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Life of the communities

Solidarity as Church

2- in France - Date of publication 06-15-2009
On Sunday 22 March we had a ‘friendship day’ which consoled us, parishioners of Perseigne. Why?

On the night of 14 March some cars in our area were set on fire, 12 according to the newspaper. On Tuesday 17 March the windows of St. Theresa's church were smashed by some 13 to 16 year old youths throwing stones. We are all upset about this. Fortunately we had been warned by some young women; otherwise the damage would have been more serious. I was afraid of fire so I telephoned our parish priest immediately.

When the bishop heard this news he invited the parishioners of two neighbouring churches to come and celebrate the Sunday Eucharist in our church as a sign of solidarity with us, Christians of Perseigne.

On Friday evening after Mass we were told that the bishop would be present. This was a surprise and a joy. On that Sunday morning the bishop was there with Denis our parish priest, three other priests and a deacon.

Parishioners came from elsewhere even as far away as Sees. At the beginning of the Eucharist Fr. Denis thanked the bishop and the people who had come to celebrate in solidarity with us. In the course of the celebration five children who are at the second stage of preparation for Baptism were invited to come and see the beautiful cross presented to them by Fr. Boulanger. "See, said Fr. Boulanger, Jesus is at the side of his cross, so Jesus is alive!" One child said: "Jesus has big hands!" Why? "He has his arms open wide to welcome us" replied Tiphaine.

The children opened their hands to receive the oil of catechumens, the sign of the Cross... the ceremony continued.

After the Mass Father Barré invited the bishop, the priests and the parish team to share a glass of friendship then we all met at "Flunch" for dinner.

This beautiful day was followed by a celebration prepared by the students of the chaplaincy and college with several people invited from the different parishes.

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