2016 Exploration Pilgrimage – Day 3: Canon

We began the day again with a walk down the rocky road.   We’re walking about 3 miles every day.   The road was much busier today, as Wednesdays are market days in Cavaillon.  I wish I had brought my camera with me, so you could see all the people with their goods!  Everyone was friendly, except the cars and motorcycles – you better get out of the way, as the pedestrians do not have the right of way!

We were very worried that we were not going to be able to find the village of Canon, as it’s not on any map and we had not received any directions from the pastor and he was not answering his phone.  So Alix hired a young man on a motorcycle who knew the way, so we followed him.  It was quite an adventure as we drove down this very rocky, bumpy, pot holie road.  It would have been much faster and easier on the motorcycle – he was constantly having to wait for us, as it was very slow going.  We had to cross a river, which thank goodness wasn’t high.  You’ll see the pictures in the album.  The mountain village of Canon is beautiful and Father Josnell was a very warm host.  It was amazing to see how much this small young parish had accomplished in the 8 years since it became a parish.  There was a school from K-9th grade, but they were out of classrooms.  They have a 5 room school house, plus a building for kindergarten and another for 1-3rd. They were using the church as a classroom as well.  They had no electricity, and no running water. They had to walk several miles down the road with buckets to a well or walk down to the river (the village was on a cliff), as  you will see in the pictures.   There was no clinic and so any healthcare was a very long walk or motorcyle ride back to the closest village of Chantal.  Father Josnell had 4 other parishes he supported and with no vehicle, he has to walk 2-4 hours to get to his other parishes.  He has to visit each at least 4 times a year.  One of the parishes was not accessible by road, so walking was the only way.  Even though life there appeared very rough to us, all I could since from this humble man was he was at peace and that God takes care.  He said many times that God provided.  It has become very obvious to me that choosing a new village is going to be very tough – as all of them are in such need.  Please pray that God opens our eyes to the village that we can serve most fully.  Tomorrow is our 3rd and final village to explore.

– MaryLynn Hilton

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