Family Assembly 2016

SistersIt has been many months since the Planning Committee for our Family Assembly 2016 started their work. This group was comprised of representatives of all three branches of our DHS Spiritual Family, the sisters, the associates and the consecrated seculars. The planning process was very much a blending of each person’s gifts and experience.
Our DHS Family Assembly 2016 convened on Friday evening as the 35 delegates gathered for an Earth Day prayer, ice breakers and wine and cheese, many coming from New England, several from California and one from as far as Nigeria.

The next morning’s  opening prayer was on the work of the Spirit in our lives. After viewing a DVD by Stephen Bevens, SVD, “The Spirit Moving Over the Great Deep: The World’s Thirsts, Our Response" Sr. Paulette Gariepy led the group in reflection and sharing among themselves on how they are called to bring the Spirit into our world thirsty for integrity, hope, justice and beauty.
The Family Assembly was a perfect opportunity for the Daughters of the Holy Spirit to open a year remembering and honoring Marie Balavenne, one of their co-foundresses on the 350th Anniversary of her birth. At a vigil Mass celebrated by Father Larry LaPointe in their Provincial House chapel the DHS Spiritual Family opened the Year of Marie Balavenne. All were united in song and prayer for a joyous celebration.

groupAfter liturgy they came together for a family supper in the gym followed by a drama entitled, “A Visit from Marie Balavenne”. A former student of the Daughters, Bonnie Theriault, shared her talent in this touching monologue on the life of Marie Balavenne. A DHS Associate, Pat Krodel, wrote and narrated this drama. It was a memorable evening for all the DHS Family members and friends that were in attendance. What better way to remember this simple, loving, compassionate women who followed the promptings of the Holy Spirit in caring for the children and the sick in small Breton villages during the 18th century.

Click here to see a video of “A Visit from Marie Balavenne”

Sunday morning the delegates again started their day with prayer followed by a tree planting ceremony that commemorated each of the congregation’s 25 general superiors by name. The serviceberry tree that was planted will be a constant reminder of Marie Balavenne and the gift she has been to the Daughters of the Holy Spirit, a congregation that has now spread from its humble beginnings in Brittany France to 12 countries throughout the world.

The DHS Family Assembly was now winding down as the delegates each shared the gift/blessing this experience had been for them. At the closing ritual each person blessed another with spring water, a sign of new life and the Spirit they bring with them to their corner of our thirsting world.

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