19th and 20th March: Luigino Bruni's short visit to Slovenia: a visit to the EoC "Ray of Sun” kindergarten, the presentation of the book, a meeting with the community, dialogue with entrepreneurs from three countries, interviews
by Igor Vojinovič
It’s been a while since the management and educators of the "Ray of the Sun" kindergarten in Škofja Loka (near Ljubljana) wanted an exchange of ideas with Luigino Bruni to understand how to overcome some obstacles on the path of the extraordinary development that characterizes the kindergarten, a small school of "new people" who take their steps in accordance with the Pedagogy of Communion and the EoC.
The visit began on 19th March, the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, the great educator of Jesus, with the feast of the local Focolare community, commemorating the tenth anniversary of the death of the founder Chiara Lubich, and then it continued the following day. After mass in the parish of St. Anthony in Ljubljana, 250 people from all over Slovenia filled the room of the pastoral centre to listen to Professor Bruni's lecture on "Economy and Prophecy" and the answers to the questions that questions of our daily lives in the economic sphere.
Luigino Bruni was surprised and honoured to find the Slovenian translation of his essay “La ferita del altro” ("The Wound of the other") still fresh from the press at the door of the room: a book that was the result of contacts made thanks to a beautiful interview during his previous visit to Slovenia, a few years ago.
Given the book's great harmony with the topic for the evening, the guest began by presenting it spontaneously, relating the economy with the Holy Scripture, the spirituality of unity, the experiences of one's own and what’s beyond these, and the aspirations and questions of our time. His answers let us understand how important it is to take care of the other, of others, of the poorest of us - both in our life and in our work: a practice that has the strength to change the social reality surrounding us.
Taking care of others, or rather - many little others - at the "Ray of the Sun" kindergarten and pre-school, in the parish of Stara Loka, in the city of Škofja Loka: they are a reality that is gaining more and more respect and attention in the local context. In a difficult context, in which for years the state has not allowed private education to "breathe freely", this kindergarten not only survives, but is also able to develop, provide work, support children from poor families, create a parents’ association and train "new people", applying a new pedagogy in it all, without sinking into debt. The morning of 20th March was spent with the kindergarten team and left a smile on the faces of everyone, including the children, when Luigino Bruni, amidst general amazement, took the guitar in his hand and sang a song with words and gestures they could imitate all together.
This visit also provided an opportunity for a large group of EoC entrepreneurs from Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia to meet: practical minded, concrete men and women, already in friendship with each other and with the charisma of Chiara Lubich. The entrepreneurs asked some very demanding questions, some of which remained unanswered, but made it clear that there are still many people who do not give up despite serious difficulties, because they believe in fraternal communion, Providence, and the principles of the EoC, a true and proper economic prophecy for small businesses today. A light that has attracted even three Turkish entrepreneurs, Muslim friends of the movement, who find harmony between the EoC and their own values and aspirations.
Taking stock of these two days with Luigino Bruni we can say that it was a quick visit but it enriched many by giving a new impetus to the awakening of the EoC, which is already at work in the hearts of a living community that has a strong desire to continue in the wake of its founder.
Economy and Prophecy, an evening with Luigino Bruni, 19th March 2018