Sunday, 02 June 2024 16:29

Jesus my great Love

juliette jesus ang“You did not choose me; I chose you.” (John 15:16)

My consecrated life is an extraordinary adventure, a long road of happiness, challenges and holiness. I grew up in an environment where the parish church across the street was my nearest neighbor. The distance between us was barely six metres. And next door, only a wall separated us from the convent of the Sisters of Saint-Hyacinthe. I felt a deep fascination to the sisters, with whom I studied, from an early age. A fascination I kept secret for a long time. I liked the congregation, the only one I knew.

When I was 19, I first spoke to one of these nuns about my desire for consecrated life. This led to a two-year training period at the congregation's house of formation. But the Lord decided otherwise. Back home, I continued to take on many responsibilities in the service of my parish. For example, preparing children and young people for the sacraments of Christian initiation. Five years later, thanks to the arrival of a Voluntas Dei as my new parish priest, I learned of the existence of secular institutes, in particular that of the OMMI. That's how he put me in touch with the person in charge of the Oblates. Shortly afterwards, I started my aspirancy to become an Oblate without hesitating.

My first assignment was in Chauffard (1984-1991), sent to open a home centre for girls aged 16 to 25. It has to be said that at this stage I was different from the 19-year-old I was before. I was not scandalized by anything anymore. My naivety vanished. I understood and saw situations through different eyes. I found great joy in working with the young girls and the most vulnerable people in the parish. Their testimonies of faith, trust, serenity and peace edified me. My time in Chauffard was a time of spiritual growth and solidarity, fostering a warm and welcoming team spirit. I had moments of intense joy, of deep communion with God, of frank fraternity with my companions. But life together is also sometimes a “trial”; during my journey I have also experienced moments of doubt. Incomprehension, illness, death and difficulties have sometimes shaken me. Without my first seven years at Chauffard, which provided a solid, well-forged foundation for my vocation, there have been times when I could have given up. But God was watching... It was in those moments that I experienced the strength, perseverance and power of love.

Jesus my great Love has helped me to grow in faith even in the midst of trials, to overcome obstacles and remain faithful to my commitment. I learned to discern God’s will in life’s events, to live in trust and abandonment. Today, I look back on 40 years with gratitude. Years rich in experiences in which the unconditional love of Jesus has given me the strength to forgive myself, to pick myself up and to move forward. I thank him for everything. May His flame of love continue to light my way and guide my steps until the day He calls me to the hereafter.

Marie-Juliette Sulface, Haiti

More in this category: « Mother Mary

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