At this time when our world is slowing down with its worries and questions, Archives work is a sure way of finding hope because the Spirit works at all times, be they happy or difficult times. A mysterious thread connects all events, people, places and unites them to God. It is this thread, divided into other threads, in multiple colors, that this issue of Echo des Archives would like to highlight.
From the heart (core) of our history to the sisters and lay people of our Provinces
The pandemic encouraged us to find new ways to reach everyone, in their own land, in their "today". There was no shortage of ideas and proposals. Thus Sr Veronique was able to animate, thanks to the Assumption Together Coordinating Team of the Philippines, an online retreat for sisters and lay of the Philippines and Thailand on "Inner peace according to Marie Eugenie". Lecture, guided prayer time, Eucharistic Celebration... A session on the history of the Congregation was done for young sisters preparing for the final vows in Madagascar.. Lay friends of Saint Gervais had a five-day silent retreat with the theme: "With Mary Eugenie, allow yourself be transformed by the Gospel." Experience of communion and journey in depth.
A Beehive with lots of workers
Many people now make their daily or weekly contributions to the production of the "honey" of the Archives. Here, they share their experience:
Sister Marie Claude: "My "work" in the Archives is more an "active contemplation" of a continuous, renewed, incredible work of creation and re-creation of the Lord in our world, over the centuries, through diverse men and women, in equally diverse and endearing countries. And this takes place in history, in the Church, in the Congregation... We meet sisters we know and those we don’t know, "great men and women of this world" or "the small and the poor", in tragic moments (expulsions, wars, persecutions) and times of great joy (beatification, canonization, successful projects, new foundations in new countries, etc.) It is also time for a more intimate knowledge of Mother Therese Emmanuel through her notes, and countless notebooks, and beside her, Mother Marie Eugenie, this woman of faith who supports and accompanies her. Both were "foundation stones". Then, through the transfer of the Archives carried out by Veronique, one discovers more writings, plans, photos, etc. Each sister, in her own time, laid "her own stone"; with her gifts, her talents, her limitations, she gave her life to serve Life. »
Sœur Marie : « For me, to work in the Archives of the Congregation is a big grace. I find myself in the hidden sources of our origin. My heart beats when I transcribe the story of the foundation of a Province, for example, when writing about its development through the years, discovering how « It is God who leads everything », through failures, successes, winding roads and small or big miracles… Reading with emotion what Sr. Therese Emmanuel experienced at a certain moment, through the notes of an old sister… Dive into the circulars of Mother Helene who shares her visits, her reflections, her calls to the Congregation… It is like I am standing next to the person who trustfully talks to me … I am seized with an act of grace… »
Eliane: "I was lucky enough to get to know Marie Eugenie better at her canonization. My husband Pierre and I decided to go to Rome with the group of Sisters. It was a fast decision, like being seized by an irresistible appeal. We had an unforgettable experience in the midst of torrential rain. For several months now, Sr. Véronique asked me to help her in preserving documents from the wear and tear of time, including the many letters of Mother Marie Eugenie. This almost daily contact with the saint makes me closer, more familiar with her. I talk to her, beg her to help me. She has become a friend. Touching her relics is a grace where I measure the sacred character, as if I were touching the relics of Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus or Saint Teresa of Avila. »
Sr. Marie-Yvonne just started her work. She is preparing her article for the next issue of Echo d’Archives.
“To the Source” network
The dream of connecting the different Provinces with the people responsible for formation at all levels has been growing for a long time. It is part of the Archives' vision as a Resource Centre where everyone could come and drink at the source, be nourished and share from the historical and spiritual heritage of the Congregation. In October 2020, a survey was sent to formators in order to gather desires, resources and needs. The international team decided to meet monthly now by zoom. It will study the responses to this survey and make proposals through the already tested virtual means of communication. We hope to offer online presentations and training on historical documents very soon. A network "Aux Sources" will thus be set up, multiplying the streams that carry the Assumption charism.
Sr. Veronique, Archivist of the Congregation