A Taste of DHS Internationality

poster in frenchFor the past few days some 80+ members of the DHS Spiritual Family have spent many hours getting acquainted, growing in appreciation for each other’s cultures, reassessing their roles in the world and in their respective continents and countries.  The result was the creation of a unique bond among the Apostolic Religious, the Consecrated Seculars and the Associates a bond that only living together and sharing together in transparency and hope can create and instantaneously begin to reinforce.

The venue for the meeting, the lovely peaceful setting of Ile Blanche in Locquirec, France, added the grace of fresh ocean air, cool breezes, ample sunshine several times each day.  In between times, the dark clouds and threatening skies reminded participants that they were here to work.

And work they did. Moving efficiently and smoothly from one country to the next, from fairly heady and fact and reference-filled presentations to small group tasks underlining the differences and the common points in each world region and even within those areas.

Lighter moments for sharing tasty goodies and products from countries of origin complemented by a variety of typically Breton meals added to the already rich experience.

At the conclusion of the meeting the group was reminded that they now have the responsibility of implementing the many ideas they spawned and began to nurture during their precious time together and that they must continue to trust fully in the Creative Spirit to guide their efforts into the future be they in Africa, USA, Europe or Latin America.

On Assumption Day the delegation had the privilege of joining in the celebration of the official closing of the Year of Marie Balavenne, co-foundress of the Congregation. So it was that our concerted group joined with hundreds of other friends of the DHS Family as the fields of Ile Blanche were dotted with tents, central stage and even make shift market places to honor Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the event of her Assumption and Marie Balavenne on her 350th birthday. What a party it was, cake and all! The day’s events terminated with the gifting of an especially cultivated rose named after Marie Balavenne to the Provinces, Vice Provinces and Branches and by the  “missioning” of 4 Sisters in an effort to promote exchanges in solidarity among countries where the DHS are implanted.

In retrospect it would be honest to say that the experiences of this past week defy a word explanation. It was indeed that kind of “once in a lifetime” event that must be lived personally and intensely to be fully understood and felt.  However, it would seem inevitable that the Spirit, who generated such energy and who called us to come together for this brief moment in time, will truly continue to inspire us to continue to inspire others in love and enthusiasm so that “Led by the Spirit, we may together be living witnesses of the love that changes the world”.

The photos show the American delegates to the International DHS Family Meeting and some of the activities in which they participated.  More to follow at a later date.

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