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Photo: Laurent Clévenot

Eurojam 1984 – Velles (F) Photo: Laurent Clévenot

Father Edmond Barbotin passed away on Friday September 19th. Almost 94 years old, he was paralyzed since 2004 and lived in a nursing home in Strasbourg. His funeral will take place on Wednesday 24th in Saint-Maurice church at 10:30 a.m. and his burial will take place at the cemetery of Lorette in Saint-Servan (35) on Friday 26th at 16:30 p.m.

He was national religious adviser of the French association from 1986 to 2000. Endlessly, he accompanied a lot of roads, training camps, the pilgrimages of Paray and Vézelay, the WYD of Czestochowa in 1991, innumerable national and international activities… How many chiefs, chieftains, rovers, rangers, priests, religious men and women… were marked by him ? Impossible to say. He also wrote for our movement numerous articles and books about the pedagogy of faith.

We shall keep in our hearts the image of a holy priest, discreet, available, balanced, with remarkable intelligence and very fine sense of humor.

Now we entrust him to the Divine Mercy that he so often preached and poured out in the sacrament of penance.

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On the occasion of this Eucharist at the opening of Eurojam 2014, I, Martin, Federal Commissioner, together with all the General Commissioners, consecrate solemnly the International Union of Guides and Scouts of Europe to the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We entrust the whole Union and its members to Him, what they live and what they do, their pains and sufferings, their joys and hopes during their scouting activities and their life in the world, so that the Union may only serve to honour, love and glorify the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

We therefore take You, O Sacred Heart, to be the only object of our love, the guardian of our Union, the assurance of its salvation, the cure for its weakness and lack of constancy, the atonement for all its faults, the source of its joyful peace, and the destination of its route.

Be then, O Heart of goodness, our justification before God the Father, let us savour the soft power of Your infinite mercy. O Heart of love, we put all our trust in You, and we hope for all things from Your goodness.

Burning heart of tenderness, remove from us all that may displease or resist You. Let Your pure love imprint itself so deeply upon our hearts, that we may never be able to forget You or be separated from You. We bless You for accepting to live within our Union and may our happiness and glory be to live and die while being all yours.

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The Eurojam 2014 was a great celebration; a moment of joy lived in an immense community; a celebration of reconciliation and unity. Not only a great meeting of 12,500 European youngsters, not only a happening in the middle of nowhere, not only a spectacle in front of 25,000 eyes. What is the difference between the Eurojam and, let’s say, a music festival gathering the same (or an even higher) number of people as the Eurojam? A music festival gathers people who are enthusiastic of the same kind of music, so people who share an aspect, a part of them. The Eurojam doesn’t gather people who share something together, but who ARE something together, who form a single body, the body of Christ! Only in HIM we are really able to find reconciliation, reconciliation with God, with ourselves and with each other. Our unity in HIM is our strength and the only reason why European Scouting can exist. The Eurojam is the best expression of this unity. It shows to us – and to the world! – that peace among the nations is not only a beautiful dream, but can be realized if we have the strong will to go to the other, to listen and to understand the other. Even if we don’t speak the same language and don’t have the same habits and customs, we are sisters, brothers and God’s beloved children. We don’t share only the one ore other chosen aspect of ourselves, but our essence, our being. Once we have understood that, our diversity is not an obstacle any more, but the source of new discoveries, beautiful exchanges and deep joy.

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WYD Cross in UkraineThe cross and icon of the World Youth Day arrived in Ukraine on Monday, September 9th. The Guides and Scouts of Europe participated in this important event as volunteers. Together with their religious advisors they transferred the cross and the icon in the city of Lviv from the main Roman Catholic Church (the Cathedral of the Dormition of the Mother of God) to the main Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (the Cathedral of Saint George).

All the bishops of Ukraine participated in this unique moment, led by the Heads of both local churches: the Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk and Mieczyslaw Cardinal Mokrzycki (who had been the personal secretary of Pope John Paul II for seven years).

The World Youth Day has arrived in the middle of the Guides and Scouts of Europe. On September 11th all National Commissioners of the Red Branches join together for kicking-off the preparation of welcoming all rangers and rovers of our International Union in Cracow between July 24th and 31st, 2016. Save the date!