(Lac-Megantic) The former mayor of Lac-Megantic Colette Roy Laroche began by refusing interview requests addressed to him by the journalist of La Tribune, in the framework of the commemoration of the third anniversary of the tragedy of July 6 2013.
“I refused the national media requests for interviews, these days and this year. I think I’ll keep my line of thought. I wanted to let a year because it’s only been six months since I retired … To recover, restore my health to all points of view … “she expressed at first, as if it really was not ready. What the reporter observed.
“Every time, it brings me back to the same emotions I saw it ticking, as in the rebound, because now I have time. But it is still too fresh … When I was in turmoil, in the vortex, in the heat of the moment, I was focused on the action. Everyone lived it all in as you. Now I’m focused on my feelings. And feelings come back … I gave up any activity, I want to put the odds on my side to recover. Finally, I take care of me … ”
At the same time, she seemed to feel the taste to talk, give news to readers of The Tribune.
“Tell them I’m fine, I’m more calm,” was his message to the end.
Father Steve Lemay continues Healing
“The huge losses we have suffered are still felt, beyond time and space. The wound is still fresh for me and for many others. I’m always on the lookout for railway safety and the bypass for my friends in Lac-Mégantic. For me, it is a necessity, end of story. I would like to see us free from this agony. ”
Coincidence of life, while we are preparing to commemorate the third anniversary of the tragedy of Lac-Mégantic, the former pastor of St. Agnes Steve Lemay is just back from Rome where he continued for one year studies in moral theology at the Academy Alphonsine.
“Although it is a privilege to live this time of study in Rome to experience the universality of the Church and the cultural diversity of Europe, to see historic sites daily, it remains a human big challenge for me. Pastoral projects fail me, like teamwork. I am a pastor and my place is definitely the heart of a community! “Says one who accompanied the Méganticois after the tragedy of 6 July 2013.
“It goes without saying that the experience I had in Lac-Megantic made me enter in a unique way the importance of emotional ties, but also the fragility of human existence, continues Fr. Lemay .
“We never left hers with the same detachment after this. On this point, I changed a lot and I have more independence that characterized me for many years. ”
Nevertheless, Father Lemay had to distance.
“A healing was needed, since I had to preach in many difficult situations and also manage the physical organization of a parish in crisis. That the head understands and accepts, the heart does not always accept as quickly! ”
“When I look back at Lac-Megantic and friends that I have left, the first feeling that comes to mind is surely the pride in what we were and what we have achieved together. For pastoral work accomplished before, during and after the tragedy. For the huge project that we made for the preservation of the St. Agnes Church, became a symbol of resilience. Who knows what would have happened to this building if the roof had not been redone in steel before the terrible fire? There would be so much to tell, “he says.
“The important thing is not self-limiting us to the status of victims, recalls Fr. Lemay. We are victims, of course, but we are not it! The ability to hope, to build and live has not been taken from us! Even in the darkest hours, suffering and death did not stop us from loving and engage; inaction is not an option even today.
“For the moment, the only task entrusted by Bishop Cyr is to complete my studies in time for summer 2017.”
Asked about his future, Father Lemay is short. “I completed the exams in my first year of study. A very busy year, since I have already completed 12 of the 19 courses included in the two years of the license, not including language courses. You had to learn Italian, since it is in this language that are offered courses and must be made most work and exams, “says the former pastor of Lac-Megantic, which will pass the summer in Quebec and meet some demands of the diocese.
“For the moment, the only task entrusted by Bishop Cyr is to complete my study time for summer 2017. He said from the outset not to worry, it will work for me. However, I will make some replacements this summer in the parishes of the diocese, to help colleagues who have to take a well deserved holiday. ”
Must it be that the bishop reassigns in Lac-Megantic for him to come again? “I never made any requirement or restriction at the time of the appointments. I will not wait an appointment to return in this environment that I consider my home! ”