The following is a report of our virtual visit as part of our Synodal process. If you have any corrections, please let us know.
Members of the ICMICA team (Kevin, Joseph, Rosa and Philippe) met with two leaders of the Association Luxembourgeoise des Universitaires Catholiques (ALUC), Michel Dauphin, president and André Grosbusch.
Founded in 1910, ALUC is one of the oldest groups affiliated to ICMICA. It was one of the founding members of the Pax Romana family. Like ICMICA, ALUC has roots in a student movement. ALUC has engaged Pax Romana at various levels. In 2003, for example, it hosed the European Congress of ICMICA. Today, ALUC has a few hundred members (with about 50 paying dues). This is a shift from several years ago when there were several thousand.
- Fundamental Challenge
As one of the most secular countries in Europe, it is not easy to be a Catholic organization in Luxembourg. There are no longer the typical natural reservoirs. A number of other Catholic organizations have already closed. Many active Catholics, including ALUC members, are older. This raises questions about the future.
- Without an Active Student Movement
One of the biggest challenges identified was the difficulty in mobilizing a student movement. While the student group is still formally included in the ALUC statutes, it is no longer active. This is an important challenge for ALUC both for future sustainability and for mission (this is also clearly a challenge for IMCS). This is difficult for ALUC members, as most are former leaders of the student movement.
- Being Intellectual and Catholic
In a secular society, many feel that one cannot be both Catholic and an intellectual. ALUC hopes to offer a community for people who know that faith and reason are complementary with spaces for reflection, debate and exchange.
- Engagement with SIESC
Recently, ALUC has been more directly engaged with European Federation of Christian Teachers – SIESC, one of the historic specialized secretariats of ICMICA.
- Role of Pax Romana
ALUC members felt that a role for Pax Romana is to follow the lines of Vatican II. Pax Romana can help to accompany and stimulate the church to move forward.
- New Possibilities
Recently, ALUC organized a vigil at the cathedral in a prayer service for Fratelli Tutti. Following that event, they were contacted by people working with immigrants. There was a need identified among young immigrants for models of people who have sought higher education. ALUC is exploring how they could accompany young migrants. This opens up new possibilities.