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Tuesday, 04 June 2019 12:44

Missionaries always and everywhere

I lived for six years in a beautiful forest of Karnataka, where I helped to found a school for children of different age and religion, in partnership with families and teachers. The lush, the coconut trees laden with fruit, the voices and the colours of many different birds, the dance of the peacocks when they open the tail, the buzz of the bees and the scent of honey, the Red Sun in the morning and the Golden Moon in the evening everything was a hymn to the Creator and all creation was in place.

In this delightful setting arrived at around 9 am, 9 coach loads of kids and teenagers, collected from remote villages in the forest, and the whole day was with them, our joy was watching them grow, learn and play, until in the evening everyone left and we would return to the voices of the forest.

Now here at Chembur life is different, and the air is not so good. We opened a small community on the outskirts of Mumbai, where pollution has grown in recent years (chemical industries, heavy traffic, proximity of the landfill). Residents have tried to solicit government environmental clean-up measures, so far without success. With the rise of the pollution the wealthy have fled to the neighborhood, but the fall in rents has attracted many new inhabitants, so much so that between a skyscraper and the other under a corrugated sheet, metal, plastic brick are people evicted from more expensive neighborhoods, displaced from the countryside, immigrants from other states, fleeing from famine and violence. The plurality of ethnic groups, religions and languages makes it difficult to communicate even among neighbors.

The great urgency is the instruction and integration. Here the Christian minority is yeast rich in life and a Catholic school, Nursery to secondary, populated by students from each language, ethnicity and religion, is a seedbed of a new generation. In the classrooms, in the hallways, in the great lawn, hundreds of school children and their teachers learn to talk to each other and to interact with joy and mutual respect, and also education for environmental stewardship is part of school curricula, are the hope of Chembur.

One cannot understand and love from a distance. So our new place of mission, chaotic and multiform, I get no less splendid Karnataka forest. In traffic and in multitudes moving during the day, and around every light that shines at night like a crib, I know there are creatures maybe not that aesthetically beautiful as those of the forest, but infinitely loved by God; and now that I'm here I'm happy to share the daily life and therefore also the hardships and risks of pollution. "Missionaries always and everywhere," said Luigia Tincani: one more time, I experience the truth of these words.
 
Published in IN DIALOGUE
Tuesday, 05 June 2018 14:12

Mission

For a Christian presence inserted as leaven in the world,
with the evangelical discretion recommended by Jesus,
we want to be “living reasons of credibility” within the society
with no external forms,
but living side by side with our contemporaries,
“similar to them in everything, in dress as in means of life and toil of work.

"Proximity and friendship that characterize our mission
constitute our contribution to the building up of a beautiful humanity pleasing to God,
even if these don’t make the news.


Teaching

Today more than ever, between opposing fundamentalism or in the indifference that makes transmission of values problematic, the charism entrusted to us since the foundation of our religious family gives priority to the state school (from primary to university level) where different generations do meet and build the future of society.

In response to a need of the Church of her times, Luigia Tincani founded in Rome the Istituto Universitario di Magistero ‘Maria S.S. Assunta’, today Libera Università (L.U.M.S.A.), founded on  Catholic tradition yet open to students of all faiths and cultures, with its chair in Rome, Palermo and Taranto.

Our educational task is moreover articulated in more different ways as well:


Cultural Centers

Giving heed to the complexity of cultural pluralism of our days, we collaborate with cultural institutions and initiatives elsewhere.
Our centers where we currently work in synergy with experts towards a service for research and dissemination of knowledge, are the International Centre of Catherinian Studies (Rome) and Carlo Tincani Institute (Bologna).


Students’ Hostels

In various places where we are, our hostels offer a space for students to live together at the transition moment from family life to responsible tasks in society.
Our university residences are currently in Rome (University Centre Regina Mundi), in Bologna, in Krakow and in Lublin (Poland), in Karachi (Pakistan), in Kochi and Bangalore (India).
In Multan, Sahiwal and Karachi (Pakistan) our hostels offer facility to attend school even for girls from remote, isolated villages.


Other ventures

The educational task in different social and cultural environments offers the School Missionaries the most varied possibilities of commitment corresponding to competence and initiative of each one: for example, the cultural support for young prisoners,  recovery of children drop-out and their integration in the school system.

In some Countries, the formation and empowerment of women through instruction and professional training, constitute a necessary contribution valid today more than ever, for a future of peace and reconciliation in highly conflicting societies.

Published in ABOUT US

Contacts

homeVia Appia Antica 226
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About Us

Union “St. Catherine of Siena” of School Missionaries is a Dominican Religious Congregation.
We are called to accompany our contemporaries along their path with study and prayer and to seek along with them Gospel’s answers to the questions of our complex, multicultural society.
We want to live therefore coherently a Christianity of frontiers and be yeast and salt of the least visibility yet cause to leaven and give flavor.  
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