Yearning to commemorate the Institutes Centenary of foundation in a meaningful way, the FSPs of France arranged to have a Eucharistic Liturgy celebrated in Villeurbanne, a working-class zone not far from the large city of Lyons, where the first FSP pioneers arrived in 1935 to initiate the Pauline mission. The Mass was celebrated in the local parish church, where our sisters and the other parishioners were joined by friends, collaborators, book center clients and the FSPs of Lyons and Marseilles.
The event was characterized by a simple and joyful atmosphere of prayer and thanksgiving. In his homily, the Pastor, Fr. J.C. Servanton, who happily supported this initiative, drew parallels between the readings of the day and the mission of the Daughters of St. Paul, underscoring the connection between the FSP Centenary and the Year of Consecrated Life.
At the end of the Mass, copies of the book Venerable Thecla Merlo: A Thousand Lives for the Gospel by Gabriella Collesei, fsp, were distributed to all the participants. Fr. Gilles Collicelli, Regional Delegate of the Society of St. Paul, and Sr. Françoise Rives, Delegate Superior of the Pious Disciples, participated in the event as representatives of the other branches of the Pauline Family present in the country. The beautiful Liturgy, celebrated in a spirit of fraternity, reminded everyone of the significance of the Pauline vocation in the Church and world of today.