A session for the European novices was held from the 13th of November until the morning of the 17th of November 2017 at Lowendal in Paris. Three novices, Gaëtane Dupuy (BFN), Dorota Piesak (POL), and Timea Milánkovics (CEU), took part in the workshop with their formators Noëlle Favet (BFN) and Joanna Moś (POL).
After a brief orientation and prayer, we began by introducing ourselves to each another. The next two days, Françoise Belpaire (BFN) joined us and talked with great passion and enthusiasm about the life of our foundress. She knows a lot of anecdotes about Sophie and likes speaking about them. An interpreter, Mary Frances de Bellescize, a lay woman and a friend of ours, helped us in the translation from French into English.
In the afternoons we visited some places in Paris where Sophie and the community lived. This experience made the presentations more lively, and in the end we realised how close we have become to Sophie Barat.
On Thursday we had some personal time to deepen our experiences. We also had the opportunity to be in the presence of Sophie at Saint Francis Xavier Church. Afterwards we read some of Sophie's letters about the interior life, and shared our thoughts, questions, and difficulties. We collected the fruits of these days in a beautiful prayer.
At the end of our session, we prepared a thanksgiving dinner. Having enjoyed the hospitality of our Sisters in Lowendal, it was our pleasure to invite the community to this dinner.
The time passed very quickly. We all agree that it was a memorable experience, and an important encounter with Madeleine Sophie. We are very grateful for all this, and now look forward to the next sessions.