Log-book: February 1999
4 CANDLES IN STRASBOURG
The Partenia group in Strasbourg wanted me to be with them on January 13 to blow 4 candles for the anniversary of my resignation from the see of Evreux . Many people attended. Warm atmosphere. Motivated audience. Among them, some Curds without permit and some unemployed people, but also people away from the Church.
THE CHURCH AT THE BEGUINE CONVENT
After a one day meeting organized by the movement for another presence of the Church and another Society, I am happy to go and meet the illegal immigrants occupying the Church at the Beguine convent in Brussels for two months. It is night, it rains. Under the porch I recognize the faces, they are waiting for me. We talk together as we have known each other for a long time. There is a fraternity between us, as if we were of the same party.
The joy to meet is so great that they spontaneously start singing. The
air rang with the songs of the African women swinging their bodies. Men
too and one of them beats time. I am thinking about the Magnificat sang
by Mary when she visited her cousin Elizabeth. In the choir of the church,
a group of Christian gather around a big table for the meal of Jesus. They
give each other peace. The priest wants me to celebrate. What a moment of
happiness and light. But I don't accept, I want to be among the immigrants.
I don't give up God. By being among Curds, Moroccans, Congolese, I know
that God is among them.
A PRESS CONFERENCE
Spanish news men from the Press and Television are there in great number.
I begin to speak to inform against once more the anti-terrorist law with
its unacceptable practice. At a time when there could be some glimmer of
peace, bringing the political prisoners closer to their home will be a positive
sign in favor of peace.
NEW LOOK FOR PARTENIA
On a winter morning, Partenia 2000 is moving to an old building taken over by squatters of various Associations two years ago. Named "Meeting House", it is located in a popular part of Paris, known for its market. Entering into the court yard, on a large banner one can see written some Victor Hugo words:
The tone is given. On the second floor, a room is reserved for Partenia.
It is not too big. Illegal young immigrants were there, they proposed to
help. They cheerfully moved up all the material. In a short time it is a
tremendous untidiness. I think it is the disorder of a new birth. In this
atmosphere of a beginning, friendships form quickly. Joy is on every face.
The mess increases with all the Association members coming to see the new
dwelling and to wish it well. But I notice some discontent among their welcome.
Why did you come so late? You were here at home, Partenia 2000 will find
probably here the reason why it has been created.
PS: Partenia some figures, 1998
Total number of pages presented in seven laguages on the WEB last year: 66 430
Total number of visitors last year: 114 000
Increase of visitors last year: 22'000
Month average of visitors: 9 500
Number of e-mail messages received by Bishop Jacques Gaillot: 2 500
Number of e-mail messages received by the Webmaster: 1 460
Active Forum members form October 1 to December 31, 1998: 393