The first steps were being taken then, but there was already so much enthusiasm, so much fraternity, we felt accompanied through moments of formation and sharing of the Charism, sisters and lay people together…as had emerged from the Acts of the 2005 General Chapter.

It was 2007, the year when the first International Meeting entitled Friends of St. Jeanne Antide and Sisters of Charity was held at the General House in Rome, August 25-29.

A new moment, made of meetings, testimonies, listening, openness, and confrontation. Where common elements and unexpected elements, which the charism can arouse among lay Friends, mingle and are tinged with new colors.

Crucial in this context was the presence of Archbishop Lucien Daloz, Archbishop of Besançon, from 1981 to 2003. He stood by us with his attentive and loving presence. Always ready to pluck, in these kinds of encounters, tender shoots that could bring new fruit to the Church.

With his help, then, we began to outline the identity of the Lay Friend, starting with the question, “What is important in my life as a lay person, both as a Christian and as a Friend of Jeanne-Antide?”.

This gave rise to the Founding Text, drafted in Rome at the General Hous of the Sisters of Charity and dated February 17, 2008. It is the fruit of common reflection by all the groups participating in that first International Meeting.

Daniela B., Naples

for the AJA International Promoting Group

“I need you to accomplish great things”

(Manuscript of Sr. Rosalie)

We, friends of Jeanne-Antide, form together with the Sisters of Charity, one same spiritual family, to live and to share the charism of Jeanne-Antide, each one according to his/her vocation in the Church for the service of the society.

As baptised persons, in order to be faithful to the Gospel, we orientate our life towards Christ, whom we want to serve in the poor, “his suffering members”.

We want to engage ourselves to live in sobriety, in solidarity and with fraternal love.

We want to be attentive to the poor, in the various cultural contexts of the current society, acting according to our possibilities.

We want that the dignity of all human beings is acknowledged, so that the development of our world won’t take place to the detriment of most vulnerable.

We learn from Jeanne-Antide to rely on God Alone to find in Him the courage to love and to witness.

Therefore, we reserve in our life an important place to pray and to deepen the charism.

We choose the most adequate means for our human and spiritual formation.

We want to help each other to live this call, at an international dimension, while respecting the freedom on everyone’s journey.

We want to involve young people in our journey, while giving attention to their creativity.

Let’s welcome the message of Jeanne-Antide: may it help us to remain faithful and open to the Holy Spirit.

Rome, 17th February 2008