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JERSEY – Little Sisters attend assembly at Beaulieu convent school

The Little Sisters from Jersey were present at the School Assembly  at Beaulieu Convent School.   550 girls were at the assembly.  Several months ago the Little Sisters in Jersey participated at a two day retreat for young people “Spirit on the Rock” they asked the school chaplain if they could meet the students at Beaulieu Convent School to talk about their Vocation and invite the youth to come and visit the residents. The date was arranged for the 23rd September at 2.p.m. We were informed that 550 female students and many teachers would be present; they were aged 11 to 18. There are 110- 6th form students.

Beaulieu Convent School was established in 1951 by the Sisters from the order of the Immaculate Conception. In 1999 the Order of the Immaculate Conception gifted Beaulieu School, the site and its buildings to the Island of Jersey on the understanding it would remain a Catholic School.

We were delighted to use a beautiful banner sent by Mother Provincial portraying the various aspects of the life of the Little Sisters of the Poor. The banner was placed in the entrance to the church allowing everyone to see it.

It was quite a challenge preparing for the assembly meeting. We prepared a power – point presentation of “Consecrated life and the four vows”. Some citations from the book: The Disciples Call edited by Father Christopher Jamison O.S.B enhanced the production and also some modern back ground music.

When we arrived we were greeted by the staff who said that some of the students knew the sisters because they already do some voluntary work with the St Vincent de Paul association and also the Jersey youth group that frequent the home for different occasions, several 6th form students studying for  the diploma in care level 3 have done placements in the home and gained experience with the resident.

 We were relieved to meet 3 of the IT team that kindly checked that our presentation would work… we were fortunate to have Nick with us; he works at our home as accountant. At the moment he is studying to become a deacon and was happy to help us with the preparation of the power- point because we didn’t have much knowledge on power – point presentations. He managed the presentation from a tribune in the church also the music. This made it easier for the sisters to speak into the microphone without the worry of technology.

We were praying for the 550 students as they entered the church with their mentors, it was lovely to see so many young people eager to hear what we had to say!

We began the meeting with the prayer:  Lord Jesus, we know that we all have a specific vocation in life, married, single or religious vocation. Choose from our parishes, homes, schools and colleges an abundant harvest of apostles, for the Kingdom, priests, brothers, sisters, deacons and lay ministers, We pray that each one of us may listen attentively to the Holy Spirit who will reveal which vocation is for us. Amen

The slides were projected on 3 screens on the wall in the Church of St Mary’s and St Peter’s which is situated close to the school. Sister Mary Bridget and Sister Mary Agnes were in the sanctuary proclaiming short passages from scripture and the rule of life when the slides for: Poverty, chastity, obedience and hospitality were shown.

After the presentation there was a time of prayer ;    O lord, help me know your will for me.

Let your light shine in the depths of my Heart that I may know what you want me to do with my life. Help me to believe that you have a special plan for me. Like our Blessed Mother, give me the wisdom to hear your voice and the courage to answer your call. Above all give me peace of mind and heart. I offer this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

The students were invited to call and visit the home, meet the sisters, residents and staff and also join in a time of prayer. They thanked us for the presentation and gave us a loud applause.  They were all very attentive and one teacher told us that she knew some girls that would like to volunteer in the home. Another teacher asked for the email address and telephone number saying that she would publish these details in the student news letter. When we said goodbye to everyone we drove a short distance to the school, we received permission to leave many books, leaflets, medals and information concerning

the congregation, there are 800 students at the school. The Banner of the Little Sisters was then removed from the Church entrance and placed in the school main entrance where it will stay for sometime allowing the students to take a better look at it. The books will be available for all the students, we will return to the school to collect the banner in the near future.

It was a day to remember because we met so many young people, their teachers and mentors. May Jeanne Jugan intercede for each one so that they

Listen to the Holy Spirit who will guide them.

As I completed this narrative it was good news to receive two emails one from Amelia and the other from Lia  6th form students asking if they could come and do some volunteering. We answered them saying that we will organise a day and time when they can come and visit the home to discuss what they would like to do.