Being a civilian prisoner at the Garaison camp (Mini-lien nr. 476)

During the First World War, France considered the Germans, the Austro-Hungarians, the Ottomans, the Bulgarians present on its soil as enemies: they were concentrated in camps, including that of Garaison (Hautes-Pyrénées), installed in the former convent and school establishment of the Missionaries of the Immaculate Conception.

Continue reading “Being a civilian prisoner at the Garaison camp (Mini-lien nr. 476)”

It was a long loyalty…

The book about our confreres in Tizi-Ouzou has just been published. Even if we still do not know when the Beatification will be celebrated, let us not wait to rejoice and invoke these blessed ones.

In his Apostolic Exhortation on Holiness, Pope Francis writes: “Persecution is not a reality of the past, because today, too, we suffer it, whether in a bloody way, like so many contemporary martyrs, or in a more subtle way, through calumnies and lies… To accept every day the way of the Gospel even if it creates problems for us, that is holiness! ” nr. 94

Pope Francis was very sensitive to the martyrdom of the 19 brothers and sisters of Algeria who offered their lives. Was it relentlessness to want to stay until the end? The question may arise and should not be avoided. Well, then, why? How? Who can testify to that? Any reader can forge an answer for himself when reading this book.

Our four confreres from Tizi-Ouzou were killed in the presence of people who loved them. They welcomed them, they worked with them, they comforted them. They led a life of community, prayer, sharing and solidarity.

This book sheds light on several aspects: it is a speech that is not afraid to tell the truth. It is a testimony that shows how far fidelity can lead, a total commitment in a Muslim environment. It is a missionary journey for the 21st century. And what is more, it can be read by a wide Catholic and Muslim audience. “It was a long loyalty…” Other aspects emerge. This is the first time that confreres are beatified in our Missionary Society but they are not isolated. On the one hand, they are in line with the 61 White Fathers and Sisters who have dedicated their lives to Africa by offering it up to the total gift. On the other hand, they are in communion with a whole people, not only with the 19 religious men and women, but with all those, Muslims and non-Muslims, who have experienced the same violence, the same suffering, the same tears.

These beatifications can give rise to three others for us. In recent times, with our confrere Terry Madden from Great Britain, we have found ourselves in the region of Father Lourdel’s native country. Young Ugandans dream of seeing one of the founders of their church beatified. After the disappearance of all these victims in Algeria, many ask themselves the question of the beatification of Cardinal Duval. And then very recently we received an ‘inquiry’ which raises the question of the beatification of Cardinal Lavigerie and asks what we think about it.

I’m not asking you what you think, but I would like to ask you, simply, if you are happy when you think of them, when you remember them? That is enough for me, because that is the meaning of beatification: knowing how to make people happy.

Thank you Father Armand Duval for writing this book. Your niece told us that you had already re-read the re-edition in Saint Malo. We hope that the young confreres will take the time to read it and make it their reference book in formation houses.

Bernard Lefebvre, M.Afr.
(written in the Mini-lien nr 475)

C’était une longue fidélité

Auteur : Père Armand Duval, M.Afr
ISBN 978-2-7122-1501-9
Editions Médiaspaul juin 2018 16 euros

In this book, Father Armand Duval introduces us into the lives of the four White Fathers missionaries who, in solidarity with the Algerian people, gave their lives in 1994 and were recognized as blessed by Pope Francis along with 15 other religious men and women of the Church of Algeria.

Why remain faithful to a people that is not his when peril is omnipresent and hope to act on man so tenuous? Because “it was a long loyalty”.

Through this homage, the author gives us “a teaching on mission”. The Gospel flame that animates these witnesses of God’s love beckons us where we live, and as Saint Augustine says, “every man as man has the right to be loved”.

Armand Duval, White Father – Missionary of Africa, was a missionary in Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as in Mexico. He has long lived in North Africa, Jerusalem, Spain, and collaborated with “Peuples du monde” and “Africana”.

Interview Rémi Caucanas

Etienne Renaud, La passion du dialogue from Diocèse de Marseille on Vimeo.

On the occasion of his visit to Marseille on May 18, 2018, Rémi Caucanas, former director of the Catholic Institute of the Mediterranean, presents his book on the life of Étienne Renaud: “The passion for dialogue”. White Father, Etienne Renaud (1936-2013) dedicated his life to the meeting with Islam and Muslims. Secondly, Rémi Caucanas shares his vision of East Africa.

Rémi gave a conference last year at the Generalate in Rome on « Lavigerie au prisme de trois Pères Blancs » (of whom Etienne Renaud). You can listen again to the conference here (in French of course).

