"Streets of Le Puy"
By: Mary Catherine Walton, SSJ
"Who has walked upon these cobblestones? Whose feet have left impressions felt in lingering energies of deeds done here? Whose feet left imprints of agonies and miseries and joys that remain in memory and fact? Holy ones. Soldiers, revolutionists, and poor folk have trod the streets that are still here--though they are gone. The yesterday's call us to remember those who birthed us here. With gratitude, we bow our hearts to the inheritance of love they have left for us to grow in and grow into. The path has voice in the choice some women made long ago. Now the path they took stretches across the Earth, and we walk in their footsteps."
Now, for some reflections from the pilgrims!
"This group is becoming closer each day! I remember during one of the 'Sharing of the Heart', I said that I felt as though I could have a meaningful conversation with any person on this trip. I really feel that has happened already! Everything here is very beautiful...it is evident that God is present in every person we meet and every place we enter."
"The word this trip has made me constantly ponder on is gratitude. I'm grateful to have been chosen for this opportunity. I'm grateful for the people I have met and been able to have conversations with. I'm grateful for the hospitality, the acceptance and every single day that God has granted me. I'm grateful for all I've been open to: experience and lessons and friendships."
"Interacting with the shop owners and locals in Le Puy was so exciting. Having the chance to swap stories of culture and experience was truly like none other. With every conversation I felt both my mind and my heart expand in the best ways! The greenery and the beautiful landscape are also great reminders to keep our communities and streets back home clean, pretty and worthy of God's presence."
"I was very impressed by the visit with high school students. They were all so happy to see us. They spoke English so well and were more put-together in their presentation than any of us could imagine being at their age. These students were so passionate about the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph and forming relationships with their sister schools. They made us feel very welcome and at home."
"Hello again! Or should I say, BONJOUR! This week so far has been incredibly breathtaking. To be able to see history, and be able to walk where the sisters once did is MIND-BLOWING. In case you are wondering, this group of people click together so well. God had such a plan when putting us all together! On a sad note, it is almost time to leave our new home. But, though we tear now, Le Puy en Velay is always an place we can call home....onto Lyon!
P.S. thank you Olga and Elouise for all that you have done for us at the Centre!"
"It has only been a short while here and I feel like I have just got in and belonged here. Le Puy will forever have a special place in my heart and so will the croissants and all of which who came on this trip. God put us all together for a reason and I think that is so beautiful. We all just fit together like a puzzle and see the best in each other. I am so blessed with this experience! Just being around the sisters touch my heart and constantly make me feel closer to God. The food here is unique and the sights here are breathtaking. I am forever blessed and loved by God!"
"Over the past 2 days, I felt so at home in Le Puy. I felt such a connection with Martine and her students because they understood the same mission as me. Being around the Sisters and being in the original kitchen spoke to me as if I was there with the first sisters. It saddens me to leave Le Puy, but I know that it will be my home forever."
"The last two days were very relaxing. On Tuesday, we went to the original kitchen and you can just feel the presence of the Sisters as well as seeing the high schoolers/middle schoolers and seeing what they are doing to carry the legacy on. On Wednesday, we got to go to mass and walk a section of the Camino. I just felt a big sense of community and tradition."
"The past few days here have been the most wonderful of my entire 2018. This experience has already brought me back from a very tough and trying time in my life. This trip came at the best possible time in my life and I can't wait to see the beautiful city of Lyon."