The closing Eucharist brought out the joy of these days of fraternity. Everyone sang at the top of their voices the songs they had learned during the week in different languages. The “Our Father” is whispered with great intensity, as one and all enjoy the prayerful murmurs of the companions around them. The week was not just about learning to live the Eucharist enriched by our diversity: we truly experienced being one heart in prayer. This communion can be felt in the self-service queue, in the glances exchanged as we pass each other in the corridors, and at the table, where conversations are rife with laughter, demonstrating the simplicity of brothers and sisters in close proximity of heart.
The closing evening will allow everyone to let their joy spill over into long discussions at the bar or in the dance. Some won’t get much sleep, as preparations for departure will begin around 4am. The unexpected means that additional companions have to accompany their delegates by car to the airport. Everyone’s tiredness and the short night are no obstacle. Fraternity is lived to the end. The room that served as the welcome area became the one for “good-byes” and last photos! The application that had been used to work on precious documents and prepare discernment and election became the one to receive “Thanks”. Photos arrive from the airport as well as from Mont St Michel and the places we visit in Paris. Everyone is encouraged by the follow-up to this assembly, a beacon of hope for all!