Exchange of gifts during the “culture of encounter”
“It’s a joy to be at Sophia today and to testify also through this short visit, to the deep unity which links the Shalom Community and the Focolari Movement. Chiara Lubich is a reference point for us. Hearing about your experiences gives me the impression of seeing here the fruits of that “culture of encounter” society greatly needs today. We must support one another reciprocally so that we can be faithful to our calling and donate abundantly what we have received from God.” These were some of the warm words expressed by the co-founder of Shalom, Maria Emmir Nogueira, when she visited Loppiano on 24 November at the end of the Third World Meeting of Movements and New Communities held in the Vatican.
Shalom, one of the youngest ecclesiastical movements born in Brazil in the 1980s and diffused rapidly in more than 20 countries, confirms the flourishing of new communities and their specific contribution to the life of the Church. This year the Shalom Community’s mission is very much present in Sophia, particularly because of Eric Buarque, a Brazilian enrolled for a Doctorate in Economy, who has been an active member of the community for many years now.
This is also why Emmir Nogueira decided to visit Sophia when she came to Italy for the meeting of Movements and an audience with Pope Francis. She wanted to have a closer view of the University Institute where Eric is undertaking his studies.
“Given that the framework of my research project is an interdisciplinary one– Eric says – I am attending some introductory courses to learn a series of fundamental elements for the analysis I have to conduct. One of the most interesting subjects up to now has been the “Systematic Perspective of Trinitarian Theology,” which has helped me to go deeper, among other things, into some theological dimensions of our spiritual experience in the Trinitarian perspective.”
Besides Emmir Nogueira, also the founder, Moysès Azevedo, was at the meeting in Rome representing the Shalom Community, though he was not able to leave Rome due to his numerous commitments, but will visit Sophia next spring. It will be a new occasion to experience the complementarities of the charisms that enrich the Church, at the service of men and women living in various situations, and who are aware that this reciprocity is “one of the most precious fruits of the Second Vatican Council” – Mons. Rilko, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity said, in his opening speech at the World meeting.