Area of Europe: Founding Experiences Retreat

From 1 – 8 June, 14 FCJs from Brussels, Bucharest, Dublin, London, Naters, Paris and Turin gathered at the Jesuit Retreat Centre in Clamart, on the outskirts of Paris. One of the retreatants writes: “This was a ‘special’ retreat, in some sense both a continuation and a completion of the pilgrimage we had all made in recent years. Each morning, we listened to a short input session, given in turn by Sisters Bríd fcJ and Kathryn  fcJ, on the key moments in the foundation of the Society, and each evening we came together for an hour of prayer and adoration. We joined other retreatants and the Jesuit community for Mass at midday, and individual spiritual accompaniment was offered by Sisters Kathryn fcJ and Joan fcJ. Linking Marie Madeleine’s story with our own story, entering as it were her ‘field of influence’, the desire grew in us to claim for ourselves the graces she had received 200 years ago. Here was a woman ‘à l’écoute de Dieu’ whose whole disposition was open and generous. With her four companions, humility, poverty, obedience and gentleness, and rejoicing in her four gifts, the Spirit of Jesus, his Heart, his Mother and his Name, she walked with Jesus all the days of her life. Marie Madeleine’s service of God was not self-referential – God was the centre of her life and service: Le bon Dieu a tout conduit lui-même’. Everything she did was for the greater glory of God. We need to claim her graces today not to look back, but to live ‘out of surprising abundance’, and to seek that abundance for the whole human family in an evolving universe. The retreat ended on the feast of the Sacred Heart, and before we left Clamart we celebrated Mass together in one of the beautiful small chapels of the centre, thanking God for the blessings of the week and praying for our Society and all its members.”

() Area of Europe: Founding Experiences Retreat