Jubilee Rygaard. 27-28 September 2008
Thank you for your presence here this afternoon. It speaks of a community, it speaks of a people, it speaks of the power of the Spirit to inspire and to give growth in human realities. Yes God is at work when people give Him the space to be present and His work gives joy and fruitfulness to our human realities... So is this year of jubilee for us ...a time to remember a time for thankfulness.
Sr. Diana, our General superior and the sisters of the general council would have liked to be with us. They are attending a meeting of the General councils of the Assomption family : the Fathers ; the Little sisters of the Assumption, the Orantes, and the Oblates.
They will be with us at the closing of this jubilee next year. We are very pleased with this good news !
When I walk in the cemetery next to our church, I am struck by the life of these women of faith who left their own people and loved a new one and specially the children and youth. They helped them through education to find their own place in the world...According to the grace of God given to them they laid a foundation and others are today building on it. Each builder must choose with care how to build on it. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid : that foundation is Jesus Christ. (St. Paul to the Corinthians 3 7-11)
Jesus told about foundations before his death “ He said : very truly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain ; but if it dies it bears much fruit” Jn. 12 24
Each of our sisters did not remain “a single grain”, they have died in this place and bear much fruit... Hidden and praying they care also today for those who benefit from the place they loved and served.
Each one of us is today part of this reality. Each one here today is a builder, choosing with care how to be a community, forming God’s family in this part of Denmark.
Our society needs people of faith, knowing that Jesus Christ is alive today. He walks with us to bring us together as a new people for our God.
May Christ open the way for Rygaard so that it may remain an open place where it becomes possible to know Him and to serve Him.
Education today needs strong men and women of faith and hope, open to this modern world and capable of passing on this hope to our youth. A realistic hope as Marie Eugénie did in her time : she wanted “to have a decisive and concrete action even in a small sphere”.
This concrete action is the action of building a real community where people from all ages, people from different horizons can show together that the power of God uniting them is stronger than divisions and oppositions, stronger than destruction and violence... You know that from the first Christians it was said : “See how they love one another”...
May this place continue to be in the future a place where people feel at home and can experience the power of God stronger than any human power, stronger than our weaknesses stronger than our own fragility...
Magnificat ... It sings in our hearts today !
Yes our God can work wonders in unexpected ways...
Thank you to each one of you, collaborators of God’s Spirit in building in this world a place of growth and love, a place for God’s people...
Sr. Josiane Emmanuel r.a.
Provincial of Northern Europe