About us

General Concil

From left to right : Jeannine LEGERE (USA), Olga KIENDREBEOGO (Burkina Faso), Ann ALMODOVAR (France), Abiola ADIGBOLUJA (Nigeria) and Anne-Marie LE PABIC (France)

Our spirituality

For us DHS, “There is no mission without adoration, without calling on the Spirit to renew the face of the earth.” Since our beginnings, we consecrate our lives to the least favored of society. Each day we draw the strength to love in this way from the love of the Trinity, and we pray in a special way to the Holy Spirit. To live this on a daily basis, we draw from Trinitarian love, the strength to love, and we pray especially to the Holy Spirit.

We also like to pray to the Virgin Mary. We see her as a woman totally surrendered to the Spirit. We celebrate in a special way the feasts of Pentecost and December 8th, the Immaculate Conception.

We participate in the prayer of the people among whom we live. And with other believers, we try to hear what God is saying to us today through the Scriptures and events. (Rule of Life art. 35) Jesus’ Word in Matthew’s gospel: “Whatever you do to the least of my brothers, you do to me” (Mt. 25:40) speaks to us and stimulates us to be close to all people, especially the most disadvantaged.

Our history

Some important dates

1706. 1706. At the port of Le Légué, in the bay of Saint-Brieuc, in Brittany, France, on December 8th 1706, two women from modest families, Marie Balavenne and Renée Burel, commit themselves to live together to serve God by serving the poor, the sick and the children. They are encouraged and supported by M. Leuduger, a diocesan priest, Director of Missions in Haute Bretagne.

1733. The sisters ask and receive official approval from the diocesan church. They are known as “The Sisters of Charity of Plérin” or “The White Sisters” or “Daughters of the Holy Spirit”. “The Houses of Charity” are established mainly in the countryside parishes.

1789. The French Revolution: religious congregations are suppressed. The 75 Daughters of the Holy Spirit are dispersed, but they keep the charism close to their heart faithfully: “To love and serve Jesus Christ in the person of the poor.” As soon as the storm passes, most of the communities are reconstituted and others are founded throughout Brittany.

In the 19th century. In 19th century society, the Daughters of the Holy Spirit are at the service of the poor in every possible way, especially in times of epidemics: cholera, dysentery, typhus… They adapt to the needs of the times. They live simply among the people and participate in parish prayer.

1901-1905. In 1902 because of the laws of secularization, schools close one after another leading to the departure of sisters to other countries. The Congregation opens beyond Brittany: Belgium, Holland, England, the United States, Canada. This encounter with different cultures changes and enriches the manner in which this service to the poor is carried out by the sisters.

Still in response to the appeals of the Church, the Congregation sends sisters
– in 1936, to Manchuria. They are expelled from there in 1951 by the communist regime.
– in 1954, to North Cameroon
– in 1962, to Chile
– in 1964, to Nigeria1978
– in 1974, to Chad
– in 1979, to Peru
– in 1994, to Burkina-Faso
– in 2004, to Romania

1994. The Congregation of the sisters of Notre Dame de Briouze,in Normandy, merges with the Congregation of the DHS

1987. Commitment of the first Associates in the United States of America. 1996. Official recognition of the Associate Movement, men and women attracted by the spiritual tradition of the Congregation, wanting to deepen the grace of their baptism and to put themselves at the service of the Gospel.

2003. The Congregation of sisters Hospitallers of the Holy Spirit of Poligny merges with the Congregation of the DHS

2003. Founding of the Secular branch of the DHS (consecrated seculars) (consecrated seculars)

Marie Balavenne, Renée Burel & Jean Leuduger

The DHS are a religious congregation founded in 1706 in Britany. The two founders, of modest origins, Marie Balavenne, widow, and Renée Burel were from the port of Légué and the parish of Plérin, near Saint-Brieuc (Côtes-d’Armor) where poverty was glaring at the beginning of the 18th century. century. They undertake to live together simply in this people, for the service of God, of the poor, of the sick, of children. They are encouraged by Father Jean Leuduger, diocesan priest, doctor of theology, director of the Missions of Upper Brittany.

Where we are

Our vocations

Apostolic Religious

Apostolic Religious are women who, having been drawn by Christ, commit themselves by vow to follow him by consecrating their whole life to him in chastity, poverty and obedience.

They live in community with other sisters. Personal and community prayer are at the heart of their daily lives.

Together, in the Church, they want to be attentive to the voice of the Holy Spirit and, with others, they try to put into action the word of Jesus: Whatever you do to the least of my brothers, you do to me (Mt. 25:40).

Through the loving relationship they share, through putting in common, all that they have and all that they are, they try to grow in real solidarity with disadvantaged people and with DHS in all countries.


Lay associates are men and women from all walks of life, of all ages, attracted by the charism of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit. They commit themselves to live this out in their daily life, in their family life, in their work, their leisure, in their various commitments in the Church and/or in society. They have regular meetings and participate in formation meetings, days of recollections, spiritual retreats. The number of associates is increasing in all units of the Congregation. Over the past few years deeper bonds are being woven among them both nationally and internationally.

Consecrated Seculars

Consecrated seculars are single women, rooted in their baptismal consecration, committed by the evangelical vows of celibacy, poverty and obedience in the Secular Branch of the DHS. They live the DHS spirituality according to their proper statutes approved by the Church. They gather in an annual assembly and each one meets regularly with a small group of other DHS consecrated seculars for faith sharing and friendship.

They witness to their consecration through a simple, discrete presence, like yeast in the midst of the world. They remain close in solidarity with those they meet, especially those least favored by society. They are present in the United States, in Chile and in France.

General Chapter 2021

End of Chapter: a very special day

End of Chapter: a very special day

On Sunday morning, 15 August 2021, the Chapter delegates met one last time to confirm the minutes of the deliberations. Just before we met in our Units to plan how we would communicate the chosen Orientations. Sister Ann Almodovar, our new Superior General, expressed...

Elections of women councillors

Elections of women councillors

The General Chapter of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit continued its discernment to elect four General Councillors: Sister Abiola ADIGBOLUJA (Nigeria) Sister Anne-Marie LE PABIC (France) Sister Jeannine LEGERE (USA) Sister Olga KIENDREBEOGO (Burkina Faso). Together...