Caring for the Elderly - Inspired by our Faith
The sharing of the charism of religious Institutes with the laity opens today “a new chapter, rich in hope, in the history of relations between consecrated persons and the laity,” wrote Pope John Paul II in 1996.
Approved by the Church on September 5, 1998, the Association Jeanne Jugan follows this path of newness and hope.
If collaboration between the Little Sisters and the laity has existed from the origins of the Congregation, its realization in this form marks a new step in their relations.
The Association offers to lay men and women the opportunity of sharing in the spiritual riches of the Little Sisters of the Poor, of participating in their apostolic mission of hospitality to the aged poor, and of helping to spread the charism of Jeanne Jugan in the milieus where they live and work.
Jeanne Jugan envisioned hospitality as a humble fraternal service uniting in one family the Little Sisters, the elderly and lay collaborators who wish to serve Jesus Christ in the person of their elderly brothers and sisters.
The Association is a contemporary response to this prophetic vision of Jeanne Jugan.
The members of the Association share in the spirit and charism of Jeanne Jugan, which is that of the Beatitudes: a spirit of gentleness and humility, lived in joyful and selfless service to the elderly, in whom they recognize the person of Jesus Christ.
Animated by this same spirit, they wish to contribute to the Little Sisters’ apostolate of welcoming the elderly and making them happy, as in a large family, of accompanying the spiritually while respecting their individual beliefs, and of caring for them until the end of their lives.
Each member of the Association is called to develop personally the spiritual attitudes which Jeanne Jugan lived:
- lively faith and confidence in Divine Providence;
- a personal love for Christ, recognized in the aged poor;
- self-forgetfulness, joy and a spirit of praise.
Association Jeanne Jugan members participate in the apostolic mission confided by the Church to the Little Sisters of the Poor, that of hospitality to the aged poor. Each member offers the type of commitment and collaboration to which he/she feels called, according to his/her abilities, interests and family and professional obligations.
The Association Jeanne Jugan is open to Catholic men and women of at least eighteen years of age who wish to give greater vitality to their Christian faith and to participate in the apostolic mission of the Little Sisters of the Poor.
Following an introductory period and a time of initial formation, membership in the Association is sealed by an annual promise.