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From Toscana Church who prepares herself to Jubilee a faith challenge to city

along Firenze streets

250 volunteers to evangelize "door to door"

"Stand up and walk" is the slogan of initiative launched in December 1996.
Archbishop Piovanelli:
"Meet all people to open fraternity, solidarity and hope streets"


"Stand up and walk": with this evangelic slogan Firenze Church launches her challenge to city. Two verbs loaded with meaning that characterise city mission, diocesan appointment for Jubilee preparation of 2000. "It's a love act toward Jesus - cardinal Piovanelli said -, a love act toward Firenze too. On the other hand Gospel announcement, mission are constitutive of the very Church function. It's important for city because it's a question of proposing contents who succeed in opening fraternity, solidarity and hope streets for future. But it's a love act too, because with mission we meet men by sharing their life, making known wealth that we own by the grace of God.

This - archbishop explains - will occur with great respect of others sensibility: that mission will not be a proselytism act, we will pay attention not to offend men and women whom we meet.

We will not be rich persons who address to poor men but with great dedication we are going to present not secondary things but rather the our faith essential ones. We will discover our identity and our face by meeting all people".

Citizen mission will be organised in two levels, as monsignor Claudio Maniago explained yesterday, diocese pro-vicar and activity co-ordinator: on one hand we address to Christian Communities, on the other to the significant scopes of citizen centre. There are about 250 volunteers who agreed with appeal of various pastoral boards They compiled a module, a sort of commitment, some for "door to door" begun yesterday in the morning, some others for giving an hand at encounters in which shopkeepers, university students, couples, volunteers and young people meet for discussing various subjects. There are twenty parishes involved in this first stage: they are the San Giovanni vicariate ones, the true historical centre of Firenze, the most ancient and then at the same time the most shining and decaying place of the city.

A place full of contradictions where loneliness and neglect histories set themselves against shop-windows wealth and against citizen luxuries. "We start from centre - Piovanelli said - not only because city heart is there, but also because here some problems are more evident". In this great commercial shop-window, in this holiday races mishmash, there is a microcosm in which everybody is unknown in front of other persons. For Firenze Curia historical centre is also the mirror of primary ties of ancient relations separation. But not all is definable according to sociological parameters, we must cover a street, wake up some neighbourhoods, and it is not certainly a case if there are some privileged objectives. They are three: young people, the elderly and families, social categories drawn near, as on the other hand the others, under this imperative: "you interest me... I care of you", as cardinal repeated: "Because young people are our hope. We will tell them that they are not alone, as we will do with the elderly, who are the great problem of historical centre. We would like to arrive at knowing them one by one, at creating a loneliness map. And then families who have great merit of continuing to give life to ancient Firenze so that they know that we are near to them".

After words work that will continue until June with an objective that is born from the consciousness of a hope: "And if Christian Community, if Firenze - Piovanelli ended -, held by the hand by the mission, stood up and put herself in walk? Here we could write the Acts words in Firenze history: "There was A great joy in that city"".

Enrico Viviano

(from Avvenire, 3rd of December 1996 - page 16)

edited by
fr. Paolo Benvenuto <donpaolo@gsi.it >
Via Salgari 4/4 - 16156 GENOVA PEGLI

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