The last summer camp
Every summer Father JOËSSEL organises a camp.
It is an opportunity to unify the different youth movements which Father MULLER has entrusted to him, but above all to immerse them in a one hundred percent Christian bath, to "take them in hand" so that they can then "radiate Christ". It is for him a privileged field of apostolate, where he puts all his soul, his "masterpiece" will write François VEUILLOT in La Semaine Religieuse de Paris.
The summer camp of 1939 took place in Laps, Auvergne. It was to be the last one led by Father JO since at the end of August he received his mobilisation order and had to leave hurriedly to join his regiment.
The newspaper La Croix d'Auvergne, published on 27 August 1939, gives an account of this summer camp.
Summer camps. -- "Here", a blue sky, a green setting, on the horizon, the snowy Dores ; "here', healthy air, abundant pure water, multiple tours ; "here", a large unoccupied house where rats gnaw on the bottom of the doors to get into the forbidden rooms ; "elsewhere', oxygen breathed three times, bitumen, asphalt, the semi-certainty of being run over when crossing the road. If we offered this "here" to this "elsewhere". The summer camp ? A phenomenon? Possible, certainly a fine work for the formation of a healthy soul in a healthy body, when it is christianly thought out.
The idea was nice and good, but its realisation did not stand alone. Three quarters of a century leave their mark, even on a beautiful building, and the health department has specific requirements, which are much higher than they were seventy-five years ago. Can it be done ? At least we will do everything we know.
Advertising first... And the requests keep coming : the Midi, the West, Paris. Who will win ? The fastest and most resourceful. Father JOËSSEL, vicar at Asnières. And then there was the beautiful, simple, cordial and generous impulse of the Congregation of the Misericordia of Billom, the owner, to put the rooms in order.
-- There is little time, it will never be ready!
-- Yes, yes," says the contractor, "and he keeps his word.