Communion and Liberation Marks a Milestone

Framework of Rimini Meeting

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RIMINI, Italy, AUG. 23, 2004 ( The Meeting of Friendship Among Peoples, under way here, is part of the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the ecclesial movement, Communion and Liberation.

The movement «arose from the priestly zeal of Monsignor Luigi Giussani,» John Paul II mentioned in his message to the meeting that opened Sunday.

These «two important events» — the meeting and anniversary — «shed light on one another,» the Pope said.

Communion and Liberation was founded in Italy in 1954 by Father Giussani. It stemmed from an initiative of Christian presence called Student Youth in the Berchet secondary school of Milan.

It was first called Communion and Liberation in 1969, expressing the conviction that the Christian event, lived in communion, is the foundation of man’s real liberation. Today, Communion and Liberation is present in about 70 countries.

There is no official registration of members; everyone is free to participate. The essential formation imparted to the movement’s followers is the weekly catechesis known as the «School of Community.»

The purpose of this ecclesial movement is the Christian education of its followers and collaboration with the Church’s mission in all realms of contemporary society.

In this line, the Rimini meeting, an event inspired explicitly in the Catholic vision of the world, is the fruit of the initiative of individuals and groups who live the Christian experience through Communion and Liberation. Last year, the meeting attracted 700,000 participants.

The weeklong event will include 135 meetings, 19 exhibitions, 16 shows and seven sports events.

The theme of the meeting is «Our progress does not consist in presuming that we have arrived, but in tending continually towards the goal.»

The phrase of one of St. Bernard’s, addressed in 1139 to the Benedictines of St. Bertin, when initiating a process of renewal.

«At a time marked by the exhaustion of the West and by the damaging teachers of nihilism, this phrase comes as a breath of fresh air,» said Communion and Liberation leader Giancarlo Cesana in the event’s publication, Meeting Quotidiano.

«We don’t feel at all like people who have arrived; what characterizes us is the constant tendency toward the goal,» he continued.

«The objective of the Christian life is to know God through Christ,» Cesana said. «And the novelty that Christianity proposes to all is that the goal has entered history and is involved with all aspects of life though never exhausted.

«The goal toward which we tend, is not a dream or utopia, but a reality that is already present, that we can already enjoy: Christ.»

Cardinals, archbishops, missionaries, Nobel Prize recipients, ministers, scientists, businessmen, trade unionists, priests and lay people are among the meeting’s participants.

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