All in Marist Schools Australia Melbourne

The following reflection was used as an introduction to one of our Paris prayer sessions:

So well did Roman Gaul take to Christianity, that France has been  referred to in recent years by one of the Popes , as “First Daughter of the Church”.

On Monday, some of us discovered the church in Montmatre where the first Jesuits, on fire with a love of Jesus and a passion for living the Gospel with greater integrity, gathered and talked and nourished their faith with each other. And this was in the 16th century, at the height of the Protestant reform, which as Catholics, they realized had not arisen out of nowhere. Something had gone very wrong in the Church they loved.

It was with mixed emotions that we boarded the TGV (train) to travel at 300 kilometres per hour on our journey to Lyon two hours south of Paris. Whilst we were a little sad to be leaving Paris there was a sense of quiet anticipation about moving closer to the origins of Marcellin’s story and the associated quietness of the country. There was also an emerging sense of wanting to get on with the business for which we came.

Our arrival in Paris was one eagerly awaited for after the many hours spent travelling throughout the previous night and day. At last, we were here. The city of buzz. The city of fashion. The city of history. Here we stood as travellers, a small group of 24 pilgrims compared to the estimated 44 million tourists that would visit the city this year.

We knew that we were pilgrims but at this stage we really wanted to be tourists – and our wish was granted!