The World Assembly only takes place every five years. Organizing one, however, mobilizes many people, both upstream and downstream. Such an event cannot be improvised. For over a year and a half now, the World Executive Council has been preparing the theme and substantive elements to be debated, while some fifteen French and Belgian volunteers have been hard at work preparing the practical arrangements for welcoming delegates to Amiens. Over 300 volunteers will also be taking part in the adventure on site.
The preparation team
Ten or so French and Belgian companions have been working since Spring 2022 around questions pertaining to:
- Logistics (there is much to do…)
- Liturgy (to call on the Holy Spirit and to pray together, so important!)
- Animation (so that all will be beautiful and festive)
- Translation and Interpretation (in our world meetings, three languages are used)
- Communication (so that the Holy Spirit can be heard from far away!)
This team chose the name «Phileas».
« Phileas » was chosen by the World Assembly planning team.
French author Jules Verne lived in Amiens and was a local celebrity.
Phileas Fogg is the principal character of his famous book « Around the World in Eighty Days ».
As a community, we are invited to follow a path “around the world” and prove how we can be creative to achieve it. This is what the Assembly logo intends to show. We, the planning team, are invited to be inventive too and finish our journey in due time. And last but not least, the name Phileas comes from the Greek for love.
Supported by nearly 300 volunteers from all walks of life
Given the multiplicity of services and skills required for such a project, the volunteers are numerous and have very diverse profiles:
- They come from many different countries: Belgium, Canada, Germany, Ecuador, Spain, Madagascar, England, Ireland … and of course France.
- Their missions are varied; each is part of a commission
- There will even be 9 clowns!
- And also (but we hope they won’t be needed, or even unemployed): a doctor, two nurses and even a physiotherapist.
- Some stay 15 days, others a few days, and some come for just one day.
Special thanks to:
… the companions of the “Som’Oise” CLC region in Amiens, who have been providing invaluable support for months.
… the 17 families in Amiens and the surrounding region who have agreed to open their homes and their hearts to host volunteers.
Amiens is a city in the north of France, prefecture of the Somme Department in the «Hauts-de-France» Region. It’s 115 km from Paris, 180 km from Brussels, 245 from London and 455 from Frankfort.
Historically, it’s the capital of Picardy and with its 134 000 inhabitants (in 2020) – known as «Amiènois» – is the major city of the department and second only to Lille in the region. It’s the twenty-seventh city of France.
Amiens is known for its Notre Dame Cathedral, a Gothic jewel and one of the biggest cathedrals in the world.
It’s also known as «Little Venice of the North» because of its numerous canals and «hortillonnages» (a group of floating gardens covering 300 hectares). Amiens is rich in historical and cultural monuments as well as quaint neighborhoods, giving witness to its 2000-year history. It was awarded the «Towns and Countries of Art and History » label in 1992, giving recognition to its preservation and promotion of its heritage.
A contemporary impression of the town is inspired by three activities known far and wide: it is the historical capital of Picardy, it has a major university (31,500 students), and it’s a vital cultural center with events attracting people from across the nation.
« La Providence »
La Providence is a Jesuit-governed school. The training provided goes from prep-school to bachelor’s degree. Founded in 1850, La Providence is composed of a primary school, a middle school, a general and technological high school, a trade school, an apprentice center and continuing education.