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In the “spirit of the Hermitage”



L’Hermitage: a new goal attained

31/03/2010: France

On Monday 29 March a new step is taken in the ‘renewal of the spirit of the Hermitage’, announced by Br. Seán Sammon at the General Conference in Sri Lanka 2005. The renovation of the physical structures of our ‘Motherhouse’ – symbol of this spiritual renewal – has received the approval and blessing of the French civil authorities responsible: the house is considered habitable and officially recognized for receiving the thousands of pilgrims who will make use of it in the coming years.

We leave it to Joan Puig-Pey, the architect responsible for the renovations, to give us his impressions:

“I have the great joy of being able to share this unique moment with you. What a joy after so many efforts and difficulties! The final examination today, with all the commissions, has given us the approval with an ‘Excellent’. The firemen have praised the architecture as well…

Space, light, materials… beauty: all in the service of the person. Tools for making resonate the sensitivity that all we Marists carry inside. Few thought it possible. Only the more “crazy ones”… like Marcellin.

Today the Mother house, Our Lady of the Hermitage, can officially turn to receiving people. Certainly we have some weeks of review and putting the finishing touches, to reconstruct the new ‘historial’ and getting it going… But the dream today has been converted into a beautiful reality.

This spring afternoon proves, once more, that faith moves mountains. How our boldest dreams and projects succeed when we believe in them and involve ourselves in them with all our efforts, when we love passionately what we are and have, when we are non-conformist, creative in the work, and meet companions on the way who want to share the risk of going to the limit. Our strength is that of the God of little things, of Elias, Mary, Marcellin… the ‘Abbà’ of Jesus!”

This publication rejoices with Joan and with all those who have worked these last years side by side to be able to arrive at this “official” recognition of the French authorities, a necessary step towards the official inauguration which will be celebrated within a few months. For the moment, the new international community of the Hermitage is taking possession of the house, and the participants in the Provincial Chapter of L’Hermitage (6-10 April) are going to be the first pilgrims to make use of it.

Thanks be to God! Our Lady of the Hermitage, pray for us!

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