Week 3 – Sunday April 24th- Sunday May 1st, 2022
We are grateful to be in the Mother land of our foundress and our founding sisters. To understand, experience and appreciate in a deeper way their quest, their zeal, passion for Christ and for his kingdom in a very challenging time.
On Sunday, we were given an immersion experience in four different communities namely, Arras, Lubeck, Rue des Plantes and Orléans in the Province of France. The four groups were very excited to meet and get to know our sisters and their apostolates. We were very touched by the hospitality, the family spirit and the joy felt in each community. Each community is engaged in apostolates according to the needs of the people they serve. We returned enlightened, enriched and grateful that the work envisaged by our founding mothers continues in our sisters today as well as in our Provinces.
After this rich experience of community, we were led to enter deeply into the history of the beginnings of our congregation by Sr Veronique. Through her we were able to understand better the reality of the times in which St Marie Eugenie lived. It was within this reality that the seed of faith and the vision of mission was born in the heart of St Marie Eugenie.
To begin the steps of St Marie Eugenie, we prayed at her tomb re-reading a passage written in her youth reflecting her desires: that of her trust in prayer, her wish “to do something worthwhile, her cry to “the God of all consolation.” Our individual calls may resonate with that of Anne Eugenie’s tumultuous period of her young life in some way. Her choice in moving towards the essential in her life (Jesus Christ) encourages us to continue to listen to the voice within that leads us towards our own desires for God and His will for us.
Sr Veronique encouraged us in each step to try to imagine and enter into the experiences that St Marie Eugenie took along with the first founding sisters in her community. We visited Chapelle St Joseph where the sisters met for the first time in silence. One can imagine the many questions that lay un asked and the first impressions they had of each other. We can recall the first experiences we had meeting with sisters in our own communities. Those whom we have not chosen to live with. Confronted by the thought of the needs of her family and her desire to serve God, St Marie Eugenie, sought out Fr Combalot who reassured her of God’s desire for her to stay. At St Sulpice, St Marie Eugenie made her choice to listen to the voice of God through the words of Fr Combalot. Sometimes we also face choices that we have to make. We learned of the struggles St Marie Eugenie experienced not only of her own vocation but as well as the beginnings of our congregation. However, there were people who accompanied and supported her in realizing her calling. These she refers to as the bond of love in her journey. And like her we can also say that we can journey with our struggles and doubts knowing that God will be with us in those who accompany us. This experience helped us to remember with gratitude our sisters humble beginnings and encouraged us to be rooted always in Christ as were our founding sisters. We ended our week on a high and joyful note, on Sunday April 30 - The celebration of the Feast of the Foundation of our congregation and the renewal of vows of Sr Marie Devotha from Rwanda.
Sr Akeneta and Sr Ansuli, from the Provinces of USA and India