From Aubonne in Switzerland

Little sister Maria Hedwig who is Austrian, writes from her community in Aubonne near Geneva:

I have been living in Aubonne since 1984 I came here to be part of a community centred on sharing the message of the Infant Jesus’s birth in Bethlehem.

For Little sister Magdeleine, our foundress, Bethlehem and Nazareth were the key mysteries that she wanted the Little sisters to express in their lives.

In Aubonne we have a pottery workshop where we make cribs and models of the infant Jesus and statues of Our lady giving her baby to the world.

Working togetherWorking together

There has also been the tradition in Aubonne to share this message through music and song especially around Christmas time. Until 1993 I travelled each year to different countries with a group of Little sisters and we sang and played music using pipes and simple instruments to share this wonderful message. During the rest of the year we worked in the workshop.

Then I became severely handicapped with polyarthritis and I thought that I would never be able to work again. But Jesus at Bethleem was completely helpless and dependent and yet brought many changes in people’s hearts.

Help at hand!Help at hand!

Relying on the deep truth of this message, I put all my faith in the mystery of Christmas, and the impossible became possible: I never stopped working on the little statues of Baby Jesus. Other Little sisters help me prepare the clay and I can do the fine, delicate work.

There is a lot to do in the community: to look after the house and the garden, visit neighbours and welcome visitors. Praying and working with other churches is also high in our priorities and taking part in ecumenical events. We are also actively involved in our parish Fortunately we are several in community and each one does what she can.

We are greatly helped in living unity here by the strength we draw from the spirituality of Bethlehem and the Incarnation. All this fills me with great joy.

Many people write or phone saying how they are helped by the smile of the Infant Jesus, revealing God’s tenderness to them. It gives me a lot of courage to carry on despite tremendous physical obstacles.

Nothing is impossible to God. This becomes true if I rely on Jesus alone and hand over to him all my worries and fears which he carries for me, and He really does! 

‘Come to me all you who suffer and I shall relieve you, take on my yoke and learn from me for I am meek and humble of heart’,