Thierry Ardouin
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  • Spiritual holidays – For le Monde Magazine
    Having reached an altitude of 600 metres, I am now at the heart of a mineral landscape of mountains dotted with blooming chestnut trees.
    The dozen granite-roofed houses of the village seem to have always been tucked away in this remote area of the Lozère.
    We are in the hamlet of Viale.
    In 1968, Father P. Van Stappen, a Jesuit of Belgian descent, was looking for a deserted and isolated place to help young people in their spiritual quest, when he happened to come across this hamlet which had been abandoned since 1954. These days, Father Etienne Amaury takes in Christians who practise the spiritual exercises of St Ignace de Loyola, but also atheists. Everyone is expected to respect the Community and its values of work, prayers, spirituality and silence.