Saturday, October 31, 2009

French Convent accepts sisters with Down syndrome

The following is a rough translation of a beautiful article on a French Benedictine community which embraces vocations from women with Down syndrome. The quote from the Mother Superior is something that I have often thought; our children cannot sin, no wonder they have such an amazing connection with God. Why shouldn't they be religious?
We have a lot to learn from them.

"The possibility that a person with disabilities can join of a community depends on the requirements of each: “The important thing is that this incapacity does not constitute an obstacle or insurmountable difficulty to be able to live the mission of the congregation, order or institute. It is not a type of discrimination, but rather of an act of charity towards these people, because it can be very frustrating them not to be able to realise their vocation, they explain from the Web http://www.vocació

But for the Disciples of the Lamb, this impediment does not exist. Founded in 1985, its vocation is especially contemplative, born in the Rule of San Benedict and the way of the Spiritual Childhood of Saint Therese of the Infant Jesus, and offers to the young people with Down syndrome the possibility of realizing her religious vocation, accompanied by other “valid” Sisters of the community.
For God there are no obstacles
“Although in the scope of the spiritual, the terms of “validity” and “incapacity” must be relativized”, affirms Sister Line, superior of the community. “The most serious incapacity perhaps is not the one produced by sin, that prevents the life of God in the soul? ”, she asks. “A person who welcomes the grace of God totally builds and opens her humanity”, she asserts.
The daily life consists of “prayer and labor” under the Benedictine Rule: they participate in the Mass, they pray and they do tasks of sewing, embroidery, confectioner's, etc. The community is assisted by the Fontgombault Benedictine monastery. Today, the community consists of ten sisters under the same under the same roof, all equally happy.

Translated from the Spanish website Religion y
The image is a madonna and child where Jesus is depicted as having Down syndrome by Andrea Mantenga an Italian artist with a son who had Ds for a patron whose son had Ds as well.

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Anne said...

What a great story! It's true, with God there are no obstacles and knowing this fact gives me so much hope! We can be anything God calls us to be!

il laboratorio said...

I am very interested in the statement that Andrea Mantegna had a son with DS (and possibly also about his patron: I don't actually know who his patron was). I was speculating on my own about this possibility, while looking at other paintings of the artist (the Berlin Madonna and Child, the Bergamo, Accademia Carrara Madonna; even the San Zeno trypthic), but I never found any historical mention of this fact. Can you please tell me something more or address me to a source?

Thank you very much,

Katherine T. Lauer said...

Thank you so much for sharing this information! This is wonderful to know. I hope this will help mothers with a prenatal diagnosis of DS to understand that their babies really can have full, God-given lives, if only they are given the chance.

Leticia said...

Cecila, here is a link

to the story in the New Atlantis where I found information about Mantegna's patron the Gonzaga family of Mantua. Are you at an art institute in Firenze? How exciting that this conversation is taking place here on my blog!

I spent a wonderful two weeks in Firenze, enjoying the splendor of Italian Rennaissance art. I could live in the Ufizzi Gallery!
Let me know if you learn more about Andrea Mantegna, in fact, write me a post, and I'll post it here. Va bene?