On 17 June 2014, we – the international leaders of the International Movements of Catholic inspiration, comprising IMAC, ICYCW, MIJARC, IYCW, WMCW, Pax Romana, and MIAMSI – gathered in Paris. The purpose of our meeting was to renew old ties grown distant with time.
The event provided us with a number of opportunities; we were able to take time to get to know each other, and to share the lives of international organizations today, but also to look to the future, and to outline our plans for long-lasting collaboration.
Each movement shared its reality, including its joys, challenges, and action plan. Through this dialogue we were able to see similarities and important issues that are relevant to all the International Movements. These include such examples as the international dimension, the openness of the Church, and recognition of our movements by the Church and its institutions, as well as financial issues, which can affect the stability of movements and their future.
These discussions allowed us to understand that our presence throughout the world is both widespread and meaningful. By comparing our respective world maps, we are able to see that we are active in many of the same countries.
We can state that, thanks to this meeting, we would like to get to know each other better, and to work together to unite our strengths. As Specialized Catholic Action movements, our spirituality and our vision bring us together. We want to prioritize better collaboration, and we want to continue this work together. For this reason, we invite our national movements around the world to do the same.
The strength of our action lies in caring about people’s lives. As Catholic Action movements, we are called upon to help, and to accept the lives of children, young people, and of adults of all different backgrounds. The members of our movements teach themselves to understand the society that we live in, and they commit themselves to change and achieving a more just society. All of this happens through the lives and the reality of humans. This is a mission following the words of Pope Francis, who instructs us that “to live our human life to the fullest and to meet every challenge as a leaven of Gospel witness in every culture and in every city will make us better Christians and bear fruit in our cities” (Evangelii Gaudium, 75).
It is by exchanging information that, together, we will make our beliefs and our voices heard in society, and within the Church.
So we parted company with the certain conviction that we must continue to work together. We call upon our national movements and our various partners to support us in our action.
“Apart we may go swiftly, but together we will go far!”