Log-book: November 2001

  A meeting for peace  The Institut of the Arab world 
  In Joliette (Quebec)  Some daily scraps 
  17 of October 1961   
  French Bibliography  Archives of Partenia 
  History of Partenia, Biography of Bishop Jacques Gaillot 





Special Edition

A meeting for peace:

On the Place de la Republique in Paris, a number of us gather together on a nice autumn evening. It is an opportunity to meet activists. So many leaflets are distributed that I would need a sac to carry them. Among all the banners, I am looking for the one of the Movement for Peace. Belonging to this movement since a long time, I will demonstrate with it till the place de la Nation. Surrounded by women, I hold with them the banner where it is written: " No to war, yes to peace"

marche pour la paix 

Young reporters walk backward and struggle to take photos. Journalists ask the same questions: "Why are you in this demonstration? If we don't do war, what else can we do?" Reporters of the Algerian television are worrying " In Algeria, terrorism has been going on since a long time, nobody cares"

Not far from us in the demonstration, an association of Algerian women answers back. Since a long time, with an exemplary determination, they fight against the terrorism that ruins their country, but who is listening to them?






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Institut du monde arabe  The Institute of the Arab world 
The premiere of the movie made in Palestine during a visit of two French delegations is held at the Institute of the Arab world. The audience is so large that two performances will be needed; there are as many people inside the large auditorium than outside of it.

It is a pleasure for me to meet again those with whom I visited the Occupied Territories. We experienced together so many difficult and exiting moments!

  The movie is largely applauded. The audience is participating to the suffering and the revolt of the Palestinian people. 
It is right to say that an image is better than a thousand of words. What you see is more important than what you say. Better is a movie than a conference unless you do both. I heard with emotion the cry of anger of a young Palestinian who is living in a camp: "Since I was born, my life is in prison, my life and my future have been stolen. I am prevented to live my own life"
(images: Institut du monde of arabe): cliquez: Institut du monde arabe



In Joliette (Quebec)  Quebec City

I had the great pleasure to go to Quebec with two people of the Partenia Association from Paris to participate to a forum about voluntary work. People were motivated. I was wandering what I could say, knowing that so many points of view have been already presented on the evolution of voluntary work and what it means today. After having listened to the talks and discussions, it came to me to speak about the persons engaged in voluntary work. Who are they today after so many years spent in helping people in distress?

à Joliette 

We pay attention to what we do for the others, but much less to what we are receiving from them. We bring them a lot but what are we learning from them? It is what we get back from them that matter. Through the years, did we become more human, more compassionate? And if we are disciples of Jesus, how have our ways of believing, praying and understanding the Gospel changed?

After my speech and a few homilies in the churches, I accepted to go with my friends of "Evangelization 2000" to Montreal to stay with them and to work with them.



Some daily scraps
metro station 
I was reading my newspaper in the subway when a man wearing a cap got in and sat in the only empty seat in front of me. Rapidly he talked to me and loudly said:
" I recognize you. You are Monsignor. I am happy to meet you" 
"Every body was carefully listening. I am unemployed. I am 38 years old. I worked for 15 years. Now I was told that I am too old to find a job. I am receiving 2500 Fr per month. Fortunately I can live with my father. I give him 1000 Fr. There is not much left to live on"

I arrived at the railway station; I lined up to buy my ticket. I noticed a young couple with their baby in a pram. They looked happy; maybe they were going to visit some friends or their family. When they got their tickets, the mother took her baby in her arms, came to me and showing her to me she asked " Can you bless her?" The father was looking in silence like the other travelers.
I asked the name of the baby "Alexandra" I slowly make the sign of the cross on the front of Alexandra. I blessed her and her parents.  Alexandra 


17 of October 1961

manifestation algériens 

Forty years ago a terrible tragedy happened in the middle of Paris. Tens of thousands of Algerian workers and their family were peacefully demonstrating against an enforced racist curfew on. This day, the police obeying orders killed about two hundred of demonstrators.

17 octobre 1961 à Paris  Many were thrown into the Seine and were drowned. 

Today, we remember. Archives of reports start to be made available. Some people testify. Commemorations are taking place. I have just seen an impressive documentary about this unbelievable assault: "The silence of the river" I hope one day, in the history books of France, we will learn what has happened on the 17 of October 1961.