sister Rekha.

On Tuesday afternoon, Father Paul Parathazham, a sociologist from India, helped us continue interpreting the responses of the lay people to the questionnaire that has been carried out in preparation for the Chapter. Inspired by the synodal dynamic that the Church is experiencing, we wanted to give a voice to lay people and sisters from all our provinces so that they could share their life and thoughts about the present day of the Assumption and the future that we want to build together.

We are all foundation stones, we are all called to contribute to the construction of our Congregation, and together, in Church, of the Kingdom. The day ended with a beautiful celebration of thanksgiving for the life and mission of one of these foundation stones, Sister Diana Wauters, superior general from 2006-2012. She returned to the Father's house on the solemnity of Corpus Christi this year. This Eucharist celebrated in the Chapter and broadcast live has made it possible for many of our communities and friends of the Assumption to be present, as well as to be grateful for their life given with languages ​​and songs from different parts of the world; in particular, the instruments and rhythms of his beloved Africa.

The celebration is registered at this link: https://youtube.com/live/LS01G_ZnSi0?feature=share

Photos of the celebration and moments in Diana's life can be seen at this other link: https://photos.app.goo.gl/18yVAkRanCWknQPN7

Newsletter 5 - Listening to our realities…

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Throughout this day all our Communities and groups of laity have been very present in the Chapter room. We have shared the experiences of synodality of each Province/Region, as well as the most significant calls that Communities and groups of the lay have worked on after reading, analyzing and reflecting on the results of the surveys that we carried out in preparation for the Chapter. Thank you all for your collaboration in this work of Chapter discernment, a rich synodal experience.

With almost the same speed that cyclists from all over the world travel through France stage after stage in the recently started Tour de France, the Chapter Body has gone through the Provinces of three continents. We started with the three European Provinces, the five from Africa, ending the day with only two from the Americas. So, tomorrow we will start with the two that we have not visited; and we will finish our “tour” with the Provinces of Asia.

Though quickly, to take advantage of the time that the lay still have with us, there is no lack of time for resolving doubts, for individual and group reflections to identify important calls for our Congregation. The room arranged in a synodal way helps this dynamic.

The times of personal and liturgical prayer, as well as the long conversations and free time after dinner help to regain strength, although the recreational evenings will soon begin.

We must be grateful for the dedication and care of the Diakonia Community that facilitates our work, prayer and rest.

In personal and Community prayer, there is the intercession for our world, the concrete realities where we are and the various personal situations. We also place all these before Mother Marie Eugenie so that she may intercede for us. Today, above all, the political situation in France, which is anticipating the national elections.

Newsletter 4 - In the light of the Spirit that moves and inspires us

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The opening ceremony followed by the call of each of the Chapter members and delegates, and the opening message of Sister Rekha have opened the 30th General Chapter of the Religious of the Assumption.

After a brief pause, the work on the general process of the chapter continued with the presentation of Sister Marian Murcia, from the Congregation of the Holy Family of Bordeaux, who will facilitate the dynamics of presentations, work and discernment during the Chapter.

In the afternoon, while the lay people visited the Assumption Museum accompanied by our sister Veronique, archivist of the Congregation, the sisters elected the members of the steering committee and the coordinator of this team.

The first day was concluded with a beautiful Eucharist in which the sisters from the nearby communities, Assumption friends and different members belonging to the congregations of the Assumption family participated. All participants, together with the chapter community, were invited to a simple fraternal “apéritif’.

The first day, full of emotions, has come to an end. After dinner, we were all able to enjoy a well-deserved rest with in order to renew our strength, as we will have to live a month of intense work.

The more than two hundred connections during the live, and the subsequent visualizations of the opening liturgy and the Eucharist, have made us feel the closeness and prayer of communities and friends around the world. Those who want to watch these two events know that they are on our YouTube channel.

 

Thanks to the request that has come to us from our provinces in Africa, we are going to try to propose the next live celebration simultaneously on YouTube and Facebook-Live. The links for YouTube remain the same, the Facebook platform reminds you of the event.

