Associates of The Daughters of the Holy Spirit (DHS)
The congregation of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit was founded in Brittany, France, in 1706. Marie Balavenne and Renee Burel, two ordinary women sensitive to the distress of the poor, formed together with Jean Leuduger, a priest of the Breton missions, the first small community of what was to become the Congregation of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit.
The DHS Sisters first arrived in England and Wales in 1902, and in Bedford in 1904, as a result of religious persecution in France, when many Congregations of Religious Sisters were forced to flee to other parts of Europe and North America. From humble beginnings and despite times of difficulty and persecution, the congregation is now present in Europe, North America and Africa.
For over a hundred years, the DHS mission in Bedford has been nursing, social work, in parishes, in catechetics and education. The Sisters taught at the Convent School, Bromham Road, later St. Bede’s, Priory Street, St. Joseph’s, St. Gregory’s and St. John Rigby.
In 1994, Sr Anne Morris invited parishioners of Holy Cross to become Associates of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit. Currently there are twenty Associates in the Bedford group from Holy Cross and beyond. The Associates belong to an international group who share the spirituality of the DHS Sisters in their daily lives. There are eleven groups in the EIW province.
In Bedford, the Associates gather to pray and reflect together on the first or second Wednesday evening of the month. In a homely and beautiful hour or so, Lectio Divina, encyclicals, poetry, literature, art, creation or our own lived experience is used to reflect on way the Holy Spirit is working in our lives: with our families, parish work and within our wider community roles. We become more attentive to the Holy Spirit and act, often as small gestures without apparent significance. For Associates unable to join the meetings, prayerful reflections are sent so that it becomes an inclusive group for the elderly or those who have to attend to illness in their family. The national group gathers annually and we remain in regular contact with the Sisters.
Daughters of the Holy Spirit Family website: www.fillesstesprit.org
For further information you are warmly invited to contact the Associates of the DHS via the Contact Form.