The last Eurolink meeting was held in Slovenia between 22-25 October 2015

We wanted to organise a meeting on Youth, the first priority as CLC Europe the assembly had identified for our service as Euro Team.

In order not to talk about young people but to listen to them and learn from their experiences and needs, many Euro Links came to the meeting with a young person from their community or a young adult involved in youth programs.

Sixteen countries were present with 12 young people, and then: members of CLC Slovenia, Denis Dobbelstein for the World Exco, the Euro Team with our new E.A. F. Vincent Magri sj from Malta, and F. Nikolaas Sintobin sj from Belgium Flanders as the main speaker. 

REPORT on THE EUROLINK MEETING in SLOVENIA 22 – 25 October 2015

The world belongs to those who offer greater hope”
Teilhard de Chardin SJ

We met at Svety Duh, a small village in the north of Slovenia. The place had a promising name for our meeting: Holy Spirit! We also loved the name of the house, Hisa Kruha, the “House of Bread”, a very homely Convent of the Ursuline Sisters, as our wish was to try and set up a “nourishing” experience where the participants could find food for thought and for sharing their desire to feel part of the one apostolic body CLC (see Fig. 1). Our warm thanks to Sr. Irena and the Sisters for their sweet hospitality and care. 

Fig. 1. Our homely “House of bread”

Fig. 1. Our homely “House of bread”

Thinking back to the European Assembly in Regensburg, we felt we wanted to organise a meeting on Youth, the first priority as CLC Europe the assembly had identified for our service as Euro Team.

In order not to talk about young people but to listen to them and learn from their experience and needs, many Euro Links came to the meeting with a young person from their community or a young adult involved in youth programs.

The idea has proved fruitful, with quite a few young people taking active part in the presentation of good practises, in group work and common sharing, all very friendly and cooperative! See the photograph where they are trying hard to disentangle the rosary which travels with us to all Eurolink meetings (see Fig. 2).

Sixteen countries were present with 12 young people, and then: members of CLC Slovenia, Denis Dobbelstein for the World Exco, the Euro Team with our new E.A. F. Vincent Magri sj from Malta, and F. Nikolaas Sintobin sj from Belgium Flanders as the main speaker.

Fig. 2. Disentangling the Rosary

Fig. 2. Disentangling the Rosary

We greatly enjoyed the warm welcome and cooperation of the Slovenian community: their help with arrival and departure trips, their friendship and thoughtfulness … and a pleasant and relaxing social evening at the house were a landmark and one of the highlights of our meeting. We are very grateful for their cooperation and support. Fig. 2. Disentangling the Rosary

Being Youth our focus, we wanted to try and bring some “fruit” to the scarcity of young people in most European communities, with the happy and blessed exceptions of Portugal, Spain and France, whose participants presented positive experiences and formation programs in their communities.

In their folders, participants also found some inspiring material for personal prayer and reflection: extracts from the message of Pope Francis for the 30th World Youth Day, some excerpts from his apostolic exhortation “The Joy of the Gospel” and remarks of the Pope to young people in Cuba and Paraguay.

For all the participants, it was very interesting and stimulating to listen to F. Nikolaas Sintobin’s presentation of his use of You Tube as a modern way of promoting spiritual experience, awareness and development. We could actually try out this innovative input in its very well structured moments of viewing, of guided silence, reflection and short sharing in pairs.

It’s a creative way of enhancing spirituality, an excellent way of reaching young people’s, but not only, sensitivity and culture. Needless to say, leading the experience needs a solid spiritual background, formation and methodology; but if you are interested in it and would like to read more about it, you can go to www.seeingmore.org

Some ideas came from the young people present: José David Lopes from Sweden suggested a CLC network for Erasmus students and young adults; the project needs developing but José has already created an email account, clc.cvx.abroad@gmail.com, which people can refer to. The network will find a proper place in the European CLC website, which, at the moment, is being redesigned and updated.

Also Anna Wilamek from Poland ania.wilamek@gmail.com, expressed the desire of setting up links for young people in Poland, also in view of the World Youth Days in Krakow and a meeting on The Family, CLC Poland is planning to organise .

Laura Scaglia, from CLC Italy, up

dated the participants on the Ragusa project, a European practical initiative to help migrants, addressed especially to young people and coordinated by The Spanish Migration Network. scaglia10478@gmail.com

The programme was dense, trying to offer participants also coming from far, as most as we could. So we took the time to enjoy a sightseeing walk in Ljubljana, where we visited the town. A detail of the bronze doors of its cathedral show a multitude of believers “sprouting out” of a tree whose roots start from a baptismal font, a good reminder of our Christian vocation.

ig. 3. A detail of the bronze door

ig. 3. A detail of the bronze door

Fig. 4 At Zale in Ljubljana’s cathedral

Fig. 4 At Zale in Ljubljana’s cathedral

The monumental cemetery area of Zale keeps wonderful mosaics by Rupnik, the Jesuit priest and mosaicist whose luminous and essential works provide a sense of wonder and meditation (see Fig. 3).


We all together posed for a grateful photo in this beautiful and meaningful place (see Fig. 4) . We enjoyed times of guided prayer and common sharing, a daily Liturgy with songs and readings in different languages, some personal time and a pleasant social evening with traditional Slovenian music, songs and dance (see Fig 4 and 5).


Fig. 4. Our daily Liturgy

Fig. 4. Our daily Liturgy

Fig. 5. Our young musicians

Fig. 5. Our young musicians

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

The greatest good we can have in life is our relationship with God … Do you realise how much worthy you are in the eyes of God? I ask you to be revolutionaries, I ask you to swim against the tide, against this culture that believes you are incapable of responsibility, of true love. I have confidence in you and I pray for you.”

(Pope Francis at the Meeting the Volunteers, World Youth Day, 28 July 2013)

Some images from our professional photo-reporter Tomé!

 

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The participants wrote:

A creative experience where youth and age are well related together,CLCers showed love in action.”

A great sense of community and desire to pass on the Good News.”

Excitement for how much joy, generosity to serve in CLC …how much the Lord can achieve through us.”

These days have shown me that there is hope and we have, as CLC, to perpetuate the treasure of CLC with our life testimony. Thanks to God for making this possible.”

Hvala! (Thanks!) Peace, joy, gratitude.”