After the celebrations of the 20th anniversary, the life of the network of Together for Europe continues. Following are brief news from Portugal, Italy and Slovenia.
On January 22, 2020, the Lisbon TfE group organized a moment of prayer in the chapel of a Mall. For the first time ever, this was jointly organized with members of two parishes of the Lusitanian Church (Anglican Communion).
The communion experience started with the first preparatory meeting, when all participants were aware that what they were doing was a new step forward. Communion among all participants increased thanks to the mutual respect and love shown, and all decisions were unanimously approved.
At the prayer event there were more than a hundred persons, from both Churches, who took part. A brief presentation of Together for Europe was followed by a commemoration of Chiara Lubich whose 100th anniversary of birth fell on that day. A Catholic priest and a woman Pastor from the Anglican Communion led the prayers, which were based on Acts 28, 2: “They showed us unusual kindness” – the motto that was chosen for the Week of Prayers for Christian unity. The participants expressed their joy in various ways, and manifested their determination to keep alive their relationships throughout the year.
In Trent, the Week of Prayers for Christian unity was the occasion to present Together for Europe during an ecumenical afternoon meeting that was held at the Bishop’s place. The participants included: the Movements that are ‘Friends’ of TfE, the Bishop’s delegate for ecumenism, members of the Russian Orthodox Church, Rumanian Orthodox priests, Lutheran Pastors, Adventists and members of the Quadrangular Church.
Moreover, the TfE group is involved in other activities: two events regarding ‘Yes to Life’; the preparation of the diocesan calendar for Lent 2020, with meditations of Chiara Lubich on the motto – “safeguarding the creation, safeguarding the creatures’; and on May 8, to mark the Feast of Europe, they intend to organize an event with the participation of many of the local entities.
Following the annual meeting of the ‘Friends’ of TfE that was held in Ottmaring-Augsburg, the Slovenian group (made up of Christian Life Communities, Way – Pot, Communion and liberation, Couples for Christ, Emmanuel and the Focolare Movement) held a meeting in January 2020 to update the ‘Friends’ of TfE in Slovenia.
The meeting was graced with the participation of two special persons: Mgr Stanislav Zore, the Catholic Archbishop of Lublin, and His Grace Leon Novak, the new Evangelical Bishop for Slovenia (who travelled more than 400 km to be there). First there was a brief presentation of the 20-year journey of TfE, which included a 10-minute video clip, and then the participants were updated about the November meeting: to be ambassadors of reconciliation and signs of hope. This was made evident at Ottmaring and in the Town Hall of Augsburg, as well as during the commemoration and prayers in St Anne’s Evangelical church.
It was also an opportunity to see how to go ahead. The first event, coronavirus permitting, will be held on May 9, the Feast of Europe, at Graz: there will be a Day program to which persons from Austria, Slovenia, Italy and Hungary are being invited. A lively fraternal dialogue involved the representatives of the Movements and the two Bishops. The meeting came to an end with a solemn pact of mutual love.
The international Secretariat of Together for Europ