International Centre of the Sisters of St. Joseph

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

CSJ Pilgrimage 2022


The Congregation of St Joseph pilgrimage group led by Sr Carol Crepeau came to the International Centre on October 5-11. Of the 10 pilgrims, eight had been in Le Puy before. Consequently, this year's pilgrimage was more of a retreat that allowed the group time to focus on the history and spirituality on their own. In the evening the members shared their experiences, insights, and state of the heart.

Pilgrimage to La Chaise Dieu

 One of the highlights of the pilgrimage this year was a trek to La Chaise Dieu, an 11th century Benedictine abbey that was later expanded into its present form during the 14th century. Group members spent time looking around the abbey, visiting the medieval tapestries, and witnessing the Dance of the Macabre, a popular motif during the Black Death (1347-51). Click here and then scroll down for more info on the Dance of the Macabre.


La Chaise Dieu was founded by Robert of Turlande, a hermit who attracted a large following of young people, in 1043 according to the Rule of St. Benedict. He named it Casa Dei (House of God) or in French it is called La Chaise-Dieu (the Seat of God). By the time of his death in 1067 the abbey had grown to over 300 monks with 50 outlying churches and priories. It would later expand to 300 abbeys in France and other countries. As a result, Robert was canonized in 1095 as St. Robert of Turlande.

Pope Clement VI became a monk at Chaise Dieu in 1301 at the age of 10 and pope in 1342. He expanded the present-day abbey church between 1344-1350) and was entombed there in 1352. He was the fourth Avignon pope (1342-52).

For more information about La Chaise Dieu, click here.

The group sat in these 14th century monks stalls for Mass--and took on a humorous pose before it started.

This 17th century organ was put in mothballs until 1966 when the famous Hungarian pianist, Georges Cziffra (1921-1994) discovered it while he was visiting friends in La Chaise Dieu. In 1966, he and his son, György Cziffra (1942–1981), a conductor, began offering recitals and concerts of sacred music to raise funds for restoring the organ. These efforts evolved into the Chaise Dieu Music Festival in 1976, which has been held every year since at the end of August.


After Mass, the group had lunch at Au Four A Bois, a local French-Italian restaurant, which was a treat and a different food experience from Le Puy and the Centre.

Driss, the bus driver during the pilgrimage to La Chaise Dieu and Lyon joined the group for lunch at the restaurant. He later drove the group to Taizé on the last day before returning home to the USA. 

Merci beaucoup, Driss !!!







These group members saw the medieval tapestries, which included a tour of the entire abbey. In this photo, they are in the abbey's courtyard.


The Joseph Table

One of the highlights of the pilgrimage was the Joseph Table. In times of old, people would bring food to share with the poor and dedicate it to St. Joseph. The CSJ pilgrims went shopping at the Saturday market in Le Puy and brought home some delicious vittles to share with one another. 













A good time and a spiritual experience was had by all!!

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CSJ Pilgrimage 2022

  The Congregation of St Joseph pilgrimage group led by Sr Carol Crepeau came to the International Centre on October 5-11 . Of the 10 pil...