We shall arrive in Barcelona, as members of Pax Romana with our histories, cultural backgrounds and hopes for the future. First we want to take time to be together, which is not possible in the ordinary life, to share what is important for us as brothers and sisters, and also what is less important.
But it is a time for discernment. We shall take time to see our movement, how it is dealing with the challenges of the world in different countries, time to reflect on this situation, time to organize our action in the future.
All this is sustained by two ideas:
- a common thread : to move from indifference to mercy, which is not only a thematic issue but a change of attitude in Pax Romana life,
- the openness to the Holy Spirit, with times for meditation, praying together and celebrating as a Christian community.
The importance of the theme of the assembly doesn’t come only from the weight given by Pope Francis. Sensitivity to what happens to the other is a vital condition for the future of any movement and any society. It is particularly true for an international movement, where the other is often very far. During this assembly we shall try to be more sensitive to the experiences of our members in different places and at different levels of Pax Romana: local, continental and global.
As members of the same Church movement, we propose, during these four days, to walk together from indifference to mercy, experiencing the life of a Christian community, based on meditation, prayer, alone and together. We wish to create a spirit that helps us in the different moments of the assembly:
- Listening more deeply to the experiences of the others in their different dimensions, human, spiritual….
- Making us more able to discern, inspired by the spirit of the Gospel
- Entering into the attitude of the useless servant, taking more interest for the movement than for ourselves.
Although we made significant steps forward, the movement remains very fragile. Our main challenge is to attract new members. But we have made few experiences that can be useful:
- Experiences opening a future: they invite us to know better the local situations and actors, to create a global Christian community and not only to share ideas, to work in partnership rather than alone.
- Experiences revealing ongoing challenges: a mission seen as a service recognized in the society, the participation of the younger generation, the financial sustainability and the relations with the official Church.
These experiences allow us to imagine a new way of being at global level: a global community of lay Christians, attentive to the situations of his members, acting in partnership at the service of its members and the society. Animate such a community means to be vigilant to local situations, to discern those representing an important challenge and to organize a worldwide solidarity around their actors.
Knowing the local situations is a very important challenge. During the assembly we shall only see very few experiences, to show how important it is, and to invite us to go on later with the new communication tools.
We shall pay a special attention to situations involving huge challenges such as war, poverty .... Each speaker will present a situation with manifestations of indifference and openings to the others. We shall always try to find the global dimension of the local situation. The debate will continue during the workshops. (Session II)
Questions for speakers of session I and II: Share our experience of indifference and Mercy.
• What are the local causes and consequences?
• What are the international links? What are the global causes or consequences?
• Can we built international solidarity around these situations?
• What would you expect from such a solidarity?
Questions for participants of the workshops (session II).
• How do I feel concerned or indifferent to the situations presented during in the assembly?
• Can you present similar situations in other places where you live?
• Is there any possible commitment in solidarity with them?
• What kind of network you recommend or you have to change the situation?
During the 6 months preparation time of the assembly, we made different experimentations: Questionnaire, online interviews, online and local meetings on the theme. What forms of solidarity or indifference appear inside Pax Romana, seen from the top? What to do to enhance the awareness of a global solidarity?
What is at stake? Let us develop our level of understanding and identify the sign of times, meaning the key issues and key situations to work on, as Pax Romana global network.
Questions for the speaker of session III: Listening to the Gospel
• How to be a movement where nothing could happen to any member that let us indifferent?
• What the Gospel and Jesus are telling us?
• Which reasons for hope?
We are all facing similar challenges, but from different backgrounds and experiences. We can learn a lot from one another.
Questions for speakers of session V: The challenge of commitment
• How do you react to what you heard about the PR way of doing?
• How your organization is dealing with this challenge of indifference and mercy?
• Or what is the main challenge you are facing now?
• What do you do concretely to influence in the society?
• How do you get the participation of younger generation?
Among our many experiences we shall select a single category: our presence in the international institutions. They were built on an idea of worldwide solidarity. Are they still places for solidarity? The focus will also be on the important connection between the international institutions and the local activities.
Questions for speakers of session VI
• How to promote a move from indifference to mercy in the International Institution where you are?
• Can a local movement take part in the activities of the International Institutions?
• Can the local level challenges be brought to the agenda of International Institutions?
The same challenges often appear in different places and we should help one another to deal with them.
Questions for participants in workshop of session VII: Challenges of Pax Romana movements.
• Which are the challenges of your national movements?
• Are there also continental challenges?
• What should do the international Pax Romana community to support the locals?
• Is partnership with other movements possible?