‘It’s all about respect and compassion’
I would like to share this story with you.
In June 2008 we attended the International Eucharistic Conference in Quebec City.
At our first gathering, Sunday evening, Jean was to be the guest speaker. So we were sitting up in the seats looking around and taking in all the sounds and voices of 10,000 people plus.
Down on the floor I noticed an usher walking in from a hallway with an elderly man on her arm. Something about his pose looked familiar, although we have never met Jean before in person, only seen him on TV. I leaned over and said to my wife, “That looks like Jean Vanier.” She looked and thought so too.
Then from around the arena, you could hear a whisper, “Jean Vanier, Jean Vanier.” The whisper grew louder and then it broke into a spontaneous applause. I noticed people down in front of me looking with a puzzled face as if to say who is Jean Vanier.
Later in the week I was asked by a visiting priest from New York City, “How would you sum up the Congress so far?” I thought a moment and then replied, “It's like our opening speaker stated, ‘It’s all about respect and compassion’.” The priest asked me “Who said that?” I replied, “Jean Vanier.” He replied, “Good answer. Who is Jean Vanier?”
We have been blessed to see Jean various time on Vision TV and Salt and Light TV. We enjoy hearing his stories and sharings. He has such a gentle voice. You can see how much his extended family loves him, because he has such respect and compassion for them.
Our volunteer ministry has taken us to serve at a seniors’ village, on the Geriatric and Veteran’s floor of our local hospital. Jean Vanier’s message continues in our hearts, respect and compassion, one person at a time.
Happy Birthday Jean.
Alan and Claudette Muzzerall