After a 1.5 hour delay in Chicago’s International Terminal, we finally got to Amsterdam with only minutes to spare to run for our connecting flight to Lyons, France. The time shift really got to me, so I knocked out as we boarded the coach to make our way to a well known village to Catholics across the globe, only 45 minutes out of Lyons: the village of Ars.
He may have never finished seminary due to lack of formal education, but through the help of his priest friend, the bishop ordained St. John Vianney and sent him to this little country town. Here, he heard confessions for countless hours and brought the faith to these common people. Today, he is known as the patron of diocesan priests world wide. His body remains in state inside the parish were he ministered for his whole life. In the days to come, we will retreat here. I hope to spend time learning more of this holy priest’s life, his love for God and God’s people, and hope to seek his intercession for my vocation. Ars is a very peaceful and quiet place. The birds chirp right outside my room on this Tuesday evening, not a stop light in sight, and the hospitality is extraordinary!
Here’s a quick shot of John Vianney’s parish (with the green rooftops). Days of retreat will be spent in prayer in this small village.
Tomorrow, we will make a pilgrimage to eastern France to visit the Romanesque church Paray Le Monial. We will celebrate the Eucharist there and later travel to Cluny.