Fr Bruno Cadoré makes a rare visit to Iran

Picture: 
Frs Paul Lawlor, Bruno Cadoré and Vivian Boland in Tehran, Iran
Body: 

The visit of frs Bruno and Vivian was brief but a very special occasion for us here in Tehran. It was repeatedly said to me afterwards that their presence was a wonderful reminder that we are not forgotten but are part of a greater family of brothers and sisters who remember us and pray for us. 

On the first evening, we went to visit a small group of the Chaldean/Assyrian community who had gathered for Mass with Archbishop Ramsi, a bishop who had studied with the Dominicans in Iraq.  We joined them for tea afterwards and fr Bruno spoke to the people about his meeting with the Christian community in Iraq. Fr Bruno spoke in French which was then translated into Assyrian or modern Aramaic. 

The following morning we went to visit a Shia mosque and shrine in the north of Tehran, a place of pilgrimage and prayer. Afterwards we wandered through the nearby bazaar which has a large preaching hall used during the holy month of Muharram. Near the shrine, Imamzadeh Saleh, fr Bruno saw the tombs of those who fell in the Iran/Iraq war and are considered the martyrs of our time.  It was a brief taste of the unique culture and world of Islam in Iran.

In the evening, we had Mass in our Dominican church of St Abraham.  Considering that it was mid-week and many of parishioners were at work, there was a great attendance. After Mass, we gathered in the parish room. There we had refreshments and some music, both classical and modern provided by the young people and folk dancing performed by the Filipinos.  Most of all this gathering was a chance for our people to welcome and chat with frs Bruno and Vivian. There was a great mixture and variety of languages but there were no language barriers in that atmosphere of affection and joy.  We were truly honoured by this visit of fr Bruno to our small community and will remember it as a special time of prayer, reflection and celebration.

Fr Paul Lawlor, OP

 

(06 July 2017)