France

Congregation of Our Lady in France.

In the footsteps of Saint Pierre Fourier


The festive season

The festive season is a favourable time
to take a step back
and look to the future with confidence and humility.

We accomplish in our lifetime
but a tiny fraction
of the magnificent enterprise
that is God’s work for mankind…

… We plant the seeds that one day will grow.

We water seeds already planted
knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development
by other labourers.
We provide yeast that produces results
far beyond our capabilities…

… That which we sow, begin or build
becomes our present and future
We are ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own
and yet this future depends on our work and our efforts…

Mgr. Oscar Romero




“Looking for meaning”

We are all “looking for meaning” in this busy and topsy-turvy world of ours… How do we discover or rediscover modern values to help us live and grow?
We are a group of religious and lay persons and we invite you to come and share your questions with us, your research, experiences and coping strategies.

Interested? Please apply, preferably by 23 January 2017, by emailing or phoning Sr Ghislaine (see invitation flier).

And extend the invitation to those around you.




Newsflash flash from St Etienne

Newsflash from St Etienne, France: "Around 200 people gathered around our two Sisters Marie Patrick and Marie Martine, to celebrate a Mass of thanksgiving for 75 years of the Congregation’s presence in the town and Diocese. They made up a wonderful congregation which included former pupils, teachers, friends old and new, parishioners, religious of the local area and Sisters of Our Lady.

The reasons for giving thanks were many: in 1941, the war drove the Sisters from Alsace “into exile” in St Etienne. They continued to follow their educational mission and founded the School “Notre-Dame d’Espérance” (Our Lady of Hope), which still operates in the area. They also provided catechesis, chaplaincy work, support for children in need ….
Fr Louis Tronchon, an “old” friend of the Congregation, gave the homily on the Gospel account of the Visitation, and pointed out that all the Sisters’ work over 75 years had been but one great “ visitation” into the world of teaching, of educating “the poor as well as the rich”, of providing pastoral care for young people and adults.
“The joy of visitations,
the joy of coming together,
the joy of achieving goals…”




Laudato Si

Many thanks to Sr Myriam Péan for this précis of a presentation on Laudato si by Fr Dominique Lang, Assumptionist, on 27 April 2016.
Introduction
Ecology presents us with a number of contradictions and inconsistencies with the Gospel. Ecologists believe that we must save the planet, change our ways, unite and come together. And yet these are Christian terms being employed by people who, on the whole, are unbelievers! They challenge us on our theology of Creation. We have misinterpreted Genesis 1. This world was created by Love. Every creature has its place. So you cannot touch this world, this will of God. This creature is a living thing, it embodies the same mystery of life as I do. We are part of the “common home”.
Creating means to let live, to rest from the task just accomplished. On the seventh day, God said: “I have done all I can, over to you now!”. The Church’s social doctrine is not set in stone. It has to be reviewed in the light of every scientific discovery, every social change. Ecological awareness began to grow with Paul VI (1971), followed by John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Francis said: “We have taken stock, now we must act!”

Encyclical of 18 June 2015
Why was it published then? Francis came to re-open gates. He thinks in terms of processes. What then is my responsibility? I must preserve creation in order to give thanks to God, praise him through nature within us (cf the Psalms: “Springs of water, bless the Lord... “).

List of processes :
1st stage : Look in wonder : the beauty of the dignity of creation: it’s incredible, I exist!
2nd stage : See clearly. Some very impressive observations. Get out into the field, listen to what people have to say. Everywhere you will hear them say “We have problems with air pollution, water pollution, social inequality, urbanisation, etc…” This is where you must get to work..
3rd stage : Ne travaillez pas seul mais avec le Créateur. Si vous le lâchez, vous êtes perdus !
4th stage : There is one driving force behind all the causes of pollution: the techno-economic paradigm. This model helped us out of two world wars and through the next three decades. But we failed to apply the brakes, and the momentum now gathered behind these systems is destroying everything! If we want to proclaim faith, we must denounce all that is destructive, all that is monstrous. How should I use my money? I must face up to “the Beast” and learn to live differently
5th stage : An integral ecology, because everything is closely inter-related!
Respect relationships, between persons, nations, continents. (The worst affected countries are the poorest).
Respect cultural assets. Allow every culture to flourish.
6th stage : We must have the humility to dialogue with non-Christians, with the world. (The whole of the first part of the encyclical is addressed to all people of good will.)

Conclusion
“Do not be satisfied simply with good ideas. Enter this place of Mercy. If you allow yourselves to be moved, you open up something inside you and begin to act. Conversion then becomes possible within you”. (cf the very last chapter).