Paris: CERAS centenary

CERAS ( Centre de Recherche et d?Action Sociale), the Paris- based centre for research and social action is a hundred years old, spanning the life of a movement called ?Action Populaire? , engaged with the workers? movement. Centenary celebrations began in mid-October by first looking back at the past and then forward to the future. Contrasting views of the seminal intuitions of Jesuit Fathers Leroy and Desbuquois in the initial stages, and of the subsequent role of Jesuit leadership in handling controversial social issues came through the lens of two historians, and two Jesuits, each pair analysing these two different time periods. The second public event was an intense day devoted to analysis in small groups of contemporary issues (the future of democracy, social and cultural hybridity, international relations, and solidarities) and was meant to generate future lines of action for CERAS. The third and final event started with a Eucharist presided by Mons. Georges Pontier, Bishop of the diocese of La Rochelle et Saintes and Vice-president of the French Bishops? Conference, and culminated in a panel discussion on ?Justice and Christian Faith?. The more than two hundred persons, young and old, who filled the hall every day congratulated the new Director Fr. Pierre Martinot-Lagarde for his initiative and asked him to make CERAS a more inclusive project involving more and more people. They also hoped that the new challenges would be faced by taking a more distinct political stand. [HL30907] Pierre Martinot-Lagarde SJ ;www.jesuites.com/ceras/index.html>