“le bel espoir” meaning “the beautiful hope” ; Noah’s Ark of modern times…
A great adventure that has been going on for nearly 50 years now.
From maritime cultural heritage to SOS; as a youth development and vocational training initiative.
Michel Jaouen was born and died in Ushant Island “Ouessant” (1920-2016), the Jesuit Priest ever dedicated his life to Others, he was committed to help and assist the Young victims of drugs, the juvenile delinquency, others since the beginning of his young adult period, as he was a chaplain in the prison of Fresnes.
This particular fellow traveler was able to “rectify souls on their way to perdition”, his nickname was the Patriarch, the Pope of misfits and losers.
Many people who have gotten the opportunity to know him often tell :
“if any priests could think and act His way in daily life, sure more people would probably intend to believe in God here and now…!”
A talented French sailor, as Florence Arthaud told about him : “he is a priest, a pirate and a role model to me, of course!:)”
Extraordinary generous, considered as a big mouth too:), a fortiori a fearless man … well, a Great Soul! With a great sense of humour as well.
Sure, it is not surprising to anyone who got to know Him… especially while navigating the waters, Mr Jaouen, the one who kept them all afloat…:)
On 1968, he and another priest purchased a wonderful three masted schooner, named “le bel espoir” meaning to me “the Beautiful Sign of Hope”.
The idea is simply to set sail with all the young people in difficulty, the best way to help them making better choices for themselves in the future, and to let them find a new rehabilitative way of life.
They Set sail for the Canaries, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Madeira, Martinique…
More than 15 000 young men and women did sail aboard “Le Bel Espoir I & II”, the “Rara Avis”, based at Landeda in Finistaere Brittany.
Michel jaouen used to claim : “ I want them to stand Alone and Strong!…”
His key aim is/was simply about to help reconnect themselves, to keep family and social ties alive, and that ever worked!
The youth say : “we have shared in a very beautiful adventure…and we will never forget!”
I met him once few years ago at Aber Wrac’h; small village and port in Landeda… I can tell he was really impressive…Through his beautiful ocean blue eyes, I felt the compassion and love inside him, flowing out to me and empowering me… the same way anyone who knew him felt I guess…
Le bel espoir II was built in Denmark in 1944, now having covered some 20,000 nautical miles per year! about 40 trips around the world!
but now, shooner is in quite poor condition, the original wood hull might even should be replaced with steel hull, all this requires financing.
AJD : “Amis de Jeudi Dimanche” is about a not-for-profit association established in 1951 and governed by law 1901, focuses on youth policies, youth work and educational opportunities.
Make a donation and Contact at : http://www.belespoir.com/
To his wonderful volunteer team, he used to say, “After I die, Just deal with! Be happy, ‘cos the others need your Joy in their on-going life!”
he always said: “Give Love, Just take care of Love…”
I would add : “ let’s hurry up!! “
To Michel Jaouen, to all Volunteers, to all the Youth on their way!
That is all for now Folks! Enjoy a great day! ❤️
Thank you for reading, for sharing also.