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The close of the Canonical Visit to France (Brs)

The canonical visit to the province of France closed with a provincial assembly held in Picpus on Thursday January 26, 2017. The visitors, Superior General Javier Álvarez-Ossorio sscc and Felipe Lazcano sscc, in almost a month met with 41 brothers. There are five communities in the province: three in the area of Paris (Picpus, San Gabriel and Montgeron), one in Sarzeau (Brittany) and one in Graves (Aveyron). In addition, there are three brothers who live alone in the zone of Strasbourg. They have also met with the two postulants who live in the community of Picpus.

During the visit, they met with the government of the sisters, with the Secular Branch, with the board of directors of the "Réseau Picpus", with young people at the student residence in Montgeron and Javier presided at the Sunday liturgy in some of our parishes. Also, they met with five bishops from the dioceses in which the brothers are present.

In the final assembly, the visitors expressed gratitude for the fine preparation and flow of the visit. They emphasized the strengths of the province, mainly the decision to strengthen the presence in Picpus-San Gabriel (Paris) and the pastoral care of young people and vocations, as well as the reopening of the postulancy, and likewise, the assured care for the older and sick brothers to live the vocation and mission SSCC to the end. All this has contributed to advance the corporate health of the Province.

Regarding the challenges, the visitors pointed out the need to deepen communion, overcoming the difficulties of individualism and cultivating a positive view of one another. They also insisted on the pooling of all income as an expression of fraternity. Teamwork is still a challenge. In particular, they have invited us to prepare a project for the pastoral care of young people and vocations and to study the possibility of offering an itinerary of lay formation in sscc spirituality.

The visit made clear that the province of France is still eager to serve, that there is no letting down the guard. The next major provincial event will be the provincial chapter, which will take place Easter week. Along with the election of a new government, the province will consider how to go about specifying the options that they have made. The visitors encouraged everyone to participate actively in the preparation of the chapter.

Lastly, recall that the Province has responsibility for the region of French Polynesia, with about 12 brothers. The General Government's canonical visit to the region is scheduled for October 2017.