Oh my goodness, but the French countryside is beautiful. I kept hearing about how green Ireland was and is, but here, in the Diocese of Lucon, the grass is just as green and the birds as plentiful. A monastery was established in this area of the Vendee as early as the seventh century, but the diocese dates to the fourteenth. The present Bishop is Alain Castet and he has an excellent reputation. The Vendee is a lovely, agricultural area, as well as vacation spot. One has a sense of history here, but as in other places in France, the Catholic history has been marked with terrible persecution. That the State is in control even of some areas which Americans would demand a separation of Church and State is here obvious.