Chronicles of Paris IV. Towards 2033 with communities and movements

Mobilize communities in prayer

To the community of Xavières of Paris, rue Tournefort

In our travels, we also visit communities and movements and ask them for prayer without which nothing can be done!

The first night - 3rd June - we are invited by the Xavières community in the Latin Quarter. A meal and evening prayer framed our presentation. Their founder, Claire de Monestes, has a strong sense of evangelization and Christian unity. She is inspired by the Ignatian spirituality which emphasizes fidelity to the Risen One who calls us to accompany her in her passion. "It is good to mobilize communities in prayer for this process. How to make the resurrection understand that this word makes sense for people who are distant?" says the head of the community of Paris, Sister Mireille.

Build relationships


The next evening we are at the Arny estate, with the Focolari who invited about fifty people from the surrounding parishes. This movement with broad horizons also has unity at heart: "It is a crazy project but very meaningful. Forging links between fragmented churches is a message of hope," says one.

A spiritual visiter from Cameroon, passing through Europe, thanks the Lord for bringing him here: "Your testimony," he said to Olivier, "touched my heart. I know that when the Lord calls, he gives all the means to realize the project.”

One person asked what represents the year 2033 to patients in a hospital room. He is surprised that suddenly the discussion becomes profound.

"We continue to ask the Spirit for this wonderful project that has become ours! 

Christiane wrote to me after this meeting.

A clear call from God

On the third evening we meet the House of Unity where sisters of Saint Clotilde and Protestant deacons of Reuilly animate a prayer. Sister Benedict then receives us for a meal. "Our world needs so much meaning, su much of Christ. Your vision brings us back to the essentials of Jesus beyond the ecclesial shops. How is it that the world hardly meets Christ?”

She is touched by the vision that Olivier received calling for unity. At the origin of this House of Unity there was also a clear call from God! With humor, she urges us not to be discouraged by the slowness and criticism: "To do well and to let braying" is the maxim that animated me when I was criticized for choosing the Protestant faith when I was searching. From then on I am hanging on to God,” she says with a smile!

Fostering a culture of innovation

The next morning we are at the French Bible Alliance with its director Jonathan Boulet who explains the turning point of this work: how to transmit the biblical message in a secularized society. To do this, it is necessary to create a culture of innovation in the churches by listening to people.

“Innovation is my calling," he admits. For example, he launched a project Hackmybible, based on the principle of Hackaton that wants to arouse collective intelligence through collaboration. "For the decade of the resurrection, it would take a" Hackmy2033”, he proposes!

 With Jonathan Boulet at the headquarters of the French Bible Society

He encourages us to listen to the contemporary man. It is with him that we have to set up the projects. Thus the Bible Alliance has created a missionary structure alongside the traditional work of Bible Societies: tradition, scripture publishing and dissemination. This has become necessary especially in secularized Western countries. However, he thinks that by 2033, with globalization, the southern countries will also go towards secularization.

Trust in the Holy Spirit

At noon, we invite Bruno Berthon, coordinator of the Day of Christ, for a meal near the Eiffel Tower. This experienced man encourages us: "Above all, trust that the Holy Spirit will show everything and lead. No need to take the lead! Then, this can only be done in a convergence of what is already done.”

He presents us the Day of Christ, inspired by the Swiss experience. Its committee is made up of members of all the churches. The Nice-meeting was a great success and helped to form ecumenical groups. In two years they plan a youth rally and rely on collaboration with youth movements such as the community of Taizé and Youth With A Mission.

Marked by the Charismatic Renewal by which he came to the Christian faith, he notes that this movement today touches the top of the Church. Thus Pope Francis asked to introduce "the culture of baptism in the Holy Spirit" into the church.

To walk towards 2033, he sees the need for a unifying body in each country. According to him, in France, he should depend on the Council of Christian Churches. If there are to be special events in 2033, it is essential that the Christians of the various Churches deepen their communion to prepare them. This is the benefit of a decade of resurrection.

Touched by the friendliness!

Paris everything is possible! This is the movement in charismatic spirituality chaired by Carlos Payan with whom we have lunch the next day. He begins by sharing with us his enthusiasm following a celebration of healing and deliverance presided by the Archbishop of Paris in the church of S. Sulpice full to bursting.

He gives us his analysis of the spiritual situation of France. The Catholic Church goes through a time of humiliation that leads it to listen much better. Less than 50% of French people are believers. What will happen in 2033? Everything is going so fast! The countryside is spiritually deserted. Paris is a special case: the Masses refuel in the West but not in the East.

In the end he urges us to go out to meet the people where they live: "If you only do meetings, I leave you with that. Jesus took the first step towards the other. You have to meet people, do things that are out of the ordinary: for example offer a huge barbecue for 5000 people, such as the multiplication of breads. People are touched by the friendliness. If there is praise, feast and joy, I am with you."

The road to Emmaus

We have already met Anne Cathy Graber from the Chemin Neuf Community in Jerusalem during our visit in 2017. (see here our Jerusalem Chronicle:  

She is the last person we meet. Also active in the World Christian Forum, where we met in Lyon last October.

With her, we reflect on the involvement of her community in the project of walking on the Emmaus road, in January 2020, during the week of prayer for Christian unity in Jerusalem. (See this project:

After these five intense days, we are grateful for all these meetings and pray that this project will become that of the churches and communities of Paris.

Martin Hoegger