Between the parishes of
S. MARIA REGINA (Italia) – CATTEDRALE DI RESITA (Romania))
The path was already cleared: the sensibility for an Ecumenism arising from the base and from people’s life, grown from the Ecumenical Assembly held in Graz (1997), had already moved the people in charge in the Offices of Ecumenism of Pesaro, Fano and Urbino, to elaborate (looking ahead to the Jubilee 2000) a “Project of Ecumenical exchanges between parishes of different confession on a European level”.
A chance and providential meeting between Don Giorgio, parish priest of S. Maria Regina and Father Dorel, parish priest of the Cathedral of Resita, at a congress in Rome on “dialogue”, marked the beginning of an experience of ecumenical fraternity. A general idea of the procedure can be found in the file “Ecumenical Twinning: How?”, while the concrete steps are pointed out in the file “Milestones of a history”.
This fraternity twinning seems to be at a start, however the first fruits can already be seen:
- An early process of collaboration and the growing familiarity between people of the two parish communities have given the opportunity to bring closer these two worlds previously unknown to each other.
- Inside the single parish communities we have noticed a deeper and more purified faith, a closer relationship with the Word of God, a more frequent and devotional prayer and finally a spirit of comunion and dialogue which has gradually become a life style .
- From the two parish communities a wave of unity is already spreading out. This interest in Ecumenism has already involved, in unity with the two local bishops, other parishes which are carrying on similar experiences of ecumenical twinnings, and all of this is promoting fraternity with Christians of other denominations present in the territory.
Of course difficolties are not missing:
- As far as evangelisation is concerned, the problem of unity among Christians is seen as important but not urgent: the awareness of the whole community on the value of Ecumenism is growing but patience and perseverance are needed.
- After the initial and more enthusiastic phase, language and cultural differences and the ways in which faith is expressed have often been felt by everyone involved.
- Even the economic side should not be undervalued (trips especially are very expensive).
In order to face these and other difficulties, the ecumenical parish group (in charge of the promotion of Ecumenism), whose members are united, in permanent formation, well linked with the rest of the parish and open to a dialogue and a collaboration with other ecumenical referents in the territory, can play a very important role and be a winning card to be played on different occasions.