Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Monday at the meeting

Monday at the meeting

After Mass at the hotel (we've got 3 priests staying with us) we drove out to the exhibition centre. As predicted, it was even busier than yesterday.

I attended a few sessions. The first was introduced by our own Fr Ambrogio Pisonin and we heard talks by two Japanese, a full time sculptor working on the Segrada Famiglia cathedral in Barcelona, and a Buddhist monk who is a promoter of Giussani's writing in Japan. The monk, sensei Habukawa, is a well-known and popular figure here, and a long time friend of Giussani's before his death. Apparently, Giussani once said of him that had Habukawa been born in 1st century Galilee, he would certainly have been one of the Twelve, which is pretty high praise.

After this, we saw a session where Fr Lele from Taipei talked about their community there. It was packed - at least 1500 people came. Fr Lele shared the floor with wonderful nun working with drug addicted youth, and a community leader in Naples (which has all sorts of social problems). The stories were personal, and revolved around how a new way of looking at reality was changing people who faced very difficult circumstances.

In the afternoon, we heard a talk by Michael O'Brien about his life and work as an artist, and the importance of fatherhood and motherhood in bringing us into touch with God..

After dinner with the Fidenza people, I had an English tour of an exhibition about the Movement's work in prisons. This was perhaps the most moving for me, seeing how even hardened criminals have the same needs and hope as all of us.

We got back to the hotel at midnight, which seems to be becoming a pattern.

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