A common passion : God and the poor

 What surprising stories, during the second half of the 19th century, are those of Etienne Pernet, a countryman from eastern France, and Antoinette Fage, a Parisian worker. Traits they had in common included : a keen search for the will of God, a heart open to the human and spiritual suffering of young people , a love for the worker’ families marked by the ’evils of society’ resulting from industrialisation. The result of the meeting between that man and that woman was the Congragation of the Little sisters of the Assumption. Both were filled with enthusiasm for the Reign of God. Etienne Pernet, who had become a religious with the Ausustinians of the Assumption, sensed that what was needed for the mission in the service of efangelisation among workers’ families was "a woman, a woman religious’. Antoinette, a woman with a living faith, dedicated all her strength and used her qualities of heart, intelligence and organisation to give body to the charism of Etienne Pernet and transmit it to the first Sisters. The two of them, in the way they complemented each other, were attentive to the Spirit so as to respond to the apostolic calls they heard. Today, in the context of the 21st century, inspired by the Gospel and motivated by the urgent need to proclaim the Good News of Christ, the Little Sisters of the Assumption are challenged to live out a creative fidelity to the heritage that has been passed on to them.

Depending on the context of the different countries where they are, they work with others in various actions in the service of working families, of persons who are excluded from society and of immigrants. Their action is marked by a concern for peace, justice and the integrity of creation. There is a strong emphasis on sharing the charism with the laity and on internationality so as to ’refashion a people for God’ beyon frontiers.

Sister Marie-Claude

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