The Week for hope starts in Brussels on 24 June
The Week for Hope is a festival organised from 24-27 June by COMECE to honour the tenth anniversary of Ecclesia in Europa. Precisely ten years ago, on 28 June 2003 the late Pope John Paul II published Ecclesia in Europa, an apostolic letter to the people of Europe. The Pope insisted that the Church in Europe (Ecclesia in Europa) must be a Church for Europe. The Week for Hope should give fresh hope in a very difficult time, when the founding vision has been eclipsed by the dramatic side-effects of the economic crisis and by the rising spectres of nationalism, populism and xenophobia.
The Week for Hope opens on Monday 24 and closes four days later on the evening of Thursday 27 June. The festival will put the spotlight on a selection of saints, beati and men and women of heroic virtue who, either in their teaching or by the example of their lives, witnessed to the virtues and incarnated the values which are at the heart of the European dream.
The programme of the Week for Hope consists of four prayer breakfasts at the Chapel for Europe. In the spotlight on successive mornings are Bl. Jerzy Popieluszko, Bl. Hildegard Burjan, Christian de Cherge (prior of the Trappist community murdered in Algeria), and St. Pedro Poveda, a Spanish pioneer of the lay apostolate.
In the middle of the day, this time at the COMECE secretariat offices, there is a series of four lunch debates, jointly owned by a number of NGO friends (CIDSE, El Kalima, UNIAPAC, Don Bosco International etc), again focused on saints or Christians renowned for great virtue, but studying their lives as a key to understanding issues of moment high on the current EU policy agenda: education of the young, business ethics, sustainability and freedom of movement, whether of citizens of migrants: two cardinals (John Henry Newman and Joseph Cardijn), a nun (Hildegard of Bingen) and two preachers (Bernadine of Siena and Willibrord).
At the Dominican church, ten minutes’ walk from the Berlaymont and Charlemagne buildings, two evening discussions are on the programme. The recently beatified Sicilian priest, don Pino Puglisi, who stood up to the Mafia and paid with his life, prompts us to reflect on the phenomenon of organised crime and what measures the EU is taking to combat it. The Blessed Karl Leisner, a German seminarian who was raised to the priesthood in a clandestine ordination conferred in Dachau by the French archbishop, Gabriel Piguet, focuses on a spiritual ingredient without which the construction of the new Europe would have been impossible, reconciliation.
The Week for Hope closes with a Mass for Europe, with the Apostolic Nuncio to the EU, Monsignor Alain Lebeaupin, as main celebrant in the Eglise de Notre-Dame du Sablon, on the evening of 27 June.
Programme Leaflet in attachement (pdf)
More information and registration at : http://www.comece.eu/week4hope
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COMECE is the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union, and comprises 26 Bishops representing all Member States of the EU. For more than thirty years now, COMECE has been accompanying the process of European integration, and offering its reflections. COMECE is now a partner of the EU institutions in the dialogue foreseen by Article 17 (3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU.