Wednesday, 31 August 2016


My dear Dragon, in any case, of all the dragons of the world, you are the most wonderful!  Your mother was an exquisite sausage princess who had a sulphurous affair with a police dog…From that atomic fusion, dear Dragon, you were born as the synthesis of the thesis and the antithesis. With you the conflict of the opposites is over and the eternal battle between the intelligence and the stick comes to an end.

When you entered my life in Tilcara, some thirty-five years ago, you were only a puppy given by a nice boy of the village to my son Edu. He and I welcomed you, filled with joy, like a little star fallen from above.  

Your childhood was a non-stop running of mischievousness and laughs. With the time, you sat down and you became my secretary and confidant. After dinner, lying like a mat on the floor you would listen with patience the monologues in Spanish and in French of the incorrigible dreamer that I always have been. At times, you would look at me with bored eyes, but you would never grumble. To express your opinion, you would waggle your tail.                   

In the altar area of the church, you would begin by shaking yourself up from the fleas and to scratch yourself where you were bitten; and then, you would lie between the two cactus wooden legs of the altar. Coiled up on the red carpet, you would stoically listen to my never-ending sermons. At times, you would applaud with your ears, other times, you would simply yawn.

You were sensual. Because of your maternal ancestry, you adored all the pleasures of life: cushions, sofas, the golden armchair covered of episcopal velvet… But because of your paternal ancestry you would look for trouble and rumpus. You would roam in the streets, you would sneak everywhere, you were cheeky and roguish. At times, you were having the gracious bearing of a prince, but often you looked like a lout.   

Great seducer, you let yourself be kidnapped for weeks by a lady doctor who gave you your bath, perfumed you, dressed you with tulle and had you sleep in her bed between silk sheets. You were also for two to three months the escort of a lady teacher; you would accompany her in the mountains, on a rocky path, walking together back and forth between Tilcara and the small school of Alfarcito. If by chance I would catch you taking too much advantage of the kindness of those big-hearted people, you would turn your head away, pretending not to know me…

In the whole town of Tilcara, few were the houses where you did not feel at home, and few the solitudes you did not share. If the drums, the sikus and the cracked bell of the church had not been an unbearable torture for your ears, you would have been the first to dance at the carnival and sing in the processions. And never in your life would you have missed one of those peacefully noisy manifestations which simply required that our crooked world be changed from top to bottom. 
Anyway, I suspect that beyond your love for the dolce vita, you had a soft spot for the poor and for justice, for the cause of those who disappeared during the dictatorship, for Women Rights and for the Earth, for freedom and democracy, for the affirmation of the indigenous culture, and for a Church that would not prostitute itself with money and guns (I end here, otherwise people will think that it is self-projection…). Still, I think that you succeeded to understand before me  that the struggles between good and evil, or between the right and the left, are often very self destroying on the long run,  and that the path towards a decent future is, before all else, to be gauchos.

You would spend nights flirting with the First Canine Lady of the village on the roof of the mayor’s residence. But at sunrise, you would jump over at the nearby Sisters and weave your way in their mini chapel. The Sisters were members of your fan club, and you liked to be with them for the morning prayers. Luisa, the most kind and the eldest of the community, was your favourite. You would cling to her skirt and, between two psalms, she would gently pet you. As a good daughter of St. Francis, she would turn a blind eye to your private life and see no trace of the slightest flaw.  In the afternoon, she would go out to work to help her neighbors, while you, so as to regain your strength eroded by your nocturnal excesses, you would take a nap like an angel on her immaculate bed.      

You fought with the most terrifying mastiffs, the most snobbish and the most ill-mannered of Tilcara; they have gashed through your face with their huge teeth and have left on your body the glorious stitches of countless scars.  Those famous wars have still brought you to conquer the most sophisticated females in town. You have populated the region with many kids that carry on until now your work of civilisation.

