- People who live in Lyon are referred to as “Lyonnais”
- Lyon is the second largest city next to Paris. Approximately 1.7 million people inhabit the metropolitan area.
- Lyon is a popular student attraction. The city is visited by about 120,000 students each year.
- Lyon was founded by the Romans--evidence of Roman presence can still be seen throughout the city. We will be visiting the Amphitheatre Gallo-Romain which was a bloody gathering place during the time of the Roman empire.
- For centuries, Lyon was the silk capital. Silk weavers used hidden passageways called the traboules and the croix rousse which can still be visited.
- In 1829, the Sisters of St. Joseph formed a centralized congregation in Lyon.
- Lyon is honored as the birthplace of film. In 1895 the Lumiere brothers created the first cinematograph picture cameras.
- Lyon is respected for their cuisine. Evidence of this is their 14 Michelin Star restaurants.
- World renowned chef Paul Bocuse was based in Lyon.
- La Place Bellecour, which we will be visiting, is one of the largest squares in all of Europe.
- Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, is a popular place of pilgrimage, reaching about 2 million visitors annually.
- The Virgin Mary is credited to having saved the city from plagues and war a number of times. As a way of thanking the Virgin Mary, the city has the “festival of lights” every December 8th.
Here are a compilation of some fun facts!
“An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children. He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part, but to each one He gives all of Himself as fully as if there were no others.” A.W. Tozer
Last Sunday, as one of our trip leaders, Dan Leahy, concluded our last video call with a prayerful examination of conscience, I was reminded of God’s faithfulness in every journey. Leahy challenged us to prayerfully visit our days, calling us to a place of gratitude so we could be aware of God’s presence. There were three parts:(1) Reviewing our day, (2) Acknowledging moments that we feel as though we missed the mark, and (3) Looking to the future and turning to God who is, as Leahy says, “always ready to forgive and help.” Faith is a journey, and sometimes we may stumble and fall. Yes, the struggles and sufferings of everyday are real and sometimes consuming, but so is the enduring mercy and grace of God. He does not call us to be perfect, He calls us to be faithful. The examination of conscience reminded me that God wants us to come to Him with everything—our triumphs and victories, but also our pain, shortcomings and doubts. God invites our questioning and, more astonishingly, invites our discontent. He does not grow impatient or frustrated with His children—He already knows what is stirring in our heart, for He is intimately aware of our every thought, but God wants honest, authentic relationship, which requires honest, authentic conversation with Him. So, the closer we get to our trip, the more I am looking at this journey as a time of refinement. I am asking myself, “What is my prayer for this trip?”, and asking God, “What is it in me that You want to transform.” I invite you to do the same. As Leahy reminded us on Sunday, we are always in the presence of God, He never abandons us. He is present in our expectancy and in our struggle, waiting and fighting for us to respond to His love. The examination of conscience is a tool that we can use to always turn back to God and be aware of the things we want to change within ourselves and aware of God’s ability to be completely and totally attentive to each of us. In a few short weeks, as we prepare to walk the same ground of the faithful before us, I pray that we would continue to examine our conscience so we can be mindful of our intentions and hopes for this journey.
Four nights of our trip will be spent at the Centre International St. Joseph in Le Puy. At first thought, the “Centre International” might sound like an industrial structure, but I think you will be pleasantly surprised with its quaint nature. It is important that we be aware of the Center's enduring mission and contributions. The Center was officially opened on October 15, 2004 with the purpose of igniting hearts with the sisters mission.
The Centre International clearly states their mission on their website:
“Embracing the past, we study and deepen our awareness of our history, tradition, and spirituality to ensure the preservation of our 'story' for future generations.
Nurturing the present, we engage Sisters of St. Joseph, associates, and lay partners in deepening their understanding of our mission and charism; we do this within an international setting and with a global focus.
Creating a new future, we interpret our charism in light of today’s world, and informed with this new understanding, help establish ways to incarnate the prayer ‘that all may be one,’ particularly among the young and in areas in need of reconciliation.”
In a world that seems constantly divided, the Center affirms the necessity and benefit of genuine encounter and communion with one another through different offered programs. The Center envisions a world that is not defined by the differences among us, rather strives for unity and common purpose--strives to foster relationship and give people the opportunity to understand and interpret the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Not only is the Center's mission beautiful, but its location is beautiful as well! The Center has two main buildings situated on grassy fields near the peaceful Borne River. The area is nothing short of picturesque and charming--the perfect place for meaningful reflection.
Check out some pictures below! More information about the Centre and its mission can be found here.
Hello everyone! I’m so happy you’re here. My name is Tatiana Belanich and I’m the writer for the Le Puy Pilgrimage blog. I’m a junior at St. Joseph’s College Long Island campus and a double major in Journalism and Religious Studies. I am also an intern with ACSSJ and will be participating in the pilgrimage this June. I hope my articles will be fun and informative, but most importantly a reminder of the mission of this trip. St. Augustine once said, "The world is a great book, of which they that never stir from home read only a page." There is so much beauty to be explored and so much goodness to be experienced if only we would step out of our comfort zone. I hope you will follow us on our journey as we take these steps to respond to the stirrings of our hearts and attempt to read the many chapters the world has to offer.