Province of France/Swizerland
At a glance ...
|Provincial||Père Yves Carron MSFS|
|Province Councillors||Fr. Jean-paul Fournier, Admonitor, Fr. Binoy Kidangathkarot Cherian, Fr. Daniel Bouchet|
|Bursar||Fr. Jean-Yves Le Tué|
|Formation House||1 Fribourg|
|Schools||2 Florimont (Geneva) and Ville-la-Grand (France)|
History of the Province:
The Franco-Swiss Province, as the Mother Province has nurtured and supported the entire congregation. Committed to the Apostolate of Faith Formation and Renewal in Savoy, it is from the “Motherhouse” [La Feuillette] that the band of missionaries prepared for and set out on their Parish Missions.
Inspired by the Founder’s clarion call “I want Missions”, It is from here that the first Batch of Fransalians left for India (1845) and Brazil (1926) to sow the seed.
In 1860, Savoy was integrated into the French republic. In 1903, the French government expelled all religious Congregations and confiscated their properties. The confreres who were teachers had to leave; the schools of Evian and Mélan some of them answered to a call from Geneva where many catholic families wanted to have a catholic school there. 1905 was the beginning of “Institut Florimont” which was to grow into a prestigious college. Other confreres, who were mission preachers, helped the diocese for the creation of new catholic parishes around Geneva city.
The confreres in formation were housed at “Villa Bonlieu” that served as Novitiate, and as formation house from where they pursued studies of philosophy and theology at the Catholic University of Fribourg. A minor seminary, “La Corbière”, near Estavayer-le-Lac, welcomed young candidates from 1946 till 1988, then it was closed. On the French side, the minor seminary of Ville-la-Grand opened its doors in 1920 and became a secondary school, the one of Bourogne (Belfort) in 1932 (till the 60’s). The venture of Dreiborn (Luxemburg) was a possible expansion of the Congregation to the German speaking countries, but the Second World War stopped it suddenly. Administered directly by the Superior General, France-Switzerland became a territory under a regional superior in 1960 and then an autonomous Province in 1966.
The Province continues to be vibrant even when it is experiencing, over the past couple of decades, a drastic reduction in personnel due to lack of local vocations and aging of confreres. With great love and generosity, the Franco-Swiss Province reaches out to every other province and mission in the congregation in their need and supports them according to its means. With a missionary legacy of 175 years, Franco-Swiss Province rightly deserves a special gratitude and appreciation of the entire congregation. The Province is going through a rapid decline in numbers which has not diminished its hope or enthusiasm. The province is looking for closer collaboration and assistance from other provinces who have the possibility of sharing personnel to strengthen the Mother Province in its resolve to continue the mission entrusted to it by Fr. Mermier and the Church.
1) Name of the School: Flormont: Geneva, Switzerland, Total Number of Students: 1140, Number of Staff: 160 Year of Establishment: 1905
2) Name of the School: Ecole Saint - Francois, Ville-La-Grand, France. Total Number of Students: 1380, Number of Staff: 92, Year of Establishment: 1920
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