Foyer Saint Jean Eudes
Foyer Saint Jean Eudes : a bit of history…
Foyer Saint Jean Eudes is situated in a large building in a quiet area of Paris, very close to Place Denfert-Rochereau and easily accessible from Paris’ train stations and airports. The house has traditionally offered Church services and has an interesting history.
The religious centre is placed under the patronage of Saint John Eudes (1601-1680), who was a great Norman missionary and founder of the congregation of Jesus and Mary.
Saint John Eudes came to Paris several times during the reign of Louis XIV. He wished to establish a house that would offer a simple and fraternal welcome to priests passing through the capital city.
This project could not be carried out during his lifetime but, as early as 1703, his successors founded a house on Rue des Postes, which is now rue Lhomond, in the 5th district.
From 1727 to 1792, priests who were travelling or studying were hosted. At the time of the French Revolution, most of the occupiers were imprisoned in the Carmelite convent and massacred.
The Eudists did not return to Paris until 1855. They successively lived in rue Saint Jacques, rue des Fossés Saint Jacques, rue Denfert-Rochereau, rue Broca and, in 1927, they settled in two houses located 1 and 3 rue Jean Dolent (Paris 14th).
In 1967, the current building replaced the original houses.
After its construction, the congregation of the Eudists settled in the first five floors, with the Marianists in the upper three floors.
In the Eudists’ section, the building consists of the provincial house and a community of four priests. The congregation also manages guest rooms and a student home (non co-educational). It is being helped in this mission by a congregation of sisters (Daughters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary).
From yesterday’s priestly home to Saint John Eudes guesthouse
Legally, the centre is an association (Law of 1 July 1901). Loyal to the tradition of the congregation, its aim is to ‘provide a shelter and a cultural centre primarily to members of the secular and regular clergy’ (Official Journal of the French Republic of 23 March 1956).
But the life of the Church has evolved and priests are no longer the only key players. In keeping with Saint John Eudes' desire to form “good workers of the Gospel”, the house, originally a home for priests, has, over time extended its hospitality to lay people. It changed names in 1995 to become the Foyer Saint Jean Eudes.
This establishment aims to provide all people of the Christian faith with material and moral means with a view to greet them in Paris. Especially, when travellers have an ecclesial commitment, an interview, work or training requirements. In addition, the establishment welcomes travellers who are coming to Paris to benefit from the medical care or those wishing to rest and recuperate following hospital treatment.
Who can use the establishment? Priests, nuns and laypeople, who are coming to Paris for university studies, or to participate in meetings or conferences organised by the bishops of France, Catholic education, or a Christian association.
More than just a place of accommodation, the centre is also a Church community.
Many guests become regulars and are joined, especially in the summer, by priests, nuns, and associated laypeople who come from abroad. (The Eudits span four continents).
Finally, since 2004, two floors of the premises have been a welcoming retreat between September and June for students who wish to take a step back from the pressures of their higher studies and who wish to embrace a fraternal and spiritual life.
Therefore, the centre welcomes several generations, several cultures and several forms of ecclesial commitment.
Foyer Saint-Jean-Eudes today
Foyer Saint Jean Eudes has 50 rooms:
• 13 single rooms
• 10 double rooms
• 2 master bedrooms (2 x 2 connecting rooms);
• 1 room fitted out for guests with reduced mobility;
• 24 additional single rooms accessible from 1 July to 31 August (while students are away).
Not only does the centre accommodate students and guests for one or more nights, as a holiday stop over, but it also offers rooms to hire for meetings, training sessions, congresses or seminars.
Ground floor: Reception, administration, chapel
Floor 1: Bedrooms 112 to 119, room Jeanne Jugan, room Bienheureux Ancel, living area and garden access
Floor 2: Student rooms, community of sisters
Floor 3: Student rooms and student manager’s office
Floor 4: Bedrooms, Room Marie des Vallées, the director’s office.
Floor 5: Bienheureux Hébert Community and Headquarters of the Eudists of the Province of France