Brittany celebrates the 70th birthday of Catholic Aid
On Sunday the 15th June, some 15 Sisters were among the joyous assembly of 3000 people from the four Breton delegations who arrived in Pontivy (56) to celebrate together the 70th anniversary of the foundation of Catholic Aid. Rhona and Lisette give us a short newsflash on the programme of this exceptional day.
In the morning we were invited to discover some of the “nuggets of fraternity” lived by Catholic Aid in Brittany. Some of the participants made the discovery in situ at Pontivy with activities and sharing of their experiences of fraternity. Others walked together, following four itineraries through beautiful countryside where they found, attached to trees, testimonies that had been gathered in the delegations. In one way or another, we discovered how the activities and projects of Catholic Aid not only offer material aid but also “ a joie de vivre and hope to the person who is welcomed.” “Fraternity helps us to change our outlook.”
Walking and sharing makes you thirsty. The drinks reception under the awning and the friendly picnic were therefore very welcome. It also gave us a moment to appreciate the art walkway made up of colourful banners, one for each group. “Fraternity” (in French!) rhymes with Farandole – Rencontre () – Accueil (welcome) – Tenderness – Ensemble (together) – Rêve (dream) – Newness – Terre (Earth) – Ecoute (listening).
Catholic Aid yesterday, today and tomorrow
The afternoon was a delight and the proof that “Catholic Aid has talent” – presentations, music, dance, participative theatre – all to speak to us of :
Yesterday – I would like to showed how its way change the colours of the world “Caritas TV” traced the history of the movement for us and of taking action has evolved : “from doing for, to doing together”, from handouts to the analysis of situations of poverty.
Today – we are brothers and sisters of the same Earth. A sketch, where the actors didn’t have “one single cabbage left standing” , witnessed to Catholic aid as a ‘laboratory of transformation’ where “no-one is too poor to have nothing to share.”
Tomorrow – let’s dare tomorrow A round table with institutional and associative partners attested to a movement that is still full of life at 70 years old and that has a vision for the future – “to show its desire to contribute to the construction of a more just and fraternal society.”
What a joy to have the four Breton bishops with us to celebrate a mass of thanks-giving. Each of us was invited to let arise in his heart, “Thank you, Lord, for the love with which I am loved” and to express, as a Christian, the source of his engagement. It was with pride that we proclaimed at the end, « Tridal a ra va c’halon e Doue » (“My heart exults in God”, a Breton song).
Finally we sang “Happy Birthday Catholic Aid” while 70 children climbed on to the stage and held up little candles. We had to be content with a “virtual” cake projected on to the screen, but this festive send-off brought to an end a beautiful day where we really knew what it was to “walk a road of fraternity”. It is now up to us to make the symbolic morning walks that converged on the party scene in the opposite sense, out into the wide world.
Srs Rhona Burns et Lisette Mazo, Rennes