Part 4: 1963 - 2009
This fourth part will allow us to re-visit the most recent past of the life story of our Congregation --- the years 1963 to 2009.
Some lines of the song composed by a Benedictine monk, Gregory Norbet would probably be the closest image of the events that comprised this period...
‘journey’s ended, journey’s begun
to go where we have never been,
to go beyond our past...`
Cenacles were founded but at the same time closures of Cenacles were inevitable. The Special General Chapter that took place within this period was apparently, a moment of soul-searching of the ways to keep abreast with the challenges of Renewal ‘Aggiornamento’ called forth by the Second Vatican Council. The nature of the General Chapters hereafter, perhaps could be capsulized in the Decree issued by the Sacred Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes on June 2, 1983. Some excerpts:
‘With St. Peter Julian Eymard as their teacher and founder, they strive to unite contemplation and apostolic action to activities which are always inspired by the Eucharist and directed toward this Mystery of Faith.’
We continue to behold the goodness of God in the life of the Congregation, as this last episode of our story will end at least for the moment, with the celebration of the 150 years anniversary of Foundation.
Now, we revisit our most recent past...
--- 1963-1970 ---
In Angers, France the Cenacle at 14 Hospital St. was transferred to Chalonne, S/Loire on May 8, 1963.
The remains of Mother Marguerite was exhumed and transferred to the garden of the community in Chalonne on the 17th of May, 1963.
In Sherbrooke, Canada, the consecration of the chapel by Msgr. Cabana took place on June 15, 1963.
On September 18, 1963 Pope Paul VI proclaimed the Blessed Virgin Mary, OUR LADY OF THE MOST BLESSED SACRAMENT, Patronness of the two Congregations – Congregation of the Blesssed Sacrament and the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament.
The Eucharistic fire continued to spread on the American soil. The Bishop of Gary, Indiana, USA, Bishop Andrew Grutka, invited the Sisters to make a foundation in his diocese. This invitation was considered providential since, Gary is located approximately midway between Waterville, Maine and Pueblo, Colorado. A midway had been desired. On January 24, 1964 a foundation was made, named the Cenacle of the Sacred Heart at 718 Lincoln St., Gary Indiana, USA.
In the third part of our story, we used the term ‘multiplication of the loaves’ to describe the pattern of making foundations in Europe, Canada and Brazil – where young women would leave their country of origin to join the Congregation. After years of formation they would return together with some sisters of another nationality to make a foundation. This dynamics had also emerged in Southeast Asia, specifically in the Philippines.
The Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, the American Fathers and Brothers had ignited the Eucharistic fire in Manila, Philippines on August 15, 1957. The Eucharistic fire had drawn young Filipino women, under the direction of the SSS Fathers for the life of a Servant of the Blessed Sacrament. The SSS Fathers sent these young women, though not at the same time to Melbourne, Australia for their religious formation.
After some years of formation, and upon the invitation of Cardinal Santos whose niece, was one of these young women, Sr. Mary Leonard, the superior of the community, together with eight Filipina sisters left Melbourne to make a foundation in the Philippines.
On May 26, 1964, the Marguerite Cenacle was founded at 15 N. Domingo, Quezon City, Philippines.
In Europe, particularly in Italy, the Cenacle at Sant Amico was transferred to Palestrana on August 1st, 1965.
In the Philippines on December 25,1965 the Cenacle of Marguerite at N. Domingo, Quezon City, Philippines was transferred to another city, Manila at 2215 Herran St.
On August 6, 1966, The Pope issued the ‘Motu Proprio’: ‘Ecclesia Sanctae‘ for the implementation of theConciliar Decrees. The Religous Institutes must ‘promote spiritual renewal... and to carry out an appropriate renewal of life and discipline.’
In the United States, the Cenacle at Gary, upon the request of the Bishop transferred to 5927 Columbia Avenue, Hammond, Indiana. A former nursing home belonging to the diocese was put at their disposal. The house was large and the sisters occupied only one wing of the vast structure. The transfer took place on November 7, 1966.
