Fr. Joseph Mbuyi Lumembu, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a Franciscan and archivist currently stationed in Rome, is in the process of reading the Vers Demain yearbooks. Here are some of his impressions given during the week of study last August:
“I read more than 1,200 articles written by Louis Even in Vers Demain from 1939 thru 1972. They were journals that were sent to me in Rome. There is no mistake in considering Louis Even’s personality as a vast personality. In considering his numerous interventions both written and on radio broadcasts, we can easily see the diversity of subjects and difficulties which caught his interest and of his open-mindedness. We can say of him that he acted with a universal mind. In effect, Louis Even never lost sight of nor neglected any question that could concern the fundamental aspects of a dignified human existence, and in both dimensions: natural and supernatural.
“Louis Even knew how to gather information. He did not beat around the bush. He was (precise), knowing that he did not lack those who wanted to slip him up, who evidently wanted to find fault with the subject matter that he covered. That is why his talks were distinguished as much by the strength of his arguments as with their clearness and clarity. Whatever subject he broached, his language was easy enough to be understood by minds that had no formal training. It was a strength he took from his faith in God and in Jesus Christ, in Mary, in his protectors, Saint Michael, etc. In this way, he showed that he had firmly adhered to his ideal, and with conviction. We see it also in the videos that we listened to.
“What strikes me is the firm Roman Catholic orientation given by Louis Even and Gilberte Cote- Mercier to their Movement, to MICHAEL, a patriotic Catholic journal for the reign of the hearts of Jesus and Mary in souls, in families and in every country. Louis Even and Gilberte Cote-Mercier had fixed their primary objective as the promotion of the development of a better world.
“Is there something religious, edifying, promoted in MICHAEL and even significant to the dynamics and religious spirit, the Christian spirit of Mr. Louis Even, and even of Mrs. Cote-Mercier? I can answer simply to all of you, as my personal opinion, that reading the journal, even for someone who would skim through it, was for me very fascinating, and will be again for a long time, on questions either religious or social, political or economical.
“There are many political articles, many articles on economics that are still relevant today. Therefore, it is worth while to republish them in the journal’s new format.”
Father Joseph Mbuyi Lumembu