“Called to unity – Towards an ecology of relationships”
This is the title of an
which our network is promoting in 4 languages: English, Italian German and French.
The event was prepared with representatives of various Churches, Movements and Communities, with the aim of highlighting one of the ‘7 YESES’ of our journey together: the ‘YES to creation’.
During the morning, the speakers will take us through the Churches’ thinking on this subject; afterwards, we will dialogue with them to further explore the topic.
In the afternoon, ample space will be devoted to good practices in the efforts to safeguard creation which are already underway in various European countries.
The Focus? The relationships that form the basis of our acting and interacting with creation.
We would like to offer this opportunity to enhance a network regarding ecology, encouraging positive and imitable initiatives.
The Workshop is being supported by European Union Funds and is part of the ‘DialogUE’ project, which we joined as the Together for Europe network.
To participate, one needs to register via the link on the Flyer that you can download here>>. Subsequently, the link to the webinar, together with the programme, will be sent for registered participants.
We look forward to seeing you!
The Secretariat of Together for Europe
To know, to deepen, to build
Timişoara (Romania) is with two other cities the 2023 ‘European Capital of Culture’. Roman Catholic Bishop Pál József Csaba of Timişoara invited the annual meeting of the Friends of Together for Europe (TfE) to his city (16-18/11/2023).
Some friends of TfE express here why they will attend the meeting.
Cezara Delia Perian, from the Orthodox youth group in Timisoara:
I am in favour of a Christian Europe with Christian principles. I would like to hear about the experiences in the context of TfE. And as a citizen of Timisoara, I want to present my city, which, for centuries has been an example of peaceful coexistence between different minorities, Churches, Movements and ecclesial cultures. Therefore, I kindly invite you to the Friends of TfE 2023 meeting in Timisoara, with the promise of an extraordinary meeting and a unique experience.
Soňa Jančíková, TfE Steering Committee, European Network of Communities ENC, Slovak Republic:
Since unity is written very deep in my heart, I decided to join TfE. I would like to meet new people and get to know what is in their hearts. In the ENC we have communities from Romania and I love this country. It is very important that this meeting takes place in the East of Europe and we are looking forward to seeing how great the potential of this country is, so that the rest of Europe will be based more on Christian values.
Philipp Barthel, TfE Steering Committee, YMCA Munich, Germany:
Why do I go to the TfE meeting in Timisoara? Because I want to personally experience the faith of Christians of different Churches, nationalities and ages.
Reydibel Mesa, Focolare Movement, Hungary:
I think this meeting will be a moment of brotherhood and peace in Europe. It will be days where we can experience the strength of the unity of peoples united in God: young people, adults, from different countries and different Christian Churches, but all Together.
Gérard Testard, Efesia, France:
We are walking on the road opened up by the founders of Europe and all those, who, throughout history, did not accept conflict as a fatality, but committed themselves to breaking down barriers.
Mgr Pál József Csaba, Bishop in Timisoara:
By your presence you show Romania the beauty of the Christian faith.
Cinzia Panero, Focolare Movement, Serbia:
For me TfE is a network of life, of shared experiences, of intentions
dreamed and achieved with others in a common concrete work. We experienced it last March in Belgrade: the Institute for the Study of Culture and of Christianity and the Focolare Movement in Serbia, we realised the Exhibition-art competition “The world in an image, image of the world” between Serbian artists of various religious faiths and nationalities, with the support of the Ministry for Cooperation between religious communities. The meeting in Timisoara will be an opportunity to strengthen our friendship, open up to new experiences, build relationships in a real network, tangible, fraternal network.
TOGETHER2023 – TO SUPPORT THE SYNOD OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
We give space – in summary form – to a communication received from the leaders of the Ecumenical Community of Taizé, promoter of the Vigil.
With our team we have returned to Rome for the final preparations of Together. What a joy and beautiful challenge to walk on the same path with so many of you and also with the Secretariat for the Synod and the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity.
The programme for the “Together”-weekend is now on line at https://together2023.net/info-page/provisional-programme-full/.
You can see the list of workshops led by many of our different partners at https://together2023.net/info-page/workshops/.
The songs for the prayer vigil are published at https://together2023.net/info-page/songs/ as well as the new Adsumus Sancte Spiritus song prepared especially for the ecumenical prayer vigil of September 30.
If you can’t come, but would like to pray with us on September 30, please see https://together2023.net/info-page/prayers-elsewhere-in-the-world-suggested-service-order/.
Perhaps you there is time still to organise a vigil in your own locality. If so, please let our team know at email@example.com and in that way you can be part of the network of prayer shown at https://together2023.net/events-map/.
Our journey is not ending. It is just beginning. What will be the next stages? Let us listen to the Holy Spirit and to each other.