In Italy, the Cenacle at Palestrina was closed the same day, November 7, 1966. The Servants stayed in a religious community where they had received spiritual formation until June 6, 1967.
We call to mind that during the General Chapter of 1962 held in Paris, one of the decisions taken was to transfer the Generalate from Paris to Morlupo, Italy. Morlupo was a small village 30 km north from the city of Rome. One of the general council members, Sr. Francisca Maria was sent to Morlupo to oversee the transfer. The transfer eventually took place on June 6, 1967, this date also marked the foundation of the Cenacle of the Holy Spirit in Morlupo. The community that comprised this foundation were the members of the General council and the local Italian community. For some time, Morlupo was also an international house of formation.
In Canada, one of the Cenacles in the Province of St. Anne, the Cenacle Marie Etoile de la Mer at St. Peter’s St., Bathurst was closed sometime during the year 1967.
In Brazil, the Cenacle of the Immaculate Conception at Conturno Avenue, Belo Horizonte moved to a new place at 553 de Março St. The transfer took place on January 8, 1968.
In the Philippines, the Sisters had a vigorous fund-raising campaign to acquire a piece of land where they could build a convent of their own. After much effort, the Cenacle of Mother Marguerite eventually transferred to Novaliches, a suburb in Quezon City on July 16, 1968.
In the United States on August 15, 1968, the Cenacle in Hammond, Indiana was definitively closed. The house was returned to the use of the diocese. The Sisters’ hope had been to construct their own convent on property given to them by the bishop, but they were unable to obtain the necessary financing and a decrease in new entrees to religious life had become noticeable. They returned to the Cenacle in Waterville, leaving behind countless numbers of dear and faithful friends.
In 1969, several Italian sisters from Morlupo went to establish a new foundation in Genoa, Italy in the parish of the Oblate Fathers of the Blessed Sacrament. The foundation took place on January 31, 1969 at Via Farini I Genoa/Sampierdarena. The sisters occupied the two upper floors in the building belonging to the Fathers. The Sisters were involved in the daily adoration and in the catechetical program of the parish, for their ministry.
The 27th Special General Chapter called ‘Chapitre d’Aggiornamento’ had two sessions. The first session took place on October 10, 1969 to February 16, 1970.
The first session was devoted to the study of the Constitutions. A draft of a new text was presented according to the ‘Motu proprio’: ’Ecclesia Sanctae'. During the first session, Sr. Francisca Maria Cavalcanti, a Brazilian was elected superior general for six years.
There were 31 capitulars present for this first session of the Special General Chapter. Principal decision taken: - to sell the house of Morlupo. During the course of the Special General Chapter, in the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, Fr. Harrie Verhoeven, sss was elected Superior General on October 21, 1969.
In Italy, shortly after settling into Genoa/Sampierdarena, the Italian sisters opened another house in the area, this time as an experiment, in the center of the city, Genoa at the parish of Saint Thomas. This foundation took place on May 10, 1970.
--- 1971-1980 ---
In Brazil, a foundation was made in Apucarana on January 3, 1971 named Our Lady Mother of the Church.
On August 31, 1971 the Cenacle Notre Dame de la Providence at Gloria St, Sao Paolo transferred to 545 Divinopolis
During this year, 1971, in Italy, one of the three founding sisters of the house of the center-city in Genoa died, another was transferred and the third persevered but eventually became critically ill. It was decided to end the experiment, thus the house of the center city Genoa was closed.
In Morlupo, Rome, the Second Session of the 27th Special General Chapter ‘Chapitre d’Aggiornamento’ took place on September 29 to Novembre 23, 1971. In this second Session, the capitulars made the first redaction of the Constitutions ‘ad experimentum’ in two booklets: RULE OF LIFE and GENERAL STATUTES.
The Eucharistic fire continued to spread in Holland, with the Dutch sisters from Kerkrade making a foundation in Enschede, in the northeastern part of the country near the German border. The foundation took place on May 27, 1972. The sisters were involved in catechetical ministry at an ecumenical center. Then, became noted for their catechetical proficiency and were asked to produce a manual to help other groups get started.
