The novices: Giao, Hoa, Nguyet, Thuong, Bich Phuong tell us about their Pilgrimage VTT (august 2022)
Summer is the most favourable season for meetings that give us the joy of new discoveries and to build new relationships, even though they are often followed by separations. It is a time in which we feel full of enthusiasm and open to fraternity.
Perhaps the name «Camp Pélé VTT » (Mountain Bike Pilgrimage) is not unknown to you and it may remind you of similar experiences at a younger age. «On pilgrimage by bike, let us fly away up there ». Those who lived it earlier, as well as those who have just done it and those who shall give it a go, are all reminded of the sap of life.
We, young novices, lived and shared fully this time with the young people at the camps VTT: within the Besançon region (from 13 to 19 august); from Champlitte to Notre-Dame de Gray (156km) and the Périgeux region (from 21 to 27 august); from Cherveix Cubas – to Notre Dame de Partout – Notre-Dame de Rocamadour (160 km).
The pilgrimage is a personal adventure as well as a group and a Church adventure. The aim is one’s inner growth, opening one’s heart to God being available for the services we are all asked to offer during the camp.
How does this camp Pélé VTT work? There are some fundamental roles, such as
- the General Wonderful Organizer, the General Big Mouth,
- the Priests, Nuns and Seminarians (to accompany the spiritual journey),
- animators (the Guardian Angels of the cycling pilgrims),
- the Very Old people (who care for our food and our welfare),
- the STAFF (made up of students whose task is to pitch the camp), and the Riders.
We were among the Priests, Nuns and Seminarians. What a surprise when we realized that we were part of an international team (Vietnam, Cameroon, Haiti, Madagascar, and France)! It was a good opportunity to learn from one another, sharing experiences and working together.
Each one of us followed a group of 10 or 12 students with two animators. We cycled 30km per day and had to animate three spiritual times: the Rosary, 10 minutes prayer and the sharing of the Gospel related to the mystery of the Rosary.
In the beginning it was difficult as some students were not yet baptized and did not know anything about this kind of prayer. They joined the adventure to know new people, discover and accept others. When the journey became tough they learned to support one another. It was nice to see how all our and their efforts brought good fruits. For instance: one of the girls wanted to impress others with her strength, but when she had a little accident all the others had words of encouragement for her. She experienced what fraternal support is and how important it is to work as a team. Her experience reminded them of our community life, and as we were there they asked us: « What is religious life and what is choosing a way of life according to Christian faith? ».
For us it was a good occasion to live and witness to our vocation as Sisters of Charity working for the common good.
We are very happy of what we lived in spite of the rain, the heat and the exhaustion … !
“Without discrimination of race and religion, the Pélé VTT gave me the opportunity of experiencing interculturality”
“The joy, that overcoming one’s tiredness gives, is formidable.”
“I was deeply touched by the sharing with the young people and by their faith. It helps me believe in the role I may play as a nun among young people if I let the Holy Spirit guide me”
“The camp Pélé VTT was a nice adventure. The joy of being together with young people has made me overcome the exhaustion. On my bike I felt joy and hope”
“Against any wind, Our mission is to pitch Camps, Our joy is our fortress”
“United by the same faith, a flame warms up my heart, and my joy is to witness! “