When speaking about the Year for Consecrated Life, Pope Francis stated: “Wherever consecrated persons are, there must always be joy.” That might seem like a tall order in a world suffering from terrorist threats and wars. In some ways, religious people have an even greater struggle as so many atrocities are carried out in the name of religion. It is easy to understand why people lose faith in those who have faith. Of course, not only priests and religious are called to ‘holiness of life’, but all men and women of good will are called to live out their Baptismal consecration by proclaiming the Gospel values to today’s world. To this end we have close collaborators in the Association Jeanne Jugan.
As Little Sisters of the Poor, we strive to follow the teachings of Our Lord in a special way; that of total self-giving to Christ in his elderly poor, mapped out in our Rule of Life. Our Congregation was founded in 1839 by St Jeanne Jugan, a French woman from Brittany, who renounced everything to care for the destitute elderly. She even went begging in order to provide a home and protection to these desperately poor people.
The charism of St Jeanne Jugan is that of littleness, in the service of the elderly poor. Our Hospitaller communities continue our Apostolate to this day in 31 countries around the world, seeking donations to continue giving care to the neediest in society.
We have fifteen Homes in the UK, Irish Republic and Jersey where Little Sisters work alongside lay staff to protect and care for the elderly and ensure that they are always treated with love, compassion and, especially, respect for life. It is work which is demanding, but very satisfying. And where there is satisfaction, ‘there must always be joy’.
Our newly-updated website tells you more about who we are, the work we do and how you might help maintain joy and comfort in the lives of those who are moving into the autumn and winter of their lives. Do take a look: www.littlesistersofthepoor.co.uk