In the parish, when ended the war of missiles, you did not join force with the old Teutonic priest who had succeeded in getting his hands on the parish and already was preparing for war so as to put the minds of the village through his Taliban theology. For not one second did you let yourself be intimidated by him. During his first mass, you were in the church as usual, rolled up under the altar table. At the moment the first words of that creep squealed in your ears, you bounced on your behind, raised a leg slowly and copiously watered the cactus wooden leg of the altar table. And then, calmly, you relaxed your ears as a sign of supreme indifference, spread out your tail like an antenna, lifted your head and went down the central aisle of the church with the dignity of a Viltipoco getting back his lost glory. Never again did you set paws in that church that you loved, and where you were one of the most assiduous faithful. Never.    

From a window in the skies, God had seen everything. Even today, He remembers that scene with pleasure, marveling at the guts you had as a Dragon and at the remarkable soundness of your discernment.

Years went by. I was in far-away China when a letter reached me from    Tilcara. In that letter were described your last moments on this Earth. One day, carrying on your back your sixteen years of life as a dog, you climbed one by one half of the narrow steps of the Escalinata (high staircase of the village which links two areas separated by a steep slope). You arrived almost a moribund at the house of Norma Maine. It is from that place that you had decided to say goodbye to the world.

Norma and her children welcomed you with emotion.  Up to your last breath, they lavished you with tenderness.  Still, your days were counted. When the moment to leave came, a mysterious sensation of cold fell over you; it swept up to your bones and your teeth were chattering.  – The Bible says that, on the point of dying, the old king David (another mischievous one loved by God) was stricken also by a terrible attack of cold. But by putting Abishag, a young good looking girl in the bed of the king, the old man bucked up and left for the hereafter without shaking. -  That highly instructive story was not known by Norma and her children; nevertheless, they reproduced it to perfection. Seeing you shaking so much, the children ran to their neighbor to borrow a young cute female dog that they hastened to place against your freezing bones. Gradually, a bit of warmth spread in your being, and calm came. You therefore were to leave this world with the same consolations than king David, that old womanizer and brave vanquisher of Goliath, the giant…      

When your time came, Norma and the children cried their eyes out. Norma went on her knees praying God that he would inspire her the best gesture that would help you to leave without pain. Unconsciously, she already had in her hands a water pitcher; without hesitation, she baptized you!

And so you died as a Catholic, my dear Dragon... Not as a Catholic of the imperial Church of the golden pointed hats and of the corporals, but as a Catholic of a large anonymous Church without walls, tender and courageous, made up of ordinary people who often do unauthorized things by the books, but usually follow their good heart and never turn their backs on the cribs and the calvaries of this world.

The three angels of the Escalinata carried your body of Dragon over Tilcara, on the flanks of the Black Mountain. They buried you in secret, at about 300 meters higher than the cross, in line with where the sun rises in the morning. It is from that place that your little soul of Dragon went on its trip on the old footpath in zigzag  - and not yet totally erased - « which links the valley to the stars»…You have returned quietly to the country where you came from.


 Translated from the French by Jacques Bourdages

Wednesday, 8 June 2016


For our modern sensitivity, our good Julien Vézina* is not quite the type of missionary to imitate. Anyway, he is inimitable.

In the mountains of South Honduras where the climate is very hot and where life is very rough, he is the freest man of the world. He does not sleep, eats very little and never stops. He is a man whose passion is to be with the ordinary people, to make them happy, to serve them. He plays cat-and-mouse with the children, he extracts teeth, and if no midwife is available for delivery, he is the one who plays the role of «mid-husband». No unemployment. 

When we are Julien Vézina, we enrol in the Eucharistic Crusade the babies still breast feeding and communion is given to them just like with adults. We direct the brass bands at all the patriotic celebrations and we play any musical instrument.  We use the typewriter at the speed of lightning and we create documents. For those thousands of people who have no papers and need a baptism certificate so as to have the right to exist, but don’t have one because the archives were burnt or stolen, Julien, with closed eyes, produces the so desired document without fuss, «authenticates» it by stamping it with the seal of the parish and turns it over to the new citizen, saying: «Next! » It’s free.

