Pierre Durieux, Martin Steffens, Fabrice Hadjadj … The fathers took the ballpoint pen

We are fathers here on earth

under the direction of Pierre Durieux

Artege, 196 p., € 15.90

Being a father to …

by Martin Steffens

Salvator, 140 pages, € 9.90

Another child?

by Fabrice Hadjadj

Mame, 128 pages, € 14.90

What is it like to be a father? And what brings people today to try the adventure of fatherhood? Is it due to unconsciousness, as is the often-heard suggestion of Fabrice Hadjadj, father of nine, who tried to explain to his opponents the reasons or not reasons for giving birth to Another child ? If we believe much of the editorial around authorship among religious publishers, the question is more topical than ever. The birth of the most powerful paterfamilias is however widely questioned, questioned, opposed, in a society that seeks true equality between women and men.

“The father no longer sat in the sacred room of his office. He no longer proved his manhood in battle. He no longer taught his children to always value honor more than their happiness., the philosopher Martin Steffens wrote in the introduction to a small work in which, in 50 chapters full of poetry, he distilled advice, sharing experience, philosophical wisdom, all sprinkled with haikus, inspired by his daily life as a father of four children. . Because, if that’s true “The father’s appearance may have lost its integrity, its foundation, its solidity”it is not lost.

“Strong fathers are those who know they are weak”

“Fatherhood has to be there”, wrote Martin Steffens. It is not Isabelle de Préville who opposes her, she has witnessed cases where fathers have taken off their heels, fleeing from their responsibilities they have left to single mothers. Director of Tilma, an association for helping pregnant women in distress, she signed the introduction to another book, this one a collective, in which 12 fathers gave their testimonies. There is no miracle recipe, infallible method, instruction to follow at all costs to be a good father in this book published by Artège. “Strong fathers are those who know they are weak”assures Isabelle de Préville, paraphrasing Pope Francis urging priests: “Don’t be a superhero, because superhero priests always end badly. »

In this regard, the contributors to We are fathers here on earth in no way desire to wear the costume to perfection. Several of them also testified to the loss of their father in their childhood, who died prematurely or disappeared without leaving an address, and the original injury was attached to this loss. This is the case of Jean-Paul Béchu, former General Commissioner of the Unitary Scouts of France, born to an unknown father, abandoned at the age of 1, adopted at the age of 3 and a half after a period of two hosts family “I dare to hope that all my folly with my children will be erased by the unconditional love I have for them, he trusted. I have learned to tell them that I love them more over time. »

Others, having no children in their flesh, testify of their birth to fatherhood in adoption. Jean-Luc Moens, father of seven, who has been involved in Emmanuel’s community for a long time with his wife, also offers with his story to testify to the father’s vulnerability, recounting in particular the “particular place where, as a father, (she is) Experimented (his) limitations: the transmission of faith ”. The only eldest son of this devout Christian is a believer today. In contrast, François Morinière, who lost his eldest daughter in an accident during WYD in Rio de Janeiro in 2013, tells how he “left to educate by the faith of his children”. But, like Jean-Luc Moens, everyone in one way or another knows this: “I have to learn to be a father. Having children is, in a way, easy. Being a father is different. »

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