PONTCHÂTEAU, France - The first meeting of the four International Communities of the Province of France was held in Pontchâteau on March 11, 2019: Calvary, Saint Laurent, Montfort-sur-Meu, Marillais. The meeting agenda was determined by the host community. The purpose of the meeting was to highlight the intercommunity relationship and to further deepen the Montfortian spirituality, reflecting on some excerpts of Father de Montfort.
Around 9:30 in the morning, we celebrated the Holy Eucharist presided over by Fr. Santino BREMBILLA, the superior of the community of Calvary. Afterwards, Fr. Olivier MAIRE also shared a meditation on Canticle 164. This Canticle on Calvary, which is used on every mission, was sung at the erection of the Cross at the end of the mission in 1709. In this hymn, Father de Montfort highlighted the ministry of closeness.
"Let's build a Calvary here”. This recommendation, which is repeated on each stanza, symbolizes peace and the gift of life for love in our hearts and in our countryside. Calvary is, in fact, a place of peace where we can see wonders, conversions, healings and grace. Calvary is also a memorial place: a memory of the death and resurrection of Jesus. The pilgrimage or procession on Calvary is an open door to see Jesus and to pay tribute to him. This Christocentric dimension of Calvary is part of the heart of Montfortian spirituality: to know Christ (His birth, death and resurrection), to be conquered by Him, and to transform in His love (conversion). The desire of Father de Montfort is to put Jesus higher to attract hearts to be converted.
Likewise, in the afternoon, the community of Pontchâteau presented its website to the confreres. Brother Jean MADOUAS and Sylvie NICOU worked in close collaboration for its operation. The site is an effective way to quickly disseminate all the information not only of the community of Calvary but also of the Montfortian Mission. We took advantage of the new technology to transmit to the people the Montfortian spirituality and mission. By browsing through the website, people are fascinated by the Montfortian mission. In this way, it will gradually revive their desire to visit the Calvary in Pontchâteau.
The meeting proceeded with another presentation. After watching together an infomercial on a project named "Saint Joseph Community", Father Santino brought some clarifications on the settlement of the community on Calvary and its project. The Montfortian Mission in Calvary, which has started already, is in collaboration with the Saint Joseph Community to witness the mercy of God.
Before the meeting was concluded, we had a time of sharing. There were some testimonies for the mission in France by our international communities: how to live integration in the mission in France; what are the experiences, the problems to overcome. It is indeed a challenge to religious life as actors in today’s society, where languages, cultures and the most diverse social situations coexist. It's not easy, but "Montfort pushes us to boldness and creativity on our mission paths ".
This meeting amplified the fraternal relationship: "Unity in diversity”. We saw various types of interrelationship such as internationality, interculturality and intergeneration that lived in each community and challenged our way of "building a community differently" with high emphasis on Montfortian culture.
P. Hervé Rafalisoloherinirina, SMM