172 years of history in Nazareth, Province of Europe BFMN

Angers, 96 Nazareth street. Bishop Delmas, Angers, celebrates the Thanksgiving Eucharist, with 200 people attending... among which Sisters, associations, employees, volunteers, and migrant families. Article and photo by: Mireille PUAU

 

For thirty years, there had been here no ceremony! Nazareth Chapel re-open its doors yesterday, for the last eucharistic celebration, with Mgr Delmas, Bishop of Angers. A highly symbolic moment for the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd who lived here for… 172 years.

Sold to a real estate developer, this property of 5 hectares will soon welcome more than 100 family houses: “Today, the Sisters are no more able to accommodate migrant families on such a big estate, Elodie Comoy (communication person) explains. 3 months ago, 35 migrant families were living there. They have been relocated in new accommodations before summer time”.

This estate, depending from the Mother House, Euphrasie-Pelletier street in Angers, had been during years devoted to several missions according to the needs of times. St. Mary-Euphrasia Pelletier bought this farm in 1846 to feed all people in the Mother House. “We just bought a huge farm, she wrote, and we find provisions of all kinds: potatoes, wood, fodder, apples and fruits in quantity. It takes more than a quarter of an hour to get there”.

Children and women in poverty

But Nazareth also aims to become an "agricultural colony". Until 1885, young prisoners were trained in the work of the farming while giving them a moral education. Since 1885, the site also welcomes children from families in difficulty and, from 1955, girls placed by the authorities. In 1979, Nazareth welcomes lonely women in difficulty. “Farm will be exploited no more since 1987, a part of the land is sold to the Town of Angers”, Congregation said.

In 2008, the Provincial Council let empty buildings for associations dedicated to migrant families. This mission will last ten years. Today, the six sisters still living in Nazareth will serve in other communities in France. Two of them will join the Mother House in Angers, where the work with women and children in difficulty is going on with partner associations.

 « COURRIER DE L’OUEST », ANGERS - 09/03/2018