A Time to Forgive – South Africa


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFr. Louis Blondel, M.Afr, was brutally murdered in a botched robbery in his mission, in Diepsloot a township south west of Pretoria, South Africa in the early hours of Monday December 7th 2009. The robbers, all teenagers had gained access to the mission through a window, awakened a fellow missionary in the house (Fr. Guido Bourgeois); helped themselves to a watch, mobile phone, two second-hand computers and the equivalent of $5; when Fr. Louis was also awakened by the commotion, as he opened his bedroom door to investigate, a single shot rang out that killed him instantly. The assailant and other four ran in panic! (…)
In the course of 2013 the condemned young man through the intermediary of his sister approached Fr. Sean saying that he wanted to be forgiven.  (…) READ MORE
Texte en français
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASee also:

Father Louis Blondel Centre

Opening of the Fr. Louis Blondel Centre Diepsloot, South Africa

 

Opening of the Fr. Louis Blondel Centre Diepsloot, South Africa


Diepsloot Centre Opening 2013-10-18 064Last week was a particularly bad week for the Diepsloot community, a sprawling township of tin shacks and hunger on the outskirts of Johannesburg. Two toddlers aged three and two had been found murdered and raped and the community was rightly enraged. This was the Missionary of Africa parish where Fr. Louis Blondel was brutally murdered some four years ago, by a group of teenage tugs.  At that time Louis had a vision of building a Community Centre with the particular intention of taking care of the very youth who murdered him.
The violent scenes in Diepsloot were offset by celebrations in another part of the township where a life was celebrated and love and hope enkindled. This Centre is a gift from the Blondel family to the youth of Diepsloot and will make them realise they are not alone in their poverty, there are those who care and those that want them to have a better chance in life. The Archbishop of Pretoria William Slattery asked the community to accept the gift there were been given in memory of Louis, and said they should care for it as it was their centre. He assured the community that Louis’s spirit would always be there with them, watching over them and encouraging their efforts towards a better life.
His sister Francoise and her husband Alphonse had travelled from France to be there for the opening. His sister described the opening as emotional but also a happy one because it kept his legacy alive. She said the realisSeán_O'Learyation of this dream could be the first step towards reconciliation. She went onto say “we are not angry and there is no vengeance in our hearts, and this could lead to full forgiveness”.
With Louis’s sudden death and the remaining confreres Guy Bourgeois suffering a stroke six months later, the Missionaries of Africa were forced to hand over the parish to the Archdiocese. The Centre now remains a fitting legacy to a wonderful man and our short presence in Diepsloot.
Seán O’Leary M.Afr
 

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Michel MeunierSee also one article written by Michel Meunier, M.Afr for MISSION MONTH (one for the Archdiocesan newspaper (ADnews) and two for the weekly national newspaper (The Southern Cross).
Mission-Church-Muchel-Meuni
From a Mission Church to a Missionary Church
Yoyo-M-M-001
From yoyo to hula hoop
Mission-Possible-Michel-Meu
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2013
 
 See also the following link:

Father Louis Blondel Centre

 

Father Louis Blondel Centre


Louis-BlondelThe Father Louis Blondel Centre is the result of a team work inspired by a man whose life has been dedicated to the poorest and to the loneliest. Fr Louis spent more than 22 years in South Africa, as a missionary of Africa, and was involved in many supportive projects in Soweto, Zondi and Orange Farm. In 2008, he decided to stay in Diepsloot and was planning a youth centre when his life was cut short and he was shot dead by an intruder on the night of the 6th December 2009.
This Centre is dedicated to the upliftment of the Youth of Diepsloot and may it become a beacon of reconciliation in our still violent and divided Society.
It is with thanks to the family and Friends of Fr. Louis and the French business community who funded the building. A special thanks to Lafarge SA and Prominent Paints.
Louis Blondel Centre 02