In 1973 four regions were created. Holland and Italy were detached from France, also Australia and the Philippines were detached from Canada.
The Eucharistic fire continued to spread in Canada as well as in Brazil. In Canada with the foundation in Matane in 1974. In Braganca, Paulista, Brazil on November 27, 1974 named Holy Family Cenacle.
A group of Vietnamese women who had formed a Pious Association under the direction of Fr. Michel, a diocesan priest, manifested an interest in our spirituality, after learning about us from the Blessed Sacrament Fathers. The possibility of taking on this group was studied by Sr. Francisca Maria and her council, but subsequent political events made further contact impossible. Saigon the capital of South Vietnam, fell in 1975. The rigid communist regime imposed strict limits on any outside contacts.
In Canada, the Cenacle in Matane, transferred to 100 de la Fabric St. on August 28, 1975.
The 28th General Chapter took place on October 10 to November 12, 1975 in Morlupo, Rome. Sr. Francisca Maria was re-elected superior general. There were 23 capitulars in this chapter. This chapter also decided to transfer the generalate to the city of Rome. Also this chapter...
- revised the text of the Rule of Life and the General Statutes ‘ad experiemntum’
- the new redaction would be printed and continue ‘ad experimentum’
In 1976, a year after the 28th General Chapter, the first approval of our Rule of Life was given by the Holy See.
On August 15-30, 1976 the transfer of the generalate to the city of Rome took place. One of the reasons for the transfer was financial. The construction of the house of Morlupo had never been completed and its upkeep was beyond the financial possibilities of the Congregation.
The general council found new space in apartments in central Rome, at via Aurelia 145, minutes away from Vatican City. Some members of the Italian community had been living in Morlupo with the general council. Because of the generalate’s transfer to Rome, another residence was found for them, at 5 Piazza St. Pietro, Carpineto/Romano, the former property of Pope Leo XIII. Thus, a foundation was made on December 24, 1976. Carpineto, a town about an hour’s ride south of Rome and noted principally as the home of Pope Leo XIII.
During this year 1976, the house of Binche founded in 1894 was definitively closed.
The Eucharistic fire continued to spread in the province of St. Anne in Canada. Two foundations were made; (1) on September 22, 1977 at Vanier City in Ottawa and in (2) New Brunswick on December 8, 1977 named the Cenacle of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at Dufferin St, Moncton.
In Brazil, during this year 1977, the Cenacle at 4 n/73 St Apucarana moved to 290 Parnambuco St., on April 17 and the Cenacle at Braganca, Paulista moved to Jundiai on June 9.
The Eucharistic fire in Australia had spread from Melbourne to Sydney. Our sisters in Australia made a foundation in Newtown, an inner city suburb of Sydney on December 8, 1979 at 43 Forbes St. Their ideal was to be a presence among the poor and the oppressed in that area particularly the urban Aborigines. Their apostolate in Sydney revolved around open houses of prayer and hospitality. In Newtown, the sisters organized ’street retreats’ – six people at a time making six day retreat.
In Canada, the Cenacle at Varnier St in Ottawa was transferred to Lyndale St. in May 1980. At the same time, two sisters in Matane were elected to the provincial council and the two remaining sisters were transferred to Ottawa, leading to the closure of the Cenacle of Matane. The same year the Cenacle at Apucarana was also closed.
--- 1981-1990 ---
In the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament Fr. Anthony McSweeney, Australian, was elected superior general on July 9, 1981. It was during his term that the Writings Commission for the study of the founder began.
In Canada, the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cenacle in Moncton, New Brunswick transferred to 359 Lutz on January 5, 1983.
In Rome, on the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament, June 2, 1983, the Holy See granted its Approval of the Rule of Life of the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament.
