An unexpected call-Lyon-Cavenne(France)
For several years now, in the Territory of France, Belgium, Italy and Vietnam, many communities were closed: Nimes, Brussels, Tours, Choisy, etc, because of our ageing.
At the end of February 2019, a new project was created: the opening of a community in an intergenerational and intercultural house in Lyon, run by “Habitat et Humanisme”. A community of three Franciscan women were in this house since 2008, but they had to leave. Three LSA could be available to answer this call.
The house called “Christophe Merieux” celebrated its 10 years of existence on the 18th June, both in honour of the former sisters, and to welcome the newcomers. Gradually the project took shape and on the 25th of September 2019, we arrived in this new implantation. At the beginning we were only two sisters, and we started to settle in.
In the meanwhile, during the summer months, the third sister was busy with the closure of the community Tours Sanitas, the administrative work, sorting out of papers and of furniture. Part of the furniture had to go to Lyon, and this sister was involved in all this.
Little by little we got to know the residents of the centre, several young mothers with toddlers (we celebrated the 1st birthday of 3 children, Mamoussa, Layallah and Nayel); some elderly people also live here (Latifa, Jacqueline and Abdel) as well as young workers (Mohamed, Nicolas, Mahdi). Each Tuesday evening all those who can, gather together in the shared room for the ‘Tuesday Tea’ with the volunteers; it is an opportunity to get acquainted. The tenants are in an integration process and they stay here for 3 years before finding other accommodation. When we can, one of us takes part in the many activities offered: cooking, games, outings etc. These moments are an opportunity not only to know the residents better but also to share our know–how and to do something together.
The house called “Christophe Merieux”
The house is managed by a manager and two social workers, in addition to one young woman from Mali, a civil servant
We have discovered a multi-cultural neighbourhood: Asian, African, and North African people. In the house several cultures are also present. We are close to the Prado’s Fathers and sisters, with the spirit of Blessed Father Chevrier.
The parish is also named after him, and it is very lively.
On a regular basis there are parish gatherings to deepen our reflection on a given theme. Recently it was the Sunday of the Word. There are some groups who share the Word of God; at present it is on Jeremiah. The three of us have joined a group. We have an intergeneration moment at the Mass on Thursday evening, at St. Andre’s church, which is prepared and animated by the student mission.
St. Stephen’s Day, feast of our Founder we celebrated our arrival with our Sisters who are close by, la Guillotière, and Vaulx-en-Velin. Unfortunately, the Sisters from Roanne rest Home could not join us because of a train strike. We were 19 Little Sisters; Fr. Pernet and Marie de Jesus, and Sr. Paul-Helene were also present thanks to the animation prepared by the young women of Vaulx-en-Velin.
The community of Lyon Cavenne
Marie-Bernadette Clavier, Marie-Céline Mulliez, Marie Jouanneaux