The Beatitudes Community is celebrating fifty years since its foundation in France in 1973. It is a jubilee year and a special opportunity to be reconciled, to remember God's blessings, to offer Him thanksgiving and to let ourselves be renewed in the joy of our call.
Our jubilee pilgrimage in five steps began in Lent. Individually and as a Community we looked back over our history, recognizing our human frailty and infidelities, and asking pardon.
At Easter we remembered God’s goodness to us, and the history of our foundation in New Zealand. We gave thanks for those who have been part of our ‘family’ over the years and have shared our joys and sorrows.
In April a delegation of the Community travelled to Rome for a private audience with Pope Francis. They received a beautiful personal address and the apostolic blessing. On May 25th, anniversary of foundation, a Jubilee Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated in our General House in France. Sr Therese and the Loretz family providentially found themselves there at that time!
Step four was the renewal of our consecration to Mary and pilgrimage to a Marian shrine. Our two families accomplished this step at various Marian shrines during their pilgrimage to France in June-July. The consecrated members didn’t go quite so far. We renewed our consecration in the little church of St Mary’s at Motuti in the Hokianga, at the shrine of Bishop Pompallier, who celebrated the first Catholic Mass on New Zealand soil nearby in 1838.
The final and ongoing stage of our jubilee pilgrimage is to bear witness to the joy of our call and to share what we have received from God in our mission and apostolates. We hope to share it with you and your family, so that you too will be renewed in your faith and in your zeal for the greater glory of God!
- Sr Clare
"For us, the chance to go to France and to stay with the Community of the Beatitudes, as part of our formation in the Community, was a special grace and a trip of a lifetime! Being immersed in their charism and life of prayer was a particular joy and a taste of the fraternity of heaven!
For our youngest four children, the experience of praying in the great basilicas in the presence of the relics of Saints, and absorbing the rich history and culture of this Catholic nation was a great education and experience we hope will spur them on in their faith.
Singing in Māori at the Basilica at Fourvière, processing in the evening light at Lourdes, sharing the 50th Jubilee with the Community at Blagnac and a mini-pilgrimage to Pontmain with the Community at St Broladre were special highlights. We are forever grateful to God for this time of consolation and encouragement."
- Michael and Rebecca Loretz
"Our Pilgrimage started in Lourdes where we met with members of the Beatitudes Community from different houses around France to participate in the Community Annual Session held in Lourdes. We were blessed to be there as three new priests were ordained for the brother’s branch of the Community! It was very special to visit Lyon and the Sanctuary of Fourvière - and to see the beautiful sacred places from where the journey of the Gospel to New Zealand began. We also visited the Shrine of St Peter Chanel in Cuet and the Basilica of St Jean Marie Vianney in Ars. It was a blessed time of prayer and communion with our Community."
-Thomas and Ellie Peacock