SAINT LAURENT-SUR-SÈVRE, France - The International Community in Saint Laurent-sur-Sèvre has again organized another series of sessions on Preparation for Perpetual Profession (PPP). The sessions started on August 13, 2017 and will end on October 28, 2017. This is the fourth time that this community conducted this kind of sessions.
This time, twelve confrères from three entities – India, African Francophone Delegation and African Anglophone Delegation - benefit from these sessions. The participants are Arun, Nashwin, Prakash Gnana, Jaya Kumar, Ravi, and Bala Raju from India; Ghislain, Louis-Guelord and Jean-Marie Claude from Congo-Kinshasa; Joseph-Gabriel, Steven and Paul Halidday from Malawi.
The formation program covers three areas: personal accompaniment, teaching and visits (pilgrimages) to Montfortian places, and once a week, the participants have also the time for manual work and other services in the community.
There are three confreres who are directly taking part in the animation of the sessions: Fr. Olivier Maire, Fr. John Marie and Fr. Arnold Suhardi, but the whole community is involved in the dynamics. It was in the midst of the sessions that the community has welcomed Fr. Pierre Bonhommeau who came from the General House in Rome on September 12. He is now a member of the community.
The Formation Team shared among themselves the presentation of the different topics. Fr. Arnold gives the following themes: Introduction to Montfortian Life (Ratio Formationis), the Rite of Perpetual Profession, the Love of Eternal Wisdom, the Secret of Mary, the True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Acts of the General Chapter 2017. Fr. John Marie explores with the participants the themes on Consecrated Life (gratitude, passion & hope) and the Life of Montfort. Fr. Olivier deepens with the participants the following topics: Letter to the Friends of the Cross, Tryptic, and Montfort’s Hymns.
The Montfortian places that are considered to be visited by the participants during the course of the program are: Saint Laurent-sur-Sèvre itself, Pontchâteau, Nantes, La Rochelle, La Garnache, St. Christophe du Ligneron, Sallertaine, Challans, Poitiers, Villiers en Plain, St. Pompain, Fontenay le Compte, Chartres, Paris, Rennes, Pont de Cesson, Montfort-sur-Meu (plus Iffendic, Le Bois-Marquer, La Bachelleraye, Saint Lazare), Dinan, La Chèze, La Trinité-Porhoët and Mont Saint-Michel. We have also the occasion to visit another Montfortian international community, Le Marillais with its sanctuary of Our Lady of Marillais.
The community is honored by the visits and meals together with the Mayor of Saint Laurent-sur-Sèvre, Mr. Guy-Marie Maudet, accompanied by two of his Councillors and with the Vicar General of the Diocese of Luçon, Fr. Jean Bondu. Also, Fr. Santino, the former Superior General, came to greet the participants and to have meals with the community on his way to Pontchâteau, in the middle of August. He encouraged the community to continue with this mission. Father Luizinho, the present Superior General, came to see us in early September when he was at Marillais to preside over the annual pilgrimage at the sanctuary of Notre Dame du Marillais. In his words of encouragement to the participants, he stressed the importance of internationality for the future of the Congregation.
We can say that the primary goals of the sessions are: the knowledge on Montfortian Spirituality and Montfortian Consacrated Life, the Love for Montfort and Montfortian values, and the transmission of Montfortian heritage in any mission entrusted - in the future - by the Congregation to these twelve young confreres.
-Arnold SUHARDI, SMM