The cross : What is the objective of Actors of the Future, twelve years after its foundation by Father Pierre-Hervé Grosjean?
Martin Favreau: Since the beginning, in 2010, the idea has been to give young people the keys to discernment to orient themselves and engage in life as Christians. Every year we bring together 200 young people aged 21 to 27, half from the Paris region, the other from all over France. They finish their studies or begin their professional life and are at the time of making choices, in a context where the need for meaning in the profession and, more generally, in life, is becoming more and more pressing and visible.
Our speakers pass on their experience to them and share their way of linking faith and professional choices. Actors of the Future is based on three pillars: intellectual, with conferences and workshops; spiritual, because without being a retreat, we offer spiritual times, such as lauds, in which an ever-increasing majority of young people participate; relational, thanks to the exchanges with the speakers and especially between the participants, essential to mature discernment.
MEP LR François-Xavier Bellamy, former director general of the World Bank Bertrand Badré, CNews journalist Christine Kelly… Most of your speakers seem to be figures from the right and liberalism. How do you choose them?
FM: We have no line to follow. There is perhaps a larger share of prominent personalities on the liberal right, but we have also received in the past the journalist Jean-Pierre Denis (director of editorial development within the Bayard group, publisher of The cross, Ed) or the socialist deputy for Meurthe-et-Moselle Dominique Potier. The majority of speakers are Catholic, but not all practicing, and it happens that Protestants or even atheists come. What matters is that they are recognized as having succeeded in their field and show commitment in their professional life and in their daily lives.
Some conferences are intellectual, for example the bishops will rather talk about theology and philosophy, others take the form of a testimony, like that of the navigator Clarisse Crémer last year. The leaders of large groups, like the president of AXA insurance, Antoine Gosset-Grainville, will share more of their experience of exercising responsibilities.
What does it mean, in your eyes, to commit yourself as a Christian, in professional life and in the City?
FM: Our workers often testify to the role of their faith, or their values, in the exercise of their responsibilities. But this can be translated in a variety of ways: respect for human beings, respect for the environment… And these responsibilities can be exercised in professional life – which is what we emphasize -, but also in the commitment community or family life. We are not here to say only that you have to do great studies and be in high-ranking positions. We do not claim to have the right recipe for being a Christian in the world. We all think about it together.
In any case, today, even more than before, we need committed Christians. Young people face an ambient pessimism, with the climatic, political, economic and health crises. A certain despair can invade us. We therefore send them this message: “You Christians have this hope, you believe that God is victorious over the evils of men. But it is by acting in the world that you will make this hope come true. » The theme that will guide the interventions of this session, “Dare or resign! echoes the message of John Paul II on his accession to the papacy: “Do not be afraid! »
Actors of the Future: “Faced with the ambient pessimism, we need committed Christians”