From the Mini-Lien of the France sector, a look back at May in the community of Bry-sur-Marne
Jean FISSET left us end of April very peaceful, while some members of his family were at his bedside. He, who was very family-minded, was able to leave in peace. The funeral was a family celebration rather than a community celebration because John’s family, including his brother and sister, filled the chapel. The liturgy of the Mass had been prepared by John himself before his death, and his nephews were keen to respect his last wishes. Bernard Lefebvre, who knew him well, came to preside at the Eucharist, and Gérard Demeerseman was able to retrace in his homily John’s attachment to the Muslim world to which he had dedicated his entire missionary life. When we returned from the cemetery, the whole family gathered one last time for a glass of friendship, which made it possible to see how much Jean was appreciated by all his family. He has now joined the great family of confreres who are waiting for the resurrection; may he rest in peace.
A few days later, the entire house was celebrating the 100th anniversary of a resident, Mrs. Berthe LE CAM. The same day it was the “Pierre angulaire” (the residence) that organized the celebration with a bouquet of 101 red rose buds. And the champagne flew freely over a huge cake. Mrs. LE CAM then confessed the secret of her longevity: a glass of red wine every day at noon and an aperitif on Sunday, a diet she intends to follow for many years to come, as she is not yet completely dependent. The following Saturday, it was his family that wanted to celebrate her again. As for us, we can now wait quietly for the celebration of our next centenary at the beginning of next year, our confrere Georges BERGANTZ, who will in turn make it because he is even more fit than Mrs Le CAM, and especially shares with her the same secret of longevity. What is certain is that celebrating centenarians gives a lot of hope and happiness to all. Long live Mrs. Le CAM.
Bishop SANTIER, Bishop of Créteil and therefore our bishop, wanted to visit us a second time this year, which touched us very much. But especially this time he wanted to exchange with us, and for a good hour he presented his diocese to us with passion. Everyone was surprised to see how cosmopolitan this diocese was: many foreigners and a large number of religions, including Judaism and Islam, and even Buddhism. Interreligious dialogue has thus become an obsession for the pastor of our diocese, which sounds familiar to many of us. All this greatly enhances the dynamism of the diocesan Christian community, which is living a true renewal. Finally, we feel a little more at home in this diocese, because we have spent our entire lives in an equally complex environment. It is up to us to remain more White Fathers than ever.
Last Saturday, an orchestra came to enliven our afternoon, the “HARMONIE TUTTI” orchestra, the fruit of Bry’s music school. It was obviously not the Scala of Milan, but it must be acknowledged that their conductor is a virtuoso, both to conduct and to play as a soloist. They now know the code to enter the house.
Finally, at the month’s end, on Ascension Thursday, Jo le NIGEN will renew his contract with the White Fathers in our community for another three years. We will talk more about it in the next Mini-Lien. The park is already looking forward to it, but less than we certainly are. Congratulations, Jo!
Clément Forestier (photos J-Y Chevalier)