Friday, 21 November 2014

The Schools of Language and Culture of the Community of Sant’Egidio, a journey of integration and encounter

Over the past days we celebrated, with moments of festiveness, testimony and debate, the 30 years of the School of Language and Culture of the Community of Sant’Egidio in many locations in Europe in which local ecclesial entities are engaged in this service for the integration of the “new Italians” and the “new Europeans”. In Rome, Naples, Novara, Barcelona, etc., we focused on a history of friendship and inclusion in favor of the many who
have recently arrived in Europe from the South of the world, but also of the citizens of the Old Continent.
In fact, schools not only represent a key for accessing the new world to be explored by the migrant, and facilitate his search for a job and a more decent accommodation. Schools are also the main instrument thanks to which we are able to go beyond our differences, discover similarity in otherness, and find a common meeting ground that keeps away the temptations and risks of contraposition. School is the front on which the battle for integration and coexistence is won among men and women that are different and live in a global world and in liquid times.
The following words were used by Pope Francis in last Sunday’s Angelus, which made reference to the tensions among residents and immigrants recently recorded in Rome and other cities: “The Christian community must endeavor in a concrete way to insure that there be encounter and not confrontation. It is possible to dialogue and listen, make plans together, and thus to overcome suspicion and prejudice and build a coexistence that is ever more safe, peaceful and inclusive.” These words are the precious indication of a journey based on common sense and wisdom. Instead of staying behind to poison the wells of coexistence it is time to set ourselves on a path that may restore social fabric and prospective to the daily life in difficult urban contexts such as those of the larger European cities.

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