On Sunday 6th September 2015, the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion, Avila House, Worthing, hosted and afternoon for our Friends/Associates.
This was to have been a follow-up on out previous meeting on “Nostra Aetate” given by Sr Margaret Shepherd. But unfortunately it had to be re-arranged and we decided that “Mary, Our Lady of Sion” would be a good title. Sr Carolyn opened the presentation with this quotation from our Constitutions: “the name Our Lady of Sion chosen by our Founder indicates the significance of Mary for us. Daughters of Sion par excellence, Mary lived to the full the faith and hope of her people. Willingly receiving the Word of God, she became the Mother of Jesus and followed him to the Cross. She was present in the early Church. Having entered into the fullness of redemption, she confirms the destiny to which we are all called,”
Carolyn began her talk with the development of Father Theodore’s relationship with Mary and traced it through his writings. His love for Mary stemmed from the fact that his own mother had died when he was a young man, so after hearing Mme Louise Humann, his spiritual mentor, speak about Mary, he called Mary his mother.
It must be remembered that Theodore lived at a time of frequent appearances of Mary. Catherine Laboure, 1830, Bernadette Soubirous 1850, and close to him on 20th January 1842, the appearance of Mary to his brother Alphonse. This was a definitive moment because thereafter, he felt the call to a closer relationship with Mary.
The following headings give you an idea of how Mary became “Our Lady of Sion”
• Mary Source of Blessings
• Mary the complete Jewess
• Mary listened to the Word
• Mary brought forth the Word of God
• The Sacred Heart of Mary
• Father Theodore’s relationship with Mary was summed up in his own words: “to love Mary was to imitate Mary, to imitate Mary is to please Jesus and thus draw down the heavenly Father’s grace.”
The meeting closed with a Sionian prayer for “the Sisters, brothers, priests, friends and associates of Our Lady of Sion throughout the world as we all live our calling to serve God and all people.”
We then spoke about the “Hope Project” – water wells and reservoirs in the Congo. This was taken up enthusiastically by the group and we hope that our efforts in raising funds will contribute in a small way to alleviating this dire situation.