A Bittersweet December 8th Gathering

//A Bittersweet December 8th Gathering

For all that has been, Thank you;
for all that is to come, Yes.”

 From the moment the first guests arrived at the Provincial House on the chilly but sun-laden Saturday morning of December 8th, it was obvious that the famous words of Dag Hammarskjold would find their living expression in the lives and hearts of all who came to share these few hours in friendship, gratitude, prayer and anticipation of the actions of the unpredictable Spirit of God in our lives.

In reality we might say that this was an historical celebration in and for the US Province of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit who have been headquartered in Putnam, CT at 72 Church Street since 1917.  The day marked the foundation of the Congregation in 1706 on the feast of the Immaculate Conception.  It also marked the first gathering of of the members of the DHS Spiritual Family in the USA at which the fast approaching closing of this facility was acknowledged and given its right and proper place in our past, present and future.

The highlight of the assembly was the meaningful and prayerful celebration of the Mass of December 8th in honor of Our Blessed Mother.  The co-celebrants Rev. Edward Dempsey and Laurence LaPointe, both long time friends and former students of the DHS, were joined by cantor Patty Johnson, organist Tom Gouin and flautist Priscilla Dowd to lead the congregation in festive tribute to Mary and the Blessed Trinity.  Offertory gifts representing the 3 branches of the DHS and the Provincial House property were reverently presented and explained .  Vows and Covenants were renewed by the Sisters, the Consecrated Seculars and the Associates as a public testimony to their commitment to the DHS charism of love and service.  Fittingly and appropriately the communion meditation featured a French hymn to Mary honoring her as ‘the bright star of heaven who is our Advocate’ as all present turned to the stately yet simple statue of Our Lady to the left of the alter. After the final blessing the assembly once again joined in festive song as we celebrated Mary’s “Yes” in the words of her magnificat, giving pause to all present as they connected Mary’s example to the current Province reality.

Refreshed and energized by the powerful expressions of faith and hope that they had just lived together, DHS Family members and guests cheerfully proceeded to the dining rooms to continue sharing their thoughts, feelings and aspirations for the future as they broke bread and delighted in an attractively displayed and professionally prepared meal by our own dietary staff.

As the sun gave way to the customary early onset of darkness of a December afternoon, the guests slowly, almost predictably, inched their way to the exit trying to fully savor this moment in time and this occasion, hoping that this unique feeling of deep mutual love, joy and gratitude would stay with them forever.  After all, home is where the heart is, and when the heart is filled with God, everywhere is home.

2018-12-14T21:36:10+00:00