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The history of collaboration between Assumptionist religious and lay people who work with them in common enterprises, and/or who want to share all or part of Assumptionist spirituality is a very long one! A history affected by events in different epochs and changes in mentality. Since the last General & Provincial Chapters this collaboration seeks to express itself in the form of an "alliance".
This journey from "collaboration" to an "Alliance" is not just a matter of vocabulary. It is a movement that leads lay people and religious to better appreciate the source that inspires them to work in common and diverse missions. What is already being lived here or there is alive and growing. On all sides, men and women embark on an adventure that is full of risks, in fidelity to the spirit of the Assumption. Besides the annual retreat and the pilgrimage on the footsteps of Father Emmanuel d'Alzon, every two years, a cycle of formation over three years. The themes include: the spirit of the Assumption, the particular Charism of the institute, its history, and Saint Augustine. 45 people, friends of the Assumption started this journey. "Your Kingdom Come", a new collection of pamphlets, simple, short, beautiful presented and richly spiritual have been written.
The first, «Discover the spirituality of the Augustinians of the Assumption», outlines the spiritual path that we follow and provides material for small group reading, reflection and prayer with a local community. The association of "Friends of the Augustinians of the Assumption" offers other meetings as well. But the alliance is also being lived elsewhere giving rise to " An International Assumptionist Solidarity Group", a group of lay people who seek to help Assumptionist communities in the Province, outside France, to meet, to listen, to help them formulate their needs and offer helpful tools to respond to these needs. There is also a group of "Lay Assumptionist Volunteers" that seeks to encourage the commitment of lay collaborators, young and adult, for a fixed period of time to help in one of our projects linked with a community. Other links include the "Justice and peace" commission to promote initiatives and action among the poor: presence on the boat "Je sers", a place of welcome and support, a group in Valpré that has created links with Tunisia, Salvador and Romania, pilgrimages to Lourdes for people with few resources, in partnership with the Lourdes Hotels, «a holiday in the Chateau» for families who cannot afford to go away. These are some of the elements of a real diaconia to which lay Assumptionists have committed themselves.
Noel le Bousse a.a.