"Today the concept of truth is viewed with suspicion, because truth is identified with violence. Over history there have, unfortunately, been episodes when people sought to defend the truth with violence. But they are two contrasting realities. Truth cannot be imposed with means other than itself! Truth can only come with its own light. Yet, we need truth. ... Without truth we are blind in the world, we have no path to follow. The great gift of Christ was that He enabled us to see the face of God".Pope Benedict xvi, February 24th, 2012

The Church is ecumenical, catholic, God-human, ageless, and it is therefore a blasphemy—an unpardonable blasphemy against Christ and against the Holy Ghost—to turn the Church into a national institution, to narrow her down to petty, transient, time-bound aspirations and ways of doing things. Her purpose is beyond nationality, ecumenical, all-embracing: to unite all men in Christ, all without exception to nation or race or social strata. - St Justin Popovitch

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Monday, 4 March 2013


Father Pierre-Marie Delfieux, founder of the Monastic Community of Jerusalem, died on Thursday, February 21st.   His funeral was an occasion celebrated by many bishops, a large number of priests, a packed church, and presided over by Cardinal Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris, in Notre Dame Cathedral.  He was 78 years old.

The spirituality of his Community of Jerusalem is fed by several spiritual streams: of course, there is monastic tradition, Charles de Foucauld, the Charismatic Renewal, and, like much enlightened Catholicism in Paris - thanks to the immigration from Russia after the 1917 revolution of many philosophers,  theologians and saints - Russian Orthodoxy.   The community is known for the beauty of its liturgy.   It is positive proof that,  when it is properly celebrated, with a little bit of liturgical imagination, the "new mass" is every bit as beautiful and spiritual as the old.

Father Pierre-Marie Delfieux is one of the great monastic figures in modern times.   May he rest in peace.       

dedicated to Br Bernard of Belmont
Peace: Catholicism’s Not in Total Crisis
By Robert Royal   
Taken from The Catholic Thing

Last week, quietly and with essentially no media coverage, Frère Pierre-Marie Delfieux, who founded the Community of Jerusalem, a remarkably vibrant renewal movement centered in the Church of Saint Gervais and Saint Protais in Paris – with rapidly growing affiliates across Europe and Canada – died and was buried. His farewell Mass at Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral drew an overflow crowd, with lots of young people of high school and college age.  And hundreds of priests and a dozen bishops, all of whom took part in a very beautiful and moving liturgy – one of the attractive hallmarks of the Community. 

I only heard of this because a friend in Paris, who introduced me to San Gervais some years ago, rightly thought I’d want to know. Amidst all the flurry about the pope’s resignation and speculations about his successor, maybe it was only to be expected that the press wouldn’t have enough stamina left over to report on a different kind of Catholic story, a highly positive one at that, and in Europe – secular France, no less. Besides, it complicates the already established story line of a Church in total crisis.

It’s emblematic of where we are at present that something that is going beautifully right, as many things are in the Catholic Church, gets no attention while many people, including many Catholics, are obsessed with the things that have been going wrong. Scandal sells papers, and always will, of course. Still, there’s much else happening out there that needs to be reckoned with if you really want a full picture of Catholicism at this special moment in Church history.

It’s kind of the Catholic version of the sequester: despite all the apocalyptic hand-wringing about crises and institutional dysfunction, life largely goes on – and even flourishes, with many wonderful surprises. And anyway, as Ezra Pound once said, “an institution that survived the picturesqueness of the Borgias has a certain native resiliency.”


Overall, our monastic and apostolic communities, including postulants, count almost 200 people of 30 nationalities.  We have about a thousand lay people in the 20 or so lay communities (of which the largest is the Evangelical fraternity), each one living at their own rhythm while respecting professional, societal or familial obligations, but still as a part of the Jerusalem family.

As for how many people we touch, it's always difficult and risky to say, for only God knows what touches a soul.  But concretely, 300,000 people come to St. Gervais per year; 800,000 pass through Vézelay; three million go to Mont-St-Michel... Every day, the Catholic television station KTO broadcasts the liturgy at St. Gervais.  Two guesthouses, Magdala in Sologne and Gamogna (11th century) near Florence in the Apenines, propose retreats and a place for solitude.  But only God knows who is touched in what way.  What is sure is that we are indeed touched by all those who support us and keep us in their prayers.



Well worth watching!
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