The Eucharistic fire continued to spread in the Asian continent, this time in Sri Lanka. In 1983, two sisters from the United States were invited to begin a foundation in Colombo, Sri Lanka. This was in response to the insistent invitation of the Blessed Sacrament Fathers. The foundation took place on November 11, 1983. It was designated as a house of formation, at the same time the sisters were to earn their own living, which they did, by raising and selling chickens.
In Brazil, the community of Taubate did not accept the newly approved Rule of Life. This community definitively detached themselves from the Congregation by obtaining the dispensation of the vows of twenty sisters. The Cenacle in Taubate on the part of the Congregation was closed in December 1983, but continues as a diocesan institute The Servants of the Blessed Sacrament of Perpetual Adoration under the leadership of Sr. Marie Eymard TAMM de Lima.
In the United States, St Michael Cenacle in Pueblo, Colorado transferred to 1426 N. Grand Ave. on October 17, 1984.
In Sri Lanka, due to the political situation in the country, and the failing health of one of the founding sisters, the house was closed in January 1985.
In Italy, after staying for three years in Sedriano, the Italian sisters transferred to Vighignolo, in June 1985. The sisters were involved in the parish ministry, especially in the animation of youth groups.
In the Philippines, the Eucharisitc fire from the northern island of Luzon where the Cenacle of Mother Marguerite in Novaliches is situated, had spread to the southern part of the country Mindanao, specifically in Davao City.
In Rome, the 30th General Chapter took place on September 18 to October 9, 1987. Sr. Mary Catherine Perko was elected superior general for six years. There were 22 capitulars in this chapter. This Chapter voted for MODIFICATIONS to the Rule of Life and the Complementary Norms; and INSERTIONS to the Complelementary Norms. This 30th General Chapter came up with Recommandations, sent to all the sisters in the Congregation. Herewith is an excerpt of the content of the Recommandations :
‘This chapter affirms its conviction in the relevance of our eucharistic mission and its place in the Church; it equally affirms the necessity of re-expressing our charism in the world today, faithful to the Word of God, to the Church, to St. Peter Julian Eymard; it highlights the importance of the Eucharist lived in its social dimension.
It recognizes as fundamental values in the Congregation: the Eucharist, community life, according to the gospel values, the prayer of adoration, open to the world, apostolic radiation (influence).
If the congregation is experiencing – a bit everywhere a lack of vocations, a certain weariness, aging, the chapter also perceives and recognizes signs of vitality which are urgent to develop for promoting the future while living in the present. ‘
The Eucharisitc fire kept burning in Sydney, Australia as the sisters left Newtown and made a foundation at Marrickville, a suburb of Sydney on October 10, 1987. Each sister had her own ministry according to her talents. One worked on a catechism for asian ministry and another in religious education.
In Rome, the Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes had approved the MODIFICATIONS to the Rule of Life and the Complementary Norms; INSERTIONS to the Complementary Norms were voted by the General Chapter of 1987, on November 6, 1987.
The Eucharistic fire continued to spread in the United States. This time, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A foundation was made on November 14, 1988 – named the Cenacle of Our Lady of Annunciation at 1818 Coal Place S/E. Albuquerque was designated as the house of initial formation for the American Province. The sisters were inserted into the parish ministry of the Blessed Sacrament Fathers. The sisters also opened up a parish bookstore and shop for religious articles.
In Italy, during the year 1989, transfer and closure of Cenacles took place - the sisters at Carpineto Romano transferred to Cremona on April 22, 1989 and the Cenacle at Vighignolo was closed on the 4th of June, to the disappointment of the youth groups who had become very attached to the sisters.
In France, the Cenacle in Chalonne S/Loire was closed on June 5, 1991.
We recall that in 1974, Sr. Francisca Maria, then superior general and her first assistant Sr. Mary Emmanuel had gone to visit Vietnam to meet a group of 10 Vietnamese women who had formed a Pious Association, and manifested an interest in our spirituality. But it was impossible at that time to begin a dialogue due to government restrictions. It was only in 1989 and early 1990s that possibility to begin a dialogue with the group took place. Little by little, after this, the Vietnamese sisters, now 100, were incorporated into our Congregation. Eventually the Eucharistic fire became a blaze when they were accepted into our Congregation. Thus, the foundation took place on March 31, 1993 with the opening of the novitiate.
