This was the first time that the EoC was featured at an event from the World Bank, a financial institution that is part of the United Nations systems and whose mission is to help reduce poverty.
51 people attended the session representing various NGOs from all over the world, World Bank employees, The International Monetary Fund, and the Bretton Woods Project. The session had the title “Impact Investment as a Tool for Social Development”. Nick Sanna represented the EoC.
Enzo Morandi "Volo" left us last night. He had an important role in the first years of the Economy of Communion in Brazil. Luigino Bruni's remembering words follow.
Enzo Morandi "Volo", (in Italian: "flight" or "I fly" - the tr.), one of the first focolarini, was co-responsible of the Brazilian Focolare Community with Ginetta Calliari when Chiara Lubich launched the Economy of Communion in Brazil in 1991. He played a key role in the birth and development of the EoC from the beginning. He was a technician, an industrial expert, and had a very concrete look on the world and on the economy. He loved the EoC very much and we loved him. I knew him well, also during the last few years when he came to the Centre of the Movement to continue to serve it. We thank him for his life he donated, and we entrust him with the present and the future of the EoC: may it grow to be beautiful, free, simple, concrete, sober, just as Volo was. Between heaven and earth.
"Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing.... A new Hedonism— that is what our century wants. You might be its visible symbol. With your personality there is nothing you could not do. The world belongs to you for a season..."
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
The capitalist religion wants to abolish the holiday. It declared a real war against it, which is accompanied by an explosion of entertainment and leisure offers that contain nothing, or too little, of the experience of the holiday. This is another expression of the now famous 'creative destruction' of the twenty-first century capitalism, which first eliminated the holiday and then started selling goods to us trying to replace it. But it cannot, because gratuity cannot be sold or bought. And so its entertainments leave just a great emptiness in us and a great longing for the real holiday, of which mostly children and young people have the greatest need. Only the civilization that knows the different times and free spaces of gratuitousness can be a culture capable of and characterized by celebrating holidays.
'When you were coming down from the quarry this afternoon with the loaded donkey cart, weren't you approached by a stranger? Didn't you give him a piece of bread?,' the carabiniere went on asking. (...) 'Is it a sin that he is accusing me of? Is it a sin now to do an act of charity?' 'Couldn't you see,' pursued the carabiniere (...), 'that the man was an enemy soldier?' 'Was he an enemy? What does that mean?' 'What did he look like?' asked the carabiniere. 'He looked like a man', Caterina answered.
Ignazio Silone, A Handful of Blackberries (English translation by Darina Silone)
Ora et labora is not only the image and the message of monasticism. It is also the breath of our civilization, which was founded by chanting to different measures, composing a symphony from the variety of rhythms, in the alternation of sounds and silence. The words and the spirit of work are different from those of prayer: they are allies and friends, because they are near and far from each other, intimately close and foreign at the same time. When, in those ancient monasteries, monks were returning from the vineyard and entering the choir for prayers, they were given some time for the transition. It was to another rhythm: that of prayer and the opus Dei, which had a different pace, a different rhythm, a different sound. It pierced through historical time to touch, or at least draw near, eternity to try and defeat death. That first last supper and the cross was experienced again, even the stone was rolled. When you cross the threshold to enter the templum, to a certain extent you become lord of time, you feel that you aren't dominated by the only rational and ruthless tempus, but travel freely between the first day of creation and the eschaton. The adam walks in the gardens of Eden again.
"Generosity, nobility have disappeared, and with them the spectacular counterpart that the rich reciprocated to the miserable."
Georges Bataille, The Notion of Dépense
The many, too many people who work little, badly, or not at all, are not the only symptom of serious disease in the realm of work. Another serious sign of its bad condition, although still barely visible, are those workers who work too much, those who dissipate enormous energies in the new rites of businesses, the new sacrificial victims sacrificed to the new gods.
USA, St. Bonaventure, NY: A panel discussion at St. Bonaventure University on Thursday, April 6, will address business practices of the EoC, an international business and societal model based on shared profits and a “culture of giving.”
The program, a presentation of the William C. Foster ’62 Center for Responsible Leadership in the School of Business at St. Bonaventure, in partnership with the university’s School of Franciscan Studies, will be held at 11:30 a.m. (UTC/GMT -5) in Rigas Family Theater of the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.
The Economy of Communion (EoC) was started by Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare Movement, in response to the social problems and imbalanced economy she found on a visit to Brazil in 1991. Today, some 860 EoC businesses in more than 50 countries embrace EoC’s alternative to capitalistic systems: a sharing of profits to help combat poverty and indigence, and a commitment to work toward a common good.
"We looked around, and noted that there are many people in vulnerable social situations," says Clézia Maria Pinto de Santana, the person in charge of ANPECOM projects. "Perhaps many of them had ideas and good will, but no adequate training to creating and running a business. This inspired us to try to support them, drawing on our experience."
Maria Clézia, "Dima" to her friends, was involved in a very unique way in the Project: "I had just retired after working for 40 years in a bank that financed the economic development in my region. One day, I got a phone call from ANPECOM: they proposed me to set out an area that did not exist yet: the ‘Projects’ sector, to create the possibility of giving birth to other businesses inspired by the values of the Economy of Communion."
The Economy of Communion proposes the following "Guidelines for conducting a business", to productive organizations who adhere to its message and its culture, written in the light of the life and thought of thousands of entrepreneurs and workers....
The Economy of Communion (EoC) is a movement that involves entrepreneurs, workers, directors, consumers, savers, scholars, economic workers, poor and citizens, families, and was launched by Chiara Lubich in May of 1991 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Read more...
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