Mission in Bavay – a time for new missionaries!


“We have never had an experience of mission”, “Before, it was the missionaries who came and got us to meet together in the churches … but now things have changed!”, “They will think that we are a sect” … These were some of the expressions of the people of the parish when their priest told them about the planned mission they were going to take part in.  We assured them that it’s something completely normal! There would be a preparation workshop and we already have the Lord’s promise that he will be with us every day …

So, in the days leading up to the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, “Candlemas”, we spent time visiting the area of St Peters’ Parish in the diocese of Cambrai. We started each day with a time of prayer, and then we divided into teams of two or three to visit houses. We arrived with a big smile and a simple presentation, “We come from the parish … I am your neighbour”, or, “I live in this neighbourhood” and “we want to wish you a happy feast of the candles! “. The conversation developed along the line of people’s interest or questions. When we left we gave them a candle, a card and an invitation to watch the latest “Lourdes“documentary together. We met the children from catechesis; we went into schools and visited the lessons as well as joining in with a prayer group who pray especially for their priests every Thursday.

What impressions did all this leave in the new missionaries? Here are some of the reactions. “I am happy to have participated, Thank you for your dedication and I am ready for new adventures!” (Pierre). “When they answered: We are not interested, I said to myself: I hope that the joy of the Gospel gives us strength to open all doors” (Lydia); “I was surprised to find so much loneliness and suffering, God needs us to reach each person”; “ When I went for prayer, I hadn’t decided whether to go out and visit houses or not; But when I saw everyone gathered in church, praying and listening to the Word, the mission took on its full meaning. And, spontaneously, I offered to come back for more.  It was a beautiful experience that we would love to repeat! (Marie Ange and Gerard)

And so the adventure continues…

Catherine, Maria Jo and Chole

clwakeling2Mission in Bavay – a time for new missionaries!