His catechesis is at the forefront of technology. The exterior walls of all the chapels – already whitewashed – are used as screens for the projection of films that are unique in the whole world. The material is being carried in the mountains by a caravan of seven or eight mules, including Anselma, his pet mule. Julien himself edits his films with sequences «borrowed» (to use a euphemism) from other movies of his impressive collection. He pastes them to one another according to a surrealist framework of which he only has the secret. Short scenes about Jesus and Mary are shown here and there between the adventures of Mickey Mouse and are followed by other topics as essential to salvation as the most beautiful goals of the CH of Montréal in the series of the Stanley Cup, or excerpts of the family rosary with Cardinal Léger, without omitting the Max Brothers and the apparitions of Fatima… Each time, a huge success! 

One day, in Cuba (he was missionary in the Philippines and in Cuba before ending up in Honduras), Julien is going his way wearing a white cassock when two braggarts ask him what kind of woman is he to go out with a dress on. Without a word Julien grabs them together by the neck, lifts them at full arms and knocks their heads against one another like in the best movies of the already mentioned Max brothers.

The strength of our Tarzan is legendary. The gloomiest military men and the most roguish prisoners bow in front of him out of respect. When he speaks, people listen to him, and even though the stories he invents are unbelievable, everybody believes in all he says. For example, to urge the parents to bring up their children in a good way, he does not hesitate to tell that when he was in Cuba, Fidel Castro was his altar boy. He tells them: «How many times have I warned the mother to send her son to catechism, and since she did not listen to me, well, he became the devil who is making the world tremble!».

Not only does Julien impress by his physical strength and his stories, but also by his kindness and his tenderness. Under the shell of a boxer, Julien has a child’s heart. His preferred weapon to open hearts is the candies. At all times, he has a bag of them handy, and he distributes them on his way. To the young girl who stick to him like glue, to the grandmother who looks at him as if he was God, to the policeman armed to the teeth and who struts like a peacock, and to the toughest one who hates the whole world, it takes only a candy to become great friends. Jesus said: « Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth»; this beatitude, Julien lives it out by dint of candies.  

At the time, it was forbidden to priests to celebrate more than one mass a day, except in very rare cases. Julien himself would nonetheless celebrate up to five masses a day, each one at a different place, by using the host and wine consecrated in a previous mass.  Everything goes on in an impeccable way and with an atmosphere of perfect piety, especially as, from the sign of the cross at the beginning up to the final blessing, the mass would last hardly ten minutes, hymns and homily included. No one complains.   

If you are a confrere of Julien and live under the same roof, do not be surprized when things from your bedsheets, your towels, your shorts, your shirts, your pants, your altar linen, your cassock and your surplice disappear like magic. It is the “invisible hand” of Julien that is taking away from you everything that can be useful to the poor.

From this indescribable companion, I learn that we can cheerfully open the way to salvation with Jesus’ gospel in one hand and dynamite sticks in the other hand, throwing up in the air everything that in the troubled geography of the country was an obstacle to the passage of the holy jeep of the missionary. 

I even learned from the mouth of some pious country women that it was not the pope who wrote the Bible – as claimed by ignorant people – but by Padre Julián… 

In the jail of Choluteca, the Padre Julián is not only the chaplain but also the greatest of the heroes. Today, the jail and its chaplain are awaiting hastily the official visit of the First Lady of the country.  In the hope that she will demonstrate her generosity toward that institution which wallows in misery, Julián personally organizes the reception. He carefully teaches his friends – a great number of them are known murderers – how to welcome the august visitor. From the moment that the prisoners see Doña Alejandrina enter solemnly arm in arm with Julián, a clamour reaches the heavens. But instead of «Long Live the First Lady», what bursts out from all over is «Long Live Padre Julián!” The face of the good Julián turns to a red beet. As a good catholic, Doña Alejandrina amuses herself. It seems that on that day a bundle of lempiras came out of her purse. Did this help in improving the life conditions of those unhappy prisoners? We have to ask the administration… One thing is sure: if that money had been put directly into the hands of our good Robin Hood Julián, there would not have been any question asked.    

