The Economy of Francesco

young people, a pact, the future

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young people, a pact, the future

international events

September 22-24 2022, - Assisi

September 22-24 2022, Assisi

"The Economy of Francesco"

young people, a pact, the future

Breaking news:

published today the letter with which Pope Francis summons young economists and entrepreneurs to Assisi to propose a pact for a new economy. Economy of Communion participates in the organizing committee of the event together with the Diocese and the Municipality of Assisi and the Seraphic Institute.


Norway, Maria Jordet: True happiness? In relationships

#EoF: the Stories – a clinical psychology researcher, born in 1990, PhD student at Inland Norway University, travelled by train and bus from Oslo to Assisi to attend the EoF summer school.

by Angela Napoletano

published in Avvenire on 11/009/2021

What is a clinical psychology researcher doing among 35 young economists talking about the common good? Born in 1990, Maria Jordet, a doctoral student at Inland Norway University,travelled by train and bus from Oslo to Assisi to take part in the summer school of “The Economy of Francesco” (EoF), the international laboratory of ideas and experiences in which young entrepreneurs and academics discuss, as Pope Francis has often suggested, solutions for an economy that’s more "sustainable, inclusive and attentive to the people considered as the last ones.

The study of the mind and behaviour,” she explains, “is aimed at improving awareness of what makes life truly healthy and happy. Economists do the same”. Therefore, no doubt: “I'm in the right place”, she sums up with a smile. “When I first read about the initiative more than a year ago,” she says, “I immediately felt that I had to be there, that I too should respond to the Holy Father's call.” And so it happened. After months of meetings limited to online discussion by the Covid-19 pandemic, at the end of the summer the young woman joined the large EoF family “finally in presence”.

She is in her early thirties, but the wealth of culture and experience with which she arrived in Umbria is rather impressive. She has been to Kenya twice, with the Missionaries of Charity for a volunteer project, but she also knows Bangladesh well, where she has carried out research into how traditional local music and songs can promote the psycho-physical well-being of Bengali children. “The first time I travelled there, in 2014, I was struck by how the ancient folk songs – the ones that are now at risk of disappearing because no one cares to pass them on – were able to nourish the strength and courage of those children, boys and girls, from different social backgrounds,” she recalls. It was there, in Dhaka, that the researcher had the insight that became the subject of her PhD thesis: “what heals man's psychological wounds”, she emphasises, “is something other than mere wealth or social status”.

There is a deeper kind of happiness which lies elsewhere. For example, she says, “in the relationships” that, as in the case of the Bengali children, reconnect man to his past or, as the results of another project of hers on ecology and the pain of unexpressed feelings show, “to the natural environment from which, for various reasons, we have been removed”. This scientific, as well as personal, experience has given rise to the world view that Maria has shared with the EoF community, first in the online working group on “lifestyles and well-being”, and then at the training in early September.

The Norwegian lady's freshness and curiosity is also fuelled by her recent conversion to Catholicism. “I was born and raised in a Christian family,” she explains, “but I got closer to the Church of Rome only a few years ago through a process of discernment that I gradually undertook with the generous help of a Dominican friar.” The final push towards Catholicism, she adds, “came with the election of Pope Bergoglio who, from the very first moment, managed to speak powerfully to my heart, even just through his gestures”. It is almost with surprise that Maria underlines the concreteness of Franciscanism that emerged during the lectures and seminars of the EoF initiative. “Despite the fact that my doctorate is very much rooted in reality, I have always feared the abstractness of academic research,” she confesses, “but this experience has helped me to understand how to strengthen the tangible consistency of my studies and how to direct them towards other themes of practical relevance such as justice.” This is one of the reasons why she hopes to be able to continue attending “the friends from Assisi” for a long time to come. She is now about to return home and to her daily work in Oslo, but the enthusiasm of the young psychologist with a passion for swimming and writing is such that she believes that her EoF adventure “has only just begun”.



Language: ENGLISH

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