Pioneers of the future once again: What if this crisis were an opportunity for aviation?


Original article in French

“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.” 

The author of this quote, which seems so well suited to our times, is none other than Richard Bach, the “father” of Jonathan Livingstone Seagull. Aaah… Jonathan! Able to perform 32 vertical hesitation rolls followed by a few snap rolls! The obvious illustration springing to mind as we are rooted to the ground! When will we be able to fly the azure road once again? Was it only yesterday, or was it over a century ago? At the turn of the twentieth century, crowds converged to Rheims or Brescia eager to discover Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines fulfilling one of the most astounding and age-old dreams of humankind: flying! Thanks to science, thanks to technology, thanks to the genius and audacity of a few, humans owned a sky now just within reach. 

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Online Meeting for European Airport Chaplains

In these times of empty skies chaplains experience their work in so many different ways. Some of us long for their airport community – staff and passengers – staying home and safe, others are still in touch or at the airport. Some feel sad and maybe useless, others wanted. Many meditation rooms are closed or some airports keep them open.

Different experiences in these corona times. And, what about the future?

It would be good to share our experience, to hear the stories and encourage each other.

That’s why we set up a meeting online Monday, 15th June, 10:00-12:00 CEST / 09:00-11:00 BST (08:00-10:00 UTC) for all the chaplains in the European IACAC Network (and anyone outside of Europe is welcomed).
If you want to join, register here.

We’re looking forward to seeing you at our online meeting
Marieke Meiring (AMS)
Edwin Delen (BRU)
Michel Gaillard (BRU)
Stephan Pfenninger Schait (ZRH)
Pierre de Mareuil (CDG)

From our Treasurer

Greetings everyone! I would like to begin by thanking everyone who responded to our call for membership dues back in March. But as you are well aware, our world has been turned upside down since, leaving many among us devastated – especially those within aviation industry.

So, in an effort to help ease the pain of this global pandemic, the Board of the IACAC has agreed on a 1-year waiver of Membership Dues for everyone. What this means is, those who have paid for 2020 will not have to pay dues until 2022.

Now, as a gesture of goodwill, the Board is proposing that each member donates his or her membership dues (that was waived) to a local Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic relief effort in the name of the IACAC.

Thank you for your continued dedication to chaplaincy and providing pastoral/spiritual care to those in need during this time. May God continue to sustain you, your families and your respective ministries.

With blessings,
Romeo Dabee

President’s Letter | May 2020

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

After about 2 months of forced absence at Paris-CDG I was able to visit the airport for a few hours and be of some assistance to a handful of passengers in transit and have a chat with some staff (most of them work maximum 4 days a month). But maybe the most unexpected conversation was with a group of 3 ‘inhabitants’ of the airport including a real friend. It was quite unexpected as most homeless people have found shelter in nearby hotels as almost every food supply have closed on the airport but another surprise was the content of the conversation between an ex-teacher and an artist and their friend (of whom I don’t know much). Each have a deep culture and spirituality and after some chit chatting about the situation we all face they asked: ‘’Pierre, why do we face such a pandemic, who sends it, is it some kind of punishment?’’

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On Chaplaincy Innovation Lab and possible partnership with IACAC

On March 1, 2018 my phone rang at the appointed time arranged by email a few days before. After we each said hello, the caller jumped right to the heart of the matter, asking, “So, you have a PhD in religious studies, and you’re a chaplain. Are those things related?”

With remarkable succinctness for me, I replied, “Yes.”

“Say more about that,” the caller responded.

This was the first part of my first real-time interaction with Wendy Cadge, PhD, professor of sociology at Brandeis University and co-founder of the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab (CIL). You may also recognize her name as one of our keynote presenters at the IACAC conference in CLT in September 2018.

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