Le Monde | • Updated | By
father Jacques Hamel, Tuesday, July 26 killed in church downtown Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray (Seine-Maritime), was installed last ten years in this popular town in the Rouen metropolis where he served as priest auxiliary functions with the parish priest. “A nice man” , summarized the vicar general of the diocese of Rouen, Philippe Maheut during the Mass celebrated late Tuesday afternoon at the Rouen Cathedral.
Jacques Hamel has spent his entire life in popular parishes south of the city of Rouen. Born in 1930, from Darnétal, another industrial town, he was ordained a priest in 1958. He had last been parish priest station Cleon, he left tired, it was said in this multicultural town where it is located the Renault plant.
“A great actor of solidarity and generosity”
Set to retire at Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, it does had never wanted to slow down its activity, can not conceive of no service to the church, this time “without the constraints and heavy parish priest of responsibilities” , recalls Philippe Maheut. “Since he did not seem to age” , slipping the vicar general, who “learned” with him in his first years of priesthood.
Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Hamel father had maintained including interfaith dialogue with the Muslim community, located at fifty meters of the St. Therese church in the neighborhood Madrillet, where a mosque was built on land graciously ceded by the Catholic church.
There he was in constant contact with the imam Mohamed Karabila, also president of the Regional Muslim Council, who declared “stunned “ by the news. “As I know, I’m sure he told them” , says one of his former catechumens.
According to testimonies, the attackers allegedly killed when he finished his Mass by blessing. On the other side of the street, in the halls of the Town Hall led by the Communist Hubert Wulfranc, we salute “a great actor of solidarity and generosity in the city.”