If a thousand parishes of every Confession in Europe were to open up ways of brotherhood, this would be a spiritual event capable of awakening Christian Europe and creating a favourable spiritual climate for dialogues among pastors, for theologians’ research and for life experience and prayers in the ecumenical monasteries.
The contacts already in progress were started in the most simple and natural way: the intention is to transform the already existing life bonds or those being created, into ecclesiastical bonds.
1st STEP.EXCHANGE OF HOSPITALITY.
- Often the first input is suggested from life circumstances (an “ecumenical” couple, a meeting with non-Catholics, a suggestion from a website…)
- It’s important to evangelize the parish on the value of Ecumenism and then to form a group of people in the parish who will regulary get together. The group will take care of its own personal formation, will create a favourable climate in the parish on Ecumenism and will strenghten the relationship with the members of the twined parish, keeping costantly in touch with the Parish Council.
- The exchanges will then start with the aim of giving the opportunity to the parish community members to get to know each other in a fraternal way (moments of prayer, moments where to share pastoral experiences, meetings with major local authorities of their own ecclesial and civil community, visits at the local bishop and local board, elaboration of an ecumenical twinning project in collaboration with the ecumenical group and with the Pastoral Council.
2nd STEP.OFFICIAL PRESENTATION OF THE ECUMENICAL TWINNING.
- Meeting with the Pastoral Council to share ideas on the fields of action where collaboration is more needed, getting the inspiration from the Charta Ecumenica.
- Celebration with the all community (at the presence of the bishop) to sign the “Twinning Declaration” and to exchange gifts.
- Recreational moment with the all community where the steps taken will be highlightened and the future goals will be agreed on. This recreational time, to officialize the twinning, should be planned in both parishes.
3rd STEP THE TWINNING BECOMES “LIFE”.
It’s important to plan:
- Periodical meetings between the two parish delegations to review the commitments taken and to agree on the future path.
- Events to involve the parish ecumenical comunities in provincial, regional, national and european activities (meetings, pilgrimages, weeks of prayer) to promote the multilaterality of the ecumenical experience.
- Meetings of theological and spiritual formation.