The novices tell us about their experience in Sancey

The Covid-19 pandemic prevented us from going to other communities on stage; yet it gave us the chance of spending almost 2 months in Sancey, the cradle of our Congregation.

Everybody knows Sancey, with its silence and peace, a green haven where the water of brooks responds to the song of birds.

Staying in Sancey has brought us closer to Jeanne Antide. It has been a privileged time in which the Lord gave us the chance to live with Him and be inspired by Jeanne Antide’s spiritual life. The courses with Sr Catherine, in the same places, forests and pastures, where Jeanne Antide grew up, helped us understand what she lived. The pilgrimage to the Baume’s caves (with Sr Nicole Marie) and to other close places made us discover Jeanne Antide’s courage, faith and charity. All that we have seen and heard about her, filled us with admiration and love for our Foundress. Praying at the basilica as well as in the small chapel, in the house where she was born, filled us with piety and fervour, knowing that it was there that she heard the voice of God who brought her so far.

We also had time to relax, enjoyed hiking and singing and played unforgettable games. We mainly liked the treasure hunt prepared by the juniorate Sisters (on the theme of Jeanne Antide’s canonization), and the last match of volley ball. The presence of Sr Anne Geneviève and the juniorate Sisters added a particular charm to our stay, because, besides the games, we had the chance of exchanging our talents: songs and hymns, different knowledge, activities… always respecting the specific programme of each group. We experienced an atmosphere of joy and friendship from beginning to end, and wholeheartedly we often sang « the joy of living together and of believing in the love of God who is the Light and the rising sun».

In this atmosphere the courses were not too tiring: «Consecrated Life», mission, personal reflection, prayer and re-reading. We did everything joyfully and willingly prayed in the garden with the sweet music of the cowbells in the nearby pastures. There, we felt that everything is a gift of God creator and benevolent. This awoke our creativity, so we composed prayers and songs and hymns, and we even made paintings.

We especially appreciated the silence, which led us to contemplation, to be aware of our inner life and to listening deeply to the Word. How nice were our morning walks to see the sun rise when only the birds’ songs could be heard! How well our voices mixed with that of the birds during our morning prayers.

We had various adventures which made the outings unforgettable and taught us to be attentive to others and to give ourselves generously.

Weeks passed quickly in Sancey and our stay is soon coming to its end with the beginning of our retreat. We are thankful to the Lord and to our Superiors who made possible this unique experience. Our hearts sing Alleluia! and we want to sing it in all languages: French, Vietnamese, Laotian, Italian and even English!

Walking on Sancey’s routes we, together, made a true spiritual journey.