The love of Christ impels us to manifest His tenderness and love.
Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres
A short explanation on charism:
Charism or spiritual gift is simply the Greek word used in the New Testament for "favor" or "gratuitous gift". Charisms, or spiritual gifts, are special abilities given to Christians by the Holy Spirit to enable them to be powerful channels of God's love and redeeming presence in the world. Whether extraordinary or ordinary, charisms are to be used in charity or service to build up the Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2003).
Charisms are not "inborn" or inherited from our parents, but are given to us by the Holy Spirit, whom we received through baptism and confirmation, two of the three sacraments of initiation. Charisms are also supernaturally empowered. They are focused outward and enable Christians to bear results for the Kingdom of God above and beyond our normal human abilities.
As disciples, we offer our entire selves, including our personalities, natural talents, education, life experience, and background to God to be used for his purposes. Our natural talents can become wonderful tools for God's purposes, and sometimes an already existing natural gift is transformed by the Holy Spirit into a supernaturally empowered charism. But when we serve God, we are not limited to just the gifts with which we were born! Some charisms may seem 'extraordinary' (such as prophecy, healing, or discernment of spirits) and others quite 'ordinary' (such as administration, service, hospitality, or mercy), but all charisms are supernaturally empowered. We use our charisms together with our natural talents and all that we are to serve God and our neighbor. 1 CCC 2003
Fr. Louis Chauvet received this gratuitous gift from God to start and found our congregation.
The setting was, at the end of the 17th century, France was beset with misery. Fr. Louis Chauvet who was assigned in Levesville-la-Chenard as parish priest set out a program to uplift the the human and spiritual condition of the villagers.
This was made possible through the help of Marie Anne de Tilly. Together they prepared the first teacher of the school, Marie Michaeu, the first superior and teacher and Barbe Foucault, who stayed behind in Levesville when the sisters grew in number and moved to Chartres in 1708. Mother Barbe Foucault was the first Superior General elected by her Sisters in 1717.
The Bishop of Chartres, Msgr. Paul Godet de Marais, approved and recognized the Community. The Sisters were later on given a house in the suburb of St. Maurice.
Canon Claude Marechaux was appointed "Ecclesiastical Superior." He later on revised and completed the rules started by Fr. Louis Chauvet.
The Community of Levesville is the result of the love that comes from God and sees in everyone a creature of God. Redeemed by Jesus Christ. The initiative of love is in God. He alone can bring forth this absolute gift. He alone challenges, requests and begs for love, more still, he gives the grace with which to respond while respecting the basic freedom of every human being. 2 RTE p.17
The Sisters of St. Paul are therefore Sisters of Charity striving toward the perfection of charity. Our first sisters lived out this gift, they have passed it on to the next generation, and in our century, we ourselves have received it.
SPIRIT AND MISSION:
After the example of St. Paul, spurred on by the love of Christ (2 Cor. 5:14), the sisters make themselves all things to all men.
In these present times, we, the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres are likewise founders. Our communities, the basic units of the Congregation, have thus received this call to be founding communities. This can be done in the creative ways whereby we re-invent community life daily as we seek to remain faithful to the dynamism of our origins.
Being creative means, to foresee, to search oneís way and to step into the unknown, as our Sisters have done in the past. After going through the previous pages of our history, we, as women of the future, now dare to turn a new page to write the present of this future. (excerpts from Mother Myriam's letter in the 46th General Chapter)
The Church in this present age urges us to enter into the Life of the Spirit,
making us seek to desire to really live as moved by
be discerning - personally and as a community - of
the new signs of the Spirit in persons, in
communities and in world events;
allow ourselves - in the light of our discernment - to
be moved, disturbed and be converted like Saint
Paul, so as to take new orientations;
let ourselves be swept up in the Spiritís dynamic Life, with humility and joy, like Mary. (CA 2007 P.17)
The Death Certificate, registered for the Catholic parish of Levesville-la-Chenard testifies:
"On 15 November this same year (1702) died Sister Marie Micheau daugther of Pierre Micheau and the late Marie Poirier, aged nineteen years. This same day she was buried in the church by me, priest and Pastor, as signed below, after living with great piety in the Community of the Daughters of the school where she was Superior...."
In the presence of Anne Lerat and Catherine Sirou.
Signed: L. Chauvet
In communion with our Sisters of the Congregation, today we celebrate the entry into heaven of Mother Marie Micheau the first to answer God's call through Father Louis Chauvet, our Founder.
We thank God for giving us Mother Marie Micheau who was a woman of faith, humility and charity. Filled with love for the Church, she dedicated herself to serve the poor and the first Community.
Mother Marie Micheau
Entrance Into Heaven
(November 15, 1702)
Chartres, France I
Paris to Lourdes
Chartres, France II
RESOURCES: History of the SPC Congregation