Sunday, 26 June 2011

A Very French Pilgrimage

Following a Pilgrimage to La Salette, Ars, Macon & Paray-Le-Monial, Jodie Ripley reports:

Arriving at the Sanctuaire Notre Dame de La Salette mid afternoon, the sense of peace & tranquillity were immediate. We celebrated our first mass together later that afternoon in the Basilica and were invited to join in the torchlight procession around the shrine after dinner.

Next day, mass in the Basilica was followed by a tour & short film, explaining the manifestations. The rest of the day was for our own devotions, to spend time quietly with God, to join in the rosary or Stations of the Cross or take a walk into the mountains.

The following day we journeyed to the Carthusian monastery in Chartreuse. Set up by St. Bruno, they spend their time in silent prayer in individual cells, meeting only for prayers & meals. Mass was celebrated here in a tiny & simple church. After a tour & tasting at the Caves du Monastere in Voiron we made our way to Ars Sur Formans.

We walked into Ars next day for mass in the Basilica in front of the shrine of St. Jean-Marie Vianney, patron saint of Parish Priests. Another tour & short film about the life & ministry of the Curé D’ Ars and we were left to explore for ourselves. The two fathers heard our confessions later that afternoon, in this most famous church for this sacrament. Before dinner that night some attended Vespers led by the Benedictine Sisters, who are resident at the sanctuary.

The following day we went to Dardilly, visiting the church where St. Jean Vianney was baptised (we celebrated mass) and the family home. Then on to Lyon, our tour of the cathedral was unfortunately cancelled due to a demonstration in the town. We did manage to tour the Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourviere and then returned to Ars. After dinner many went to listen to the nuns at night prayer.

An early mass in the guesthouse ‘La Providence’, an exquisitely beautiful simple chapel, then a visit to the old Trappist monastery of Notre Dame des Dombes, now a retreat centre.

We visited the parish church where St. Vincent de Paul served as curate in Chatillion-Sur-Chalaronne. On the way to Macon we stopped at shrine of St Peter Chanel in Cuet for the rosary.

The last day was spent in Paray-Le-Monial where St. Margaret Mary received her revelations from Our Lord to promote the devotion to His Sacred Heart. Our last mass together was in the Chapelle des Apparitions, followed by an in-depth tour of the Basilica & the Jesuit church of St. Claude de la Colombière. On our return to Macon we had a brief visit to the Cluny Abbey ruins.

We had the most uplifting, prayerful pilgrimage & we can’t thank Frs Stephen & Terry enough for their time, patience and also fun, plus their most inspirational homilies!

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