Following last summer’s riots, a peace accord was signed by Jewish, Muslim religious leaders and the Trappes parish priest encouraging everyone, especially youth, to reflect and enter into a discussion with their peers. At the same time, at the initiative of Father Patrice Gaudin, the parish priest of Bondy, the Missionary Fraternity of Cities asked to have a meeting of 12 young Christians from different neighbourhoods with Pope Francis.
Four youth from Trappe, accompanied by Father Etienne and Father Vincent, also had the opportunity to meet Pope Francis. They entered the audience hall singing, “I am full of joy and today a fire is lit.” The Pope laughed as he kept beat. He came up with a beautiful meditation on prayer in song and dance as a way of receiving the Word and being a witness.
The Pope told them to “Continue!”. “I invite you to live fraternity at the heart of your neighbourhoods… Your mission is courageous and necessary for bringing the nearness, compassion, and tenderness of God to those who are often lacking in dignity and love.”
Pope Francis’ invitation connects with the charism of our Institute: “make known to all, particularly the poor, the tenderness and mercy of the Father revealed in Jesus.”