France’s Housing and Urban Development Minister, Christine Boutin, has named Salesian priest Father Jean-Marie Petitclerc as one of her advisors.
Father Petitclerc is a writer, teacher and social worker and director of the Valdocco Association, which helps needy young people who live on the outskirts of Paris, Argenteuil and Lyon. He is also a member of the National Council of Cities and of the National Agency for Urban Renewal.
Father Petitclerc explained that the work of the Valdocco Association is to foster the intellectual, emotional and physical capacity of young people, encouraging them and helping them to have confidence in themselves again. The association is named after the first home for young people opened in Turin by the founder of the Salesians, St. John Bosco.
Last year, in response to an outbreak of violence in various cities in France, Father Petitclerc wrote a letter to the Interior Minister at the time explaining the reasons for the problem and offering solutions based on education and the formation of young people.