Frat in Jambville, pilgrimage to Chartres... For Pentecost, Catholics are mobilizing

Frat in Jambville, pilgrimage to Chartres… For Pentecost, Catholics are mobilizing

Fifty days after Easter, the celebration of the solemnity of Pentecost is the occasion for various meetings in dioceses and Catholic communities of all stripes.

The Pentecost weekend mobilizes

Fifty days after Easter, the celebration of the solemnity of Pentecost is the occasion for various meetings in the dioceses. The most important is the Frat gathering in Jambville which will bring together more than 11,000 young people aged 13 to 15 from all over Ile-de-France, with their chaperones. A gathering whose Sunday mass will be broadcast by the Lord's Day, on France 2. Of a more modest size, the walk around Lake Bairon which takes place on May 20 invites in particular college students from the diocese of Reims and the Ardennes . Finally, from May 19 to 20, the dioceses of the Atlantic coast invite you to a pilgrimage of prayer for vocations to Rochefort and to the sanctuary of Île-Madame. With pilgrims from Poitiers, La Rochelle, Limoges, Charente, Corrèze, Charente-Maritime, etc.

The Pentecost weekend is also an opportunity to rediscover local sanctuaries, such as that of Larchant, in the diocese of Meaux with a pilgrimage organized from May 19 to 20.

“Traditional” pilgrimages: what are we talking about?

Throughout the History of the Church, particularly in France, groups have reacted to this or that decision of the Roman authority. This is the case, at the end of the 19th century, of those nicknamed the “Old Catholics”, who opposed in particular the affirmation of papal infallibility proclaimed by the First Vatican Council.

We find similar positions after the event of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and its new pastoral orientation which disconcerted the most conservative circles and those most resistant to dialogue with the modern world. The schism caused by Mgr Lefebvre is the most visible expression of this, thus founding a branch breaking with the Catholic Church, since it now ordains its own bishops without the agreement of Rome. This fundamentalist trend brings together the most virulent faithful around the celebration of the old-fashioned mass, in Latin, with their backs to the people and using the mass books from before the Second Vatican Council.

Since then, a nebula of other groups has emerged with a range of diverse positions, many of which do not go as far as an effective break with Rome. But they claim, from within the Catholic Church, a conservative approach to the faith which is expressed by the demand to celebrate in their own way. The pilgrimage to Notre-Dame de Chrétienté is one of them, bringing together the strong forces of the French traditionalist network, supported by priests and orders from this movement (priests of the Saint-Pierre fraternity, traditionalist monasteries, private traditionalist Catholic schools). Without forgetting the strong forces of the nationalist and royalist movements.

Pélés of tradition in spades

The old medieval pilgrimage of Chartres, where pilgrims come to venerate the relics of the veil of the Virgin Mary, experienced a revival at the beginning of the 21st century. And since the post-war period, this march between Paris and Chartres has become a meeting mobilizing different networks.

For nearly twenty years, the Île-de-France student mission organized a march to Chartres, bringing together many students from chaplaincies in the region and beyond. A pilgrimage which has marked several generations of Catholics, but which has died out for several years after growing difficulties in organizing and mobilizing networks of student chaplaincies.

The other pilgrimages which take place that weekend are all from the traditionalist movement. Alongside the pilgrimage of Notre-Dame de Chrétienté which is celebrating its thirty years of existence and which is enjoying a certain success in mobilization, two others take place on parallel routes. A march from Orléans to Chartres is thus organized from May 18 to 20 by a group of secular traditionalists and nationalists. Without forgetting the march of fundamentalist Catholics which takes the route in the opposite direction, leaving Chartres to go to Paris where they celebrate the end of their pilgrimage in the open air in front of the Invalides. The relationships between these various traditionalist pilgrimages are more or less simple, each claiming their own personal territory as a faithful who is more or less intransigent with the religious and political discourse they claim.

Tradition and traditions

It’s one of those words in Catholic theology that seems easy to understand. But, in fact, over the course of History it has become overloaded with new meanings which make it complex.

Since the origins, the question of the transmission of faith has forced Christians to reflect on what is essential. In this case, the revelation received in the incarnation of Christ, even in his death and resurrection. It is the keystone of Christian affirmation which provides access to the other great mysteries professed in the Creed (Trinitarian life, etc.).

It is therefore the Word of God, received in the Holy Scriptures, which is the first source of the Christian faith. But this Word is not just a holy text: it is a word received, meditated on, prayed, transmitted by Christian communities. And this is where the second pillar of the transmission of the faith appears: Tradition. With a capital letter, it designates much more than “habits” (we’ve always done it like that). The right image is that of a treasure (we sometimes speak of the deposit of faith) that we receive and that we must pass on. But it is also a treasure to be brought to fruition, as in the parable of the talents. Tradition thus holds both the idea of ​​fidelity to what we have received and fidelity to the work of the Holy Spirit who continues to act in this world and in our communities. It is thus a phenomenon of spiritual growth that the notion of Tradition, much more than conservatism or nostalgia for a bygone time.

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