Installation of the new Director General of the Daughters of Charity at the Mother House
The Eucharist, celebrated after Lauds, was presided by Father Tomaž Mavrič, concelebrated by Father Bernard Schoepfer, Father José Antonio González Prieto and Father Fréderic Pellefigue, Visitor of the French Province.
In his homily, Father Bernard took up the angel’s greeting to Mary “Do not fear!” It is accompanied by the certainty that Mary – and each of us – has found grace before God who loves us unconditionally.
Sisters from nearby Communities joined us for this celebration. Together, we had a festive breakfast and then gathered in the conference room.
After a song to the Holy Spirit, Father Tomaž spoke about Father Anthony Portail, the first Director General of the Daughters of Charity. He was a member of the Council of the nascent Company, together with St. Vincent and St. Louise and some of the Sisters. St. Vincent esteemed him, acknowledged that he was gentler than he was, supported him in his infirmities and gave him wise advice which he did not regret following!
Father Tomaž then read Father José Antonio’s Patent for his appointment as General Director.
Father José Antonio spoke and confided very simply how different his vocation would be if he had not known the Daughters of Charity and experienced their friendship, fraternity and solidarity. He committed himself to live his new mission in the service of the Company.
Finally, Father Tomaž thanked Father Bernard cordially for his nine years of service to the Sisters. A warm applause expressed the gratitude of all to Father Bernard.
In turn, Father Bernard thanked the Sisters from whom he said he had learned a lot.
As a sign of gratitude, Father Tomaž presented Father Bernard with a rosary that is impressive in its size, and even more so in its origin: it is the work of prisoners from Rwanda who offered it to the Daughters of Charity in 2017! A symbolic and meaningful souvenir.
Sister Françoise also thanked Father Bernard for his fraternal, valuable and faithful collaboration and welcomed Father José Antonio. She invited the Sisters to greet Father José Antonio and Father Bernard, which they wholehearted did.
A song to the Virgin closed this meaningful moment not only for the Sisters of the Mother House but for the whole Company! May God be blessed!
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