have probably heard the rumor that two sisters of the Congregation of
the Holy Name of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Brignoles) have
been dismissed, allegedly relieved from their vows, and branded as
perjurers by their superiors.
What the rumor does not say is the
profound reason for this painful outcome. With orders to at least
publicly go along with the slow but sure process of rallying to official
Rome that is eating away at their Congregation, or to leave the place,
the two sisters have chosen to leave so as to continue their Institute’s
work: the education and formation of Christian girls in times of
Our choice was driven by the desire to be faithful to
the spirit of our Congregation, an uncompromising spirit of faith, such
as was handed down to us by Fr. Calmel. As such, we are highly indebted
to our superiors and to our sisters, who were able to transmit to us the
Dominican life, love for the Church and for children. However, certain
facts or strange remarks that have been occurring more and more
frequently have caused a sense of perplexity and indignation in us:
prudent silence regarding the Roman deviancy; insistence on what in Rome
seemed conservative (e.g., the “consecration” of the Pope to Our Lady
of Fatima, the orthodox sermon at Sainte Marthe, the parish Rosary,
etc.); the favorable attitude towards those of all kinds who have
rallied (“Yes, of course, at the beginning Archbishop Lefebvre condemned
them, but now we must get real; we must recognize that they are staying
the course; we have to work with them.” “It is awkward to say in public
that the Motu Proprio Masses are to be absolutely avoided,”
etc.); the inversion of values: “You see, the fight for the faith is all
well and good, but what can we do about the salvation of souls?”; or:
“To keep “peace” between us, lets stop stirring up doctrinal issues.” To
this was added the unconditional support for Bishop Fellay, aided by
the powerful law of silence imposed on our houses. We have needed the
help and light from families and brave friends to see more clearly in
this downward slide.
We have lived increasingly against the
current in the midst of the mothers and sisters with whom we could no
longer exchange views. What they at first told us was a simple
difference of opinion, has merited our being sent back our families to
reflect and to punish us. But to amend our ways would be a betrayal.
Now we are resolved to turn the page, leaving the care of probing hearts to the God of all mercy.
are we planning to do? Simply continue our religious life. We are
nothing. We have nothing. We can do very little, but God seems to want
to entrust children to us. We will not refuse the work to a reasonable
extent, so as to “inscribe the Name of Jesus on the hearts and foreheads
of children,” as our first founder, Mr. Vincens (1800) said. The heavy
responsibility that rests on our shoulders requires much reflection,
time and prudence. For now we are installed here in Saint-Remy-en-Mauges
for several months of solitude within a religious framework. Forced to
give up the patronage of the Holy Name of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart
of Mary, it is in the fervor of a newly imposed beginning that we place
ourselves under the patronage of the Holy Name of Mary.
are now ready to consider your requests regarding the education of your
children, and your offers of financial assistance or collaboration. We
hope to be able soon to assess where and when to propose the beginning
of school to you, God willing. We offer thanks to all those who have
already generously given their support. Without your material, and
especially spiritual support, we would not have been able to resist up
to this point nor could we make any plans whatsoever.
entrust our future and yours to the Virgin Mary, to St. Dominic, to St.
Catherine of Sienna and to all our patron saints, from Fr. Calmel, O.P.
to our most hidden intercessors.
Sister Marie Laetitia, t.o.p. and Sister Mary of Jesus, t.o.p., Dominican Teaching Sisters of the Holy Name of Mary
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