Frère Paul (1951-2021)

François Belloy, who took the name of frère Paul on entering Taizé Community in 1975, passed away in his sleep early in the morning of 16 December 2021 after a long and difficult illness. The memorial celebration will take place on Sunday 19 December in the Church of Reconciliation in Taizé, during the Sunday Eucharist which will start at 11.30 am.

He was born in Châteauroux on 10 July 1951, the second of a large family of six brothers and sisters. During his studies at the Breguet engineering school in Paris, he discovered the community, which at that time was preparing the Council of Youth, and he became acquainted with young people involved with this. In the summer of 1972, together with three other young people, he travelled through the communist USSR. In Moscow, they made the first very discrete contacts with young people from that country who had to hide their Christian faith or face persecution.

A year after finishing his studies in 1975, he decided to join the community where he made a lifelong commitment at Easter 1979. From the outset, he brought to the community all his technical and legal skills in various fields: fresh- and waste-water management, electricity, telecommunications, video systems, and little by little he introduced computers into the daily life of the brothers. Later he also prepared the community’s access to the Internet. And he put these skills to use in the international meetings of young Europeans.

In 1983, he was elected to the Taize municipal council, where the community had long been represented by one and then several brothers. As a councillor, then as deputy mayor, he gave much of his energy to supporting the life of the municipality and the neighbouring region. He collaborated in particular with the water board, the electricity board, and then with the community of municipalities, until illness prevented him from standing again in the municipal elections of 2020.

He was already weakened by an auto-immune disease which gradually took away all his physical strength and often meant temporary hospitalisation in Paris, Mâcon and Cluny. But he always remained lucid, gifted with an intellectual curiosity that allowed him to follow closely the life of the community and that of his large family, as well as the events of the Church and the world, right up to his last day.

Printed from: - 4 October 2022
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