Henri Caffarel – Genesis
Henri Caffarel was born on July 30th, 1903 in Lyon. He was baptised on August 2nd, 1903 and ordained a priest on April 19th, 1930, in Paris. He died on September 1996 at Troussures, in the diocese of Beauvais, where he is buried.
"Come, follow me!" These words of the Lord are inscribed on his tomb, because in March 1923, an event occurred that changed his life: "When I was twenty, Jesus Christ, in an instant, became Someone for me. Oh, nothing too spectacular. Back then, on that faraway day in March, I knew that I was loved and that I loved, and that henceforward between him and I, it would be for life. That’s it.”
The young Henri Caffarel met “Someone.” Thus, everything that he was to found and organise was to happen gradually, just as the Lord was to show him. Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger talked of Father Henri Caffarel as "a prophet of the 20th century." He was thus aware of doing “something new for the Church.”
Henri Caffarel was touched by the love of the Lord. Father Henri Caffarel’s ministry was to be in the service of love, “being loved, loving.” The Lord’s love was a source of vitality and life for him. From the outset, he was in harmony with couples who wanted to enable their love to thrive in the light of the Lord…
Whatever work he undertook, Father Caffarel had only one goal and that was bringing everyone before the Lord, who is the basis of all vocations.
Henri Caffarel concluded: "That’s it." And this indeed is a conclusion typical of him... “No more discussions, you obey, you work, you don’t boast about services rendered, and when it’s over, you leave…”
He was rigorous, demanding, precise in the details, with a desire to see things through, a concrete gaze on events and people, capable of letting go of everything that was not in the sense or meaning of what he “saw” ….