New Province of the Daughters of Charity in Spain “España-Norte”

170330 espananorte thumb[España–Norte] On March 15, with the union of the Provinces of Gijon and San Sebastian, the new province,”España-Norte”, became a reality. “Tonight, a project long prepared with enthusiasm and devotion by the Provinces of Gijon and San Sebastian, starts to be real”. These words in the Introduction of the Prayer Vigil on Tuesday the 14th, in the great chapel of the Provincial House at Villaobispo de las Regueras (León), constitute the best summary of the important event that took place the 15 March 2017: the union of the Provinces of the Daughters of the Charity of Gijon and San Sebastian. Therefore, it was the birth of a new Province named “España-Norte”. This news is to be an outstanding part of the history of the Company of the Daughters of Charity in Spain and in the world.

170330 espananorte 8The fundamental acts in the program of this event give us an exact idea of what was lived and celebrated. On the 14th there was a Prayer Vigil. On the 15th, the Act of constitution of the new Province; the celebration of the Eucharist; a fraternal meal; a festival; Vespers Prayer… AND everything with a very evident background:  coexistence, fraternity, union, hope and trust in a future full of evangelical life and Vincentian courage. The new Province “España-Norte” is born with an unequivocal sign of fidelity: “Christs’ way … is our way”.

170330 espananorte 7The beautiful and grand house of Villaobispo  (from now on the Provincial House of the new Province) was full of Sisters coming from all neighborhoods and communities of the two former Provinces. Also present were: Sisters Kathleen Appler, Superioress General, Carmen Pérez, General Councillor, Fr Bernard Schoepfer, C.M. Director General of the Daughters, Sisters Juana Elizondo, former Superioress General in the nineties; Rosa Maria Miro, previous General Councillor, the Visitatrices of all the Provinces of Spain, as well as the Visitors of the C.M. in Spain, the former Provincial Directors of the two united Provinces Frs. Javier López, and Juan Velasco, and many Vincentian Priests. In all, it was a varied representation that reflects the links of union and collaboration between the Company of the Daughters of Charity and the Congregation of the Mission.

170330 espananorte 6170330 Sor Concepcion GonzalezThe new Province began her way by the hand of the new Visitatrice, Sister Mª Concepción González and Provincial Council. We wish all the best to all Sisters that today begin a new road. And, as it cannot be otherwise, we give most sincere and affectionate thanks to Sisters Manuela Rubio and Margarita Garcia, previous Visitatrices of San Sebastian and Gijón respectively, for their indefatigable encouragement and generous work for the wellbeing of the poor.

170330 espananorte 2The aforementioned Prayer Vigil underlined a sentence that can constitute the sacred symbol for the new Province: “Lord, you have a dream, a beautiful project, and a road laid out for us. We want to have eyes and hears open to perceive, in all that we are going to live, your loving presence.

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(Resume taken from the Vincentians website by Fr Celestino Fernández, C. M.)

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