Well, we finished our first almost the second one too. I have the feeling that the place and the experience are getting more and more real because day by day we learn more and more about what is surrounding us, where we actually are.
However, our first week was filled, naturally, with meeting many people. The various church groups, like the ‘evergreen ladies’ with whom we had a common breakfast on the occasion of St. Martins day or singing some Taizé songs for the children choir group, and practicing Nada te turbe together because we were singing it on the Sunday Eucharist, were just some of the occasions we had. Also the scout group, to whom we also presented ourselves but in a more relaxed, open way thus we were all young people and they participated on our first real Taizé prayer, with a Taizé cross, candles, songs and intercessions. It was very interesting for all of us. They, discovering the songs and the silence and us, realizing another service aspect of our being here.
The weekend was a bit more relaxed and beautiful. For lunch we went to a free kitchen, for the homeless and the people in need. It was very beautifully kept, service made by volunteers and the canteen itself was built because the diocese every Sunday collects money for one specific cause and all of the offerings goes there. 120-130 was well fed with a multiple course meal and afterwards they even helped to clean up the place. And not only on the weekend, the diocese can provide a hot meal a day for this group of people the whole week. We observe together that here in Bari they not only talk about the Gospel but also act accordingly.
We had our first catechesis and prayer in the church of Santa Scolastica, the church where also brother Roger and many then young brothers have been in the end of ’70-s. In another part of the church we could still find many pictures of the visit, accompanied with great personal testimonies, together with the friendship icon and the Taizé cross. It’s very interesting to walk along the beautiful medieval part of the city and then you enter a church and it’s filled with Taizé memories. Sunday was more hectic, because we attended three Eucharists to be presented to the local community, and to speak shortly about our mission.
During the week we mainly continue our work-schedule in CARA (this is the name of the refugee camp) as how we did last week, but we also try to discover new ways to help, like accompanying somebody to the hospital, signing people up to the Italian class or Portuguese translation in the lawyers office.
Our prayers in the evening are getting regular and we always have a couple of people around. I think the organizers around us are making great efforts to have people present, and we think about ways and songs which are easy for the Italian ear, and for the mouth to repeat. We even had Wednesday night somebody asking for Sviaty Bože, so we keep our hopes up!
More coming soon,
Rui, Markus and Szilárd