On March the 19th, 2022, Sisters and lay people met at Kermaria, France, to celebrate Saint Joseph. What a joy to see the Mother House become once more a ‘family’ house, a city of Saint Joseph where pilgrims flock from everywhere!
Anne Thirion’s words of welcome
Our Provincial, Sr Anne Thirion, opened the day of pilgrimage with a word of welcome:
“Kermaria, with its chapel dedicated to St Joseph, this sign pointing to the sky, the house where we gather, in this green setting combining both beauty and sobriety. The house where one is awaited; where all those who suffer and are overwhelmed by solitude, illness and war are welcomed in fullness.”
“What a joy it is to see the cars pass through the gate and spread out across Kermaria. All this produces an unexpected effect. For the Sisters, who work on the site, it’s as if the space is being freed up, enlarged!” Sr Suzanne
The Sisters of Kermaria, Sisters from other communities, Associates, all the Pilgrims, what a beautiful group! No one could remain insensitive to this reunion in this place dedicated to St Joseph. This people of God, a communion of states of life, opened itself to whatever the day would bring; for each 19th of March, each feast of St Joseph has a particular tone to it.
“I felt a breath of renewal, a sign of hope, of fraternity.” (Sr Yvette). Another Sr Yvette, familiar with Kermaria, said to us “It is with unspeakable happiness that I feel Kermaria rebounding: the stones have been waiting two years for this! “
“Oh, the joy of our reunion on this 19th of March 2022, the joy of allowing ourselves to be aroused again to continue to implement our charism: “to honour the Sacred Humanity of the Son of God!” Yves Le Truédic -Associate
The Mass was presided over by Father Marivin, the parish priest of Vannes Cathedral. With the chapel well-filled, the new songs were beautiful and rich. We sang under the gaze of St Joseph, standing out from his newly repainted and illuminated niche. This novelty in fact dates back to March 2020 but we saw it with new eyes. Something strong and substantive was happening. The homily spoke to hearts already attuned: Joseph, the man of passages, of crossings. We are nomads, pilgrims. This rang true in the light of current events.
“On this feast of Saint Joseph, it is simply a joy to celebrate with you, a joy to honour the sacred humanity of the Son of God. Dare, risk a creative courage in proclaming the Good News, in good times and in bad”. Father Marivin
“In his homily, Father Marivin invited us to draw this audacity to discern new paths from the well of our faith, and to be creative after listening to the Word in silence, with Joseph as our example. The gift of self will spring up from this silence and teach us how to live in our time, with our feet on the ground while going through these uncertain times.” A Sister
The prayer of the rosary
The rosary with a commentary well in tune with current events, relaunched us at the beginning of the afternoon. A group of Associates led this time of prayer with great pertinence and fervour.
“I contemplated and little by little I rediscovered this place where I was given the opportunity to share the Word of the Lord aloud, as if in the depths of my heart. I think back to these few words of Manu, our Chaplain now close to the Lord: “Welcome to all of you!”
“An overwhelming emotion seized me. Four steps and I had just crossed the threshold of the Chapel of Kermaria in its new setting.”
We then processed following the traditional route: gathering in front of the building of the Sainte Famille and thus allowing the residents of the EHPAD to better associate themselves with our prayer. Once in the chapel, Vespers was sung, followed by the Blessing of the Blessed Sacrament.
It was an ordinary 19th of March in terms of the programme, but full of new scents and flavours because it had been awaited and desired for months!
“For me, this feast day has been a discovery, as I have put names to faces. It has been a moment for sharing: a whole ambience that warms me up.” Corinne, Housemistress
“In this gathering, I see an invitation to move forward, to have my eyes more on the windscreen than on the rear-view mirror; I was struck by the general fervour. Brigitte, Community Assistant
“Everything had been on standby since the pandemic; now we are finding the courage to start again and to believe again! A new spring invites us to enter the dance of renewal. This festive event represents a return to life.” A group of Associates
“Thank you” Lord, through the intercession of St Joseph, for having “reinvigorated” us to set off again with a cheerful step! Thank you for this reopening of Kermaria so that we may remain faithful to our mission as Daughters of Jesus, namely: to spread the cult of St Joseph.
“We have returned to the source! Kermaria is confirmed in its vocation as a place of renewal.” The Associates of Vannes
Sr Marie-Andrée Servel, fj,