Every summer thousands of families, single young men and women, priests and consecrated gather together in a small town located in Borgogne, France called Paray-Le-Monial. This little town is known for the appearance of Jesus and His Most Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in the 17th Century.
These “International Sessions”, as they are called, are five day retreats for prayer, relaxation and sharing with other faithful catholics. Organized by the Emmanuel Community, they have become popular with locals as well as people from all over the world.
The following are the dates for this years summers sessions (2014) and their corresponding themes:
- June 29-July 4 – Retreat on the Sacred Heart of Jesus
- July 6 to 10 – Eucharistic Adoration Congress
- 12 to 17 July – Session from 25 to 35 year old – Marriage Preparation
- 19 to 24 July – Session for All ages – July 23 – Day of Prayer for the Sick
- 26 to 31 July – Session for All ages – Divorced and remarried Christians
- 2 to 7 August – Session for all ages
- August 9 to 14 – Youth Forum ages 18-35
- August 15 – Pierre Goursat Day
- August 16 to 21 Session for all ages
The typical daily program involves: Daily Mass, Adoration, Praise, debates and workshops, evening vigil of testimonies and other events. This year there will be special presentations on the ‘great witnesses’ of faith: John Paul II, Sister Emmanuelle, Jean-Marie Lustiger, and Mother Teresa.
In addition, there are many workshops/courses held throughout the sessions: marriage preparation; Hope for the homeless; Day of Prayer for the sick; Single parents. There are courses on education; love and sexuality; Bioethics and Human Life; single life; divorced and remarried Christians, etc.
Information taken from main international website www.emmanuel.info