On May 26 and 27, the Friends of Abu Gosh and the Friends of the EBAF met for a memorial trip in honor of Jean Guéguinou, Consul General of France in Jerusalem (1982-1986), and President of the Association of Friends of the École Biblique in France since 2010. Jean Guéguinou was also the president and even the founder of the Association of the Friends of Abu Gosh which was co-organizer of this tribute.
The participants first gathered on Thursday, May 26 for the celebration of the Ascension Mass at the Benedictine Abbey of Abu Gosh. The mass was followed by the planting of an orange tree in the abbey garden, a tree that evokes friendship for Martine Hue, president of the Association of Friends of Abu Gosh. “Friendship …”, confirms Friar Louis-Marie Coudray, superior of the Abu Gosh community, “… was the red thread in Jean’s life”.
“History passes, institutions pass, but friendship remains” he concluded before blessing the orange tree in front of Jean Guéguinou’s family and friends. A moving moment, underlined by the words of Luc Bouniol-Laffont, his companion, and by those of Martine Hue who pointed out the importance of planting a tree and of “planting its roots into a land that Jean loved deeply”.
The next day, after a visit to the baptism site and the Hisham Palace in Jericho, the participants came for lunch and a visit to the École Biblique, an opportunity to discover the subjects of study of the École and to meet, or reconnect, with the brothers.
The tribute to Jean Guéguinou ended with a conference with three consuls general: Régis Koetschet (2002 to 2005), Alain Rémy (2005 to 2009) and René Troccaz, the current Consul General of France in Jerusalem. The conference, “Un consulat pas comme les autres : le consulat général de France à Jérusalem” was a great success among the participants who closed this memorial trip at the Consulate General of France where a cocktail was organized for the occasion.