Culture: August 2008 Archives

fascia_1.jpgCommunion and Liberation,
Meeting of the Friendship of Peoples

The attention of many this summer will be the Olympic games, or the political party Conventions in the United States. There are two events of the summer that will not receive as much publicity in the media in the United States: World Youth Day, held in July in Sydney, Australia, AND the Communion and Liberation Meeting of the Friendship of Peoples in Rimini, Italy, a large cultural gathering in Rimini, Italy, held this week that will require 2,400 volunteers to help with the 700,000 participants who will show up.

This year's meeting, happening right now so get to Italy fast, is built around the theme of "Either Protagonists or nobodies," seeking to reflect on the concept of the person.

In the past leaders of science, the arts, politics, economics, and the Church have gathered, including Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the founder of the Neo-Catechumenal Way, Kiko Arguello; Nobel winning scientists, leaders in economics, heads of state, and last year United States Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.

Pope John Paul II described the Meeting of Rimini as "explicit and conscious echo of the great mystery that the whole Church is reliving during the Jubilee year: the incarnation of the Son of God."

A defender of human reason, Father Luigi Giussani had a deep knowledge of literature and of music, and accorded great value to art as a road that leads to the Mystery. Followed by those belonging to the Movement he founded, now spread in many countries of the world, listened to with respect by many people a various faiths and various professional responsibilities, I like to remember him as a master of humanity and defender of the religiosity inscribed in the heart of the human being (Pope John Paul II).

Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn was born in Kislovodsk, a Caucasus town known for its Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.jpgspas. Mr. Solzhenitsyn was born on December 11, 1918 and died, Sunday, August 3, 2008. The cause of death was a heart condition.


Mr. Solzhenitsyn returned to Russia on May 27, 1994, after settling in the hamlet of Cavendish, Vermont, for 18 years. He never became an American citizen while the rest of the family did.


His return to Russia was a dramatic event; beginning in Vladivostok where "he and his family began a two-month journey by private railroad car across Russia, to see what his post-Communist country now looked like. The BBC was on hand to film the entire passage and pay for it."

In 1970, Solzhenitsyn won the Nobel prize laureate. Among his memorable literary works were:  One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1963), The Cancer Ward (1968), A Lenten Letter to Pimen, Patriarch of All Russia (1972), The Nobel Lecture on Literature (1972), Candle in the Wind (1973), The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: an Experiment in Literary Investigation  (1974).


Mr. Solzhenitsyn was to be buried at the Donskoi monastery in Moscow today after a Russian Orthodox funeral service with no state funeral ceremony. The L'Osservatore Romano paid tribute to this great conscience. Also, Andrew Cusack has written a marvelous piece on Mr. Solzhenityn; take the time and read it. May his memory be eternal!

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]



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This page is a archive of entries in the Culture category from August 2008.

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