The community of Marie Poussepin

Trinity - Sainville chapelTrinity - Sainville chapel

“Sister Poussepin and the sisters of her Community, saying that, for the common good, Providence having allowed them for more than forty years… humbly implore that there be established a house in Sainville…” “ As Rules and Constitutions are absolutely necessary for good order… present these Rules which a long usage has brought them to believe to be more appropriate to maintain the work to which they are devoted, in which they hope to persevere, with the help of God, throughout their lives” (cf. Request to the Bishop of Chartres).

These texts clearly indicate Marie Poussepin’s founding intention and consequently, the institutional character of her work. In them, we can see the relationship between life and norms, vision and organization, Charism and Institution.

The will to form a community with a well-defined apostolic orientation and the explicit desire to ‘found a work‘ meant to last and expand, demands an organization and solid foundations in order to favor relationships while respecting differences, to encourage unity of spirit and enable one to respond to different situations. The community nature of the original foundation places participation as a primary condition in the realization of the common project. 

The community nature of the original foundation places participation as a primary condition in the realization of the common project

The Charism gives birth to the Institution. The Charism is lived in time and space through the Institution. A founding Charism, such as the one of Marie Poussepin, has in an intrinsic manner, the capacity for institutionalization that enables it to exist. The structure determines the way in which the Charism is to be lived in the Church and its organization respond to the laws which guide it. Reciprocal duties and rights spring forth from the founding Charism.  They are morally binding and ensure the continuity of the Institution and its capacity to adapt to historical circumstances.

Both, the Charism, a gift made to the Church, and the Institution, that which upholds and expresses it, are the work of the Holy Spirit. They require from each one of its members the commitment to creative fidelity in order to perpetuate and transmit them.Upon this reality rests the notion of the common good and the participative character of government in the Congregation.

Province of Los AndesProvince of Los AndesThe Community, a basic structure

In the Church and in the Congregation, the community is basic structure making visible the project of communion.

The Congregation is an integral community, where the various gifts from the Spirit are at the service of “Communion” as the essential Mission of the Church.

Each local community - part of a whole - , is the place where, due to our integration into the Community at the moment of first profession, we begin to live and participate in the spiritual goods which are the basis of communion. They are: Charism, tradition, and mission.

This organic communion, made alive by charity, requires an organization in order to make effective and true the putting in common of everything we are and have. Thus, cooperation in the mission is ensured. 

Source: "Marie Poussepin and her Community: The Service of Authority"

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