The Association Jeanne Jugan (AJJ’s) met on Saturday, May 3, for a retreat in preparation for the renewal of their annual Promise the following day. The theme of the retreat was “The Joy of Evangelizing in the Footsteps of St. Jeanne Jugan.” The ever joyful Fr. Damian Graziano was this year’s retreat master. Father Graziano captivated everyone, weaving humor and his personal experiences (including his vocation story) to share his spiritual wisdom with us. He explained the New Evangelization as he believed Pope Francis’ envisions it in his exhortation “The Joy of the Gospel.” He spoke of how we can best live out the New Evangelization in our own lives and through the spirituality of St. Jeanne Jugan.
On Sunday, May 4, 39 AJJs renewed their Annual Promise and we welcomed three new members to the Association: Marti Scheu and Ed and Judy Hutchinson. During the Mass, the AJJ members actively participated in the readings, the offertory, and the distribution of Holy Communion. After Mass and photos, the AJJs joined the Little Sisters for a delicious dinner.
It is striking that from the time that the AJJs began here in Palatine in 2002, until now, there has been amazing growth in their numbers. The Association has grown from a few members to a total of over 40 AJJs. One of the AJJ members commented that she was so happy to have the chance to be together. She took this opportunity to let the others know how much she has appreciated their love, support and prayers as she dealt with a recent loss and her own serious health issues. Another member made the reflection that “It is so rewarding to see the commitment of the members helping the Little Sisters of the Poor in so many different ways specific to their talents.”
A newer AJJ reflected: “From the onset of the AJJ retreat, there was joy … unmistakable JOY! Joy in the love and smile from Sister Diane as she introduced each AJJ member. Joy in each and every AJJ member in greeting one another and embracing those new to the group. Joy in the retreat Mass and talk presented by Fr. Graziano capturing the spirit of Jeanne Jugan, and her grace to see God in every person. Joy in the fact that the mission of Jeanne Jugan is lived out, daily, by the Little Sisters and joy in knowing they are assisted by the Association Jeanne Jugan members to do just that. Joy in the Sunday Mass celebrated with the Residents and Fr. Auger. Joy in the thanksgiving offered by each of the Little Sisters. Yes, there was joy…unmistakable joy, as the spirit of Jeanne Jugan flourishes!”
Congratulations to all of our Association members and thank you for renewing your Promise and for continuing to assist us in our mission as the extension of the hearts and hands of our Little Sisters!
Welcome new AJJ Members,
Marti Scheu (l) and Ed and Judy Hutchinson
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