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Sessions "Picpus 2007": July 22-25


Info Sessions "Picpus 2007"

 July 22-25, 2007


Damien Centre in Leuven    Sunday, 22nd July, our pilgrimage headed for Louvain to follow in the footsteps of our brother Damien. We set off from Picpus at 8 o’clock in the morning and arrived in Belgian territory where we were met by our brothers and sisters from Walloon who explained the geography, history and present day situation of Belgium.

    First we visited the crypt in St. Anthony’s Church of Louvain, where the remains of Fr. Damien lie. We prayed there for a while. We were welcomed by the members of the Damien Centre and by the Provincial Superior of Flanders, Fritz Gorissen sscc. After lunch we visited the city: the beguin district, the Town Hall, St. Peter’s Church… Eucharist in Damien crypt

    We gathered again to celebrate the Eucharist in the crypt, where Eduardo Pérez-Cotapos sscc challenged us with his homily: “The witness of Damien leaves us with the question: what is our true treasure as religious? Do we have our gaze fixed on Jesus, or mainly on our own works with their inevitable hustle-bustle and tensions?"

   Immediately afterwards, a meal was offered at the Damien Centre and Frank van Gerven sscc explained some of the sculptures and paintings of the Apostle of the Lepers to us.

    We left for Rotselaar, a village close to Louvain, where we spent the night in a school belonging to the de Monfort Fathers, surrounded by beautiful countryside.

    Monday 23rd July, we had Morning Prayer at Saint Anthony’s Church where our Indian performed a dance with a song to Damien as the musical background (“Kamiano”). Likewise, SS.CC. brothers and sisters from different countries gave their testimony to the influence of Fr. Damien in their lives. Paul Macken sscc made a presentation of the project “Damien today”.

    After lunch we left for Tremelo, where René Obbels sscc, together with the Superior Provincial and Frank van Gervern sscc, showed us the birth home of our blessed brother. At the altar built by Damien we celebrated the Eucharist presided by Vinicius Maciel sscc, who invited us to thank God for the great gift of Damien and to follow in his footsteps, as Blessed Fr. Eustáquio van Lieshout sscc had done.

    We returned to Paris, with that same attitude of gratefulness for the welcome we had received from our brothers and sisters, amidst the rain, but without any hold-ups on the road this time. It has been an intense two days centred around someone who has incarnated the charism of the Congregation, in an admirable way.

 Édouard BRION sscc
    Tuesday, 24th July, after prayer around the Pascal Candle which was alight, we evoked the great stages of our missionary history, both at the level of activities as well as of ideas, thanks to our well-informed speaker, Édouard Brion sscc.

    In the afternoon we put a face on our missionary history through the lives and particular way three ss.cc sisters gave Jeanne CADIOU ssccflesh to our charism (Gabriela de la Barre sscc, Hermasie Pager sscc and Anne-Marie Caron sscc) and three SS.CC. brothers (Ladislas Radigue sscc, Louis Dalle sscc and Rolf Reichenbach sscc). 

    The three sisters were presented by Jeanne Cadiou sscc and the three brothers by Friedhelm Geller sscc. Images and texts of these SS.CC. personages,Friedhelm GELLER sscc who incarnated our charism were used to show signs of God's Presence within our religious family.   

    Our Superior General, Rosa María Ferreiro sscc, arrived for the Eucharist, which was celebrated in linguistic groups. Rosa was to lead the final retreat of this Picpus Session 2007.

    Wednesday, 25th July, the Feast of St. James Apostle, was a day in which to give thanks for our mission today. Alphonse Fraboulet sscc set the context for the work of the day with a series of excerpts from the foundational texts of our spirituality. After that he invited us to work personally and in groups.

    The afternoon was consecrated to showing the mission that the brothers and sisters carry out in the most diverse places. The participants of the Session shared their reality using videos, slides, power-points, etc… In that way we were able to draw closer to: Hawaii (sisters), India (brothers), the Priority Project of Asia (sisters), Africa (sisters), Brazil (brothers), Peru-Brazil-México (sisters), Colombia (brothers), Bolivia (sisters), Paraguay (sisters), Chile (sisters), Andalucía (brothers), Spain (sisters), Portugal (brothers), Poland (brothers), Germany and Charleroi (brothers) and Indonesia (brothers). With all these presentations we are able to understand our SS.CC. mission in today's world.

    The Eucharist, presided by Alphonse, had as a backdrop the evocation of the four ages of the Lord.

The Eucharist presided by Alphonse FRABOULET sscc