May 1st is a very special time for members of the Association Jeanne Jugan. It is the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker and traditionally the day of recommitment to the Association. Each member of The Association Jeanne Jugan (AJJ), the lay organization of the Little Sisters of the Poor, shares in the apostolic riches of the Congregation and helps to spread the charism of the Foundress, Jeanne Jugan. The collaboration of the members is a support and an encouragement for the Little Sisters of the Poor in their specific vocation and their apostolic activity. What a wonderful privilege it is to deepen our understanding of St. Jeanne’s charism, to work closely with the Residents in making their lives meaningful and to participate in the spiritual riches of the Congregation.
A day of personal reflection before the day of promise helped us to ruminate on what we bring to the group and whether we feel prepared to commit to another year of service. Members developed a guide, a “Journey with Saint Jeanne Jugan.” This was a reflective spiritual journey where we revisited the life, mission and works of the Foundress, the purpose of the Association and who we are as a community of support to the Little Sisters. This was also a time to welcome new members, build community within the group, revisit our interests and renew our spiritual dedication to God and to the Little Sisters of the Poor.
On our day of recommitment we gathered for the Mass of St. Joseph the Worker, celebrated by Fr. John Paul Erickson. Fr. Erickson knows the Association well since he has a sister who is a member of the Congregation and parents who are both AJJ members. Father’s homily tied in the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker to the vocation of St. Jeanne Jugan. Following the Celebration of the Eucharist, our new member made her promise supported by other members who recommitted for another year of service.” It was an inspiring moment for all members of the Holy Family community.
Upon making her promise for the first time, Patrice Speltz stated, “I feel very blessed to have been asked to join the Association Jeanne Jugan. I had a wonderful year of sharing and formation with Sr. Christina and learned much about St. Jeanne and the Little Sisters of the Poor. The retreat was a special time to share with other AJJ members what it truly means in each person’s life to make this commitment and to receive this gift. As an employee of Holy Family Residence, I believe this spiritual involvement will enhance my life and my relationships with our Residents, staff and the Sisters.”
New and returning AJJ members worked together to serve the Residents a wonderful meal prepared by our kitchen crew. What a treat it was to have prospective members join us and to share with the Sisters the delicious dinner, good conversation and the hospitality of St. Jeanne Jugan!