Enzo and Katia, community of Salerno

One hundred and five people from all over Italy, guests for four days in a doctrinarian house to ask themselves how much they are willing to serve in the church of Jesus. The Doctrinarian Family Movement Camp is an experience of joyful welcome, disarming testimonies, passionate discussions, sharing of meals but also of difficulties and fears… prayer, lots of community prayer.
This is what we experienced in Vigevano (Pv) from 25 to 28 April at the parish of San Giovanni Bosco in Cristo Re, welcomed by the people of Vigevano and by Father Giuseppe Cuffari. Families from the communities of Vittoria (Rg), Salerno, Rome, Turin, Vigevano and Cavaillon in France, met at the annual event, following in the footsteps of Saint Cesare de Bus, to embrace each other again and welcome new families who were intrigued by the Movement’s proposal they got involved.
In contemporanea, i nostri ragazzi e ragazze dai 12 ai 22 anni hanno vissuto il primo campo di formazione per animatori Cesar-stock, coordinato da padre Paolo con l’aiuto di una band di musicisti. Uniti, inclusivi, prossimi l’un l’altro, nello stesso tempo leggeri e profondi, i nostri ragazzi ci hanno mostrato la loro gioia di vivere e la voglia di illuminare il mondo. Per loro il prossimo appuntamento sarà dal 10 al 17 luglio a Murisengo (AL). Proponetelo ai vostri figli, troverete tutte le informazioni su www.dottrinari.org

In the four days we were able to get to know the reality of “Il Focolare“, a family solidarity association founded, with others, by some of our families from the MFD of Vigevano – putting the domestic hearth at the center as already understood by Chiara Lubich for her movement – with the aim of creating a network of supportive, welcoming and available families. Particularly moving was the testimony of the young people of the PS3 project, born within the Focolare, a path for young people who love sport, nature and wish to live their lives with the prospect of travel. One of the kids involved in the project said that thanks to PS3 he understood that “change starts from itself” and so we adults too, thanks to this testimony, learn to have courage, to accept ourselves, to ask for help, not to run away in the face of difficulties, to make a decision, to apologize, to support each other with a hug, to be together.
In the afternoon of the same day we met Mariapia Manzini, a courageous woman from Vigevano who, with her family, adopted and fostered many children, with serious disabilities and HIV positive. A warrior with great faith, an immense heart and, as she herself describes herself, «a woman with long hands and closed eyes, because when you welcome a child who is the last among the last, the standards of beauty change and new great stories of love open up».
The church-sanctuary of the Madonna of Pompeii in Vigevano was another discovery: beyond the architectural beauty of the sanctuary, large and imposing with three naves, embellished with images of the fifteen mysteries of the rosary and splendid stained glass windows, we breathed among the within its walls the presence of a man of God, Don Pier Luigi Gusmitta who ascended to the Father last May 3rd at the age of 89. Don Gusmitta has made the sanctuary of the Madonna of Pompeii a real reference for the family, with important family pastoral initiatives. Three generations of families not only from Vigevano have benefited from his presence, from his friendship and from today we too become custodians of his enlightened legacy. During the camp our days were punctuated by moments of prayer, food for thought proposed by the priests and the sharing of their experiences in groups, a fundamental moment of knowledge and communion, characteristic of our meetings. Between coffee breaks, toasts and moments of conviviality we were also able to visit the Sforzesco Castle in Vigevano and the beautiful Piazza Ducale. A big thank you goes to the community of Vigevano, extraordinary organizers and wonderful hosts.
We return home with hearts full of emotions, driven by a new strength and more aware of the richness of the gifts that everyone possesses. This wealth must be spent, donated, not kept for oneself because “he who sows sparingly will reap sparingly and he who sows generously will reap generously. Let each one give according to what he has decided in his heart, not with sadness or under compulsion, because God loves those who give joyfully” (2 Cor 9, 6-7).
Particular thanks go to Father Bruno Legnaro, parish priest of “Cristo Re” who, although unable to be present for health reasons, was close to us with his prayers and made the parish premises available.