Tag Archives: Luigi Giussani

New York Encounter 2013: Experiencing Freedom



NYE logo.jpg

The bishops of
the United States have courageously chosen religious freedom as the cultural
expression of our Church’s response to the Holy Father’s call for a Year of Faith.

The New York
Encounter 2013
, whose theme will indeed be Freedom – not just religious
freedom, but the experience of what we call “freedom.” The New York
Encounter (NYE) is a cultural festival, open to the public which will take
place January 18-20, 2013 at the Manhattan Center (34th Street and 8th Avenue).

NYE
is an initiative of members of the international Catholic movement Communion
and Liberation
who seek to live the Catholic faith guided by the charism of the
Servant of God Monsignor Luigi Giussani.

The mystery of faith in a secular age is
at the heart of his teaching. Following Monsignor Giussani’s example, the
methodology of NYE is based on the experience of our humanity rather than a
purely intellectual presentation. As Saint Augustine expressed, it is one of
“confession” rather than “presumption.”

Among the various
events, all listed in the enclosed brochure, I would like to emphasize the
following two:

On Saturday, January 19, 2013, at 5:00 p.m., Mr. Paul Bhatti,
Pakistan’s Minister for National Harmony, will offer an eyewitness account of
the life of his brother Shahbaz Bhatti, the Pakistani Minister for Minority
Affairs who was murdered in 2011 for defending religious freedom in his
country. A real contemporary Catholic martyr!

On Sunday, January 20, 2013 at
2:00 p.m
. there will be a meeting titled Faith, Soul of Life.  In a time when society is no longer
Christian, from where do we begin again? Father Julián Carrón, President of the
Fraternity of Communion and Liberation (who participated in the recent Synod of
the Bishops in Rome), and Father Peter Cameron, OP, Editor-in-Chief of Magnificat,
will address this fundamental question in light of the Pope’s writings for the
Year of Faith.

Julián Carrón speaks st the Synod on the New Evangelization

JCarron Synod.jpg

Those who hold the rank of Ordinary members of the Synod Bishops are able to make a public contribution at the Synod. On Saturday, October 13, 2012, the President of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, Father Julián Carrón, made his presentation to the assembled Synod members, and the Pope. Pay close attention to exactly what Father Carrón said,

We can no longer “think of the faith as a self-evident presupposition for life in society”. In fact, “not only can this presupposition no longer be taken for granted, but it is often openly denied” (Porta Fidei, 2).

While reading the Instrumentum laboris (142), I was shocked by this observation: “a concern on the scarcity of initial proclamation taking place everyday”. All the efforts made until today are having trouble generating newness of life that will arouse curiosity on how the baptized live. How can the fracture between faith and life be overcome, a fracture that makes it harder for faith to be found in a reasonable way, and therefore, attractive? Without rediscovering and welcoming the precious gift that is faith, new evangelization risks being diminished to being a question for experts.

To incite this interest, we have an ally in the heart of man from any culture and condition. We know that the heart of man is made for the infinite. Awaiting its achievement remains in him. Because there is “no false infinite that can satisfy him”. “What, then, will anyone gain by winning the whole world and forfeiting his life?” (Mt 16:26).

A doctrine, a group of rules, an organization cannot answer this expectation, only an event. As Fr. Giussani said during the 1987 Synod, “What is lacking is not as much the verbal or cultural repetition of the proclamation. Today’s man perhaps awaits subconsciously the experience of the encounter with persons for whom the fact of Christ is such a present reality that it has changed their lives“. A place where everyone is invited to verify what the first verified on the banks of the river Jordan: “Come and see”, because “a faith that cannot be evidentiated and found in present experience, confirmed by it, that is not useful in answering its needs, will not be a faith capable of resisting in a world where everything, absolutely everything, says the opposite”.

Life as Vocation, Life with Christ is our new beginning

Call of St Matthew brugghen.jpgLast Sunday many of the communities of Communion and Liberation around the USA met for a “Beginning Day”. We met in NYC to hear the national leader of CL, Chris Bacich, make a presentation, to listen to Father Julián Carrón’s presentation and to pray the Mass. About 100 CL in NY attended. Notes on the Day later. But in the meantime, expect a journey, not a miracle; journey in faith is made in experience of what Jesus gives us to live.

Father Julián Carrón’s text is available here: Life as Vocation 2012 eng.pdf

Our work in the School of Community and in the life of the community only is made possible if we beg the Holy Spirit to guide our steps. Our prayer, then, is Veni, creator Spiritus, mentes tuorum vista, imple superna gratia, quæ tu creasti pectora.

Massimo Camisasca, a ‘ciellino’ named bishop of Reggio Emilia

camisasca massimo.jpgThis morning His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, nominated Monsignor Massimo Camisasca, 66, as the new bishop of the Italian Diocese of Reggio Emilia – Guastalla. The Reggio Emilia was erected as a diocese in the first century and as 2010 notes about 504,000 Catholics.

Bishop-elect Camisasca born in Milan on 3 November 1946, ordained priest of Bergamo in 1975 succeeds Bishop Adriano Caprioli who has been Ordinary of the diocese for the past 14 years.

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Fr. Carrón gives tribute to Cardinal Martini, calls Communion and Liberation to live differently with the bishop


The President of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation,
Father Carrón’s, said the following in tribute to Carlo Maria Cardinal Martini in a September 4th editorial in Corriere della Sera

Giussani e Paolo VI.jpg

“And like Archbishop Montini, who initially confessed that he did not understand
Fr. Giussani’s method, though he did see its fruits, Cardinal Martini also
encouraged us to go forward. I am still moved by the words that he addressed to
Fr. Giussani in 1995, during a meeting of priests, when he thanked ‘the Lord,
who gave Msgr. Giussani this gift for continually re-expressing the core of
Christianity. ‘Every time that you talk, you always return to this core, which
is the Incarnation, and – in a thousand different ways – you propose it again.'”

The full text of the editorial: Julian Carron Letter on Carlo Martini’s death.pdf

This text is a brief, honest and yet key reflection not only on the life and influence of Cardinal Martini, perhaps an excellent synthesis of Christian life and how it is extroverted in a human being. There are some very tiresome reviews of who the Cardinal was, and what he meant to the Church too often in political language. To my mind those authors who evaluate a man such as Martini in this manner does not abide with the Gospel and faith.

The letter of Father Carrón acknowledges the fact that Communion and Liberation has significantly neglected the various opportunities of collaboration with Cardinal Martini that presented themselves over the years. This admission to members of CL should help all of us to reassess how we live and breathe in our given ecclesial context. This is a serious point that we can’t pass off to circumstance. That is to say, we who claim to be faithful members of CL need to work more diligently with the Diocesan Ordinary “in giving reasons for our hope” in concrete ways so that we are witnesses as the Servant of God Pope Paul VI said (cf. the letter).

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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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