I’m almost at the end of my experience in one of the projects of Operazione Colomba: a few more days, then I will go back to Italy. My family, friends, and close acquaintances refer to my coming back as a return to "my reality". In fact, leaving home to dive into a completely different context, in order to wholly experience all its aspects, in an all-encompassing way, can have a very strong impact. Therefore, in some hard moments, the thought of going back home, where everything is known and without excessive unknowns, can bring a little security.

Yet I perceive a discordant note in this definition, something that bothers me. So I’ve started asking myself: what is "my reality''?

Isn't it what I'm living right here, right now? And won't I carry with me, imprinted in my heart-head-belly all these moments, this reality that has now become also “my reality”? As a matter of fact, am I not here to take on, as a human being and a citizen of a round-shaped world, a slice of responsibility to counter the injustices that afflict the planet?

That’s what I am supposed to do, as the reality of a globalized world can only be experienced in all its complexity and when I decided to come here, I did feel the need to find an example of resistance to the ugliness of a humanity, the contemporary one, which seems to have cut down the umbilical cord with Nature in order to pursue a fictitious, virtual and consumerist dimension that is clearly unsustainable over time.

Read more ...

In recent days, the escalation of violence in the war in Ukraine has shocked many of us, who suddenly feel "close and involved" in a war which only now seems to be “next door”, but which actually began in the spring of 2014 and has already caused 13,000 victims and 1.5 million internally displaced people. However, before the recent upsurge very few were interested in it.
Of course, the empathy towards so much suffering and the indignation for the horror that Ukrainian people are experiencing is sacrosanct, and it is a duty to show solidarity and bring help to those who are fleeing. We too, as Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII Association, immediately went to Ukraine to open a Humanitarian Corridor.
Nevertheless, I can’t help thinking about the thousands of victims who escaped from other wars which we did not consider "ours" or "close" or "threatening" and which only led us to raise walls and barbed wires, confining so many persons in cold, hunger and oblivion, denying them any possible future.
In fact, I wonder how it is possible that the tears of those African, Afghan, Syrian children are less worthy of our embrace and our ability to welcome.

Read more ...

Today is the 23rd of March 2022, that means the Peace Community of San Josè de Apartadò (Comunidad de Paz – CdP) celebrates its 25th birthday.

Since the break of dawn, the hymn of CdP is sounding through the speakers: preparations are in full swing, there are many guests to welcome, both national and international ones. I strongly feel the love from all the people who, in here, found an example of resistance, fight for freedom, respect, self-care and care for everybody – because, without the others, we are none.

In the previous days, as soon as I arrived, I was able to experience new activities, because in here everybody collaborates to reach a successful result, from the youngest to the eldest. I participated in all the projects, even the ones I would have avoided in Italy, as when people work together, tiredness gets divided and satisfaction multiplies.

Read more ...

“Those who do not weep, do not see” (Victor Hugo)

For the Catholics, October is the “Missionary” month, dedicated to whom, believer or not, woman or man of any age, offers her/his own life to carry out a mandate anywhere in the world, often outside the country of origin. 
But I like to think about the word “mission” in a wider perspective according to which particular places or spaces or skills are not necessary to perform it because mission is wherever there is a challenge, wherever injustice exists, wherever a right is violated.
In this way, everyone will find his/her own mission easily and none would need a suit, a profession or a specific skill, rather a lot of courage and consistency.
Would it be too much thinking that we will change the world this way?
I don’t think so, because it will mean that everyone, none excluded, can make at least one mission of justice in our lifetime.
And furthermore, I like to think and hope that, since our childhood, we can be protagonists in a change of direction that would lead humanity toward hospitality and tenderness.

Read more ...

Don Joaquin hardly moves across the village,
leaning on a walking stick,
step by step,
as though every movement required him an effort,

his face and hair are gray like someone who has seen many things go by,
both beautiful and ugly,
how life can be.

When he speaks he stares at you,
weighing his words,
observing if you are really listening to him.

"Me entiendes?"
"Do you understand me?"

Read more ...
Page 2 of 5