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'Visit' of Marie Madeleine.Celebrating Marie Madeleine in Australia

A surprise 'visit' by Marie Madeleine, foundress of the Society

Marie Madeleine 'arrives'.Last Saturday, April 5th, Marie Madeleine d’Houet, Foundress of the Sisters Faithful Companions of Jesus, made a totally unexpected visit to a group of Sisters FCJ and their Companions in Mission. 

This group had gathered in Richmond in the grounds of the former Vaucluse College to acknowledge the 150th Anniversary of the death of their Foundress, hence their total amazement, but also their joy and delight!

One of her sisters now takes up the story:  “We had all gathered at the starting point of our mini pilgrimage in which we were to recall the highlights in the life of Marie Madeleine but to have her lead us in this journey was beyond anything we could have ever imagined! 

Following Marie Madeleine as she tells her story.So in an atmosphere of great reverence we followed our Foundress from one ‘station’ to another as she recalled many significant experiences of her childhood and young womanhood.

Australian Companions in Mission in front of the grotto at Richmond. 





Then answering questions from among those present, we felt again with Marie Madeleine the pain she experienced at the loss of her husband, Joseph, after less than a year of marriage, and the deep love she had for her son Eugène, born some months after the death of Joseph.  She spoke of the influences that led her to founding the Society and the progress that it had made up to the time of her death in 1858.

This very moving recreation of Marie Madeleine’s life gave much food for thought and gave rise to many questions for each of us personally.  How were we, for instance, carrying on her spirit of fidelity and companionship?  How zealous are we to ensure that this spirit entrusted to us is being shared and passed on to the next generation?  Do we really appreciate the value of the gift given to us in our vocation to the Society?  All of this we have heard before but never, I believe, in quite so impelling a way and we express our thanks to those whose inspiration it was and who had the ability to carry it through so convincingly.

FCJ Communities at Benalla, Flemington and Fairfield.

Communities at Moonbria, Richmond, St. Albans and Benalla.

After a brief pause we assembled in the Parish Church of St. Ignatius where Sr Ita Joyce renewed her vows which she had first made 70 years ago, an accomplishment experienced by very few!  Each community had contributed to the lunch which followed in the Richmond community house, in the course of which Ita’s Jubilee cake was cut and shared.

Ita Joyce celebrates her 70th Anniversary of Vows.

Sr. Barbara, Provincial, with 'Marie Madeleine'.

This day was a happy, unifying day – the kind of day that tends to make one more grateful than ever to be a Faithful Companion of Jesus.

So, thanks to Jesus, our Companion,

to Marie Madeleine,

and to all who made the day so enjoyable and uplifting."

Ang among Kapunungan naningkamot diha
     sa pagdayeg sa kasing-kasing ni Hesus
           inubanan sa Iyang panabang    (Marie Madeleine)