in community in Vannes (France),
tells us how the idea of this pilgrimage was born.
“In the course of my work at the chaplaincy of the Psychiatric Hospital at Saint Avé, I meet young hospital patients. They receive visits from their friends and that gives us the chance to talk.
Florian, the pastoral animator at St Joseph High School in Vannes, came to see me after visiting a friend who was sick. Afterwards, he invited me to accompany him to the Mass for young people that is held every Wednesday evening at the former Carmel of Vannes. I was surprised to see such a large assembly (around 60 students and young professional people) present at the Mass, presided over by Father Philippe Le Bigot and led by students from Latin America and France.
That same evening, I was invited to the meal that they share together every Wednesday. During the evening, Fr Philippe presented me as a Daughter of Jesus and proposed that we go on pilgrimage to our motherhouse, Kermaria. The idea was given a warm welcome!
Some months later, my community invited Antoine Le Garro, a deacon and the new head of the Student Mission of Morbihan (MEMO). It was an opportunity for him to get to know the community and for us to share with a deacon on the way to being ordained.
We relaunched the idea of a pilgrimage and fixed on the date – the 13th of March. On the day 9 students took part as well as a young person from the hospital and 2 novices from the Sisters of Social Charity, who work at the Bishop’s house in Vannes.
Liliane Abgrall dj.
The witness of 2 young people who took part in this pilgrimage
« First of all, Sister Liliane, I would like to thank you for giving us the chance to take part in this pilgrimage.
At the beginning of the day, when we arrived at your community, you received us in the best way possible. We had a coffee together and got to know each other.
From there we set off to fetch a companion who is a patient in the psychiatric hospital. This gave us the chance to visit the chaplaincy and the beautiful chapel dedicated to Saint John of God.
From there we went on to visit the chapel in Old Colpo where Mother Sainte Angèle gathered together the parishioners of the village. At Elizen, we discovered the village where she was born, and more particularly what remains of the wall of her house with its memorial. From there, on to Bignan and the Sisters’ house where Mother Marie de St Charles lived. A Sister showed us around. This house is incredibly beautiful. We picnicked together and at the end of the meal, the sisters invited to have coffee and a good chat with them.
Finally, we headed off in the direction of Kermaria and the discovery of the motherhouse of the Daughters of Jesus. It is a magnificent, fantastic place. What a beautiful history and what beautiful gardens!
We stopped off in the cafeteria to say hello to other Sisters and finished our day with prayer in the chapel of Saint Joseph.
For me, it was a magnificent day and I thank you on behalf of all my colleagues.
Jesus Magana (Mexico)
« Beginning the day with a good coffee in the house of one of the Sisters gave me, and all those who took part in the pilgrimage, the opportunity to say a little about our lives. Sister Liliane told us something about her work with the young people at the psychiatric hospital. One of these young people in difficulty accompanied us throughout the day. There should have been another, but his state of health had worsened in the days previously.
We visited the little church of Colpo where Mother Sainte Angèle gathered together the people from the village to pray and we also went to see what remains of the house where she lived. Then two women, who are Associates, walked us around the countryside to see the
We arrived at Bignan around 11h15. Sister Marie-Thérèse Le Goff spoke to us about the Congregation and the life of Mother Marie de Saint Charles and showed us around the house. Over the course of a very agreeable coffee, we enjoyed hearing about the life of the Sisters in the community.
After that, we went on to Kermaria, the motherhouse of the Congregation of the Daughters of Jesus, founded in 1834 by Perrine Samson (Mother Saint Angèle). Kermaria has witnessed an impressive evolution since it was first built and offered us a beautiful site where we could discover the history of the Congregation and the life of the Sisters of the period.
Why did I like this day?
The sisters gave us an incredible welcome. We got to know new places and new stories. We discovered a style of life that we did not know and had the opportunity to meet marvellous new people. These same people show a great love for Christ and their presence carries with it a true joy. They are people that don’t need to say how much they love God because we could see it in their actions. What is even more beautiful is the depth of their regard which unveils a little of the Father’s tenderness. We also had the opportunity to join in prayer with them.”
To conclude the pilgrimage the young people received a card with the prayer to Saint Joseph of Saint Francis de Sales. They now say it every evening.
For my part, I intend to take part in the Wednesday evening Mass so that I can keep in touch with these young people.
During the next visit of our young Sisters from Africa or Latin America, would it be possible to have a meeting with this group?
Liliane Abgrall dj.