In the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, Fr. Norman Pelletier was elected superior general on May 23,1993. It was during his term of office that the feast of St. Peter Julian was incorporated in the Universal Calendar of the Church.
In Rome, the 31st General Chapter was held on October 4-22, 1993. Sr Mary Catherine Perko, on October 20, was re-elected superior general. There were 21 capitulars for this chapter. The chapter made MODIFICATIONS to THE RULE OF LIFE AND THE COMPLIMENTARY NORMS. A Resumé of the 31st General Chapter was sent to all the Sisters in the Congregation. It included Message, Objectives, Recommendations and Clarificiation. Objectives and Clarification are highlighted.
I. Further and update our understanding of St. Peter Julian’s spirituality.
II. Integrate the various elements of our life.
III. Strengthen the bonds with the laity.
CLARIFICATION ABOUT OUR IDENTITY
In the context of an integral vision of our life and spirituality expressed in the Rule of Life, we want to re-affirm that we are an Institute of eucharistic contemplative life, which by its nature, unites prayer-adoration, and apostolic action (love).
Gathered in Chapter, we wish to re-assure all the members of the Congregation, and invite them to consider the true spirit of Canon Law which urges Institutes to remain faithful to themselves and maintain their true charism.
The approval of our Rule of Life by the Magisterium of the Church, enables us to believe in the originality of our own identity and to live it confidently, without limiting ourselves by juridical categories.
Let us channel our energies toward the unity of a common vision, trusting in the intuition of our Founder from which is born our life of adoration which is contemplative and apostolic. Our life is rooted in the priestly prayer of Jesus who, on the night before he died, prayed as follows:
‘Father, I glorified You on earth,
I completed the task you ave me to do.’ Jn 17 : 4
Let us like Mary, be women who harmonize contemplation and action in their deepest self, let us be witnesses of the Risen Christ who gives himself in the Eucharist and let us become ‘eucharist’ for the world today.
During this chapter Vietnam was officially incorporated into our Congregation, to eventually become one-third of its membership. The official date of the incorporation of the pious group of women in the different communities of Vietnam: Binh Da, Binh Hai, Xom Moi Chu Hai, Kim Thuong, Tan Cang, Tan Binh Hien Hoa took place on March 31, 1993.
As a consequence of this incorporation, it was essential that our Vietnamese sisters will have a solid knowledege of our spirituality. Sr. Catherine Marie Caron was tasked by the general council to give sessionson our spirituality.
Again for the formation of our Vietnamese sisters, before each perpetual profession ceremony, Sr Edith Bula from the Philippines was sent to help prepare the future professed sisters for this event. These sessions on formation took place during the term of office of Sr. Mary Catherine Perko.
In 1993, the Biography of Mother Marguerite by Fr. H. Evers was revised and summarized by Sr. Janine Bourque and made available to all the sisters in the Congregation. It was translated into all languages.
The Eucharistic fire continued to spread in Brazil with a foundation at 240 Victoria St., Uberaba on Febraury 11, 1994.
During the year, 1994, Sr. Janine Bourque prepared a Manual for the Aggregation. It was carefully studied by the general council for the use of the lay Associates in the Congregation.
In Rome, during the year 1994, the General Council made available to all the sisters in the Congregation a booklet entitled - chronologie de la Vie de Mère Marguerite et de la Congrégation.
The ‘Life and Letters of St. Peter Julian Eymard’ translated and arranged chronologically by Sr. Catherine Marie Caron, sss was printed in December 1995. From then on it has been available to all Blessed Sacrament religious, priests, brothers and sisters. It has also been sold to the public.
