Tuesday, November 25, Father Luc DUQUENNE SJ, founder of JRS Romania, received the medal of “Chevalier des Palmes Academiques of l’Ordre” from His Excellency Mr. Francois Saint-Paul, French Ambassador in Romania.

Presented below the speech of the Ambassador: luc-palmes-2

Father Luc DUQUENNE,

Born on 28 October 1934 in Liège (Belgium), are a Jesuit priest, a member of the Society of Jesus in your entered September 14, 1952, you were ordained priest on August 6, 1965 and you filed last vote on May 21, 1977.

After studies in classical philology have been a teacher of Latin and Greek from 1968 to 1976 in a Jesuit college in Brussels, then you worked during 1976-1991 in international training center religion “Lumen Vitae”, created and sustained by the Jesuit order , a place where you have enabled teaching courses and also worked in administration. During this time you have lived in the Jesuit community Bellarminum.

Shortly after the “revolution” of 1989-1990 in Romania, you said available to answer the international call addressed by the superior general of the Society of Jesus for volunteers to reconstruct the Jesuit presence within the country and its people. So you left Lumen Vitae and Belgium to serve the people and the Church in Romania, a country in which you live from 17 November 1991.

Living in Bucharest since that time, you were first pastoral charge of francophone for twenty years, working in parallel for eleven years as a professor of patristic, and the Institute of Latin in the Roman Catholic theology.

In addition to these activities, you set up an NGO “Jesuit Refugee Service” in Romania and are superior local Jesuit Community “St. Claudius La Colombière “where you live next to some young fellow Romanian.

Arriving in Bucharest twenty-three years – which will certainly make expat priest longest presence in Romania – there you find a Catholic community which began to open up the world and the Church. Since then you have devoted body and soul to its reconstruction. Have you done this especially becomes, at the request of the Archbishop of Bucharest, Mons. Ioan Robu, the shepherd (“rector”) of French Catholics Romanian capital. It is a parish that was very much alive before the communist regime in 1947, being led by monks started lazarist Western and Marc Franco-Romanian figure of the man who was Monsignor Vladimir Ghika (died in 1954 in Jilava in prisons atheistic dictatorship and whose beatification process was completed last year), but it was disbanded for over forty years.

It can be said therefore had to recreate the French Catholic parish began in Bucharest and that i have instilled over twenty years an extraordinary energy. You know not only be an authentic community, united and cohesive, starting from a priori heterogeneous elements: personal diplomatic and cultural, members of their families expatriate Western firms (with frequent changes of personnel), African students and Catholic home Romanian who love liturgy in a more Western and Orthodox married with people of other nationalities. Your skills have allowed language to that effect to overcome the francophone Catholics, also putting your faithful service Anglophone, and also Romanian Catholics of the Latin rite and the Byzantine (Greek Catholic), since mastered the language host country.

Your responsibilities pastoral did you shortly to face not only with religious matters, but also social, humanitarian ie. That is why the early 90s have met people becoming more numerous, of foreign origin in difficult situations in human and delicate administratively: unrecognized refugees, undocumented …

Refusing to be quartered in a purely spiritual mission, you have invested their energies to helping these people, coming mainly from Africa or the Middle East, to regulate their situation and first of all for finding housing and means of subsistence. After looking empirical solutions, have set up a more appropriate structure, opening a Romanian subsidiary of the international NGO “Jesuit Refugee Service” (JRS), which is now in full development and management of which have entrusted it now before a younger brother.

Finally, worth highlighting that you did not want to take advantage of ecclesiastical retirement to end this exemplary solidarity with Romania and with populations that settled here, either because of professional demands refuge either because of political and economic considerations. When you have crossed the age of seventy-five (limit canonical pastoral responsibility in the Catholic Church), Mons. Ioan Robu appointed a successor on 1 October 2011 in the person Assumption French monk, Father. Michel Kubler. But even without the function of the parish have urged – and got easily! – You can continue, if possible, to bring your services certainly not ceased to be appreciated.

For all these reasons – including particular emphasis on service to several hundred French families for over twenty years, contributing to the glow Francophonie and established effective humanitarian aid to refugees from around the world come here – Pr. Luc DUQUENNE, Belgian citizen Catholic priest deserves recognition Republic.

DUQUENNE Reverend Fathers,

I am honored to award on behalf of the Prime Minister of France,

The title of Knight of the Order “Palmes Académiques”.

Recorded by: Marius Talos, SJ

Date posted: Thursday November 27th, 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Father Luc Duquenne, founder of JRS Romania, has been decorated by the French Embassy in Romania

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