Celebrate the Year of Grace at Marie Poussepin’s birth house

on 28 Oct, 2020
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Dourdan (France), 28/10/2020, Dourdan Community.- The month of October has always had a flavor of the "Presentation family" as it celebrates the feast of Our Mother Foundress, Marie Poussepin. In this "Year of Grace" for the 25th anniversary of her beatification, for our local community this has a very special meaning as we have the blessing to live in her birth house in Dourdan France.

Those who make up the community of this year 2020, we have already lived for nine months in the birthplace of our foundress, where each of the places tells us about her life, her family, her neighbors, the friends, the young, the sick ... of that time. Today it also allows us to reflect on the current reality of the world, of the Church, of the Congregation and of our community in Dourdan, to pray, to contemplate and to project all that this House of Dourdan reveals to us in the mission that the Congregation has entrusted to us. It is here that the project "of the worker of Providence" began in the simplicity of an authentic Christian life committed to her parish.

We are going to go around the house, through each of the spaces that invite us to give thanks to God for the life and the response to God's will of Marie Poussepin, as well as to reflect on the responsibility we have to update the timely response to the challenges facing the world, the Church and the Congregation, and in particular our Church here in Dourdan. We are in the global reality of the pandemic, violence, power struggles, drug addiction and lack of values at home ... which has a great impact on the new generations.

Today, what does each of the places in Marie Poussepin’s house tell us?

- We start the visit of the house (as it is organized today) in descending order. The chapel in the attic, which is a small space, its wooden ceiling, quite low, all people big and small have to enter crouching, carefully to avoid knocks ... a sober, simple place ... everything tells us that we are in a "sacred place", cozy and silent, conducive to dialogue with the Lord. Before the confinement, the Eucharist was celebrated on Friday with a good group of people from the parish.

Today for us is the space to listen to the Lord who speaks to us in his Word and in the reality of a world in crisis due to pandemic, violence and natural disasters and we always pray for correct and quick solutions, for all those who suffer from this pandemic, poverty and injustice. We also pray for the congregation with its general government and each of the structures and for each of our sisters. At Vespers, usually, Françoise accompanies us, a woman of the parish who loves very much Marie Poussepin.

- On the first floor, today is the library, where, according to the story, it was Marie Poussepin's room, which she had reserved, to stay there when she returned from Sainville.

Our experience is significant because we remember certain events in her history, for example the unlimited charity of Marie Poussepin, which led her to take care for the elderly Marie Olivier and very surely many other acts of mercy that history does not tell us ... today her testimony urges us to welcome everyone, to give ourselves without reserve and above all to invent every day the way to live the charity that she transmitted to us and entrusted to the Congregation.

- Today, on the ground floor, we find the community hall. This is where the "Talita Kum" group meets, made up of people who are suffering or who have had great trials in life. In the meetings they share their struggles and sufferings and enlighten them with the Word of God, and this helps them a lot to move forward and to have a lot of trust in God and in the people... a group that we hope will start meeting again when the restrictions due to the pandemic allow it.

- The main room is quite large, it is the space where we receive the people who come to our House, several times to tell us about their difficulties or also their joys and achievements ... Today, we admire the love that many people in Dourdan have for Marie Poussepin and they tell us about the favours that through her intercession they obtain from God.

As it is a large space, the "Rosary Group", composed of people who love the Virgin Mary, sometimes meets, they pray with the Rosary, share the Word, their stories, their concerns about reality, as well as simple food ... One of the sisters always accompanies them, because they meet each time in one of the houses of the members.

In the room of the "small museum", mainly, you will find the copy of the machine that Marie Poussepin imported into her factory in 1684, there is also a good collection of important paintings related to Marie's time, the painting of her nephew ... This reminds us what a great businesswoman she was with an admirable social sense. Her "prosperous industry of wool and silk fabrics" lasted 80 years in the Villa de Dourdan, collaborating in its transformation and progress "(Positio page 84 of the year 1985). "It is said that she did not charge the apprentices, instead, she paid them from the beginning for their work accomplished ..." (Positio page 84 of the year 1985). She paid a large sum of money to learn how to use the machines, recently imported to the teachers Fiacre Mullochon come from Paris and the Englishman Richard Kin, for her brother Claudio in the years 1684-1685 (POSITIO p. 83). She wanted to prepare her brother Claudio very well, so that he could take over the management of the factory.

There is also a book in which the people who visit us write their thoughts and maxims about Marie Poussepin and her Work in the world, as well as the favors granted. We take advantage of this space to introduce Marie Poussepin to those who visit us in a simple but interesting way.

- We still need to say something about the kitchen and the dining room. It is also a place where we share with the priests of the parish, with close families, with our sisters who visit us, especially the sisters of the General Government and those of Sainville with whom we help and support each other in everything.

- The garden has been the space to work in the cultivation of ornamental plants that embellish the house and vegetables for food. We have shared the fruits of the garden with friends, also receiving fruit from their gardens.

In the parish, we take part in the celebrations of the Eucharist, and we collaborate in helping to give communion and doing the readings if necessary. At the exit, we meet the parishioners. One of the sisters brings communion to a sick person. We have participated in the Eucharist in various sectors of the parish and it has been very important to meet them and for them to get to know us. We had very beautiful celebrations, such as the catechumenal commitments, more than 100 people, the ordination of a deacon of the parish with the participation of all the priests and deacons of the diocese.

Our Diocese of Evry has started the "Diocesan Synod" in order to reflect together on four important themes for Christian life at this time and in the reality, we are living. The themes are: discipleship, concern for the common house, commitment to the poor and migrants and diakonia. The methodology consists of forming small groups to pray, share their concerns, support each other and care for each other. The bishop hopes that a thousand groups will be organized in the diocese. We have already experienced the launch and have been invited to the meeting of the members of the large group of small group leaders.
And finally, we share with you a dream that little by little we are crystallizing: To form a group of lay people from the Maison Marie Poussepin, so that they can get to know the charism, spirituality and mission of the Congregation, so that they can live it in their family and work environment and at the same time they can help us to make Marie Poussepin known to all the people of Dourdan, because not everyone knows her. This group begins with the celebration of the feast of Marie Poussepin on October 14th. We trust in the intercession of our Foundress, asking her make her charisma continue to live on in her native town.

It is with our daily life that we celebrate the "Year of Grace" in the birthplace of Marie Poussepin. To make the ordinary of each day extraordinary by the love with which we do it, love for God, for the Congregation and for the Church.