A message by Christine Danel, our Superior General
Here we are in 2021, the year we celebrate the centennial of the Xaviere sisters’ existence.
On February 4, 1921, Claire Monestès, joined by Léonie Fabre, pronounced private vows in the presence of Father Eymieu, sj, in the chapel of the Sisters of Cenacle of Marseilles. Claire Monestès, like Jacob after his dream in Genesis 28:16, re-reads this event as the foundation of La Xavière! The grace of beginnings is to be humble, often hidden from our eyes, and discreet.
The good doesn’t make any noise. The Xavière has been growing in size and, hopefully, in wisdom and grace! Even if it remains small, fragile, our order is nonetheless very much alive and joyful, serving in the three continents where we have communities today!
This one-hundred-year anniversary is an opportunity to re-read our history, the way in which we remember events, in order to return to our roots and to draw from them. God has given us the gift of La Xavière and of Claire Monestès, the foundress almost in spite of herself and yet not without her, for those who will discover her history during this centenary. All the women who have joined her have also been protagonists of the incarnation of this gift of the Spirit in lives, hearts, communities, and missions throughout the ages. The various Superiors General, in particular Marie Henriette Callet and Marie Guillet, who left us this year, have been committed to offering a strong human and spiritual formation, nourished by the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
« Missionary because contemplative, » as Marie Henriette Callet used to say, with an open view of the world, the xaviere sisters seek to discover the traces of God at work.
The challenge is to learn to recognize the tonalities of the Spirit, to hear his music of « fine silence » at the heart of every human being and creation. And this, in order to put ourselves in tune with him, to tune into his harmonics, and with his inspiration to play in our turn a score of freedom and gentleness, of consolation for all those who will hear it.
To live a jubilee is to remember to bring this gift up to date for today. This work of discernment requires us to be sensitive to the cries and sufferings of our contemporaries and to the cries of the earth. That is to say to not close our ears and our hearts, so that we could hear and respond to these calls with our presence and our action, with our own sensitivity, without fear, with determination and confidence.
Yes, our world is complex, the stakes are many between the health crises, in particular the Covid-19 which has upset our way of life, the political, environmental, ecclesial crises…
Our God is interested in our suffering world, loves it to the point of making it his home, seeks dialogue, awaits worshippers and friends to live with him as witnesses of hope and of the Gospel.
We wish to live this anniversary in joy, simplicity, and gratitude for all the good received in order to love and serve in all things! May this jubilee be an opportunity to meet and share with all of you, friends, families, associates !
Between February 2021, when each community and region will organize the opening of the jubilee, and the feast of All Saints’ Day with the French Ignatian Family in Marseille, our place of foundation, we hope to meet many of you in Lourdes this summer, to live « At the Sources of Joy », and to celebrate the One who calls us to follow him!