We remain united in prayer for the chapter.

 

Newsletter 3 - Everything is ready

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While the most emblematic streets and buildings of Paris are being transformed into a huge Olympic complex, the Community of Auteuil and the General Community, in collaboration with the staff of the house at 17 Rue de l'Assomption, are also rearranging the house to host the General Chapter 2024.

The entrance hall of our Motherhouse has a new face with a new world map decorated with photos of the different Provinces and of the Region. The life and mission of the Provinces and of the Region are also enhanced by photos of the Sisters and of our Communities on a television screen. The Holy Spirit who inspired the charism of the Assumption, gift of God in the Church for the extension of His Kingdom in the world, presides over the room. During these days of the Chapter, the logo will serve as a decoration for a hall that has been embellished with different colors.

With the arrival of the Sisters from the various Provinces and from the Region, the atmosphere is also enriched by the rhythms and melodies of the internationality of the Assumption.

The Diaconia Community is increasing in number this week with the arrival of Sisters who will be in charge of the administration, the preparation of the liturgy, the translation team, the secretariat and the internal-external communication services during these days of meeting. In our dedication to each of our services, we want to live and bring about the Culture of Care to which the motto of the Chapter calls and motivates us. 

After supper, we checked that the translation material in the Chapter Hall, which was arranged in a synodal manner, was functioning properly. This verification that the translation material was working properly was used as an opportunity to give practical instructions.

The last day of preparation has been a long one. We thank God that all the Sisters and laity who will participate as delegates and members by right in the General Chapter have been able to come from their countries, some of which are very far away.

Everything is ready for the opening of the 30th General Chapter of the Religious of the Assumption which will be broadcast live tomorrow, June 29, 2024 on YouTube at 9.00 a.m., Paris time.

Newsletter 1 and 2

As the Olympic torch approaches Paris, another flame has been lit in the heart of the French capital, that of the Holy Spirit who is accompanying and encouraging the preparatory work for the 30th General Chapter that will begin on June 29, 2024.

As we read in number 102 of our Rule of Life, “The General Chapter is presided over by the Superior General. In the course of this assembly, attention to the voice of the Lord and the search for his will for the Congregation are intensified. This should allow the Spirit to operate more freely.”

The Synod that is being experienced in the Church (2021-2024) has inspired the greatest participation of Sisters and lay in the preparatory work for this Chapter. To the already established collaboration in the preparation and synthesis of the contents of the documents requested from each Province/Region, the proposal of a personal survey has been added, and the reading of and reflection on the different reports prepared by the General Community, the other Provinces/Regions and by the Commissions-Secretariats-Mission services. In all of them, we have been invited to highlight the concrete calls that the Holy Spirit raises in the hearts of each member, community and group that make up the Assumption.

It has been a beautiful experience that will continue during this Chapter, which has as its motto: “Moved by the SPIRIT, in dialogue with our realities, we discern new Synodal Pathways for our times. METANOIA – PROPHETIC MISSION – CULTURE OF CARING”. We want to make this desire of Mother Marie Eugenie a reality in the lives of each member of the Assumption: “My gaze is fixed on Jesus Christ and the extension of His Kingdom.”

As we read in the Rule of Life, the Chapter is made up of “the Superior General, the General

Councillors, the General Treasurer, the Secretary General, the Provincial Superiors, the preceding Superior General – for the first Chapter following that in which she gave up her office – and the delegates whose number must at least equal that of the members by right.” A lay delegate from each Province/Region will also participate. For this reason, we can say that “The whole Congregation is represented at the General Chapter in order to renew its efforts to be faithful and to grow in unity, for the greater glory of God. It takes decisions and establishes directives for the Congregation”; in addition, “it elects the Superior General and her Council”.

We invite you keep an eye on our social networks and on this page where we will publish the chronicle of the Chapter.

The General Chapter is approaching and our desire is to broadcast the most relevant celebrations live. We will send you the links so you can connect:

United in prayer for the fruits of the 2024 General Chapter