In Italy, the Cenacle at Via Farina 1 Genoa/Sampier was closed in May 1994. But this did not extinguished the Eucharistic fire on this Italian soil. Instead it kept burning with the foundation made in Senegallia on June 12, 1994. Senigallia was the birthplace and family home of Pope Pius IX. The sisters occupied the renovated upper floor of this family home – the home of Mastai-Ferreti family. The bishop’s hope had been that soon Pius IX would be canonized, and the sisters could be guides for any visitors who might come to see the house or to visit the library containing the materials from the time of Pius IX.
The hope was dashed when for political reasons, the canonization did not take place. The sisters were also given the responsibility of caring for a small adoration chapel located about a two- minute walk from their residence. This chapel is very precious to the local population and is much frequented.
A great tragedy for our Congregation occurred on January 26, 1996, when two of our American sisters were killed and two were severely wounded in the Cenacle of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Waterville, Maine. Off his medications, a mentally dysfunctional young man entered into the house through the kitchen door went up to the chapel and violently attacked the sisters.
In, USA, the Cenacle of St. Michael in Pueblo, Colorado moved to a new location at 311 East, Mesa Avenue. On the other hand, due to the tragedy in the Cenacle at Waterville, and with the resulting need for personnel, the sisters left the house of Albuquerque which was then closed in May 1996. After a closureof one house another journey of community life began in another part of the Congregation.
In the Philippines, the sisters were invited by the Blessed Sacrament Fathers to make a foundation at Sta Cruz Church, the parish they administered, in the city of Manila. The foundation took place on May 25, 1996. Though in the status of ‘ad experimentum’, it was a valiant effort to live with the poor as poor. The sisters had a small apartment in an inner city Manila area and worked at the nearby Sta. Cruz Church in various parish ministries.
The joy of Easter dawns, in the Congregation through the inscription of the feast of Fr. Eymard in the Universal Calendar of the Church on August 2, 1996. This joy was shared with our brothers in the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, the Servitium Christi and all lay associates of the Eymardian family.
In Canada the Cenacle of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Moncton was closed on January 31, 1997. After a year, the Cenacle of Our Lady of the Assumption in St. Jean-sur- Richelieu, Quebec was also closed on December 31, 1998.
Some sisters have felt that we needed a history of the Congregation, a list of events that occurred since the foundation especially after the death of Mother Marguerite. Sr Janine Bourque had worked on this project and had completed it up to the term of office of Sr. Berthe. It was made available to the sisters in the Congregation in August 1999.
During the two terms of office of Sr Mary Catherine the work on the founder which had started during the term of office of Sr. Valentine Bouchard had continued, when Sr. Valentine Bouchard herself and Sr. Suzanne Aylwin, were named to the Writing Commission organized by the SSS Fathers.
In the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament Fr. Fiorenzo Salvi, Italian, was elected superior general on May 21, 1999. During his term of office the work on the writings of Fr. Eymard was intensified.
In Rome, the 32nd General Chapter was held on September 27 to October 16, 1999. Sr. Catherine Marie Caron was elected Superior general. This Chapter had 20 capitulars. Some of the decisions taken :
1. This chapter mandated the general administration to undertake the nessary studies to come up with an overall plan for the Congregation including :
- Prospective study of human resources and finances of the Congregation,
- The desired re-structuration of the provinces and regions
- Exploration and proposition of a different manner of functioning for the general council
2. This chapter proposed that the general council make use of the specific skills of the sisters
- for animations and formation in the Congregation
- for study and workcommissions on specific questions
In the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament Fr. Fiorenzo Salvi, Italian, was elected superior general on May 21, 1999. During his term of office the work on the writings of Fr. Eymard was intensified.
In Brazil, the Cenacle at 240 Victoria St., Uberaba was closed during this year, 1999.
In Vietnam, before the incorporation to our Congregation took place there were already eight communities: Binh Da, Binh Hai, Xom Moi, Chu Hai, Kim Thuong, Tan Cang, Tan Binh Hien Hoa. Since their acceptance to the Congregation, the Eucharistic fire had started to spread through the ‘ad experimentum’ status of the Cenacle at Bon Me Thuat in 1999 and at Gialai (Kontum) in 2000.
