From generation to generation the Lord calls and reaches to the heart of each person. To that call of love the Daughters of Charity give a response of love, offering their life to God in the service of the very poor. The Year of Consecrated Life ends in the month of February. The Sisters of the community of the Berceau of St. Vincent offer their testimonies on what they lived during this year.
“The Lord has done great things for me, holy is his name.”
This year of Consecrated Life allowed me to give thanks to God for the gifts I have received. I looked to the past with gratitude, I became aware of my weaknesses, which for me is a call to conversion. The Lord was with me. He leads me, he makes me happy in the service of the elderly.
“I expect you wake up in the world, you are a prophet, you bring joy and hope to the world” Pope Francis.
This Year of Consecrated Life allowed me to deepen the sense of my consecrated life, a treasure for all the dioceses. The discovery of the different forms of consecrated life that are in each diocese is a joy. The opening day, organized in the city of Saint-Sever with the relics of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the presence of the families of the parish, children’s participation at Mass, are many activities that enthused me. The day was festive and prayerful, the sisters present renewed their vows before the relics of St. Thérèse. The meetings and educational sessions during the year were very rich. It was always pleasant to come together and to pray. This year helped us to continue to be a testimony to the love of God with whom we meet, to serve those who are the poorest.
This Year of Consecrated Life gave me a chance to be in touch with the religious of the Diocese. I got to know more of their richness and their apostolic life of service to their neighbor. I admire their creativity in service, despite a high average age… I thanked the Lord for the flowering of consecrated lives with diverse charisms.
The Year of Consecrated Life was an awaking for me and a new beginning. Throughout the year, I was able to revisit my vocation as a Daughter of Charity: “Totally given to God for the service of the poor.” What was most significant for me was being changed. After 58 years in the same city and the closure of our house, I am now here at the birthplace of St Vincent de Paul. I found a friendly and fraternal community. I am happy, I live in faith and trust and I know that everything is grace and I give thanks!
The religious vocation is a grace and a commitment to God and those who are poor.
This vocation belongs first of all to God so it is a response to his call, felt in the secret of his love.
Three vows have their meaning in faith and none of them is unreasonable. Poverty invites us to leave everything to the Lord (nothing is our own, we only make use of our goods). Chastity responds to the desire to belong only to the Lord. Obedience is for the observance of the rules or statutes. We are the Church, united in a life of faith and the mission to announce the good news of the Gospel. The vow of service of the poor (I like to say the service of others) takes on different aspects, but it always exists. Fidelity to God, to the CHURCH, to the Community by the life of vows remains a sign, a living testimony of faith.
The year 2015 was a demanding year. Closing my house was an ordeal to live in faith, obedience and hope. And at the same time, strengthened by friends saddened and worried by our leaving. Carrying on after us, they realized the importance of our presence and were aware of the need to maintain the spirit of St. Vincent.
The welcome of the sisters in my new community has been a true joy and a help to live my new mission.
The year 2015 was truly a year of GOD, a good year lived in fidelity.
“Embrace the future with hope.”
This year ends in opening up a new future to consecrated life. The Pope invites us to reflect, “I expect that each form of consecrated life will question what it is that God and people today are asking of them.” This is an essential question to ask ourselves in order to respond to the needs of the world today. The news often darkens the horizon with stories that show the violence of people. But in the world there are many people who are working for the rebirth of peace where war is raging, who reconcile where there is hatred, who rebuild connections in places where they have been destroyed. So we live our lives in boldness for the service of the most abandoned.