Treasures of the day
Among the many highlights… A late afternoon meeting with a companion from Zimbabwe…although words were limited for language reasons. She had brought a vase from her country, a clay vase that had arrived broken…Yes a clay vase that carried a treasure! During our exchange, which lasted a few minutes, she told me about the economic difficulties, visa problems… to come to France. Yes, her presence in Amiens was indeed a treasure in a clay vase!Maguy, France
Singing “Receive the humility of God” at communion in such a splendid and grandiose cathedral!!!!Myriam, France
Treasures: meeting the witness of Oasis saint Ho; the image of Christ with a thousand faces; multilingual mass; meeting with various delegates; stands, dances from various countries; the common language that brings us together; reuniting with companions; World CLC as one big family; the clowns’ proposalsRobert, Michel, Christian, Marie-Christine, Elisabeth, Geneviève, Jean-Pierre, Cécile, Elisabeth, Thérèse and Marie-Élise (France)
I enjoyed principallyDaniela, Germany
– meeting so many people again. I have travelled with in my World CLC Journey for more than 20 years; so many shared experiences, so many moments of reflection and sharing… and such a deep sense of unity in all our diversity
– the Eucharist in the Cathedral – obviously touching also many visitors coming into this Church… a great Thanksgiving for our world-wide community rooted in Ignatian Spirituality
A NGO that helps street people say to us: “you have to do things with them, not FOR them”…Hélène, France
We came away nourished by the exchange with a delegate during this morning’s prayer time, which will continue to resonate over the coming days. We were given a card asking us to pray for a delegate. It’s a wonderful show of support for all our companions, and a way for us to participate at our own level in the world assembly.Cécile & Julien, France
For me, one of the “treasures” of August 6th in Amiens was the encounters, mostly short, as the day progressed (queuing to go to the toilet, sharing a picnic, taking a few steps with one or another). Accounters first with a Colombian, then a German, then a Luxembourgish, then an Austrian… Fraternal exchanges that brought me into contact with a bit of the political situation in Colombia, with the experience of a group of Germans, Luxembourgish, Belgians and Swiss, with the experience of a newly elected member of an Regional service team in Paris, etc… My heart has opened up more to the planet, and that’s good.Olivier, France
Mass was the high point of the day: people of all ages, nations and cultures, united around our global service team, overcoming language barriers to pray, sing and celebrate the Lord.Albert, France
One of my treasures was the time spent in prayer with one delegate. There was one CLC member who was finishing her welcome journey, and one from outside France who had taken part in the World Assembly in 1967 (when the “Marian group” became CLC) as a delegate, and again as a delegate in 1990 for the general principles. This great diversity touched me. Then I broke down in tears in the arms of the Lithuanian delegate who asked me to pray for peace in Ukraine. We cried in each other’s arms before singing and praying together.Véronique, France
The Assembly is global … and so are participants
We know that delegates come from all over the world. But also did participants. Many from all over France and Belgium, of course. But there were also companions from Great Britain, Switzerland, Spain – and even other continents like the Philippines and Hong Kong.
The German-speaking countries (Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg) had invited their members to a trip to Amiens. 55 German-speaking companions, joined by a dozen Belgians, spent a long weekend in the city of Jules Vernes, with a boat tour of the hortillonnages and a walk in international groups, sharing their thoughts on the theme of the Assembly.
But of course, Open day remains the most important event for German-speaking participants. Barbara from Germany describes her experience: “Visitors’ Day was great: lively, encouraging, exuberant, joyful! We were welcomed by volunteers with coffee and tea, praised God together in morning prayer, and then went to the borders in small groups. In small workshops, we learned about the commitments of the French companions: ecology, intercultural dialogue, the Saint Hugues center in Biviers and its work with refugees, etc. We all met again at the cathedral for mass with Father Sosa sj. In a long procession, we finally returned to La Providence to celebrate and dance joyfully to specialities from different countries. Thank you for this world CLC experience!”
Listening to delegates from French-speaking Africa
Irène and Bruno spent the day listening to the African delegates. Here are some of the highlights of the day…
“I find here the meaning of friendship in the Lord”. Dieudonné, from Chad, says he sees in Amiens “the greatness of Ignatian spirituality”.
So did Joël, from Benin, who discovered “the importance of the Community. It makes me realise that we, the Benin Community, are really on the way”, he confirms.
For most of the observer delegates from the African continent, this World Assembly is a discovery, a marvel. “Everyone is moving in the same direction, and it’s easy to get in touch with each other,” continues Dieudonné. Contacts are easy. “The language barrier is not a barrier at all,” says Marilyn, also from Chad, who is delighted to share the same spirituality as her companions in Amiens, “even at this crossroads of nations”.
Fatima, from Bangui in the Central African Republic, liked the fraternal atmosphere and openness right from the start: “You feel at home, it’s a family! If you get into trouble, you know they’ll support you. In any case, it helps you to grow, like any family”. Théoneste, the ecclesial assistant in Rwanda, confirms: “What a fraternal atmosphere! The path is the same”.
Yannick from Benin feels “really lucky! “When I meet people, I realise that there is unity in diversity in CLC. We share the same realities, and other communities have responded to the same problems we face. “
Can you give us some examples? “CLC Sri Lanka identified a deserted area and planted coconut trees. It has given life to this area, and the coconuts will benefit the people of the region! Why shouldn’t we! There’s also CLC Botswana, which offers support to married couples. Why not us, it could save families! I’ve started again, and we’re going to welcome a new community from the discovery programme.
Fatima noted a new way of doing “the 3rd round and the evaluation, in a local community meeting”.
Sharing like a burning fire
In reality, what everyone seems to have appreciated most is the sharing of apostolic initiatives. Marilyn and Dieudonné explain: “We discovered other people’s apostolates, which are going to give a boost to our own actions. We need that energy! The same goes for Joël: “Seeing these committed communities is like a fire that burns, it makes me think about my own community.”
Pacifique, from the Community of Rwanda, 220 members strong, who with his wife Magnifique – and how right he is to mention her beautiful first name! – has 4 children, also emphasises how important the sharing of apostolic initiatives has been: “We were able to visit the apostolates of the other Communities, it was an impregnation”, he says forcefully.
For Elodie, who comes from the same country, “even if there aren’t that many of us, thanks to the apostolic initiatives, we’re visible. That’s what counts”.
Both appreciate this highly connected World Assembly, thanks to the app and other tools that allow them to react to each other or quickly transfer information to their Community. “There’s more visibility. We can see what’s going on.”