The Congregation of the Faithful Companions of Jesus was founded in France in 1820. The bicentenary celebrations will run from the 21st September 2019, birthday of our foundress, Marie Madeleine d’HouÃ«t, until the Feast of Christ the King in November 2020.
âToday, the Faithful Companions of Jesus, looking towards 2020, their bicentenary, are remembering and retelling the story of their origins, and in doing so are coming to a deeper understanding of some of the circumstances that shaped that story. Animated by the interior spirit of the Society of Jesus, the FCJ seed was planted in the soil of post-Revolution France: it put down roots, and gradually grew from tiny shoot to sapling to young tree to mature tree with firm trunk and many branches. Over 200 years, not all the branches have flourished, and some pruning has taken place, but all through those years the roots have been tended â it is through them that the tree draws nourishment â and there has been new growth, new apostolic endeavours, new ways of responding to Godâs callâ¦
Our identity is expressed in our name, and as Faithful Companions of Jesus, we know there is nothing intermittent about faithfulness â it is a relationship that continues. We are âon missionâ when our life (who we are) and action (what we do) prophetically point to, promote, and make visible the Reign of God. With the Jesuits, we share the mission of the universal Church: to proclaim the Good News of Godâs love revealed in Jesus Christ. Today, we live in times of great change, as Marie Madeleine did in her day, and like her, we believe that le Bon Dieu, who led our Society in the past, is leading us now, and will lead us in the years to come.â
From Marie Madeleine dâHouÃ«t and the Jesuits, by Teresa White, fcJ
The Way, 59/2 (April 2020), 101â112
There will be a host of events to celebrate this Bicentenary Year:
- A Day of Kindness to launch the Bicentenary Year of Celebration.
- Planting trees around the world. The sisters in Europe have committed to planting 10 trees for each community group in the bicentenary year.
- The staging of a theatre production based on the life of Marie Madeleine and the expansion of the Society she founded; the play has been commissioned from Rise Theatre and will be performed in the UK, Ireland and other English-speaking locations where FCJs and their Companions in Mission live and work.
- Various internal celebrations in FCJ Schools and Spirituality Centres.
- Local radio interviews and presentations in different parts of the world.
- A commemorative painting is in preparation and will be published online.
- A new song will be composed for use in FCJ schools and in parishes where FCJs and their Companions in Mission live and work.
- Liturgical and para-liturgical celebrations in the locations where FCJ sisters live or have ministered in the past.
- New materials on the Foundress and the history of the Faithful Companions of Jesus have been made available.
- Unpublished material from FCJ archives will be available online.
May the celebrations be a source of new life and strengthened hope.
General Superior 2013-2020 of the FCJ Society, Sr Mary Claire Sykes fcJ