Europe – it is our business
Little examples of synergy between Movements and “pro Europe” initiatives
‘Together for’ in Dresden
We are a little group of the Focolare Movement in Dresden. A few months ago, in the city’s main square, we were able to speak to 200 people about universal fraternity, presenting the thoughts of Chiara Lubich that she had addressed to 700 mayors from Europe gathered together in Innsbruck in 2001. We were with other organisers including “Pulse of Europe”, an initiative which is open to all whose aim is to live together for a united democratic Europe. Each month this organisation puts together a programme to make people aware of their aims, emphasizing peace and all the values on which Europe is based. That ‘spiritual fraternity’ which also connects us through the person of Chiara who has spread the values of universal fraternity in people all over the world was very evident, also in view of the great project of building a united Europe.
One of those responsible for the young people of the dioceses, a Jesuit, hearing about our collaboration, strongly encouraged us: “Go ahead! You can make your contribution without complication. I really ask this for you: go ahead with courage, others are too afraid!” Yes, we are few but we must and can take the new path that He shows us! We are very happy to have known the people of “Pulse of Europe”, and they know that we support them. We can say this sincerely: their business, their great challenge is also ours.
Monika Scheidler, Ilse Fehr
The Neocatecumenal Way celebrates its 40th anniversary in Slovenia. It’s the opportunity to celebrate within the big family of the Movements.
On first of September, the Neocatecumenal Way in Slovenia celebrated the 40th anniversary of its presence in the country. Representatives from other movements, like Couples for Christ, Movimento Cammino (Pot), Focolare Movement, Renewal in the Holy Spirit and the Emmanuel Community celebrated with them. The celebration was really well prepared with a solemn mass, concelebrated with 5 bishops and at the end an agape which gave time and space for fraternal relationships and sharing. The visit for this anniversary of the first Neocatecumenal itinerants of Italy who had brought this spirit to Slovenia 40 years ago, was a particular gift. It was an opportunity to build real and deep relationships. We were welcomed very warmly in the hall and the present Movements were named as some of the special guests.
The network of different Movements in Slovenia has been strengthened over all these years also thanks to the reciprocal help and hospitality that, for example, the Focolare Movement has been able to offer in its Mariapolis Centre in Planina for 200 Ukrainians of the Neocatecumenal Way that travelling to Rome and back were able to stop and take rest there. With joy next week 80 Ukrainians will be hosted again on their way to the Eternal City. For those who are travelling towards Italy we are at a strategic point and we are also happy to offer the centre for sharing between the Movements.
Pavel and Marjana Snoj, Slovenia