In Holland, the community transferred from Enschede to 15 Ripperdastraat, Nimiguen on October 24, 2000.
In Paris, in June 2000 the Centenary of the Chapel of our sisters at Cortambert St. was celebrated. The celebration of Thanksgiving took place on October 15, 2000.
After the foundation of Kitega, Africa was closed in 1962, another attempt was made to begin a foundation in Africa during the term of office of Sr. Mary Catherine Perko. Some members of her council went to visit Africa in search of a likely spot for a foundation – Brazzaville (Congo), Maputo(Mozambique) and Kampala (Uganda).
The Blessed Sacrament Fathers and Brothers were present in all of these areas and were most encouraging everywhere. Finally, Maputo seemed to offer the most advantage principally because the SSS Fathers had already undertaken the formation of a number of young women who later became candidates and some rented property was available near the Fathers. These candidares from Maputo were sent to Brazil for their intial formation. A foundation was finally made during the term of office of Sr. Catherine Marie Caron on December 16, 2000, named Cenacle of Our Lady, Mother of Africa.
--- 2001-2009 ---
As many obstacles arose simultaneously in Maputo, Mozambique, the 3 candidates returned from Brazil and left the Congregation, the foundation was terminated in February 2002.
In the Philippines, the ad experimentum at Sta. Cruz, Manila was eventually closed on May 9, 2003
In Italy, after several years, the Cenacle at Senegallia was closed on May 9, 2003
In Holland, the Cenacle at 15 Ripperdastraat transferred to Langestraat, 512003, Enschede on November 11, 2003.
During the year, 2003, the Cenacle of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, in Chicoutimi, Canada celebrated their 100 years of foundation.
Also during 2003, the French text of the selected writings of Fr. Eymard « Cahiers de Formation Eymardienne » prepared by Sr. Catherine Marie Caron was made available to all the sisters in the Congregation. Two years later, in 2005 the English text was printed « Selected Conferences for Eymardian Formation.
The Eucharistic fire on the African soil was not completely extinguished despite the closure of two foundations. Perhaps, those attempts might have been the prelude to the foundation made in Pointe Noire, Congo on May 13, 2005 named Cenacle of Our Lady of Africa. The Eucharistic Presence of the Servants is taking root in Tchiali a sub-division of Point Noire with the convent now built on the property of the Congregation enabling them to welcome those who wish to spend some time with the Lord as stated in our Rule of Life No. 6: ‘Our Cenacles are centers of intense eucharistic life where all may come and draw from the dynamic source, the Eucharist...‘
In the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, Fr. Fiorenzo Salvi, sss was re-elected Superior General on June 7, 2005
In France, the Cenacle at 5 Cleberg Lyons was closed on July 4, 2005.
In Rome, the 33rd General Chapter took place on September 8 to 23, 2005. On the 17th Sr. Catherine Marie Caron was re-elected superior general. This chapter was composed of 20 capitulars. The theme of this Chapter was: With Mary in the Cenacle. Some of the decisions taken :
-creation of two new provinces: Philippines and Vietnam
- approbation of the decision made by the USA Province to become a Region
- that the Generalate be transferred to Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
- the General Chapter accept the date July 31, 1859, as the date of the foundation of the Congregation of the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament
In Brazil, the Cenacle, Notre Dame d’Aparecida in Curitiba was closed on December 30, 2005.
In Sydney, Australia, the sisters at Marrrickville transferred to Princes Highway, Kirawee, Sydney on December 1, 2006.
In line with restructuration in the Congregation, during the term of office a European Union. During the year 2006, the Congregation of the Religious of the Blessed Sacrament Sacrament celebrated their 150 years anniversary of foundation.
On October 6, 2005, the transfer of the Generalatefrom Rome to Sherbrooke, Canada was realized.
During the year 2008, Les Œuvre Completes, a 17-volume publication by the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament of the writings and preachings of Fr. Eymard was made available not only for the religious of both Congregations founded by Fr. Eymard but to the universal Church.
