We began our journey with the boarding procedure for Lyon and realised at the airport that 7 of us would be flying with Lufthansa and the rest 3 in Air France We all have a good flight (though the other 3 had to change 3 flights to get to Lyon).
Time spent in Lyon:
Lyon is a beautiful city, especially Fourviere. And over the course of days we got an opportunity to visit all the places connected to St. Claudine. We were divided into groups (one named ‘Foyer’ a group of approx. 13-15 people which consisted of all those speaking similar languages for discussions and reflections and the other called ‘Atelier’ which consisted of 15-20 people speaking different languages; all activities were conducted in this group).
Being a part of the Atelier made us realise that language isn’t always a barrier for communication. The main aim of these activities was to get all of us together, no matter which part of the nation we belong or which language we speak and to realise the fact that were all connected and are one family ¬— The connection being St. Claudine and the RJM.
A brief gist of the activities conductedFirst Day
The sessions were well planned. Beginning with the first day which was devoted to Claudine, the youth were requested to answer: WHO AM I? HOW DID I ARRIVE? WHO ARE WE ? WHERE DO WE COME FROM?
Objective: That each young person becomes aware of how they feel about participating in this encounter, help them share and listen to other. They were made to colour Fans eg: With their Signatures … an interesting activity was conducted with different senses (sense of touch, taste, sight, smell and hearing) so that they were open to the realities.
Apart from that the other activities that took place were ‘Celebration of the Nations’-where each nation gave a glimpse of their culture and country, either through a PPT or a dance performance. There were actions songs performed by one group which were enjoyed by everyone.
The second day was based on sharing the FAITH- that each young person will have deeper experience of the life of St. Claudine and at the same time compare it with their own life. In the groups of Atelier we journeyed through the streets of Lyon visiting significant places of Claudine’s life…
Third Day – Claudine, woman of forgiveness: we learn forgiveness in our wounded world. My own Wounds…there is so much to do ! we chose life.
We were made to see the 10 different testimonies…so as to be touched by it and enrich oneself. On the same day we went on the streets of parts of Lyon so as to observe and experience the miseries now.
The fourth day – “We live in communion-our mission-JM YOUTH. We got to know about the works of the RJM in different nations through panel discussion.
The celebration ended with Mass celebrated in the Bascilica at Fourvier.
The JM gathering of the youth and the life and the charism of our Mother Foundress St . Claudine has indeed touched the youth and awakened them to offer themselves in service of the others.
We departed from Lyon with a lot of wonderful memories-our next stop being Lourdes.
Lourdes was a spiritual experience. We took part in the candle light procession, holy bath, station of the cross on the hill, confession, prayed at the Grotto and visited the three Basilicas and the Chapel in the Santuary.
We also took part in a tour “Footsteps of Bernadette” where we got to know about St. Bernadette’s story and visited the places connected to her.
We depart from Lourdes after a 2 night stay there.
Time Spent in Paris:
We had a lovely time in Paris …our last destination. Saw a few famous places in Paris (Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, The Lourve, Place de la Concondre to name a few). And with that we end our journey in France-our next destination being India.
This journey has been an amazing experience for all of us. Over the days we became more of a family than a group of sisters and students from different provinces/cities. The same goes for the journey in Lyon, It gave us a sense of pride to belong to CJM and a joy of knowing so many people from all around the world and connecting with them.
Meeting of sisters in charge of Vocation Promotion and Youth Ministry
The sisters met on 23rd and 24th of July to plan and evaluate our activities in youth ministry and vocation promotion. We were 21 sisters from different provinces along with the Sr. Monica, Sr. Irene and Sr. Alejandra. During the meeting we discussed about the STRENGTHS of the young today, their CRIES and possible SOLUTIONS.
The following suggestions were made:
• To organize at Congregational level every 3 or 4 years an International JM Youth Encounter.
• To organize at Province level, every 1 or 2 years a JM Youth Encounter.
• To share with the others at Province or local level, some of their experience and in this way keep the fire burning.