Soeurs de Saint-Joseph de Cluny
          Feast of Sister Claire Houareau, Superior General

Feast of Sister Claire Houareau, Superior General

Motherhouse, Paris France

Each year we celebrate the feast of our Superior General on 15th August, the feast of the Assumption of Mary because the Virgin Mary is the ‘Perpetual’ Superior General of the congregation. This year, we advanced that celebration to 13th August.

On this beautiful feast, we give you thanks, Lord, for all the gifts that you have given to our Superior General, Sister Claire Houareau. Blessed and praised are you, Lord, for your servant and for the family that we form together. With Sister Claire, we sing :

"What wonders, what wonders, the Lord has done for us! "

Eucharistic Celebration

We began our feast by sharing in the sacred Eucharist, "the source and summit of our life" which was celebrated in our beautiful Mother house chapel.

Sisters Sushma and Nisha (junior sisters from the Province of North India / Nepal) helped us enter into our celebration with a dance down the central aisle. The dance spoke of the grandeur, the glory and the magnificence of the Lord. Sister Claire and Father Joseph followed, receiving from them, at the front of the church, the Indian rite of welcome.

Beginning at the back of the chapel, our Portuguese speaking sisters, presented the WORD of GOD through a rhythmical chant and dance.

The prayers of intercession were prayed in 4 languages : French, English, Portuguese and Spanish and the songs spoke of the praise of our hearts open to all dimensions of the world !

In the words of Pope Francis during his general audience to families on August 12, 2015 : "Our celebrations, like the colours of a rainbow, are an oasis where we stop to taste the joy of meeting and quenching our thirst for God."

Entertainment and Banquet

Happy to be together with Sister Claire, the feast continued in the courtyard. The sisters from different countries presented songs, dances, skits and offered gifts. We all laughed when Sister Claire received an ‘apron’ as a sign of servant leadership from Sister Carmen, her assistant. Sister Marie Isabelle Caspar and Sister Thérèse Michelot presented this apron in a skit. The apron came from the town of Savoie and will eventually go to Australia as Sister Claire gave it to Sister Ann Stevens, who was in the Mother House for this wonderful feast day.

There is no party without the sharing of a banquet, thus in the middle of the show a wonderful buffet awaited us. Everyone was happy to converse with one or the other while sharing the delicious meal. This new way of celebrating was very much appreciated by all of us !

We remember Sister Claire’s message at the close of the evening : "let us be experts in communion".

Prayer for the needs of today through the intercession of Blessed Anne-Marie Javouhey

We concluded this day of celebration, with the following prayer composed by our sisters in Rouen.

Response : Lord, hear our prayer.

  • Anne-Marie Javouhey was born in Jallanges, and spent her childhood in a large, united Christian family. We pray today that she watches over our families who are trying to live in fidelity to their Christian commitments. May she come to the aid of families who are struggling.
  • A young, Anne-Marie Javouhey wanted to educate and catechize the children in her village.
  • We pray today that she watches over parents, educators and catechists who strive to awaken faith in our young people. May she come to the aid of all children and young people who are not baptised or who have never had someone speak to them of God.
  • During the Revolution, Anne-Marie Javouhey guided the priests through the darkness of the night to neighboring barns to celebrate Mass. We pray today that she watches over all persecuted Christians and their pastors worldwide. May she come to the aid of those who are arrested or driven from their countries, because of their faith in Jesus Christ.
  • Foundress of an apostolic congregation, Anne-Marie Javouhey wanted to send her sisters to bring the Gospel to the ends of the world. We pray today that she watches over missionaries and aid workers who help the poor and witness to them a loving God. May she come to the aid of discouraged missionaries and all those whose lives are threatened.
  • Seeking to share an education that brings freedom, Anne-Marie Javouhey wanted to liberate the slaves in Africa and Guyana. We pray today that she watches over all prisoners and hostages worldwide. May she come to the aid of all those held in the many forms of slavery in our modern world, slaves of alcohol or drugs, sex, power or money.
  • As leader of her congregation, Anne-Marie Javouhey experienced the misunderstanding of a bishop and a sanction that deprived her of the sacraments. We pray today that she watches over Pope Frances and all pastors of the Church ; all those who make available to us the Eucharist and the sacrament of God’s forgiveness. May she come to the aid of those who have no access to the sacraments.
  • Aging, Anne-Marie Javouhey returned to die peacefully among her Sisters. We pray today that she watches over our elderly sisters and those who are ill. May she come to the aid of those who will die alone and without the support of the Sacraments.

Let us pray :

"Lord our God, you raised Blessed Anne-Marie Javouhey to found a congregation that met the greatest needs of her century. May her life teach us to serve, the children, the sick, the poor and all those held in the bondage of modern day slavery, with the same creative intelligence and the same love. We ask this through our Lord Jesus. Amen "

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