The Community of Kermaria
celebrated the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker
on the 1st of May with a pilgrimage.
This celebration, presided over by Monsignor Laurent Percerou, Bishop of Moulins, brought together over 700 people in the chapel, including children accompanied by their parents.
In the afternoon the pilgrims came together for a second time in the chapel to pray the rosary followed by vespers (the procession had been rained off !). During this time the children and parents were able to take part in a journey based around the theme of:
“On the march with Joseph the migrant”
The presence of three witnesses from Libya and Azerbaijan gave a positive regard on these people who have been through difficult experiences.
[spoiler title=”Quelques témoignages et réactions après le pèlerinage vécu par les familles et leurs enfants.” style=”fancy” icon=”arrow-circle-2″]
« Thank you for the magnificent photos, these little flashes taken here and there during our exchanges. For my part, I found it a good idea to change what we had planned and to leave all of the groups together. Young and not so young heard the harsh reality of the lives of some of those among us. I think were incredibly lucky to have testimonies like that. Our « grey heads » were apparently, able to retain some information. When we got home in the evening, we were able to talk together about the difficult journeys of Mohamed, Jeyhun and Ulcar. The family said what they thought about the day. We appreciated spending the day all together without having to split up (I have children and teenagers from 11 to almost 16 years old).
The testimonies were central to what we shared yesterday evening. They were what marked us the most. What was great was seeing the solidarity being shown in the exchange of e-mail adresses and telephone numbers .. this was to help them find a job. That was really super. For the children , give them a ball and everyone comes together. Wherever they come from, children remain children and play the same games.
I would like to see this beautiful experience become a spring board to new projects. Why not use these testimonies as a base for reflection ? That’s a lead to follow … It all depends on future projects.
« I admire the courage of the migrants who have left everything behind, faced up to the difficulties of the journey, then the assault course when they arrive in France. Despite that they talk about themselves with a smile, without hate and with hope for the future. I was edified by the calmness of the Azéri children, their serenity and calmness despite the length of the exchange.
One sentence that made a big impact on me and made me reflect : Mohamed, speaking about his work as surgeon in Libya said, « When I care for some one, I don’t see a man or a woman, white, black or brown, a Jew, a Muslim or a Christian, I don’t look at them with my eyes but with my heart. » What a testimony in conformity with the Gospel coming from a Muslim !
Listening to them, you spontaneously say to yourself, they have something to teach us about what is essential, about priorities in life, love for the other, services rendered (despite their poverty and problems) … all of these values that we as Europeans have long since forgotten, because we are steeped in comfort, richness and egoism …
I have a lot of regrets with regard to how we welcome migrants, the administrative complications that could avoided but which poison life, the lack of respect ».
We are very happy we took part in this celebration of the 1st of May at Kermaria. The welcome shown to the families, the procession and the celebration are always very special moments. The lunch was very enjoyable : sharing an apertif and presenting ourselves.
The afternoon based on the witness of the migrants was very powerful for all of the family. The children said to me that it was what they enjoyed the most. I hope that we will have news of how they get on.
Mannaïg (11 years old) had very much liked the sharing, 2 years ago, with other children in age groups. Tugdual liked the fact that we were all together to listen to the testimonies and also has good memories of playing football with the other youngsters (even those a bit older, after the meal). Johann and I, we liked moving between different places to music. I think that is an idea to keep for next year, hoping that the weather will be better. Thank you for the final prayer.
It’s a shame we couldn’t use the compasses, for it was a very good idea. You could see that that you had spent a lot of time making them for they were very beautiful.
Thank you again for this beautiful day ! See you soon ! »
Marie-Annick, Johann, Mannaïg, Tugdual and Ninog.
« Having been invited to take part in the pilgrimage of the community of the Daughters of Jesus by Sister Marie-Thérèse, we came as a family with our three children. Another family from Finistère, friends of ours, were also there with us.
After the Mass we were happy to picnic together without knowing exactly what had been planned for the afternoon. But we had good memories of our first pilgrimage two years before.
During the unexpected aperitif, Sister Marie-Yvonne immediately created an atmosphere of sharing and listening to each other by asking us to present ourselves along with our children. During the presentation of the theme of the pilgrimage, « En route with Joseph the migrant », I said to myself that the Gospel had a particular resonance with what is happening in the world today.
A family three children, who come from Azerbaijan and a Libyan doctor gave a simple account of their experiences as migrants, from their arrival in 2014 to where they are at today. Their stories and their courage in getting out of their countries impressed us. Accompanied by volunteers from the group « Bethany » from Lorient , they explained to us their difficulties in obtaining the neccessary status in our country allowing them to work. Exchanges with the assembly allowed us to understand their situation and to put ourselves in their place. Our children were very attentive and very touched by the other children who have lost their friends, go to a new school and have to learn a new language.
Afterwards, we sang, prayed and walked together to the grotto accompanied by Florence our accordianist. In my thoughts, it is diificult not to think about how we can help them to realise their desire to find work.
But I was not alone in this because the pilgrims exchanged a lot with the family and the doctor and equally among themselves on how to find solutions. How can we welcome and find a place for those who have lost everything ?
This day was very enriching for the grown ups and the young for the words we heard touched our hearts. Thank you to Sister Maryvonne, to Sister Marie-Thérèse and to all of the staff. »
Claire, Christophe, Charlotte, Juliette, Antoine