Just 30 minutes from the medieval city of Carcassonne, the Abbaye Sainte-Marie de Lagrasse is one of the most symbolic religious monuments in the South of France; Founded in the 8th century, it enjoyed the protection of Emperor Charlemagne; It presents a veritable catalog of architecture, from the 10th to the 18th century, and bears the traces of an eminent political and spiritual influence;
Abandoned to the wear and tear of time since the French Revolution, empty of any religious presence for years, was this jewel going to lose its value as a memory, in this 21st century so much in need of the roots of the past and the wings of hope?
St. Augustine’s thought has always nourished the canonical vision of the church as a house, a temple, a community, a family The community forms, in this place where it radiates, “a canonical church”; It is made of brothers, living stones in a stone building;
This “house”, this temple, must be a reflection of God, as well as of Christ, who was a “temple” and “the most beautiful of the children of men”; The Abbey welcomes visitors every day; Some come to talk, others to pray and meditate; Couples – married or engaged – also come to discover and deepen their conjugal spirituality; Family Sessions are also offered every summer, where families can rest, pray and receive teaching appropriate to each “age group”;
At a time when Christians need to see and touch their Church, when it often tends to fade away, the task of our canonical communities is to make the ecclesial body visible, to show what the Church looks like, to reflect the Gospel.
In the diocese of Carcassonne, canons are involved in a variety of ministries, in conjunction with parish priests and parish teams: celebrating Mass, conferences and confessional services, visiting hospitals (palliative care units and EHPAD) and retirement homes, chaplaincy and catechesis, funerals, distribution of the sacraments in neighboring villages…
Throughout the year, canons are sent all over France to preach at recollections, pilgrimages and youth camps;