Log-book: May 2003

  The feast after the struggle  Account of a young man 
  In front of the town hall of Montreuil 
  Conference in Vienna   
  French Bibliography  Archives of Partenia 




The Bible

Special Edition

The feast after the struggle

titre de séjour Youssef, a young Tunisian citizen was banned from the French territory by a judgment of the County Court of Créteil for an infraction to the legislation on foreigners. He received a double sentence (By a present French law, a foreigner would receive two sentences: one for his committed crime like a French citizen and another one, the expulsion from French territory; note from translator). 

Many of us know Youssef and love him. He is married with a child of only a few months old. An unprecedented mobilization was organized around the CGT Union. I received a personal letter from the Minister of the Interior assuring me that Youssef will receive a permit of residence as soon as the Country Court is able to pronounce the judgment.

The struggle was profitable. Youssef won his case. The feast was held without delay. The CGT Union organized a party. We all gathered around a radiant Youssef. His wife and child were there. With emotion, he declared: " I did not know I had so many brothers in Paris. You are the reason why I am here tonight. Thank you from the bottom of my heart ".  la fête se fit sans tarder






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Account of a young man
foi au Christ Before celebrating the 11 o'clock mass in the Catholic Church in Zurich, I had the pleasure to meet a group of confirming candidates and the pastoral official. Tall young men of 16 and 17 years of age. A past confirming was present among the group. He is 20 years old. He was staying with us. What a chance for me. I hastily questioned him: " would you please tell me what confirmation has given you? " The young man had not expected that question. 
Visibly embarrassed, he started by saying that during the celebration of his confirmation, nothing seemed to happen to him. Nothing significant. Then he added: " before, when I was part of the confirming group, I thought like the pastoral official.  foi personnnelle
I was counting on him for what I should believe. He was my reference. It is not the case anymore. My faith has become personal. I am the one to make my choices. I am the one who has to decide". Listening to his words, I was in admiration. I thanked this young man for his unexpected accountant that showed the passage from before to after, before an impersonal faith to the faith when one can say: "I".



In front of the town hall of Montreuil

force de l'ordre We are not many to gather to protest against the expulsion of 150 Gypsies from Romania by the police. Since 2001, they were occupying a building owned by the State Territories Administration.  

The children were going to school. Police came at 6 o'clock in the morning. Their cars blocked the whole area. Once the occupants had been expelled, the building was demolished. Everything was done quietly, public opinion and the medias where focussing their attention on the war in Iraq.

contre l'expulsion On the steps of the town hall, as the speeches were beginning, a newspaper reporter asked me: " are the Gypsies risking a lot by returning in their country? ". 

They are surely going back to misery, contempt and discrimination from the population. The Gypsies are not nomads. They are sedentary and they survive in underprivileged areas outside the cities. 80/% of them are jobless. Without resources, with no health insurance, they have chosen the exile.
This expulsion is the fifth since last summer. The Gypsies are at home nowhere.




Conference in Vienna

Four days in Austria gave me the chance to speak often in front of various audiences, including secondary school students.

à Vienne But my first conference in Vienna specially touched me because I was speaking to social workers adhering to the Gospel. 

They had asked me to talk about ' Political involvement and the Beatitudes ".

The assistance impressed me by the richness of its human and spiritual experience: commitment towards the excluded, struggle against injustice, and faith in Christ. These men and women have known setbacks, discouragement but they were not alone. They were part of an organization that had proven itself. In front of me was a man who has lived in a refugee center in Kosovo. His face was beaming with forgiveness.

Abbaye de Melk A wonderful assistance. This is because the word can join with experience and enlighten it.  

The participants had already experienced what I was speaking about or rather they recognized themselves by my words. And what is unusual for me is that I spoke for more than one hour and a half!