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La Valla Mulhouse celebrates its ten years of existence!

25/09/2006: France

On the 1st September 1996, the Marist Province of Beaucamps St Genis and the diocese of Strasbourg officially launched the La Valla Mulhouse community.
As Brother Maurice Berquet, Brother Provincial in 1996, noted, “a mixed community project, brothers-laypeople, used not be rational. Besides it was not even planned for in the Constitutions of the brothers” even though the XIXth General Chapter called us to found “prophetic” communities.

During the evening of the 1st September 2006, the chapel of the community was too small to host the fifty or so young people and adults who had come to celebrate intimately this anniversary of a community founded for brothers and laypeople together to live the mission with young people, left by Marcellin Champagnat. Hymns, listening to the Word, silence allowing interior prayer punctuated this hour of prayer. An impressive moment was the renewal of commitment of each of the members of the life community: renewal of vows for Brother André Drury and for Brother Jean Solinhac, renewal of their life commitment in marriage for Pierre and Catherine, and for all four commitment of community life. “We will walk together as brothers and laypeople, each according to his or her vocation. We form community for mission by seeking to be attentive to the needs of those around us and of young people.”

On Sunday 3rd September, the excitement was great around the church of the Sacred Heart, a few metres from the community house… the aperitif organised by the parishioners was prepared in the hall to bring together all the faithful after Mass. The basement kitchen hosted an array of dishes, desserts and drinks for the midday meal; in the large room in the basement, many tables were set without knowing the exact number of guests for La Valla is like that: everyone is welcomed whether you have your hands empty or full! “Enlarge the table!”
In the church, the young people busied themselves with the sound system and preparing the bricks carried in during the offertory procession. Each brick symbolised a fruit that was reaped during the ten years that had passed.
On his arrival, Bishop Christian Kratz took the time to greet everyone before the celebration commenced.

Let’s leave the word to Brother Maurice Berquet: “The celebration was beautiful and simple, totally Marist, the commitment of many young people and laypeople in the preparation was evident. I believe that this celebration highlighted several important aspects: the presence of many brothers, the collaboration with the community of Tourcoing, the commitment of many adults, parents, parishioners at your sides, the commitment of the Church of Strasbourg.”

Let’s sing with Brother Guy Desprez:
“ Ten years of existence
Ten years of presence
Ten years of experience
Ten years of confidence
Ten years of sowing
Ten years of demanding
Ten years of growing
Ten years of hope”

The aperitif gave everyone the opportunity to meet each other in the basement while Marie-France and the team of adults busied themselves in setting up the buffet. The meal brought together more than 150 people including many brothers, priests of the community of parishes of Mulhouse, our Bishop, many young people who shared with us what they had experienced at La Valla, where the “doors are open to so many teams; the only thing they did not do was a discotheque.”

And we lave the conclusion to the brothers of the community of Tourcoing:

“Lord,
You who are the author all that is beautiful and lovable
We thank you for “La Valla”
To which audacious founders have given life.

Source of all beauty
Procure their gentleness and freshness
That they be always ready to transform the world
That their eyes be never closed
To the needs of young people.

You, the light
Shine through them
So that they be luminous and warm
To those who come to them.

Mary,
You who have so often listened to their prayers
Inspire them as always
Accompany them with love, perseverance and discretion.

Marcellin,
Ensure that the days to come
Become for all those whom they meet
An invitation to incarnate the Gospel in your manner.

Long life to La Valla!”

The community of La Valla Mulhouse, André, Jean, Pierre and Catherine
Site: www.lavalla.org

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