Fraternity of Jesus retreat in the Czech Republic : Communion in diversity

From October 31 to November 3, in the picturesque town of Velehrad, Czech Republic, the Fraternity of Jesus retreat gathered 130 brothers and sisters from Austria, Germany, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

It was a great joy welcoming for the 1st time, our brothers and sisters from the Ukraine as well as our General Moderator,  Michel-Bernard de Vregille and Catherine, his spouse.


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Together, we meditated on “Communion in the Holy Trinity”. The Lord invites us to live this communion among us and to bring it to the world to those to whom He sends us.

In Velehrad, there were seven different languages and it was quite difficult to find a common language. Through this obstacle, the Lord taught us to welcome each other in simplicity. Despite the language barrier, He spoke to each of us and made us truly brothers and sisters. Through this poorness, He made us grow in fraternal love and communion.

On November 2, Michel-Bernard welcomed the steps of the consecrated sisters. This beautiful celebration during in which the sisters offered themselves to the Lord “for the service of the Church and the evangelization of the world” took place in the Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and of Saints Cyril and Methodius.  This is the place where, according to tradition, Saints Cyril and Methodius, who were servants of God through their lives, proclaimed Christ in the language of the people.  Saint Cyril and Method are a good example for a way of evangelisation that integrates the local culture. Their testimony is still important for us today. We see that the questions of the differences of rites and languages  could also be challenges of communion in the Emmanuel Community today.

It was also a great joy to accompany our brothers and sisters during steps of probation as well as consecration in the Fraternity of Jesus. We had the opportunity to pray for each country present – as an expression of fraternal love and communion among us, we asked for the blessing for the brothers of other countries, for the Community and the Church at home.

The meeting in Velehrad allowed us to draw peace from the Lord. It encouraged us and invited us to get to know more who is God, the Emmanuel and to bring him throughout our lives to those to whom He sends us. It was a joyful time of prayer, praise and fraternal life for all of us.