During the summer of 2019 we were able to host seventeen young friars at our St. Maximilian M. Kolbe friary in Lourdes for a period of fraternal life and service in the Marian city. The friars were taking part in either initial or ongoing formation.
The visiting friars were from Italy, Romania, Croatia, Brazil, Zambia, Peru and Spain. Our community was happy to welcome the group’s cultural diversity and charismatic unity.
In addition to participating in the natural rhythm of fraternal life with its prayer and meals, the friars served at the Shrine, assisting at the grotto, the pools, on the path of Saint Bernadette, animating the Via Crucis, welcoming penitents in the confession chapel and carrying the relics of St. Bernardette during the “aux flambeaux” procession. In addition to these activities, the young friars welcomed pilgrims at our Missionary Center at the Mission of the Immaculate, where they carried out the mission of listening and catechesis. Over these summer months, the Center welcomed over six thousand people.
While serving at the Shrine, our young friars were able to meet and collaborate with other young seminarians and volunteers, establishing the bonds of beautiful friendships.
The community also provided formation witness meetings to learn more about the French social and ecclesial context. Among those attending were the Most Reverend Nicolas Jean René BROUWET, Bishop of Tarbes-Lourdes, France; the Rector of the Shrine; a number of families and people who take part the charism of hospitality; the Cenacle community; and others.
The spiritual fruitfulness at Lourdes helps nurture our human, spiritual and Franciscan growth. It certainly helps our Marian and Kolbean spirituality to become better rooted during formation.
The community at Lourdes and the Provincial Custody of St. Bonaventure in France-Belgium thank the formators and Ministers Provincial who allowed our young men to have this experience of service and mission. It was enriching not only for them, but for the friary at Lourdes and our Custody as well.
The friars of the friary at Lourdes [FIMP]