23rd International Days of Saint Francis de Sales in Lourdes, from 30th January to 1st February 2019

Published on 14 January 2019 - 13:53

Spanning the nations, and with professionals of nearly 30 nationalities, the Saint Francis de Sales Days allow unique exchanges and meetings between journalists in the Catholic media, editors and Church communication officers, under the eyes of Saint Francis de Sales, patron saint of journalists. In 2019, the Marian city will host these days for the second time, this year following the theme of “Journalism and Beliefs”.

This year, from 30th January 1st to February, these days are once again co-organised by the Communication Secretary of the Holy See, the Federation of Catholic Media and Signis. They have a distinctive international dimension and will allow unique meetings and exchanges. The Jacques Hamel Prize will be awarded by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, in the presence of Roselyne Hamel, sister of the murdered priest.

“Journalism and beliefs”

François Ernenwein, coordinator of the Days, will present these meetings which welcome notably Nicolas Brouwet, bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes; Jean-Marie Montel, President of the Federation of Catholic Media; Helen Osman, president of Signis Monde; Paolo Ruffini, prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication.

On Wednesday 30th January, participants will be able to deepen their knowledge of the history of the Lourdes apparitions by watching a film about the message of Lourdes and taking a guided visit to the sanctuary and places that featured in the life of Bernadette Soubirous.

We present herewith a preliminary programme, provided on 8th January 2019 and subject to addition and modification.

The Days will be officially opened at 3:45 pm, in a Mass, presided over by Bishop Nicolas Brouwet.
The chosen theme, “Journalism and Beliefs”, will allow journalists to restate the very foundations of their commitments.

At 17:00, in the Saint Bernadette hemicycle, via video message, Jean Vanier will look at the Christian press and talk about the urgency of combining beliefs with openness.

The audience can then look forward to a discussion between Helen Osman, president of Signis World Catholic Association for Communication (USA) and François Euvé, director of the journal Études. They will consider the question “In the field of beliefs, can we do without an absolute, a transcendence? Or do we have to resign ourselves to living in a world where individual and collective existential benchmarks are blurred? “

At 18:45, Father André Cabes, Rector of the Sanctuary, and Klaus Nientiedt, Editor-in-Chief of the Konradsblatt (Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany) will answer the questions: In the Church, how to live with a plurality of beliefs? What is the role of interpretation in debates and pastoral work?

At 8 pm, with Dominique Potier, socialist deputy from Meurthe-et-Moselle (France), and Daniel Bougnoux, philosopher, the audience will be able to assess the role of beliefs in culture, education and their necessary presence in a democracy.

Family, school and politics


Thursday 31st January will start with a Mass presided over by Bishop Norbert Turini, Bishop of Perpignan-Elne. The day will see an equally rich mix of exchanges and debates exploring beliefs in different parts of society: family, school and politics, with Anne Muxel, political scientist, and Father Nigel Barrett, archdiocese of Bombay (India). Later in the morning, Professor Alain Bentolila, linguist, and Father Walter Chikwendu Ihejirika, Professor at the University of Port Harcourt (Nigeria), President of Signis Africa, will lead the debate “School and beliefs. The issues in schools”. They will be followed by Paul Piccarreta, director of the review Limites, and Bernard Perret, socio-economist, who will suggest some outcomes of the temptation to use radicalism to fight against the status quo.

In the afternoon, there will be opportunities for more specific reflection and sharing workshops for journalists, communicators and sales representatives.

A great witness

From 6:30 pm, Jean Birnbaum, editor-in-chief of Le Monde des livres, author of a study on the damage caused by the refusal to take into account the religious factor in the political field, will help participants reflect on the consequences of this “religious silence ” and suggest ways forward.

In the evening, there will be a presentation of the musical “Bernadette of Lourdes“, which will be shown in the Marian city, in the Robert Hossein room, from 1st July 2019.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin awards Jacques Hamel  Prize

On Friday 1st February, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Holy See, will celebrate Mass at 7.30 am, and will then present the “Jacques Hamel Prize”, in the presence of Mrs. Roselyne Hamel, sister of Father Jacques Hamel, murdered by two terrorists on 26th July 2016, in Saint- Etienne-du-Rouvray (France).

On 26th January 2018, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Holy See, presented the first Jacques-Hamel Prize to Samuel Lieven for his report on "The Converts of November 13", in presence of Roselyne Hamel, sister of the murdered priest.

The morning will continue with marketing tips from blogger Erwan Le Morhedec, lawyer, better known by the pseudonym Koz, and sociologist Jean-Marie Charon. From 11 am, Guillaume Tabard, editor-in-chief and political editorialist at Figaro and Father Jean-Paul Sagadou, provincial delegate of the Assumption for West Africa, will demonstrate that all the media have beliefs, some explicit and others less so.

And finally, Gilles Vanderpooten, director of Reporters d’Espoirs, and Michel Zanzucchi, editorialist at Avvenire (Italy), will provide insights and answers for more promising editorial solutions that will lead to constructive journalism.

Father Jacques Hamel

Read the full programme to find out what else is on offer. Quality simultaneous translation in 3 languages ​​(French, English and Italian) will allow everyone to follow the debates effortlessly.

Link to online registration: https://evenement.otrement.info/

Contact: federation@medias-catholiques.fr
01 74 31 68 98