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Sessions "Picpus 2007": July 26-28


Info Sessions "Picpus 2007"

 July 26-28, 2007


    Thursday, 26th July, we began the final retreat of our Session, guided by Rosa María Ferreiro sscc, Superior General. The first day of the retreat Rosa proposed that we allow ourselves to be met by God, in the “dinner which entertains Irish Collegeand wins the heart” (Saint John of the Cross). She invited us to cultivate some attitudes in this day of recollection: to be silent to see with the eyes of the heart, to allow ourselves to be loved and to open wide the doors to God. 

    In the afternoon, immediately after lunch, we were on pilgrimage to the Irish College, where our Founder received priestly ordination. On this occasion we could not visit the library, because it was being restored. However, we celebrated the Eucharist, presided by Ferry Indrianto sscc, in the chapel of this college, where all the priest participants in the Session renewed their Chapel of the Irish Collegepriestly promises.
    The homily was delivered by Joseph McGeady sscc. He invited us to enter into the look of Jesus for each one of us, to recognize the gift of the election and to answer this look of Jesus. During the thanksgiving prayer after communion, Herman Julia Aki sscc, who celebrated her 54th year of religious profession, shared with us the beginning of her journey in religious life.

    After the Eucharist, led by Friedhelm Geller sscc, we went to St. Roche’s, where the Good Father ministered and gained fame as a distinguished preacher. On one occasion the Pope, Pius VII, was present for one of his sermons in this church,; he had come to France for the crowning of Napoleon..

    Friday, 27th July, we continued our retreat with a talk by our Superior General that placed us in context to rekindle our enthusiasm for our consecration. She highlighted some challenges that today’s world present to us and that we answer by witnessing strongly the existence of God, by placing the poor in the center of our Christian option, by being makers of peace in a violent world, by being good news in a global and intolerant society. Rosa proposed an exercise of the imagination: to strike up a dialogue with the Congregation, from some of the many corners of Picpus, in order to accomplish a joyful belonging to the Congregation.

    After lunch, Éric Hernout sscc gave us the historical and geographical background of the bloody episodes of the Commune of Paris, in which fouEucharist in Notre Dame des Otage (Our Lady of the Hostages)r religious of our Congregation, who lived at the General House at Picpus, gave up their lives: Ladislas Radigue sscc, Polycarpe Tuffier sscc, Marcellin Rouchouze sscc and Frézal Tardieu sscc. After we did on foot the itinerary that goes from the jail to the place where our martyr brothers were shot at the Haxo Street.

     We celebrated the Eucharist at the parish of de Notre Dame des Otages (Our Lady of the Hostages), built after the martyrdom. Fernando Cordero sscc presided, and he underlined the surrender of the brothers as an explicit witness of their consecration to Christ and invited us to live our daily life serving our brothers and sisters. The Parish Priest, Didier Dorreau, welcomed us and accompanied us in the Eucharist. He told us some facts related to the martyrdom and to the church.

Rosa María FERREIRO sscc    Saturday, 28th July, the last day of our Picpus Session 2007. We started the journey with the last talk of the retreat that Rosa María Ferreiro ss.cc gave. Today is about our mission: “Sent again in mission to our communities and to our world”. Rosa made a distinction between what God wants us to do and what we want to do for God, that means, she questioned us to be totally available to God’s will. She left us some questions for personal prayer: “Have I achieved certain integration between contemplation and action? Is my sin “activism” or “comfortable life”?

    The afternoon started with the evaluation of the Session, led by Fernando Cordero sscc. 

    After that, Bernard Couronne sscc, Director of Picpus Centre, offered some conclusions using three key words: face, heart, and encounter. Our religious family has the face of the fraternal links of diverse continents. The Session is an audacious formula, an “affair of the heart”. The essential of this walk has been the encounter, the internal dialogue, in which each one is engaged with the Lord. Bernard considered these three weeks as a pilgrimage. There have been movements in our head also that have made us discover new dimensions of our charism. We have recognized ourselves as pilgrims towards the Heart of God and to the human being. With boldness we have to continue the evangelical way opened by Pierre Coudrin and Henrietta Aymer. Commenting on these conclusions, Fr. Couronne had very deeply felt words of gratitude to all the people who have made it possible and have participated in this meeting, particularly the sisters of the community at Picpus. We still remained in the hall to receive a kindness more from Picpus Center: a CD which contains 300 photos taken all along the Session, as well as a card with a sentence of the Good Mother or of Gabriel de la Barre beautifully illustrated. A message for each one to return home by another way…

Final Eucharist presided by Felipe Félix LAZCANO sscc     Later on, we went to celebrate what we have lived, in the Eucharist presided by Felipe Lazcano sscc, General Councillor. Again the “well” convoked us in order not to forget where the fountain is. We went in procession, after the introductory rites, to the chapel. The Gospel was proclaimed and Felipe emphasized that in the peace that Christ offers to us is our plenitude. This peace will make us conveyers of the encounter with the Lord, but not being away of the way of the cross. We placed ourselves in the hands of Notre Dame de Paix to live and to die as sons and daughters of the Sacred Hearts. At the end of the Mass in the sending forth, which acquired an emotive character, our Superior General took from the altar the walking stick of Fr. Damien and addressed to us some words before the stick was passed to the brothers and sisters. Each one had in his/her hands this object which supported Damien when as a young man weak because of the leprosy he needed it to support him. This support reveals another reason why Damien was able to stay on Molokai: his friendship with Jesus. 

Final celebration    The perfect finale of the day was the dinner in the open air and an international feast. Dances, songs from different continents were performed, with the participation of brothers and sisters of different ages, generations and origins. There were no need for translations in that moment; it was easy to feel the clear message: joy and fraternity.

    Now it is time for each one of the participants of the Session to continue this chronicle, which will have more flesh and life as they can tell what they have lived during these three weeks that have had the aim of strongly renewing their pilgrimage as sons and daughters of the Sacred Hearts. May Notre Dame de Paix accompany us to be witnesses of the Love of Christ in the midst of our communities and our world!

Jeanne, Fernando et Eric,
Communication Team of Picpus Session 2007