You can also buy his latest book ETIENNE RENAUD, LA PASSION DU DIALOGUE at the  Association Chemins de dialogue (11 impasse Flammarion, 13001 Marseille – 04 91 50 35 50) or on the online shop:

Or even on

Prêtres Diocésains, L’homélie (PE nr. 1089 – 2018/03)

Prêtres Diocésains, L’homélie, numéro spécial 2017, p. 97-276, 11 € (plus frais de port)

 When we talk about ongoing formation, in addition to the book reviews that we regularly publish, it is important to mention subscriptions to magazines or periodicals especially as some can now be downloaded from the internet as a very reasonable cost.
For French speaking readers, I would like to recommend a monthly magazine (10 issues a year) published by the l’Union Apostolique du clergé in France. Its editorial committee represents diverse situations and responsibilities in the community. I have already recommended it to francophone participants of the sessions in Jerusalem. Continue reading “Prêtres Diocésains, L’homélie (PE nr. 1089 – 2018/03)”

En finir avec le « péché originel »? – A review (PE nr. 1089 – 2018/03)

Michel Salamolard, En finir avec le « péché originel »? Exploration théologique et pastorale, collection Petits traités, ISBN 978-2-87356-665-4, Fidélité, Namur, août 2015, 282 pages, 19.95 euros

A good number of us feel uneasy when talking about original sin. To those and to others as well, I would advise them to read this book even if it is something of a brick. It brings us back to the core of our Christian faith, our salvation in Jesus Christ. Continue reading “En finir avec le « péché originel »? – A review (PE nr. 1089 – 2018/03)”

Publications of Confreres (PE nr. 1089 – 2018/03)

Jean Moriaud, Vraiment, Il était là! Une relecture de ma vie avec Dieu, Pau-Billère, 2017, 183p.

Callistus Baalaboore, L’engagement de l’Église dans le développement social et humain dans la paroisse de Zinder, Diocèse de Maradi, Rép. du Niger, Leuven (Diplôme d’études spécialisées en catéchèse et pastorale et Master of Theology and Religious Studies), Lumen Vitae: Continue reading “Publications of Confreres (PE nr. 1089 – 2018/03)”

Dégonfler des baudruches (JM Laurent)

Here comes a book (in French), as original as his author is, Jean-Michel Laurent, Missionary of Africa. He was the Secretary for Formation for the last six years or so, and is now formator in the Spiritual Year of Bobo-Dioulasso.

Parmi les paraboles dont usait Jésus, certaines sont interprétables de différentes manières; dans l’Ancien Testament, on pourrait croire que Dieu se repent d’avoir créé les humains – comme s’il était assez idiot pour ne pas prévoir les conséquences de ses actes !… -; l’histoire ancienne aussi est sujette à interprétation ; et la géopolitique actuelle laisse songeurs sur l’avenir que les décideurs nous destinent. Si, d’un côté, les médias dénoncent des crimes, des massacres et des errements, il leur arrive aussi de tyranniser par la pensée, à l’instar des gouvernements, des institutions ou des personnes qu’ils fustigent. Et honni soit celui qui pense autrement qu’eux! Mais, alors que nous pensons voir clair dans le jeu des autres, nous sommes bien souvent les dupes de nous-mêmes. Si Dieu nous laisse libres face à sa parole, qui suis-je pour vouloir imposer mon interprétation aux autres? La tentation est grande et certains n’hésitent pas à vouer à l’enfer ceux qui seraient d’un autre avis. Mais le danger est d’abord en nous et, dans toute l’immensité de l’univers, il n’y a qu’une toute petite chose qu’il nous incombe de changer: notre propre cœur.

Jean-Michel Laurent, M.Afr.

Jean-Michel Laurent, prêtre, missionnaire d’Afrique (Pères Blancs), né en 1951, est originaire de Chièvres (Hainaut, Belgique) et a œuvré dans des paroisses rurales du Sud-Ouest de la Tanzanie pendant plus de dix ans. Il a ensuite collaboré à la formation des jeunes de sa congrégation avant d’être nommé, au niveau international, comme secrétaire à la Formation initiale des Missionnaires d’Afrique. Il est maintenant au noviciat de Bobo-Dioulasso (Burkina- Faso).

ISBN 978-2-87356-772-9
Prix TTC : 9,50 €

Collection « Béthanie »
Commander ici :

La Bible Africaine – A review (PE nr. 1088 – 2018/02)

La Bible Africaine.
Texte biblique de la TOB comprenant l’Ancien et le Nouveau Testament traduits sur les textes originaux,
ISBN 978-2-37360-006-3,
Editions Paulines, Kinshasa, 2015, 2240 pages


Each year we have new Bibles in French which goes to show that this book remains the most important best seller in the world. However, one has to say that not all the Bibles have the same quality. However, this time, Continue reading “La Bible Africaine – A review (PE nr. 1088 – 2018/02)”

J. Moriaud: Vraiment, il est là – A review (PE nr. 1088 – 2018/02)

Auteur : Jean Moriaud, 
Titre du livre : Vraiment, il était là,

Sous-titre : Une relecture de ma vie avec Dieu,
Edition 2017, 183 pages.


Here is a passionate little book! For Jean, the definition of mission is, “Always ‘living with’ and to be interested in people so that they become more interested in others and, if possible, in God.” Our confrere has spent 22 years in Burkina Faso and 10 years in Chad and is a born storyteller. He has a great gift for observation and humour, Continue reading “J. Moriaud: Vraiment, il est là – A review (PE nr. 1088 – 2018/02)”

Lenten Way of the Cross 2018

Here is a Way of the Cross prepared by the JPIC coordinators of the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa and the Missionaries of Africa for Lent 2018.

You can use it individually for your own meditation and at your own pace. By default, the slides change every minute, but you can obviously force the progress.

You must be connected to the Internet to view this slideshow. However, if you want to use it in community M.Afr. or parish, you can download the PDF version here.