By: Sr. Patty Johnson

Family home of Mother St John Fontbonne in Bas-en-Basset France.A lot has happened at the International Center in the last year.  We want to provide you with a few of the highlights.

Mount St. Mary University has bought the childhood home of Mother St. John Fontbonne, a very significant sister in the history of the Sisters of St. Joseph. It is in Bas-en-Basset, France, not too far from the International Center in Le Puy. In the past, visitors would just stand outside the house. Now the International Center has a key and is able to add this to tours for those who are staying at the International Center.

At long last, we will soon have an elevator connecting the kitchen and the Center for Living History. This will allow easier access to both. The staff at the International Center can conduct tours during regular business hours making it more convenient for guests and program participants. 

Scholarships provided by the U.S. Federation and Canadian Federation are making a difference. This year the Federations provided eight scholarships which allowed sisters from the global south to attend programs at the International Center. In 2019, 29 of 52 participants in five programs were from the global south. This is not only a tremendous opportunity for them, it also allows the other participants to have a richer intercultural experience. The International Center has truly become our international home.

Avila University students perform throughout France.Here is a sneak preview of next year’s programs and a registration form for them. It is never too early to decide on a trip to Le Puy. We continue to offer successful high demand programs yearly such as the "Lace is Not Finished Yet," "Mission Effectiveness," and "Heritage Tours." The Anna Moggio Foundation has made a new program "From Archives to History" possible through generous scholarships. New programs keep getting added, such as "Roots and Wings," "The Two Trinities as a Model of Dynamic Love," and "Creation Spirituality."

An exciting new trend is that more young people are visiting the center. 

It is clear to us that the Strategic Plan is working. We now hope to engage in more fund-raising to continue to provide scholarships for our sisters from the global south to attend programming. 

[Sr. Patty Johnson is the executive director of the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph]