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Two hundred years of the Marist Sisters

03/10/2017: France - Photo gallery

The townsfolk of a village in north-west of Lyon in France is gathering with visiting Marist Sisters on Oct. 3 in Coutouvre, to mark an event of great significance to them. Two hundred years ago two young women born and bred there set out for the unfamiliar territory of Cerdon, on the other side of Lyon with its foreign dialect and customs.

Jeanne-Marie Chavoin and Marie Jotillon had known for 11 years that they were called by God. However, the details of God's purpose only became evident when they were introduced to the Marist Project being promoted by one Fr Jean-Claude Colin and some other newly-ordained priests. Suddenly all became clear and, as Jeanne-Marie put it years later, "we left home and family to begin the Society of the Blessed Virgin".

No exact date is known, but it would have been some time in October 1817. As relatively few Sisters are able to be present in Coutouvre for the occasion, the Congregational Leader, Sr Grace Ellul, has published a video message for the Sisters across the Congregation in their different languages.

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