The aim was to create an association of Christian women whose ‘faith would equip to be servants of the Lord for any work He might entrust them with’.
‘Internal regulations’ organised the life of the community. They took into account the utter holiness of God, injustice in the world, the growth of the Church, and dedicated themselves to education, to the protection of ‘repented girls’, and religious support to everyone.
Some Protestant Churches did not take kindly to he foundation of the Community of Deaconesses. The notion of vows of poverty, obedience, celibacy, and the life-commitment of the women, of their lives and their property, did not seem compatible with the unconditional freedom of the believer in the eyes of God.
But for the deaconesses’ choice of monastic and community life asserts that baptism is the only and sufficient seal of God’s forgiveness, and of His saving grace.
The community of the deaconesses of Reuilly grew quickly from about thirty sisters in the late 19th century, to over a hundred in the early 21st century spreading to 15 communities in Europe, Africa and Polynesia.
In 1970 the need for different places proved necessary, one for hospital care, and one for a life of silence and meditation. So most members of the community moved to Versailles where the mother house was established and then the hospital “Claire Demeure” built nearby.
The house on the rue de Reuilly was substantially enlarged, and is now a hospital, the hospital of the Deaconesses to which a nursing school was added.
In the contiguous street to the rue de Reuilly, at 43 rue du Sergent Bauchat is the Protestant nursing home La Muette, now run by the deaconesses.
The Foundation Deaconesses of Reuilly includes three sections, health-care establishments, medico-social and training in which the deaconesses participate. Their motto is ‘Let us Accompany Life’.
The Deaconess House of Reuilly
95 Rue de Reuilly, 75012 Paris, France