Te Deum

The local Catholic priest, Father Riou, a good and kind man, no doubt knew of our origins and of the reason for our presence in these parts. He may have been instrumental in our becoming "quasi" Catholics and remaining unmolested.

Towards the end of the war, he was arrested for underground activities and deported to the infamous Dachau concentration camp in Germany. He survived his incarceration and, upon his return, a "Te Deum"—a Mass of thanks—was celebrated in "our" Vernoux church in the presence of all of the town's inhabitants. Shortly thereafter, the good Father Riou unfortunately died in a car accident.

(In 2001, Mrs. Sonia Perez, then one of the young OSE agents, confirmed that her first contact was the local priest.)