John Paul, Italian, has been a missionary in Burundi, a free lance journalist and editor of the Nigrizia magazine (Italy) and as manager of Radio Antena Libre in Esmeraldas (Ecuador) where he later became Pro-rector of the local Catholic University. Having moved to Colombia, he became manager of the missionary magazine Iglesia Sin Fronteras and in the meantime graduated in Cultural Anthropology at the Salesian University of Quito. Once back in Africa (Democratic Republic of Congo), he was parish priest in Kisangani and the forest in Maboma (Wamba) among the pygmies.
He later spent some time in Rome where he was responsible of the Comboni Press, the website www.comboni.org, and of the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) Commission of his religious society. He is now in the United States where working for JPIC with VIVAT International, an ONG with special consultative status at the United Nations, advocating against land-grabbing.
His email is : firstname.lastname@example.org
Born 1947 to an English mother and a Maltese father, Paul undertook voluntary work in Burundi as an English teacher (1969-1971) and was also Senior English teacher with the British Council in Mashad, Iran (1972-1974). After these international placements he changed his career to Agriculture and after undertaking his studies, worked for 4 years as shepherd and 27 years in Agricultural education.
Paul is now retired and lives with his wife Sabina in Elorrio in the Basque country. Together they have 3 children, Andrew, Joseph and Anna, the eldest of whom has Down syndrome.
Paul describes himself as “Christian first, Catholic second!”. His hobbies include gardening, sheep shearing, cycling, walking, reading and watching his 2 year old granddaughter growing up. Paul works as a volunteer, editing most translations to English of articles that appear on this blog.
Béatrice is French and lives in Rome. She arrived in Italy several years ago to learn the trade of gold-smithing and since then she creates her own jewellery. She loves manual and creative work. She is currently doing apprenticeship learning about sculpture. She is passionate about horse riding and enjoys the hills around where she lives.
She met Jean Paul, who co-ordinates this blog, whilst on a trip in Turkey with a friend in common and since that time she contributes to this work by reviewing the French texts. Regarding this voluntary work Béatrice says, “There’s no doubt about the importance of justice for me, so I have gladly taken on this work”.
Bernard was born in 1945 in the north of France. He undertook studies in sociology and then had to do his military service, which he did as part of the French co-operation organisation, and was placed in Burundi from 1969 to 1971. He was in charge of studies at the Centre of religious inter-diocesan Sociology for Rwanda and Burundi, and taught both French and economics.
He returned to France, working for several years in his discipline and then concentrated for the rest of his professional working life in the field of “social action”, dealing with such people as those handicapped or young people with social and family breakdowns.
His wife, Marie-Odile, is a doctor and they have two children, Hélène and Benoît who between them have 3 small children. Bernard is now retired and does voluntary work with small social organisations, such as one that cares for teenage pregnant girls or those with children.
Bernard remains attached to Christian values and so is interested in the work of the JPIC; however, over time, he has preferred to remain detached from catholic "institutions". For our blog he proof reads the French texts.