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Meeting at Siguenza: entering into life

22/01/2005: Spain

This week, during which the Christian Churches are praying for unity, is truly a unique occasion to be able to test whether diversity is an obstacle to unity and whether the role of each person or the different languages spoken constitute a barrier for communication and union. The sixty-one participants, who come from Australia, Brazil, Chile, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Portugal, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Spain, the United States of America and Hungary, are experiencing this at first hand during their meeting at Siguenza.
On the 21st January, the meeting started with a time of prayer during which the European character of the meeting was mentioned in a sketch where “Brother Sylvestre” discussed the referendum on the European Constitution with some young people. Champagnat was remembered as having found Jesus as much in the bustling crowds on the streets of Paris as in the isolation at the Hermitage. From prayer, the group moved to a time for getting to know each other. The participants entered the proposed dynamics of the process very quickly. The brief presentation was followed by a time of sharing in groups. During the coffee break the familiarity of the participants spoke loudly of the effectiveness of this dynamic.
The midday session marked the start of official business. Six themes were proposed for reflection on the day’s topic of the Christian life. The group work continued all afternoon and finished with a sharing in the total assembly. An evening prayer provided the occasion for recapitulating the day through thanksgiving for all that had occurred.
And, after the evening meal, everyone enjoyed the chance to see Siguenza-by-night! The mercury was close to zero, but the warmth of friendship neutralised the negative effects of the climate.

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