Br Luc and Br Matthew
Three questions to Bishop József-Csaba Pál, Timisoara (Romania)
“This is the time when, in addition to cultural initiatives in museums and in holding memorials, we must also open the doors of our Churches to show the Christian roots of our people, our country and our city.” This was the reaction of Roman Catholic Bishop József-Csaba Pál (born in 1955) upon the announcement of the nomination of Timisoara as one of the three European Capitals of Culture for 2023.
What does this mean concretely?
You have been the Roman Catholic Bishop of Timisoara since 2018. It must have been a great joy for you when you learned that Timisoara was awarded the coveted title of “European Capital of Culture” for 2023. What do you think is the motivation for such a decision?
For centuries, in Timisoara, the many different Churches and nationalities have peacefully lived side by side. They have been able to preserve their respective identity, and in this coexistence, diversity was seen as a mutual gift. Through living in families of mixed marriages and in mixed neighbourhoods they learned to respect and appreciate one another. That is why I think Timisoara has this experience to offer Europe: the spirit of peaceful coexistence.
After eight months as “European Capital of Culture,” what do you think is Timisoara’s current contribution to today’s Europe?
In the spirit of multiculturalism there have been many cultural programmes.
For example, with young people we organized a week-long Ecumenical Youth Festival from 1st – 7th May. In the past our ancestors were driven to Timisoara by unemployment or the demand for certain professions. Today we also give a foundation to our living together but from a Christian point of view: we are all children of our heavenly Father. For His glory we want His children to get along with one another, to help and love each other. This should be the visible sign that Timisoara gives to Europe.
Young people from seven Churches and many different languages worked for fourteen months to prepare this Youth Festival. In the preparatory phase they said to themselves: the Festival must emanate something youthful, Christian and in the spirit of unity. And they succeeded: about 30 programmes, including a play staged in the Timisoara Opera Hall, a procession through the city in which we visited several Churches, a meditation during a boat trip on the Bega Canal, various lectures, a Gen Verde concert in the Timisoara Philharmonic Hall, etc… In addition, an ecumenical choir was formed comprising 40 young people who currently perform in different venues.
Why did you extend the invitation to organise the Annual meeting of “Friends of Together for Europe” in November in your city? What do you expect from it?
In 2016 I attended a larger event of Together for Europe in Munich. I really enjoyed it and thought: these people from different Churches are doing what I have always dreamed of: living joyfully in unity in the presence of God. This is an overwhelming testimony. Now they must also witness this unity in God in Timisoara. When they come to Timisoara, we will strengthen each other in this very commitment.
Thank you for this conversation.
Photo: Bishop József-Csaba Pál during the Ecumenical Youth Festival, Timisoara May 2023
Ecumenical Youth Festival 2023 in Timisoara
Jean Marc Ziadé (27), born in Lebanon and raised in Luxembourg, currently works as a sales and events manager at a conference centre in the Netherlands. From 4th to 7th May, he attended the Ecumenical Youth Festival in Timisoara, Romania.
Why did you attend the meeting?
First of all, I like to travel and I am interested in other countries and cultures.
It was very enriching for me to visit an Eastern European country, Romania, for the first time. I was amazed by all that Timisoara has to offer. Thanks to a guide and involvement in the local community, we were able to better understand, among other things, the bloody revolution of 1989 and how it still influences culture, people and the economy today. Thanks to the many events and conversations, the Ecumenical Youth Festival has given me a lot of inspiration and is – I believe – a positive surprise for the future of the Church!
What inspired you most?
I was most impressed by the motivation of the young people. It is amazing how they used different forms of artistic expression, such as music and theatre, videos and life testimonies, to create an unforgettable and meaningful experience.
The international music group Gen Verde, the theatrical performances largely created by young people, beautiful songs, workshops on dialogue and the ‘Economy of Francis’ (young entrepreneurs working for a new economy) were not only entertaining, but also brought depth and reflection to the festival.
What do you take away from Timisoara?
Certainly, the living faith I found there and the ecumenical aspect have left a lasting impression on me. I think not everyone understands what ecumenism means. This trip allowed me to discover the different denominations and the cooperation between the Churches, from Greek Orthodox, to Serbian, to Greek Catholic, to Roman Catholic and other Churches, which we visited and which I did not know before. This festival and the way the Churches of Eastern Europe work together show that unity between the Churches is possible! Now wars and prejudices want to prevent us from working together. Even if we think that Church members are decreasing in number, the young people have shown me that this is not the case everywhere. This is certainly a sign of hope. This experience will continue to inspire others and me to work together for a more united and harmonious future for all Christians.
Thank you, Jean Marc, for this interview.