By C.M. Paul
Friends of Dominique Lapierre in Kolkata are praying for the renowned author and long time associate of Mother Teresa, who is on a ventilator in France.
Sunil Lucas, president of Signis India, said Lapierre had wounded his head after a fall at his home in France. “He slipped into coma and was put on a life support system. His condition is very critical,” Lucas told ucanindia.in today.
Earlier, Jesuit Fr Gaston Roberge, Lapierre’s long time friend in Kolkata, has requested for prayers for the author, who made both Kolkata and Mother Teresa internationally famous.
“I am extremely sad to inform that our friend Dominique is critically ill,” Fr. Roberge said.
The Jesuit priest quoted doctors as saying that Lapierre’s illness is terminal as it has affected his brain.
The West Bengal unit of Signis, the Catholic association for cinema and radio, is planning a special prayer meet for Lapierre on June 29 in collaboration with Alliance France, NGO Udayan, and several well wishers.
“We urgently need to hold a prayer meet at the tomb of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta for the speedy recovery of her friend,” Sunil Lucas said.
Lapierre, who would turn 81 on July 30, made the first feature film on Mother Teresa, “In the name of God’s poor,” which was released in 1997.
Lapierre’s Kolkata connection includes his bestseller book “The City of Joy,” which has gone into several language editions.
He ploughed a large portion of the royalties of his books back into his social service Udayan in Kolkata, and the floating dispensaries in the Sunderbans.
In 2008, the Indian government honored him with Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award, for his contribution to India and its people.
Lapierre was born in 1931 in Chatelaillon-Plage, Charente-Maritime, France. When he was 13, he went to the United States with his diplomat father and attended a Jesuit school in New Orleans.