Warm Easter greetings in this very difficult moment for our world. We join with you to lament the loss of life and the suffering brought about by COVID19. We know that this virus has already impacted many members of our movement and we ask that we hold each other in prayer and we join together in hope for a better future.
For the work of our movements, COVID19 offers two specific challenges beyond the serious medical and economic crisis.
The Challenge Global Solidarity: Now more than ever, our world needs a genuine global solidarity or, as Pope Francis frequently reminds us, a renewed sense of global fraternity. We cannot, as some propose, respond to this challenge by turning away from others and dividing ourselves with borders and indifference. While we must listen to health experts and isolate ourselves from others to avoid the spread of the virus, we can still find new and creative ways to build this solidarity. Our movements are one way to do this.
The Challenge of a Genuine Lay Spirituality The unprecedented cancelation of public Masses in parishes around the world is pointing to the need for a renewed sense of a lay vocation. What does it mean to be a Catholic professional or intellectual in this moment? As a lay movement, Pax Romana has always pointed to the vocation and the responsibility of lay people to witness to the Gospel outside the church building, in our homes, in our workplace and in society. As millions of Catholics seek other ways to live their faith temporarily without the Mass, Pax Romana must help to support them.
In response to both of these challenges, many initiatives have been taken at the local or national level. Regarding the global level, we have taken several steps:
- New Website!
We have launched a new website. While it will continue to be developed, we invite you to visit our new website and share your thoughts with us. At www.icmica-miic.org
- Online Prayer
For Palm Sunday, we tried an online experiment with our friends in IMCS. 28 leaders of our movement from over a dozen countries met online to celebrate Palm Sunday. For Easter, we welcome all members and leaders of our movement to join. https://meet.google.com/gyb-qxuo-siu
- Guide for forming online Pax Romana groups
Together with IMCS, we have produced a small guide for how to organize movement meetings or small groups online with the Review of Life method. The new crisis calls us to find creative ways to organize and to share life with others. See here: https://www.icmica-miic.org/2020/03/community-in-a-time-of-isolation/
- Cross-Continental Discussions on COVID19
Over the past two weeks, we have organized six cross-continental conversations with members of our movements from eighteen countries on the impact of COVID19. These include:
-Lap Man Law (Hong Kong), Stefano Biancu (Italy), Kevin Ahern (USA) and Philippe Ledouble (France) Watch here (English).
-Leo Goday (Uruguay); Juama Seco (Basque-Spain); Dione Benjumea (Colombia); Julio Medina; (Peru) and Elisabeth Muller (Colombia) Watch here (Spanish).
-Luc Sentier (Belgium); Jules Zannou (Benin) Watch here (French).
-Lois Harr (USA); Maria Grace (Bangladesh) Watch here (English).
-Budi Tjahjono (Switzerland); Idris Emane (Gabon) Watch here (French).
-Elisabeth Muller (Colombia); Mónica Torres (Chile) Cristell Lino (Perú); Jorge Parra, (Chile). Watch here (Spanish)
We know that this is a difficult and an unusual time. As we celebrate the Resurrection, we know that there is hope and we invite all members of Pax Romana to join together as one Pax Romana family in prayer, reflection, and action.