Daughters of Jesus celebration at Vaylats

The week-end of 21 August 2016

Cecile and Madeleine took part

in the annual celebration

of the Daughters of Jesus Province South-West.

They share with us some echoes of their days at Vaylats

(Lot, France).

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Proposing a three day camp on the theme of Mercy to 45 children and adolescents seemed to us to be quite a challenge. In the event, a well thought-out challenge lived out with joy by each one according to his or her age and previous experience.

f-a-vaylats-09The groups arrived towards mid-day on the Friday. They got to know each other, got themselves organised and picnicked. The bishop joined them. At 13h30 all of them set off for the parish church where, in a celebratory procession, they “passed through the holy door”, following an adapted programme and helped by simple explanations by the bishop. During the afternoon by means of a play activity (a card game) they had to find all the words that have a link with the word ‘mercy’. In the evening, during a prayer vigil, they briefly shared their discoveries…. Songs, well accompanied on the guitar, punctuated the meetings. On the Saturday evening there was a torch-lit Marian procession in the grounds ending at the statue of the Virgin.

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On the Sunday, at 11 o’clock, in the presence of parents, sisters and friends, time for the sketches, carefully prepared by the groups. Still on the theme of mercy, with the parable of the Prodigal Son. Everyone joined in. Each mimed sequence was followed by questions and testimonies for today (by young and not so young people), all interspersed with appropriate songs.

The picnic in the meadow was followed by a very festive Eucharistic celebration, presided over by Monsignor Laurent Camiade, Bishop of Cahors. This Mass which marked the end of the camp was also the Thanf-a-vaylats-03ksgiving Jubilee Mass for two sisters, Marie-Odile Lavergne and Marie-Bernadette Zortéa who were celebrating 60 and 70 years of religious life. The celebration ended with a grand farandole danced by the different generations with exuberant joy.

From these three days we have retained the dynamism of the organizing team, the confidence placed in the young leaders, the care taken to make sure everyone participated, the joie de vivre¸ the mutual help. On the side of the sisters, we observed how all of them got involved according to their possibilities, allowing their usual routine to be disturbed and accepting that the house be invaded. We felt their closeness to the people who, in their turn, were always ready to help. There are so many volunteers at this celebration!

We cannot but give thanks for all that we saw and pray that all of this will bear fruit. What fruit we do not know, but fruit there will certainly be

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Cécile Le Roux et Madeleine Le Beau

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