Cécile Pilverdier of the Jerusalem kehilla shares a memory of Father Michel de Goedt, recently deceased in France.  

It was in 1959 that I first met Father Michel de Goedt. In 1960, he gave a year long Biblical course on chapters 9, 10 and 11 of Saint Paul's Letter to the Romans.

It was as a consequence of his in depth and detailed study of the text that the love for the people of Israel surged up in me, without a doubt a spark of the love of God for His people. In 1962, this love brought me naturally to Israel "to live there and to die there".


michel_de_goedt2In 1969, I welcomed Father Michel here and slowly he became like a brother to me. His hyper sensitivity was not always easy to live with and he suffered most from it. However, his profound humility impressed me always.

From what he told me and what I was able to read, his friendship with Rabbi Gilles Bernheim (today Chief Rabbi of France) was a profound consolation to him. This was expressed in the dialogue between them at the time of the "Carmel of Auschwitz affair" (when Carmelite nuns wanted to establish a convent in Auschwitz) and in the conference given by Father Michel during a colloquium at Auschwitz on September 9, 1999 on the theme "Can one speak of a "theology of redemption" after Auschwitz?"

For me, this text, which I have read and reread, is very evocative, a typical example of the depth of the theological reflection of Father Michel, not always easy to read, it should be said, but always interesting.