Log-book: July 2003

  Faces met along the way  Berlin: for another kind of world 
  Naples: citizens resist  The invonveniences of a strike 
  French Bibliography  Archives of Partenia 




The Bible

Special Edition

Faces met along the way

solitude A woman came up to me: "I saw you on television the other night. Tell me, what to do when you are abandoned?" "Abandoned?" "Yes I was abandoned by my husband. He left me and I am alone with four children". I listened to her. She needed to talk to someone. In the heart of Paris, she is suffering from emotional solitude. Her life has turned upside down.  

On the train to Brussels, a young man with Asian features came close to me and said. " Will you pray for me?" The seat next to mine was empty; I invited him to sit there so we could get to know one another better. He came from Laos. He believes in the presence of God in him, in the beings, in nature. He is presently having a difficult time. I looked at him with sympathy. Again he said: Will you pray for me?" He closed his eyes with his face in meditation. I put my hand on him. I made the sign of the cross on his forehead while saying a prayer of blessing.

The train was about to enter the Brussels station. A man appeared suddenly in front of me and put a thick book in my hands, His eyes stared at mine. " I am giving you this book. Will you please read it and tell me what you think of it?" Hardly did I have the time to approve with a nod of my head before he had already disappeared. I discovered that he was Raouf Oufkir, the son of general Oufkir who attempted a coup d'état to overthrow King of Morocco Hassan ll. Les Invités

Raouf and his family spent 20 terrible years in the prisons of the King. He has just completed his first book.






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for another kind of world 
The ecumenical gathering was held in an atmosphere of liberty and joy. The propositions were very numerous and varied. The crowd, always on the move, formed itself according to individual choices.  rassemblement oecuménique
The Franciscans who gather regularly at the bottom of the two great towers in Frankfurt, symbols of the financial power, were there to demand that wealth be shared with the countries of the South. They had planned a gathering at the town centre in front of the bank to share a meal with the homeless. This gesture was very symbolic.
There was a great crowd. Being asked to make an introduction before the meal, I reminded those who were there that on our planet where every thing is being sold and transformed in merchandise, more and more of the excluded are not invited to the neo-liberal banquet. In sharing everything that we had brought, we become brothers. To share makes us brothers. If we can be brothers today, tomorrow we will not fear.
repas de solidarité Along with others, it seemed like a long time that I handed the bread to all the hands that were held out. There was enough bread for everybody. 
At the heart of the ecumenical gathering, this symbolic gesture was made to tell everyone that we stand together against injustice in the world.



Naples: citizens resist

retrouver les amis Invited for the publication in Italian of one of my books, I am among friends, especially the members, full of life, from the Partenia Association.  

Heat overcomes me as well as it overcomes the Neapolitans! But that does not prevent them from resisting.

Young people, part of an important movement the " Disobedience Movement", are blocking a boat filled with arms going to Iraq. Religious Cambodians chain themselves together in front of the police headquarters by solidarity with the illegal refugees who are asking for their regularization. A young parish priest is a militant with the movement for the alter-globalization. He was present at the counter-summit of the G8. Militant for peace, he fights against armaments. His bishop has just destitute him. There was an upheaval in the population in protest. I was happy to be alongside with him.

vitalité Resisting citizens make a sign of vitality that the Neapolitans talk about. They are acts that engage lives and give sense. 




The inconveniences of a strike

grève des transports They announced on television that the strike in the transports was over. The next day, everything was to come back to normal. Nothing was less true. 

I took a metro that was not leaving the platform. A voice repeated: "Because of social movements…" Finally, the metro left. It stopped at the North station. I was looking for a train to bring me to the airport. On the platform, a large crowd was waiting for a train that was not coming. It was impossible for a crowd this large to all come on board of one train no matter how big it was! The train finally arrived. Everybody rushed towards it. Of course, the doors couldn't close. The conductor warned. " It is impossible to leave if the doors are not closed". In vain.

We were all crammed. It was already warm. There was no air. A young person, very pale, felt sick. Someone left his seat to give him his place.

I admired the patience of the people. They suffered in silence.  patience des gens

Some called on their telephone, others read. After half an hour, there was an announcement saying that everyone has to leave the platform. Again it is the rush.

I arrived at the airport; I had already accepted the idea that the airplane had left. But the plane also was late, very late. Come to think of it, a delay that had some good!