France: In memory of Henri Bussery SJ, by Pierre Martinot-Lagarde SJ

Fr. Henri Bussery left us on 7 August. ?Good and faithful servant,? Henri was passionate about our era. He brought clarity and accessibility to social questions, but what possessed him above all was the need for greater justice: that the most outcast among us would be our primary concern. After studying engineering, he entered the Society of Jesus at 22, and set straight to work after his theology studies. With the CERAS team (Centre for Research and Social Action) at Vanves he plunged into economics — discovering econometrics — and collaborated with INSEE (National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies) in developing predictive models. He retained from this rather dry work a refusal to overlook the complexities of society. He loathed uncertainty, and was as rigorous about precision of data as he was about the quality of its interpretation. Around the same time, the lively and friendly Mouvement Chrétien des Cadres et dirigeants (MCC) gave his life new meaning and direction. As a key member of the Bishop?s Social Commission he not only brought his good nature, but also his tenacity, which allowed for a hard hitting reflection on work, AIDS and other burning issues. In his work, but also when he was editor-in-chief of the magazine ?Projet?, a member of the ?Croire aujourd?hui? team and of OCIPE (Catholic European Study and Information Centre), Henri undertook his work with joy but also with asceticism. His sharp intelligence suffered through many clumsy phrases and his deafness put up with much babbling. Although sometimes irritated, he would never give up, his kindness never ceasing to outweigh his annoyance. Every single person and every situation counted. That is how he lived his life in this world. Good and faithful servant in the smaller things, he?ll be the same now in the greater. [HL20910]