Consulted for the meaning of the word “jubilee,” the little Larousse tells us: “To express great joy”! Yes, but what joy? That of the kids playing ball in the yard? That of the girls who tell stories of their last judo lesson? or that of the lucky winner of the national lottery?…
Well no, the joy we experienced in the community of Sceaux on Thursday, October 6, 2022, is on another level.
That day, Sr. Agnès Nouyrigat and 4 members of her family; Sr. Rosemarie Bordes (who had already celebrated her jubilee on August 15 in the nursing home where she lives); Father Emmanuel Lengaigne (Provincial Superior of the Missionaries of Africa) and the entire community of Sceaux were gathered to celebrate the jubilee of Agnès (50 years) and Rosemarie (60 years).
Quite naturally, the preparation for this great day was organized around these two themes: joy and thanksgiving.
The first glance on entering was of the decoration of the chapel and the dining room. Sr. Odile, thanks to her gifts in origami, had made foldings of all kinds and all colors. The “50s” and “60s” hanging from the ceiling also gave a festive air.
After a short time of spontaneous meetings and casual conversations in the entrance hall, the most important moment of the day began: the celebration of the Eucharist. Father Lengaigne – White Father – was able to find the words for a beautiful homily, which included the missionary journey of the two Jubilarians, reread in the light of the Gospel.
The hymns of the celebration were both meaningful and catchy (Jubileez, criez de joie) They did not need a microphone to fill the chapel! A little later, a time of silence filled with deep communion among us all. This was followed by the hymn “You make your home in us Lord.” Yes, for joy to burst outside, it must spring from the abundance of the heart.
At the end of the mass, the smiles and bright faces said a lot about the joy that dwelt in everyone. A joy which all were able to share, during the meal that followed.
To begin with, Father Emmanuel acted as waiter to serve the aperitif. A service that he fulfilled very well!
As for the meal, it was prepared with skill by our cook Frédéric, who outdid himself by making a magnificent cake himself.
The clock was ticking, and the time for gifts arrived. It was then that two people working with us – Antonio (bursar) and Martine (health service) – came, each bearing a bouquet of roses for the two jubilarians! This spontaneous sign of friendship warmed our hearts, because this gesture shows so well our simple and cordial relations.
When evening came, all those who lived through this day were able to let their hearts rise in a joyful Magnificat, for the beauty of these two jubilees.
Sr. Huguette Regennass