An unforgettable experience
On May 7, 2022, we celebrated Europe Day at the Chapel of Europe in Brussels, where we found a lot of support: besides the use of the premises, they put at our disposal their means of communication. A God-sent providence!
The event was entitled “Europe: builders of peace”, and we prepared for it for months with great enthusiasm, commitment and conviction. Those Movements that could not collaborate concretely with us were close to us with their prayers and unity. What a challenge! Speaking of “builders of peace” in a Europe torn apart by war in Ukraine and where there are constant references to division, separation, etc; and yet we believe that our drop of water is necessary in the ocean. The program was followed in presence and through a webinar.
The two contributions by Walter e Annemarie Kriechbaum of the Munich YMCA were the fulcrum of the afternoon. Through their lived-out experiences they led us into a world of reconciliation. The journey toward reconciliation is long, but one that lasts, and this instilled in us the desire to be instruments of reconciliation wherever we live.
During the days prior to May 7, we had the opportunity to share and hold dialogues with the Kriechbaum couple at the Focolare Centre in Rotselaar; likewise, we met the St Egidio Community in Brussels and we also held a prayer meeting in the Basilica with members of the Renewal in the Spirit Movement. These were unforgettable moments of mutual listening: a really vital learning curve.
The conversations with the friendship cup, which concluded the May 7 meeting, gave us the opportunity to establish new contacts, to meet once again old friends and to encourage one another. We were strengthened with the certainly that, with the help of the Holy Spirit in our midst, we will be able to leave a significant impact upon our Continent and reveal its true values.
“Yesterday I took part in the webinar. Congratulations to the whole group and to you personally. It was wonderful to see you in action. We are very grateful for the contents and the prayers. We found the experiences of Annemarie and Walter to be clear and impressive. Walter’s biblical foundation regarding the meaning of Jesus’ sufferings, death on the cross and resurrection in relation to forgiveness and reconciliation was very central. We hope that many Belgians have followed it, or will do so in the coming weeks. Thank you for all the work invested in the preparation.” (R.R.)
“Many thanks for this extremely rich meeting! As Philippe said, it was a grace-filled moment, that provided support, hope and a new energy! We want to keep on journeying with you! It was nice seeing you! Can we have the link to watch it again on YouTube?” (M.D.W.)
Anne Plancke, for the Belgian Committee of Together for Europe