On April 20 the Sisters of St. Joseph of Philadelphia (USA) made their annual pilgrimage in Le Puy and Lyon, France. They were the first group to come to the International Centre after 2 years of the Covid pandemic.
The sisters spent 17 hours flying from Philadelphia to Frankfurt to Lyon and then were met by the tour bus for another 2-hour drive. However, the long trip didn't dampen their spirits or their energy. After settling in, the sisters and 3 associates came down for a chicken dinner from our new caterer, Vincent Dance. And were they pleased!
History and Spirituality of the Sisters of St. Joseph
On the second day, the group went into the old city of Le Puy for a tour of important historical places for the Sisters of St. Joseph: Église du Collège where Fr. Médaille preached and the Jesuit rectory where he stayed; the Tree of Martyrs where 2 or 3 sisters were guillotined during the French Revolution; and the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Here is a photo of the group with only happy smiles after they had trekked the city for 4 hours.
The group visited the Kitchen and prayed a thanksgiving prayer to the founding sisters, Fr. Medaille, and Bishop de Maupas.
They then toured the Living History Centre to learn more about the history and spirituality of the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Dinner Celebration at Bilbouquet
The pilgrimage included an evening at a restaurant. This year's choice was Bilbouquet, a 20-minute walk from the Centre. The restaurant set up a giant round table for 13 complete with a salad entree, steak and rice, dessert, and wine. Madame Claude was our hostess and server while Chef Michel prepared the delicious meal that everyone enjoyed.
salmon salad (left)
melted goat cheese salad (right)
Mother St. John Fontbonne
The group went to Bas-en-Basset to see the birthplace of Mother St. John Fontbonne (above photo). Afterward, the sisters and associates went to Monistrol to meet Sisters of St. Joseph from the original Le Puy congregation. Mother St. John was superior in Monistrol before the French Revolution.
Maria readies the bus that will transport the sisters and associates to Bas-en-Basset, Monistrol, Gier (lunch break), and Lyon where the group went to the Origin and Evolution Center of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Lyon. They also went for a visit to Mother St. John's grave and the hilltop basilica on Fourvière, and Old Lyon.
The "inside story" of the bus shows sisters and associates ready for the last leg of their pilgrimage.