Crowd of major events in Ste-Anne d’Auray on Sunday, September 17th. The largest sanctuary of Brittany commemorated solemnly the 250th anniversary of the birth of the co founder of the Brothers of Christian Instruction and of several other Congregations.
Bishop Centène, the Bishop of Vannes, surrounded by some fifteen priests, with the participation of the Choir of the Basilica, presided this day, initiated by the Diocese, with the active organisation of the Association of Friends of Father Deshayes.
The assembly was made up of many representatives from six Congregations linked to Father Deshayes, the usual faithful of the Parish and of the surroundings, families associated with the pastoral care of the deaf and the dumb and for whom a blessing was held on the same day in the Basilica. The church organs of the Basilica and the sound of the bombards gave a particular intensity to this anniversary.
Born at Beignon – not far from Ploërmel – in 1767, Gabriel Deshayes was marked by the revolutionary turmoil, became a priest, then named Parish Priest of Auray, then Vicar-general and participated in the founding or restoration and development of many Congregations. Friend of the poor, concerned about education, attentive to people of all conditions including deaf-mutes, he always worked for the good of others.
This Sunday saw the very important participation of the Sisters of Christian Instruction of St Gildas des Bois, of the Daughters of Wisdom, of the Sisters of Charity of St-Louis, of Montfort Fathers, of St Gabriel Brothers and of about twenty Brothers of Christian Instruction as well as members of the Gabriel Deshayes Centre of Auray, specialising in the reception of deaf-mutes and persons with disabilities.
In his homily, Bishop Centene wondered: “Where did Gabriel Deshayes draw his secret? This energy that led him to evangelise and rebuild the Church through spiritual, educational, charitable and social action? He has realised an immense work which remains today. He sought the truth and devoted his life to it. A truth that leads to decentring oneself. We do not live for ourselves. Let us seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness. Let us seek God by remaining faithful to him, sometimes at the risk of one’s life. “
“To undertake everything so as to be useful for the Church “ such is one of Gabriel Deshayes’ expressions
A portrait of this ” entrepreneur of Providence ” was presented during the afternoon on Sunday, in the form of an audio-visual production. This made it possible to know better his personality and his multiple deeds. Representatives of each of the Congregations and of works founded by G Deshayes commented on the realities which continue today.
The Friends of Gabriel Deshayes Association chaired by Father Adrien Collet surrounded itself with numerous skills to run this organisation in close association with Father André Guillevic, the Parish Priest of the Sanctuary. Let us remember in particular the action of Bros. François Jaffré, Claude Launay, Joseph Le Goff,and André Cadoret …
Two other meetings are planned in December: On Sunday, 3rd December, at Beignon – Father. Deshayes’ place of birth – parochial Mass at 11 am, chaired by Mgr. Centène.
On Wednesday, 6th December, in the church of Beignon, again, – the very day of Father Deshayes’ birth -, celebration chaired by Mgr. Centène, gathering particularly families and children and schools of the Mennaisian Network.
Finally the Montfort Fathers and the Congregations of St Laurent sur Sèvre announced the organisation of a closure meeting of this anniversary in 2018, in this place where Father. Deshayes’ grave is.
Contact: Gabriel Deshayes’ Friends Association, Bro François Jaffré /E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org