The Congregational Spirituality Centre, at the pivotal point of the Motherhouse, is at the heart of spiritual animation for the Congregation, at the service of the CLT and thus the entire Congregation.
The Role of the Congregational Spirituality Centre
To follow through on the initiatives of the Congregational Spirituality Committee
To nourish a vibrant spirituality for today, through reflective living
To promote an appreciation of our heritage (spirituality, people, places)
To respond to requests for individual / group accompaniment and formation
To develop pilgrimages / sabbaticals connected with our Congregational story and roots
To offer retreats enlivened by the spirituality of St. John Eudes and St. Mary Euphrasia
To maintain and respect the Historical Archives and encourage continuing research
January 20th 2017: Animation for a group of pupils in the birth house of St. Mary Euphrasia in Noirmoutier.
February 10th to 12th 2017: Exhibition on the life of Father Wresinski founder of ATD Fourth-World in the Museum of the Good Shepherd. (Native of Angers and served as an altar boy at Good Shepherd Motherhouse)
February 11th 2017: Celebration for the centenary of the birth of the Father Wresinski in the Good Shepherd Chapel.
March 26th 2017: Presentation of the birth house in Noirmoutier for the 700th anniversary of the diocese of Luçon.
Beginning of April 2017: Museum's summer timetable resumes.
April 4th to 11th 2017: Pilgrimage from USA in the Motherhouse.
April 18th to 29th 2017: 10 day reflective spiritual experience: “Deepening our identity together”.
April 24th 2017: 2nd reflection of the Spirituality Centre for the project “3 years with SME”.
May 5th- 8th 2017: Meeting of the representatives of all the Provinces of Europe on the theme: “The future of the Congregation in Europe”.
June 13th to 24th 2017: 10 day reflective spiritual experience: “Deepening our identity together”.
July – August 2017: pastoral presence at St. Mary Euphrasia’s birth house in Noirmoutier.
Since 2010, the Spirituality Centre organizes each year weeks of pilgrimages and retreat at the Motherhouse. It gives the opportunity to Sisters and Mission Partners of the Congregation to share together a time of renewal and reflection.
During pilgrimages, the retreatants walk in the footsteps of our founders St. John Eudes and St. Mary Euphrasia. They visit Noirmoutier discovering her birth house, her school and her playground in “Bois de la Chaise”, Tours where she entered the Congregation in 1814 and Caen, the city of St. John Eudes.
For this year 2017, the Spirituality Centre innovate by offering a 10 day spiritual reflection based on the new Congregational Museum, opened to the public on summer 2016.
Program and inscriptions for 2017 sessions:
“Reflecting back to the grace-filled pilgrimage and retreat in Angers, my heart is full of unending praise and joy! To follow and feel the footprints of St John Eudes in Ri and Caen in the founding of Our Lady of Charity ( 1641-2016 375 years ago) and St Mary Euprasia Pelletier , and her witness and wisdom in the formation of the Generalate ..... breathing her spirit in Noirmoutier, Tours, and especially in Angers (1835-2016 181 years ago). What a powerful gift of Thanks-Giving is my Magnificat!”
“The Motherhouse is a sacred place; it has been a moment of encountering God”.
“I feel energized and blessed”.
Some pictures of past retreats (link to picture in the tab « Medias »).
In 2016, 2017 and 2018 we are recalling many important events in the life of St. Mary Euphrasia:
In 2016, the 31st July marks the 220th anniversary of her birth.
In 2017, the 9th September marks the 200th anniversary of her first profession.
In 2018, the 24th April marks the 150th anniversary of her death.
The Congregational Spirituality Centre is suggesting that we honour these dates and in doing so deepen our appreciation of St. Mary Euphrasia over the next three years.
We are proposing the following themes for sharing and celebrating each year:
- From 31st July 2016 to the 24th April 2017: Personal story and life commitments
- From 24th April 2017 to the 24th April 2018: Going beyond borders
- From 24th April 2018 to the 24th April 2019: Our vibrant mission today
Though the Canonization process of Blessed Maria Droste was suspended, we are highly motivated to work on the theme “Integration of contemplation and action in the life of Blessed Maria Droste zu Vischering”. Actually, this theme was a central topic in her religious life.
In honour of the centenary of the death of Sr. Maria Droste (8. 6. 1999), Sr. Gudula Busch rgs, expert on Maria Droste from Germany, expressed the apostolic-contemplative life of Maria Droste as follows:
“Maria had an unusually active apostolic life firmly grounded in contemplation and mysticism. She had to dig deep to find the well in the desert that prevented her from drying out in the heat of hard routine.” (Centering life, p.4)
“Integration of contemplation and action” is obviously also the lifelong task for each of us and a permanent challenge in our lives. Bl. Maria Droste also knew these difficulties and struggled with them at times.
How do we experience the challenge of integrating contemplation and action?
We would like to publish the personal testimonies of our Sisters and Mission Partners in this area. No doubt, they will reveal a variety of faith stories and apostolic experiences. They will certainly encourage us to renew our Apostolic Zeal and open up new perspectives to risk together for Mission.
We are fortunate that Sr. Gudula Busch is willing to write an introduction for the theme. Some selected passages from the documents of Bl. Maria Droste will be also presented.
The fruits of this project will be online in the second half of 2017 on the Spirituality Centre page.
For any request related to the different spiritual sessions/animations, please contact:
Ms Anne-Laure Thébault
Maison-Mère du Bon Pasteur
3, rue Brault
49045 Angers Cedex 01
Phone: 02 41 37 59 47
For any request related to Sr. Mary Euphrasia Pelletier, Sisters who made their profession in Angers, and the history of the Motherhouse please contact:
Mme Sarah Elbisser
Maison-Mère du Bon Pasteur
3, rue Brault
49045 Angers Cedex 01
Phone: 02 41 37 59 49
You can send your request for prayer intention to the Contemplative Sisters: