[Motherhouse] Daughters of Charity, 25 to 40 years vocation, met at the Motherhouse in Paris from 31 March to 14 April, 2014 for an International Session of Spiritual and Vincentian Renewal. There were 82 Sisters from 61 Provinces and 48 nationalities in attendance. Five continents were represented. Translation was offered in 7 languages with presentations given in French, English, and Spanish.
The Topics presented, along with prayer, reflection, and group work, reinforced our being “Given to God, in Community, for the Service of those who are Poor” with references to Pope Francis’ exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium” – “The Joy of the Gospel” and our Constitutions and Statutes woven throughout. Other presentations and pilgrimages (St. Nicolas des Champs, St. Lazare, St. Médard, Chartres and our Archives) reintroduced us to our founders, St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac as well as the closeness of Mary to the Community through her apparition to St. Catherine Labouré and the Miraculous Medal.
Eucharistic celebrations were enlivened by our internationality with singing and recitation of the parts of the Mass in a variety of languages. Our sense of internationality and oneness was enlivened by our efforts to learn to communicate in other languages and lessen the distances between our various continents.
Our time together was enhanced with the renewal of old friendships from across the oceans and the formation of new friendships with the hope of connecting with one another via e-mail. We are all returning to our Provinces in joy and gratitude while being renewed in the mission of the Church, renewed in our relationship with God and the Virgin Mary, renewed in our Vincentian Charism, and renewed in our sense of Community.