Missionary of the countryside
“Would I still have faith if I had grown up in the countryside? “ This question has long bothered Dauphine Piganeau, brought up between the Paris region and abroad, where her engineer father was an expatriate, while she found herself, only young, on the benches of the mass for the holidays of her childhood, in Gannat, in the Allier. The meeting, at the HEC chaplaincy, of a student with the same concern, Isabelle Pélissié du Rausas, gave birth to a project that was initially a little crazy: to devote their gap year to a tour of France in the rural world. To re-evangelize the countryside? From there was born in any case the Isidore Mission, from the name of the patron saint of the agricultural world. Animation of a funeral, a choir, a team of guides, visits to nursing homes: in 2016, the two students with intense faith finally put themselves at the service of two parishes, first in Gannat, then the six months following in Aigueperse (Puy-de-Dôme). “We worked closely with the parishioners, they were delighted to find a new lease of life there”, testifies Dauphine.
That same year, they launched the idea of a “prayer service mission weekend” to involve their friends, and beyond. Since then, 400 young people have taken part in the “Wemps”, while 16 others took over from the Isidore Mission, in pairs and for one year, in other rural parishes, with the support of the bishops. At the age of 26, Dauphine now shares her life between the Paris region – where she works for the SNCF and, one day a week, for the episcopate, as a project manager, with Isabelle, on issues of evangelization in the rural world – and… the countryside. Since her marriage last summer, she and her husband have moved to Berry-Bouy, in the Cher.