« From dream to reality » –
the proposal made to young parents
to pass the 1st of May “en famille”
at Kermaria (Morbihan, France)
“They still bring forth fruit in old age, they are ever full of sap and green.” Ps 92, 14
In this year of Consecrated Life and between the two sessions of the Synod on the family, the Feast of St Joseph was an opportunity for the Province France Belgium to invite young families to participate in a special way in the pilgrimage of the 1st of May. For some of the sisters it was a dream they were really keen to realise.
Over the course of several months, this dream, proposed to the communities, become a project and began to take shape. Those sisters and communities who believed in it invited families and accompanied them to Kermaria on the 1st May. Many others certainly supported this day through their prayer !
The children and their parents contributed to the Eucharist celebrated with all of the pilgrims with great joy, thanks to Jeanine, an associate of the Province, who before the Mass taught them gestures to accompany the Alleluia and the Our Father. Afterwards a family picnic was the opportunity for friendly meetings and exchanges.
From 13h30 onwards various activities were proposed on the theme of « Choose life, choose happiness.” Around 35 children and sisters spilt into different groups according to age: junior secondary (11 – 15 years old), children from from 5 to 8, and 8 to 11 years old and.
As for the parents, they experienced an intense but convivial afternoon of reflection and exchange that lasted almost 3 hours. Each “table” of 4 with a sister to accompany them, discussed in depth the important question in their life as parents, “What does it mean to succeed in life?”
Around 17h00, each family went away, happy with their day at Kermaria !
Here are some of the parents’ comments :
“The day did me an immense amount of good! The Mass in the chapel was very beautiful. That did me good. I very much liked the meetings, the witness of the other people present.” (Rozenn and Aloy got married on Saturday the 9th May.)
« …. Happy with this day … we spoke of humanity, of the message of the Gospel. It’s good to have these moments when we can pause in life.”
“This day brought back to me our marriage preparation.”
“I very much liked the procession of the families during the Mass in the morning. The children enjoyed learning the gestures. They loved their afternoon with new friends.”
“We were impressed by the welcome the families received. I had been fairly worried about the afternoon programme, because I didn’t know at all what the “sharing” would be abou . In fact the group sharing in terms of both form and content, was very enriching and simple. We were delighted with our day.” (Marie-Annick and Johann)
« We are really delighted that we took part in the 1st May at Kermaria. We appreciated being able to meet up with other couples around the theme of Happiness which seems to us to be essential in our life as spouses and as parents.
These are « gifted » moments which do good because they are « true » and the experiences shared are really enriching. (Michel and Marina)
Comments from the sisters who accompanied the reflection at each table
« I very much appreciated this afternoon. Our Church, with its committed lay people is beautiful. It gives me new hope to find young enthusiastic Christians capable of weighty reflection.
Comments from the children
« The day was enjoyable because the groups were well organised by age. I met other teenagers …” Youan, 14 years old
“I very much liked this day because I found myself with people of my own age.” Elouan, 12 years old
“The day was brilliant, especially the afternoon with the board game.” Ewen, 9 years old
“It’s the first time that I have immediately had everyone as friends. You know, usually, I am always shy. There, no, I spoke, I said what I thought. The day was well good!” Paris, 10 years old
Anne Mie LE ROCH et Anne Mie SERGENT