A pilgrimage to Bignan

On the 9th of September 2021, a group of Sisters from the Pierre Noury Community at Kermaria, our Motherhouse in France, went on pilgrimage to nearby Bignan, the place of origin of the Daughters of Jesus.

The project

 

The aim of this outing was to evoke and recall our history through a commented visit of the place. We came to consolidate our roots but also to explore what Bignan represents for us today.

While the project was being developed, some of the Sisters dreamed of taking part in this pilgrimage, but there was the problem of travel. The organizers did everything they could to remove this obstacle.

 

Here we are in Bignan

What joy? Can you believe it?” said Marie Catherine. Yes, here we are in Bignan! The Daughters of Jesus are at home here, it is their place of origin.

The Sisters of the community were there to welcome the pilgrims. It was an emotional moment as the wheelchairs were unloaded from the minibus.

The pilgrimage began with a visit of the house : the founders’ corridor, Mother Marie de Saint Charles’ room with objects that recall our history.

 

A time of prayer

 

We then met in the Chapel for a time of silence and prayer, punctuated by a song which speaks of our foundress:

 

“O Mother Sainte Angèle, servant of the Lord,

you answered ‘yes’ to the project of His heart.

You were sown In the land of Bignan,

the little seed in this place has sprouted.”

This song, recently composed for the community of Sainte Angèle at Kermaria, was taken up by all the pilgrims and followed by a time of interiorisation and prayer.

Then came the prayer to Father Noury, a song composed by the Daughters of Jesus who had gone to Portugal in the footsteps of the exiled founder.

“Father Noury, the exile, whose tears flowed

on foreign soil, far from his beloved Bignan.

Father Noury, the wandering man,

who was wounded by insults,

whom the stone struck, on the paths of Orense”.

Sr Germaine Kervaillant

 

We remembered the suffering endured by Pierre Noury, the situation of displaced people and of those who are persecuted in the name of their faith or their political choices. It is a recurrent subject in history and still relevant today.

 

A time of conviviality

We then went to the dining room where the visitors were expected. All had been prepared before we arrived – the enlargement of the table, the choice of tablecloths, the bouquets of flowers from the garden and above all the baskets filled with small croissants and chocolate rolls. Fruit juice, a hot drink and there you have it, the table was ready to welcome the guests and their companions.

It was a beautiful moment of joy and sharing. We evoked memories of the past and of our history. But there was also time for a song: “C’était du côté de Colpo” (“It was near Colpo”), composed by the Daughters of Jesus to a dance tune. The initiated then danced an EN DRO while the others sang along. It was a great ambiance!

 

Acknowledgements

Extracts from the community guestbook give us some impressions of the visit:

Thank you for your warm welcome, the time of prayer. This time spent in this place gave us a break from our daily routine. Thank you on behalf of the group.” Louise

Thank you for the joy and warmth of the welcome.” Catherine

In the seven years that I have been in charge of animation at Saint Joseph de Kermaria, we have always been well received. With all my friendship.” Anne S. Facilitator

 

At the heart of our mission in Bignan

With the Sisters of the Pierre Noury community, we experienced a strong moment of sharing and implementation of the welcoming dimension of our community mission. The small gestures made by each one are so many steps on the road to fraternity.

 

 

 

The Sisters of the community of Bignan, France

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