August 23 – THE DESHAYESIAN CONGREGATIONS
THE DESHAYESIAN CONGREGATIONS
The 150th anniversary of the death of Gabriel Deshayes in 1991 was the occasion for a Deshayesian year that ended on 23 August 1992 at Saint-Gildas-des-Bois in the diocese of Nantes. All that was realised for a year in the form of videos, scenic plays, brochures, and bill boards were gathered together and shown to visitors all through the day and found its climax in a celebration in open air lasting two and a half hours. Among the 3000 persons present at this Eucharist presided over by the bishop of Nantes surrounded by two hundred celebrants were representatives from most of the Congregations which have rapport with Fr. Deshayes. Here are they by category:
- Congregations created by Gabriel Deshayes:
– the Sisters of Christian Instruction founded with a former parishioner from Beignon, Michelle Guillaume, on 8 November 1820. When their Mother House was fixed at Saint-Gildas-des-Bois in the diocese of Nantes, one would get used to calling them as the Sisters of Saint-Gildas. Bishop Angebault, of Nantes, who in fact directed the Congregation, also added to it working Sisters (there is no such distinction today) and coadjutor Brothers.
– the Brothers of Christian Instruction, called Ploermel, founded with Jean-Marie La Mennais. The Act of union between the two founders was signed on 6 June 1819;
– the Agriculture Brothers of Saint Francis of Assisi. Never numerous, they were merged with the Salesians in 1899.
- Congregation restored and governed by G. Deshayes: the Company of Mary, from which the Institute of the Brothers of St Gabriel branched out.
- Congregation governed by G. Deshayes, and not restored (it was not needed):
the Daughters of Wisdom.
- Congregations created by other founders but with the support of Gabriel
– the Sisters of the Guardian Angel, founded by Abbe Ormieres in the south of France, today spread out especially to Spain and Latin America;
– the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Saint-Jacut, founded by Angelique Le Sourd;
– the Sisters of Sainte-Marie, founded by Fr. Charles Foyer at Torfou;
– the Daughters of the Virgin, founded by Fr. Gaillard and whose Mother House is at present at Salvert;
– (to a lesser degree) the Sisters of the Good Pastor of Angers, founded by StMarie- Euphrasie Pelletier. ·
Among all these Institutes – apart from the other two Montfortian Congregations
– the closest to St Gabriel by history, geography and spirit are the Brothers of Ploermel.
Bibliography: Le Vincent de Paul de la Bretagne, coiL La Tradition vivante, 48 p.
Gabriel Deshayes, L’audace de lafoi, Inter?atic nal Montfortian Centre, 1995,426 p.