As with previous years, following the international meeting of »Friends of Together for Europe« – this time in Castel Gandolfo – the responsible for the Movements and Communities of Slovenia met together.
24 participants represented the following 8 Movements: Catholic Charismatic Renewal, Neocatechumenal Way, Prayer and Life Workshops, Emmanuel Community, Couples for Christ, Christian Life Community, Molitva i Riječ [Prayer and Word] and Focolare Movement. For the first time two bishops were present at the meeting – Mons. Stanislav Zore OFM (Archbishop of Ljubljana) and Geza Filo (Lutheran Bishop of Slovenia).
After the initial welcome, prayer and introductions, we recapped 17 years of our journey Together. A video presentation which included contributions on the theme of reconciliation from leaders of the Churches present at the Munich event of the 2nd July 2016 was greatly appreciated by all, generating an atmosphere of joy, peace, and communion which grew and touched all those who were present.
The Lutheran Bishop gave an enthusiastic account from his own experience of the ecumenical meeting which took place on 31st October 2016 in Lund (Sweden). On 6th November, a similar meeting took place in Murska Sobota (city in the northeast of Slovenia), home town of the evangelical community. Most catholic bishops of Slovenia were present to the great joy of the Lutheran Bishop and community.
Bishop Filo expressed repeatedly his gratitude and Archbishop Zore said that events such as those in Munich and Lund are exceptional moments that need to translate into every-day experience.
In this context, an updating was given on the recent meeting in Castel Gandolfo and our proposals for the future were presented:
- a prayer vigil to be held on 24th March 2017 on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the ‘Treaty of Rome’, which marked the beginning of European integration;
- work together to further the reconciliation of the peoples of Slovenia who still feel the heavy burden of their past (after WW2 in Slovenia 200,000 people were killed without trial, more than in the rest of Europe altogether);
- furthermore all Movements agreed to work for the family, which brought great joy to the two bishops.
In conclusion, after having read together greetings sent to us by the International Secretariat, each participant received a copy of the document entitled the »7 YESES« and we solemnly renewed the Pact of Mutual Love.
Pavel and Marjana Snoj