Feast Day Letter

Written on: October 15, 2019

The following letter was written by Sister Denise Roche, GNSH, President of the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart.
Although the letter was written for the Sisters, our Associates and colleagues, the message it contains is appropriate for many of us!

My dear Grey Nuns, Associates and Colleagues,

As we celebrate the Feast of St. Marguerite d’Youville, it is appropriate to recall how she lived. Her vision was to represent Jesus in her time, caring for the sick, homeless, poor and marginalized. What Marguerite seemed to understand from her first attempts to offer comfort, healing and solace is that she could not do it alone. Marguerite engaged with other women whose faith inspired them to recognize the needs and give comfort to the poor. Later, she drew companions who aspired to spend their lives in service to others in concert with Jesus’ example. Later on, those women became the first Grey Nuns and were with Marguerite at the foundation of the first formal, small congregation.

As time went on, the Hotel Dieu was established and many new people joined the sisters in this expanded ministry. However, the mission was the same- to join together people with their talents and experiences to make a concerted effort to help those whose lives required assistance. Through this effort, people found homes, a caring atmosphere and a purpose much greater than themselves.

Marguerite’s example of share ministry remind us of the necessity of being a part if a group to work together for the good of our brothers and sisters. We all do it. We do it or have done it in ministry, in groups who share our ideals for a just and compassionate society, and with family and friends. We might, however, overlook our companions who are closest to us.

As we celebrate Marguerite, her vision and mission and her remarkable legacy, let us take a moment to recognize and thank our Grey Nun staff, our Associates and co-workers, our often silent partners, the caregivers who attend to the needs of the sisters and many others and the many donors whose contributions and support encourage and enable our mission.

On this joyful day of celebrating the life and legacy of Marguerite, let us give special gratitude to the many women and men who have shared our mission both now and through the years and have been our allies in serving God’s people.

Perhaps, as we celebrate, we can remember to offer a word of thanks or a prayer of gratitude for all of these partners. St. Marguerite taught us to join with others and that is a great and important part of our legacy.

Lovingly and gratefully,

Sister Denise Roche, GNSH

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