After Adèle

After Adèle
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by Franca Zonta, FMI

Translated by Joseph Stefanelli, SM

381 pp.

 

Written to fill the historical gap between Adèle’s death and the suppression of Catholic teaching orders in France at the beginning of the twentieth century, Sister Franca develops this history using archival material available in the Archives of the General Administration of the Daughters of Mary.  More than half the book details the founding of the Third Order Secular and the Third Order Regular, their relationship to the Daughters of Mary, their apostolates and the eventual merger in 1921 of the Third Order of Auch with the Daughters of Mary.  The thinking of Father Chaminade and Mother Adèle concerning the Third Order, the vow of enclosure, the vow of stability, the vow of teaching faith as applied to the Third Order is detailed and explored.

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    Toward a Merger

    “Once upon a time there was a Third Order. . . . “

    No doubt there are some now who think of the Third Order in terms of a fairy tale or legend, something which once was but is no longer. They think of it as a reality which once existed but which succumbed little by little to time, and which history snuffed out. This has been the fate of numerous congregations which found themselves on the way to extinction and whose last members joined some other order, more or less similar. The charism of the original group is lost, buried in the past. All that remains is a history and a memory.

    This was not the case for the Third Order of the Daughters of Mary of Auch. Although examining the final years of the Third Order does not properly fit into the time frame of this study, it seems desirable to do so. Having followed its history thus far, it is important to look also at this concluding phase. The Third Order is like a “tributary stream” flowing into and losing itself in the “great river.” It is also important to balance, where necessary, the impression many still have that “Once upon a time. . .

    An Old Dream
    How did the notion arise of a merger between the Daughters of Mary of Ausch and those of Agen? When, and why? These are the first questions to arise, and it may come as a surprise to discover that this was an old idea, a desire having its roots in the heart of Mother Aimée Lacoste. It was not the result of the persecution which broke out early in the 1900s against the teaching orders. This latter event only brought to maturation a dream which had been cultivated for a long time.

    It has already been seen how, as in any good family, little difficulties and inevitable misunderstandings had developed from time to time between the two branches of the Institute. It was becoming more and more evident that the principles regulating the relationship between the two needed to be modified.

    Who would be better situated to give suggestions and appropriate advice than one who, while being in the family, was also not involved in the issue? This person was Good Father Simler, the Superior General of the Society of Mary. He had already played a great role in the rapprochement between his own religious family and the Daughters of Mary. He was the first to dedicate himself seriously to the relationship between the sisters of Agen and those of Auch. . . .

    Having been asked his advice by various parties, Father Simler spent more than a year reading, studying, reflecting, examining the various Constitutions, and questioning and listening to those involved. He gathered information from anyone who was able to provide it. Above all, “We addressed ourselves to the Immaculate Virgin, Our Lady of the Pillar and Mother of Good Counsel, who was the first foundress of all these works and who remains their guardian and directress.”

  • Read the Table of Contents

    Foreword
    Introduction 
     
    1: A Precious Heritage 
     January 10, 1828 
     Mother St. Vincent de Labastide 
     Legal Approbation of the Institute, 1828 
     First General Chapter, 1830 
       
    2: Expansion of the Institute 
    A Backward Glance 
    Colmar/Eguisheim 
    Vesoul 
    Aire 
    Rheinackern, 1828 
    Abbey of Our Lady of Acey, 1830 
    Lons-le-Saunier, 1853 
    Pyumirol, 1850 
    Agen, Collège Saint Caprais, 1850

    3: Relationship with the Society of Mary 
    The Institute of Mary
    Difficulties with Father Chaminade
    Difficulties with Father Caillet

    Renewal of Contact

    4: Toward Definitive Approbation 
    Mother Marie Sophie Baud
    Mother Marie Stanislas Pernier
    Definitive Approbation, 1888

    5: The Third Order Regular (1836) 
    Intentions of the Founders
    Vow of Enclosure
    Third Order Secular
    A Providential Moment
    Why at Auch?
    The Foundress' Wish Realized
    Why "Third Order"?
    Some Characteristics
    Purpose
    Relationship between the Daughters of Mary
    and the Third Order
    Constitutions of 1888

    6: "Central Superiors" of the Third Order
    Mother Léocadie Voirin, 1836-44
    Mother Visitation Souèges, 1844-45
    Mother Thaïs Laborde, 1845-46
    Mother Sainte Claire Brun, 1846-48
    Mother Marie Aimé de Jésus Lacoste, 1848-97
    Mother Marie Félicie Dupuy, 1898-1903
    Mother Marie Louise du Sacré Coeur Guilhempey, 1903-23
    Two Other Superiors

    7: Expansion of the Third Order 
    Foundations of the Third Order of Auch
    Conditions for New Foundation
    Department of Gers
    Auch
    Barran (Gers), 1838
    Castillones (Lot-et-Garonne), 1839
    Cazaubon (Gers), 1839
    Labastide-Savès (Gers), 1839
    Pavie (Gers), 1840
    Montréal (Gers), 1841
    Sarrant (Gers), 1841
    Fleurance (Gers), 1842
    Mas d'Auvignon (Gers), 1843
    Aux-Aussat (Gers), 1843
    Astaffort (Lot-et-Garonne), 1845
    Pergain (Gers), 1845
    Castelmoron (Lot-et-Garonne), 1846
    Cologne (Gers), 1847
    Montesquiou (Gers), 1848
    Castex (Gers), 1850
    Bon-Encontre (Lot-et-Garonne), 1852
    Estang (Gers), 1853
    Beaucaire (Gers), 1855
    Saint-Antonin (Gers), 1855
    Saint-Clar (Gers), 1858
    Plaisance (Gers), 1863
    Legupie (Lot-et-Garonne), 1866
    Auch (Gers)
    Riguepeu (Gers), 1876
    Arreau (Hautes-Pyrénées), 1890
    Goulen (Lot-et-Garonne), 1898
    Spain

    8: Foundations in Corsica 
    Ile-Rousse, 1840
    Olmeto, 1840
    Cervoine, 1847
    Ajaccio, 1852
    Vico, 1857
    Corsica: Daughters of Agen?
    Or Third Order of Auch?

    9: Toward a Merger 
    An Old Dream
    Father Simler's Proposal for Union
    Fears, Hopes, and Concerns
    The Third Order, a Diocesan Institute?
    Final Steps
    Enclosure
    Civil Recognition of the Institute
    Conclusions

    Appendices
    1. Civil Statutes of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary of Agen
    2. Royal Ordinance of March 23, 1828
    3. Decree of February 16, 1856, Authorizing Modifications in Statutes
    4. Decree of November 11, 1865, Authorizing Modifications in Statutes
    5. Modified Statutes of Third Order, 1865
    6. Archbishops of Auch, 1836-1921
    7. Mothers General Daughters of Mary of Agen
    8. Central Superiors Third Order of Auch
    9. Daughters of Mary Who Died at Acey
    10. Prospectus of the School at Ajaccio, 1852
    11. Dedication of New Boarding Department, Ajaccio, 1868
    12. Pontifical Approbations of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary
    Bibliography
    Index