2020 has been a truly remarkable year. The Conrovirus and the related financial fallout have shaken the world in ways that are still unfolding. The pandemic has revealed and exacerbated a number of existing challenges, including the deterioration of democracy, the rise of nationalism and xenophobia, polarizations in the church, inequalities in health care and basic services, and an unprecedented crisis in education.
While the future remains uncertain, one thing is clear, we need a new way of operating; we need a new path. For the work of our movements, two challenges arise:
- External: The Challenge Global Solidarity. Even as many of us follow social distance guidelines, we cannot turn away from others and divide ourselves with borders and indifference. In his encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis makes this point clear in his call for a renewed sense of global siblinghood; a greater awareness that we are united across borders and difference.This in many ways has been the fundamental vision of the Pax Romana movement since those days in 1921 when students and intellectuals created our pioneering peace movement following the First World War.
- Internal: The Challenge of a Genuine Lay Spirituality The unprecedented cancelation of public Masses in parishes around the world highlights the need for a renewed sense of a lay vocation. 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 homes, in workplaces and in society. As millions of Catholics seek other ways to live their faith temporarily without the Mass, our movements offer ways to support the development of a spirituality for this moment.
Over the past year, the global community of ICMICA has sought to respond to these and other challenges in this new environment using new online tools from Google Meet and What’s App to Zoom.
Looking ahead to next year, the Centenary of Pax Romana, we pray that ICMICA will be able to have our Plenary Assembly in the beginning of November. The form that this will take has yet to be determined due to the crisis.
With all of this work, I am most grateful to my friend and ICMICA secretary general, Philippe Ledouble, who works tirelessly for the movement. Thank you to the members of the ICMICA Council, and our friends in IMCS, especially Ravi Tissera, IMCS President. It has been a joy to work with him on several projects. Thank you also to all our supporters and members who contribute to the life of our movement.
Please join me in supporting the work of Pax Romana with a donation. Any little bit helps us in this mission. You can support us securely here: https://www.icmica-miic.org/donate/
Kevin Ahern, PhD, ICMICA President