In 2007, Sr. Catherine Marie and her council organized the History committee as a response to the request of some sisters for a better understanding of Mother Marguerite, the letters she wrote and received as well as to get acquainted with the testimonies about her holiness given by the sisters and those who knew her in her lifetime and also to respond to the need of the formators and the young sisters for a better understanding of the History of the Congregation and the Constitution.
On July 31, 2009, the Congregation celebrated its 150 years of foundation.
In imitation of the 25th anniversary of the Congregation organized by Mother Marguerite. It was celebrated as a Jubilee Year of grace - beginning with a meeting for formators in May 2008 and closing is the Amplified General Council Meeting in July 2009. The highlight of the year-long celebration was the renewal of the vows of all the sisters throughout the Congregation on this special day.
With the celebration of the 150th years of foundation of our Congregation, the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, our story has come to an end for the moment........
In retrospect, our story begun from birth to death of Fr. Eymard and Mother Marguerite. They left us à legacy – deep devotion and a burning love for the Eucharist. Fr. Eymard used fire to describe the Eucharist: ‘I want to set fire to the four corners of the world.’ His dream had come true.
Our sisters who have gone ahead of us in the journey towards the Good God, had preserved and kept the Eucharistic fire burning through their holy perseverance and fidelity to their eucharistic vocation.
For us, who are still journeying, we continue to gather firewood to keep the Eucharistic fire burning through the different General Chapters that have been taken place up to where we are right now.
One hundred fifty years of journey has ended, another journey begun. Just as the celebration of the Eucharist is never ended, so does the Story of our Congregation, our story......
We end this fourth part with some lines taken from the excerpts of the last council meeting presided by Mother Marguerite, who was then dying at that moment :
......’Yes, my children, I promise you, my spirit will rest on each one of you and if I have any power in heaven you will feel my protection in a tangible way. Act only for God alone, do nothing to attract the esteem and affection of creatures for your own personal satisfaction. Find the greater glory of God in everything, the good of the Congregation and the sanctification of soul.....’Try to put them into practice, and then you will be blessed by God and our holy Founder.’
• A Brief History of the Constitutions and the Rule of Life : Researched and Summary, Sr. Valentine Bouchard, sss and Sr. Catherine Marie Caron, sss.
• Avec Vous no. 75, Bulletin de L’Équipe Générale de la Congrégation des Servantes du Très Saint Sacrement. Octobre 2002, Rome.
• Chronologie de la Vie de Mère Marguerite et de la Congrégation du Saint Sacrement : Conseil Général de la Congrégation des Servantes du St. Sacrement, Rome.
• Compte-rendu de l’Administration Générale par Sr. Valentine Bouchard,sss
• Congrégation des Servantes du Très Saint Sacrement - Dates Importantes dans son Histoire (une Liste)
• Dossiers des Chapitres Généraux de 1971 -1993, Archives Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, Generalate, Sherbrooke, Canada
• General Text for Powerpoint - The Story of the Congregation Part 4 : Sr. Mary Catherine Perko, sss, Cenacle of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Waterville, Maine, USA
• Glory and Praise Vol.III : North American Liturgy Resources, 1982, Phoenix, Arizona
• Liste des Fondations: Servantes du Très Saint Sacrement, mars 2006, Via Aurelia, 145 C-2, Rome.
• Minutes of the 32nd General Chapter 2005, Via Paolo III, Roma, Italia
• Repertorium 2011 Volume I: Curie Général SSS, Rome : June 2011
• Rapport pour le Chapitre Général 1999 –Sr. Mary Catherine Perko, sss
• Rapport de la Supérieure Générale 2005 –Sr. Catherine Marie Caron, sss
• Report of the Superior General 2011 –Sr. Catherine Marie Caron, sss
• Rule of Life of the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament: 1983
• Servants of the Blessed Sacrament; Eucharistic Communities 1950-1990: Mary Wilson, Australia
For the 150th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, 1859-2009, Generalate, Sherbooke, Canada, December 2011