Transformation and relationships... here are two words that could qualify the work done at the Archives over the last few months through the continued momentum of what had been started.
Implementation of the network “Back to sources”
The link with Assomption trainers (religious and civil) throughout the world has led to several proposals designed to help all those who wish to live a continual return to their roots. For the team, these projects offer an occasion for great joy and great hope!
- In February 2021, the guided visit of the Archives section is available on the Congregation’s web page for all those who are interested.
- On the 26th of February, and on the 2nd and 3rd of March, there is a public conference on YouTube, followed by an invitation from the General Chapter 2018 and the CGP 2020 to join in a time of sharing in Visio, for all those who are happy to be stimulated by this return to the sources. This process is called “SOURCES Day”. We plan to organise it twice a year, in English, Spanish and French.
- Work with the trainers online, on themes that are relevant to their mission.
Work with the Archivists of the Province
We have established an efficient working rhythm with the International Team: a 2-hour monthly meeting by video. This gave us the idea of holding three meetings (one per language) in December to convene the Archivists of the Provinces with the aim of: sharing the work in the Provinces, getting to know the web page, and visiting the facilities of Auteuil. Given the enthusiasm of the participants, we have decided to meet once every three months from now on. Between two meetings, Sr. Véronique will meet with the Archivists who wish to be trained or accompanied by her in the implementation of their mission. We are happy to strengthen communion in this way and to enrich each other.
There’s no room for boredom at the Archives
Sister Marie-Yvonne began working at the Archives in September. She files the documents covering the foundations during Mother Marie-Denyse’s time, but she also helps a lot with the reorganisation of the space. Here is her testimony:
“…Working a few hours at the Archives? Why not?
I was far from imagining what that could imply! And you, how do you imagine it to be? I imagine that you’d be far from guessing it right, because the archives are undergoing a total transformation! (They too... it’s the fashion, isn’t it?)
Transformation because of having to move,
Transformation because of a different system of organisation,
Transformation with the archivist’s office,
Transformation of the Marie-Eugénie library to be organised,
Transformation of the great hall of the archives that you probably knew, ultimately intended to become a museum,
Alteration through the creation of the small room (at the back of the library) for the intermediate archives,
Transformation of the room on the second floor into a real archive room worthy of the name – equipped to maintain the right temperature, with a multitude of boxes (archives of course), filled according to a very precise order, listed, labeled, tidy ... It’s worth the trip, I assure you!
So, to work at the archives you certainly need to have your mind about you somewhat, but at present you also need strong arms and muscles ... and you don’t get bored, believe me ...
And then, there is so much to discover! and I still have everything to learn !!! “
The different collections of the Archives
Did you know that “funds” don’t just mean finance? In fact, we also talk about Archives “funds” (all the documents produced by a company, a congregation, a specific person). The reorganisation has led us to distinguish four different funds that constitute the Archives of the Congregation:
- The Funds of Origins (1839-1953): before the creation of the Provinces.
- The Modern Collection (from 1953)
- The Fund of the Guardian Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament
- The Collection of the Augustinian Nuns of Notre Dame de Paris (with two sub-funds: the Augustinian nuns of the Hôtel-Dieu and the Augustinian nuns of the Precious Blood of Arras): this collection will be kept in the rue des Plantes in a room annexed to the General Archives.)
A working stay in Arras made it possible to begin to recover the archives of the Augustines du Précieux Sang. We will offer you the possibility of discovering this collection in future publications.
How about you making a contribution to history?
Through the Archivists, you will receive two requests:
- To put your testimonies in writing and to collect documents that will allow you to write the history of the Assomption with migrants, refugees or displaced persons: either because you have participated in a mission in this field or because you yourself have experienced being a refugee?
- Putting in writing or recording/filming the stories of your foundation: Sisters who have been missionaries are particularly invited to take the time to write or record an oral account that can be sent to the Archives to place it among the many treasures of our history. But also, all those who have been the pioneers of a foundation, of the initiation of a work effort, of the setting-up of an emergency action of solidarity.
The Assumption from Heaven
Many wonder if the publication of the “Deceased Sisters” still exists. The last one that arrived in the communities is that of 2017. If you have waited for the following ones, it is due to the delay in the change of Archivist, but it is especially because this publication is also changing! It is now entitled: “L’Assomption du Ciel” (The Assumption of Heaven). And you will be able to read it in three languages! We would like to thank the editors, translators and proofreaders of the 2018 issue, which will be the first in the “new style” series. It will be online on the site in February 2021 before being sent in printed format when the sessions start again in Auteuil. The 2019 edition will also be ready soon.
SISTER VÉRONIQUE THIÉBAUT
Archivist of the Congregation