France - A glance at a week in Grenelle

The fact that the General Assembly of the association “Chemins d’Espérance” marked an important stage in the management of our care homes is because it fits well into the spirit that we wish to continue transmitting and developing so that “it is good to live in our EHPAD (care homes)”.

It is true to say that there is always something happening at Grenelle... so, why go back to the week of 13 – 20 June, 2016? 
 
All the LSA who have crossed the threshold in rue Violet fifty or more years ago can testify to all the transformations that have since taken place! Nothing original in that, because our Founders had already moved ahead while inventing how to respond to the mission they felt intuitively. 
 
The fact that the General Assembly of the association “Chemins d’Espérance” marked an important stage in the management of our care homes is because it fits well into the spirit that we wish to continue transmitting and developing so that “it is good to live in our EHPAD (care homes)”. 
 
 Mme Boudy et Mme Leroy
 
The past year has been marked by the setting up of the association “Chemins d’Espérance” that was formed from the fusion of “Espérance et Accueil” with “Partage-Solidarité-Accueil”. In the course of that Assembly the various reports expressed very clearly how the two associations founded respectively by the Sisters of the Holy Family of Bordeaux in 1971 and the LSA in 1989, had set out along a similar path. At the end of the morning the Assembly was invited to express its gratitude and wish a happy retirement to Mme Chantal Boudy, director general of the association since 2011, and to Mme Nadine Leroy, director of Human Resources. 
It was Sr Michelle Barrot who expressed to Nadine how her work and her commitment within the Association “Partage-Solidarité-Accueil” had contributed to the development of the project since 1989. Then it was Mr Xavier Grenet, administrator, who continued by speaking to Chantal who also had given an impetus to “Espérance et Accueil”. These two ‘pioneers’ were applauded vigorously for a long time by all the participants who rose to express their approval which was accompanied by visible emotion. 
 
Perhaps it is that moment which should be described as historic? For the LSA, the presence of Mr Jacques Valet, the second president, and of Mr Bailleul, the first director general, added a special note to the gratitude. 
 
Then the moment came to present the new director general, Mr Jean-Bernard Prim, who is going to work for a time with Chantal Boudy. He also spoke, outlining something of his career and saying that he was getting down to work with pleasure, gradually discovering the task that was going to be his. 
 
 
B. Bailleul and C. Boudy transmitting the ‘values’ of the Association
to J-B. Prim, director general
 
From the beginning of the afternoon the programme continued with a talk by Mr. Robert Lafore, professor of public law at the University of Bordeaux, on the theme: “Responsible for a state-approved mission: what is the future for associations that originated with a congregation?” The subject was perfectly in tune with the steps being taken by the association. Some directors intervened at the beginning of the conference, presenting situations that were in a condition of evolution, showing the need to continue being open to the present-day needs of the aged. 
The speaker then retraced the history of the social legislation, which needs to be looked at and transformed in line with the needs of each period. 
 
At the end of that day so rich with the different contributions, the conclusion was more or less (from what I understood and retained) : the essential is first of all an open, evolutionary project, and then the laws for putting it into effect. 
 
That day, which marked an important stage in the life of the association, had been preceded the day before by a meeting of the Superiors of houses that are managed by ‘Chemins d’Espérance’ (Holy Family of Bordeaux - LSA – Oblates of the Assumption – Auxiliaries of the Priesthood – Our Lady of Apostles = 12 houses). The aim was to look at the future, taking account of the reality of our institutions: demography, new needs. 
During the afternoon the Directors joined the Superiors for an exchange based on practical situations and questions for the future. 
The simple and cordial exchange showed how important it is to work together: we need one another in order to continue finding responses for today. 
 
Three expressions could serve as a conclusion, or rather as an aim: 
 
Move ahead – In a different way – Ardently 
 
Sister Geneviève Hubert
24/08/2016
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