Julien was not a “Curé d’Ars”, nor a new Moses, nor a Che Guevara, nor a Mother Teresa, neither the most up to date version of a 21st century missionary. He was only the « Padre Julián », the unique Padre Julián. And then, one day, he passed away. Even though he and I were as similar as day and night, I had much affection for him. I was really saddened by his departure. I had the feeling that a great marvel had just left us. If the delinquents and all the underprivileged whom he loved and served during his life had accompanied us during his burial, I am sure that we would have heard them crying as far as the end of the world.  

                                                                               Eloy Roy

Translated from the French by Jacques Bourdages

JULIEN VÉZINA, p.m.é 1913-1983
Missionary in The Philippines : 1941-1945  In Cuba : 1945-1956, in Honduras : 1956-196. Died in LavaL, Québec, Canada: Feb 14, 1983


Monday, 9 May 2016


If I were an American, in the next presidential election I would vote for Bernie Sanders. That’s because Bernie is the freest, the most humane, the more just and the truest among all the candidates in line.
But Bernie will lose, for sure. Why? Probably because the majority of Americans - like most of the inhabitants of our planet - want nothing but money, even dirty money that trickles down with blood.  What is «more free, more humane, more just and more true» comes second for them. Moreover, they don’t give a damn!  
«The majority», I said, not everybody, since a minority will vote for Bernie.  
2000 years ago, I would have voted for Jesus, you see? ...
And so, why do I vote for losers?
The youth knows very well why. The youth feels that Old Sanders’ ideas are vital for democracy, for social justice and for the peace in the world. The youth is aware that the future of the humankind is going exactly in this direction. So the youth votes for Sanders.
Jesus lost for a time. He got thrashed incredibly (no surprise!). What he sowed, still, has sprouted, grown, ripened somewhere.
Those who lose in searching for justice and brotherhood will be sooner or later the real winners, even though before arriving there they have to be crushed a thousand times.
Bernie will lose, but because of the waves that he is raising, Hillary is redirecting her boat. Now she is siding with the ordinary people more than with Wall Street and the Washington clique. This is a very big step forward. When she wins the election (if ever she wins), the victory will be hers, of course, but, who will be able to say that Bernie has really lost?

                                                                                    Eloy Roy

Translated from the French by Jacques Bourdages

                     A new consciousness is arising.  

Tuesday, 26 April 2016


                                                          Green Yatra         

The Great Boat, it’s the Earth. It is the Common Good, the material and cultural basic goods. In other words, they are the goods which allow men and women of the planet to have everywhere the same chances. Those goods are: the Earth, the air, the water, the dignity, the respect, justice, freedom, education, health, housing, work, security, peace and beauty.  

But the Great Boat is being worn away from all sides. By whom? By those who have axes, saws, hammers, nail. They are well known. They are in governments and in all the sectors of society. I may be one of them. With the planks that we are chopping out of the Great Boat, we are throwing together yachts or launches. And then we bugger off!  

Sin is obsolete, for sure, but let us have a good look at the picture above. If that obsolete thing exists, that’s its face. 

Translated from the French by J. Bourdages

Thursday, 7 April 2016


                                                                                          Photo: Genée Jerome
Seeing beyond all appearances
Joseph, holding a hammer, is the man who helps Jesus to discover the treasures that are hidden within each tree. He teaches him to see here and there, beyond all appearances, beams for the framework of a house,  a table, a door, a seat, a loom, a cradle, a coffin; kitchen utensils, bowls for eating, buckets for the well, tools for working the soil, crutches for the infirm, clogs for the poor, a barrel for the wine…
Jesus learns from Joseph that the tree is aware that it will be sacrificed so that its brothers and sisters may enjoy a more humane life; that brings it a great joy. And even though it suffers by that, the tree is proud to know that from its body is drawn the cross on which very often are nailed throughout the world the men and the women in love with justice and freedom.    
Joseph learns from Jesus how to chop a tree with respect and recognition like we bite into a piece of fruit…He shows him how to carve, to sculpt with love, to plane its pieces, to smooth them down, to butt them together and joint them so that the tree keeps on living under other forms and beyond itself, by humbly serving its brothers and sisters who are, like it, made of sun and soil. 
It is thanks to Joseph that Jesus learns to have some backbone and some vision. It is due to Joseph that he learns to see in every human being a masterpiece of Creation, a child of light, a son and a daughter of God. It is from Joseph that, beneath an exterior of weakness or misery, he learns that the human being is inhabited by the splendors of the «Kingdom of God», and that through our death, the Resurrection is already making its way.
Of course, Mary sees how Joseph, through his craft as a carpenter, is the great master who puts into Jesus’ hands the basic materials of what will become the Good News for the whole of Creation. She is filled with wonder while signing “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord!”
                                          Eloy Roy

