I was given the privilege of attending the Mission Alive Program in LePuy, France in September of this year. It was a journey of self-discovery for me and for many of my colleagues from around the world who are partners with the Sisters of St. Joseph. We were there as pilgrims, not as tourists, and we were guided by Sisters who helped us slow down and reflect.
Part of our week included a guided tour of Mother St. John Fontbonne’s home, as well as a trip to visit her grave in Lyon. We learned about her life and the historical portion of the Sister’s beginnings, yet it was the thoughtful prayers and reflections at the graveside that highlighted why we were there. Frankly, it brought more questions than answers…
Who was this strong woman who led her young charges into the unknown?
How did the Spirit move in Mother St. John Fontbonne?
What can I learn from her example of strength and courage?
How is the Spirit moving in me?
I picked up a pebble from the grave to mark the day and it became a touchstone, a memory, an urging to move towards answering those questions.
-Guest Blog by Michelle Vermeeren, Staff, Sisters of St. Joseph