August-16-2017 10:52 PM
49 FILIPINO MARISTS OF CHAMPAGNAT JOIN THE LA VALLA 2017 PILGRIMAGE
Marist East Asia Province
49 Filipino Marists of Champagnat joined the La Valla 2017 Pilgrimage from July 6 to 16, 2017 in the different significant sacred places, historical sites, origins of the Marist Institute and wonders in France and Italy that was spearheaded and well facilitated by Br. Allan De Castro, FMS. The said journey commenced last July 6, 2017 when the pilgrims who were composed of Marist Brothers and Laity from various school and non-school ministries as well as a priest from the Philippines travelled to Rome via Abu Dhabi thru Etihad Airways and gathered together during dinner in Hotel Rome Pisana. In fact, the cited pilgrim's jaunt aimed to visit Rome especially the Vatican and the General House of the Marist Brothers of the Schools, the roots of the Institute-the life of the founder, Saint Marcellin Champagnat, and to pray at Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine even in various churches and chapels, religious landmarks of France and Rome.
Narratively sharing such meaningful travel last July 7, 2017, the Marist pilgrims arrived in the General House of the Institute and were welcomed hospitably by the Superior General, Br. Emili Turu, FMS and some Marist Brothers. They toured around and had a relevant session with him about the priorities, changes, and challenges of the Institute, which was followed by an open forum, mass and lunch together. In the afternoon, there were visits of the Vatican Museums (Musei Vaticani) including the Sistine Chapel (Cappella Sistina), St. Peter’s Basilica, its square, and a dinner at Il Cantico Hotel before going back to hotel.
On the next day, the tour was held at Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona and passed on some historical sites and spots in Rome City like Castel Sant’Angelo, etc.
A day bus transport happened on July 9, 2017 from Rome to Lyon specifically to Chemin de L’Hermitage, Saint Chamond. Brothers and lay welcomed the pilgrims and had a dinner with some US Marists before they had a mass in the chapel where the tomb and relic of St. Marcellin Champagnat and Br. Francois were kept.
A whole day pilgrimage on July 10, 2017, which is mostly walking, supervened in the forest of Mt. Pilat from Marlhes in the Church called Saint Marcellin Champagnat en Pilat as well as in the birthplace of the founder, where a mass was held in Le Rosey/Rozet Chapel, beside his home, Chambre de St. Marcellin Champagnat, in the hills of Le Rosey. Moreover, the pilgrims walked in a distant to see the site of the sparking event of the Montagne story in the hamlet of Les Pallais, Le Bessat and the location of the La Chaperie, quoted as the Memorare House, where Father Marcellin and Br. Stanislus almost losing their lives in the woods with snow when they prayed the Memorare and a local farmer Mr. Donnet helped them. It was rainy afternoon when they reached the Les Maisonettes (known today as Maison Champagnat). Likewise, they were informed about the history of the Marist Institute and prayed around the table at La Valla - Gathered Around The Same Table as one family before they returned to valley of the Hermitage.
Last July 11, 2017, the pilgrims had a mass and renewal of their Fourviere Pledge in the Chapel of the Black Virgin, Our Lady of Fourviere, Lyon; delightfully they met the Filipino community with a lunch picnic together viewing Lyon. They visited churches such as the Cathedral of Saint Jean and some significant places of the city. Afterwhich, some of them joined the visit in the grounds around the house, chapels, the cemetery of the Marist Brothers, the poplars, Fr. Francois garden and top of the hill viewing the La Valla in the other side of the hill. After dinner, they viewed the Space Champagnat like the Exposition Hall, the Community Room / Frescoes Room, and the office and room of Marcellin Champagnat where they prayed together.
After the morning mass in the Notre Dame de L’Hermitage Chapel and breakfast on July 12, 2017, the pilgrimage continued in a long distant travel from Saint Chamond to Lourdes for almost ten hours. Dinner was served at Angelic Restaurant Hotel then they joined the procession of Our Lady of Lourdes while praying the rosary creatively with candles and Marian songs.
On that early rainy morning, a mass was attended in the grotto of Lourdes last July 13, 2017 before a long travel to Paris and searched for an Asian buffet dinner near Suit Case Hotel.
The next day was a tour on some spots, historical sites around Paris and churches such as Notre Dame Cathedral and Sacre-Coeur Basilica for a mass after a one hour Bateaux Parisiens Cruise on the River Seine that embarked at Pont D’iena at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower. They also visited Le Carrousel de Louvre and Pavillon Richelieo before supper at Gladines, Les Halles in Paris last July 14, 2017.
On the following day, there was an amazing view of Versailles Palace in the exhibitions of grand appartements and its garden before the tour in the Arc De Triomphe, malls, shops, and a dinner at Auberge Du Pere Louis last July 15, 2017.
Before the night travel back to home country on July 16, 2017, the La Valla pilgrims joined the mass at Chapelle Notre Dame De La Medaille Miraculeuse witnessing Sainte Catherine Laboure undecomposed body and seen clearly the Eiffel Tower in the Palais de Chaillot and park after lunch. It was almost midnight of July 17, 2017 when they arrived Philippines, yet, countless wonderful memories and learning experiences can’t be forgotten, and faith journey reflections were respectively pondered after all in this Marists new beginning towards a New La Valla.
〽 MARIST LA VALLA PILGRIMAGE ( Reflections / Realizations )
> M-arists of Champagnat @ Faith Journey
> A-wareness of Marist History and Origins
> R-ealization of Marcellin Champagnat's life, history and vocation
> I-nnovation of mission, communion and its integration in reality
> S-imple way of life journey such a contemplative experience of silence and prayer
> T-ravel from one place and another requires time management and sensitivity
• L-a Valla reflection like the birth of Marist Institute signifies being in one family as brothers and sisters in one faith
• A-ction taken in response to the call of time to go to the peripheries but not in luxury
• V-alor in heart of service to the least favored but not of one's vanity and physical enhancement...yet, for the glory of God.
• A-miable to be in communion with one another as to active involvement in the actualization of making Jesus and Mary known and loved
• L-ife journey is meaningful if lived with a good purpose as Marista.
• L-ike Jesus and Mary, we go on pathways towards the reign of God.
• A-ttitude in every word, value and action count in this world.
~ P-raised be Jesus and Mary for everything that happened!
~ I-nterestingly explored the wonders of nature, history, culture and people while learning in every experience and step on the way.
~ L-ove of God is wonderful in His wonders of life and creations; value everything.
~ G-reat and grateful is such feeling and response to the call.
~ R-espect to God and one another is essential in this voyage.
~ I-ntuition on one's life and commitment relies on one's choices in living out.
~ M-arvelous is life if one journeyed in mission and communion to each other for the Montagnes of today.
~ A-live and awaken we are in this pilgrimage with God and His manifestations.
~ G-od is love ; love is God. This matter and a lot of moral / lesson then I realized and reflected in the silence and contemplation.
~ E-xemplifying SMC's dream can be a reality in doing the best that one can be as Marcellin of today.
😊 Let's jump! Go in haste.
Ivy Bulawan Yecyec
〽️Sincerest thanks for everything to all Marist Companions,
my fellow La Valla Pilgrims for such a wonderful faith journey
and to our brother guide / facilitator, Br. Allan de Castro, FMS.
In a special, thank you to my beloved parents and sisters
who really supported me and the brothers and laity
who sincerely show care and support in various ways
and above all to God. To God be the glory!
May God bless our journey...