Translated from the French by Jacques Bourdages

Thursday, 24 March 2016


Pic from Internet

I, humanity, the whole world, we are fatally wounded. We are broken, tormented by death. But we are growing constantly towards something greater.
The Crucified One, he is the mirror of our reality made of violence, sin and death. He is an obscure image that still does not succeed in extinguishing the obstinate fire which is burning under our ruins.      
The Crucified One is Risen!  He tells me about the long march of nothingness towards being, the long road of the night towards the light. He tells me about the long journey of death towards life, of nonsense towards meaning.  He shows me the not very glorious stage that we have attained, but already he lets me catch a glimpse of what we are becoming. He tells me that all that chaos will lead to Beauty.
That End attracts me. It attracts everything. It attracts the whole of the universe. I feel that it is inscribed in the DNA of the world.
The Crucified-Risen One tells me about the great childbirth of the Universe. Above all, he tells me that at the source of that giant adventure, there is a great Heart that is beating.
                                                                    Eloy Roy

Translated from the French by Jacques Bourdages

Friday, 27 November 2015


The reflection that inspires me about the conflict between the djihadists and the West will surely bring upon me a shower of rotten eggs. Some will sentence me to be burnt at the stake or to be locked up in a psychiatric hospital. Most will call me a lunatic and fool; before all else, I would be treated as a traitor to the Christian and occidental civilization. Anyway, I am sticking to my guns!

Cain and Abel by Bild Kuns

Even though light years separate us, I am addressing myself to the Islamic State:   

« You, men and women of the DAESH, you are relatives of mine. Much before being terrorists or fools of Allah, Muslims belonging to one or other race or school; before being mercenaries, rapists, head choppers, sick people or enemies, you are human beings just like me.  

Even if you consider me as an avatar of the great Satan, a pervert, an oppressor of humanity, a plunderer of the planet; even if I am for you an idolater, a peddler of weapons, of drugs, of false religion, of false liberty and of a multitude of «values» lethal for the human race, I can assure you that, with or without a beard, I am very much like you.    

Men and women of the DAESH, all your follies, we have them within us, and all our follies, you have them within you. They are only served with different dressings, with other tonalities, other colors, other faces, other intensities. We are human beings who are capable of great things, but we are also monsters. And you are just the same.  You and us we are twin brothers.  

In all that you are accusing us, there is not much that is false, and in all that we accuse of, all is probably true. Even though our truths are like night and day, on both sides we are sure of being in the truth. One more proof that we share the same genes. 

You want to control the world? Well, that is just what we want also. You want to reduce us to nothingness? That is exactly what we intend to do with you.  This is another proof that you and us we are alike. More alike, we die!

We might as well admit it. Your kalachnikovs and kamikazes will never rid you of us and our bombs will never see the end of you. Since things are so, better throw our weapons in the trash can. Let’s let the dust settle first and look if we can speak to one another. It would simply be to listen to one another and to look how we could be more accurate with one another. For want of loving one another, we could at least begin to respect one another. Are we not, after all, more or less Siamese twins? »  

Come on, right thinking people, logicians of uprightness, you, the prudent, laugh at me if it pleases you, spit at me, fire nails and thorns at me, but never will I assert that we are the good ones and they, the villains. Neither the reverse.  
                                                                                                       Eloy Roy

Translated from the French by Jacques Bourdages.