A visit from 3 French Brothers/friends of mine

One of the great things about being a member of an apostolic religious congregations is that you get the chance to meet, study with, live with in community people from different backgrounds, cultures, etc... and though like in any form of life where people are thrown together in a situation, personalities may sometimes clash, there is on the whole such good will, generosity and friendship that you come to feel part of one very large family...

Well, that is at least my experience. During my training to be a Brother in the 1990s, I was blessed with the chance to spend 5 years in France (we, the De La Mennais Brothers were founded in Brittany in 1819 - now in 24 countries). During that time I got to know many French Brothers. Whenever I visited a community, for whatever reason, the warmth of fraternal love with which I was welcomed (whether or not I had met the Brothers before or not) would bowl me over. I still go to France for various reasons a few times a year and it is always a joy to meet up with old friends in the order.

When I was on retreat there in Feb. this year, I finally managed to persuade a good friend, Frère Robert ("Bob") Léaustic to come and visit us here in Liverpool with 2 of his confrères whom I also know well. I first met Bob in 1992 when camping and hiking with him and a group of his fellow Brothers from Finistère (N.W. France) who met up camping trips every summer (and still do). We became good friends.

Frère Bob and his 2 confrères, Frère Louis and Frère André (all in their early 60s but still very active - Louis is a Head Teacher) came and spent 3 days with us during Easter week. I had the joy of taking them round Liverpool and spending a day with them in the N. Wales mountains. Here are a few photos from our few days together.

Frères Louis, Bob + André (Albert Dock, Liverpool)


Betws-y-Coed - Bob, me + André

The beautiful Betws-y-Coed Anglican parish church.

Bob, about to enjoy some proper English tea!
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