20th Anniversary of Saint-Gabriel Solidarité
Saint-Gabriel Solidarité celebrated its 20th Anniversary on June 2017, in La Hillière (Thouaré-sur-Loire). The feast was marked by the Eucharist, a buffet lunch and an overview of all the events that have spanned its 20 years of existence.
At the beginning of the mass, Brother Robert Bauvineau, President of Saint-Gabriel Solidarité, talked about the meaning of charitable commitment. He greeted the representatives of the 4 continents and paid a tribute to the French Brothers who dedicated a part of their life or their entire life to the mission. He recalled the memory of Brother Alphonse Tine, who died in a road accident, in December 2016, in Katacodi, Guinea Conakry, and also recalled the memory of all the Departed Brothers of the Province of France who worked in foreign countries.
Brother Robert mentioned the congratulatory messages sent by Brothers and Associates from Africa, Madagascar, India and Brazil who, along with us, are giving thanks to the Lord for the 20 years involvement and dedication to the cause of youth education in underprivileged countries.
During the buffet lunch shared in the shade of the trees in the park of La Hillière, there were words of appreciation for the Associations and for the Donators that are working in collaboration with Saint-Gabriel Solidarité. One after another, the partnership Associations including Aider, Coeur du Monde, Sol Esperança, NDBA, ASPSA, Les Papiers de l’Espoir mentioned their happiness of working in partnership with SGS. Through the narration of some remarquable experiences, they expressed their joy of serving the cause of education in the most remote areas of the world.
Mr. Francis Tapon, member of Saint-Gabriel Solidarité appreciated the generosity of the Donators who support the Association. Mr. Jean-Claude Rolland and his wife recently accompanied Brother Gérard Aubineau who went to Senegal and Guinea Conakry for a humanitarian trip. They talked about the experience of their wonderful visit in Africa.
Brother Claude Marsaud, the Provincial of France, reminded us of the importance that the Brothers give to solidarity of the hand but, most importantly, to solidarity of the heart, as summarized in the next General Chapter theme.
After the buffet lunch, all the guests gathered in the chapel to see a slide presentation prepared by Brother Robert and a short documentary film realized by Mr. Rolland. Brother Robert’s PowerPoint was a summary of the achievements of Saint-Gabriel Solidarité recalling the charitable aim, the beginnings, the realizations, the structures that are sponsored, the countries and Provinces where SGS is working, and the human values that we share. Brother Robert recalled the memory of the Deceased Brothers who initiated the ‘Réseau Saint-Gabriel’, the ‘ancestor’ of SGS, and praised the dynamic involvement of the Lay partners who contributed to the development of such a humanitarian mission.
Mr. Rolland’s film was a presentation of the educative mission of the Brothers of Saint- Gabriel in Senegal and Guinea Conakry. The film was a narration of the humanitarian trip of the Tapons and Rollands, two couples, and of Brother Gérard Aubineau who just visited these countries on behalf of SGS, enjoying the charming landscape of Guinea and the famous Senegalese Téranga. The celebration ended with a fraternal brioche sharing. A participant wrote: ‘It was a great moment of sharing’.
– Frère Michel Mendy