Portugal: 2013 towards ... 2031!

EoC Commissions, Associations and Industrial Parks gather together for the first time

by Antonella Ferrucci

131018-20 Portogallo Edc 07 ridThe first ever international meeting that brought together EoC Commissions, Associations as well as business parks was held Oct. 18 – 20 2013 in Abrigada, near Lisbon. The cozy Mariapolis center Arco-Íris where the Portuguese business park Giosi Guella is situated as well, hosted this “working” meeting – a moment awaited by all those people who have chosen to put into practice the EoC in their everyday actions and realize its prophetic reach that goes far beyond the concrete life situations that characterize it.

131018-20 Portogallo Edc 04 ridIt was a  precious opportunity to discuss the various topics of interest for the participants: more than 80 from different European countries (such as Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland), as well as from the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Democratic Republic of the Congo. In an atmosphere of friendship and brotherhood, the intense days of the meeting offered a chance to get to know each other better, to share and discuss the very real and everyday issues related to the future development and growth of the Economy of Communion across the world. The event was carried the meaningful title “2013 towards … 2031” recalling the International EoC Assembly held in Brazil, in 2011 on occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the project.

131018-20 Portogallo Edc 12 ridThe variety of contributions, reflections and solutions shared and offered to the participants were really striking. It seemed as if many little EoC “charisms’ were emerging during some kind of Pentecost. New pathways were emerging  for the EoC entrepreneurs - paths towards the care for the poor (not only in the countries known to be subject of aid but also in our own cities), the spread of the culture of giving and the “accounting” of the profits shared that go far beyond the monetary ones present in the companies’ balance sheets.

The dialogue between commissions, business parks and associations highlighted the importance of every single contributor, with its specific role - for the poor, for the entrepreneurs and for the civil society in general. Many different experiences were shared regarding the help and support one can give to the other and how working together can in fact be an effective way of working for the further development of the EOC.

131018-20 Portogallo Edc 18 ridThe contribution of the young people who are already permanently present in the EoC commissions was impressive. Many of them had been directly involved in the project thanks to some of the numerous EoC schools organized around the world during the past years. All of them are young people who have fallen in love with the EoC because they felt it to be something made “just for them”.

The synergy established between the business parks present in the meeting (Italy – Polo Lionello (in Italian); Belgium – Polo  Solidar; Portugal – Polo Giosi(in Italian); Brazil – Polo Spartaco(in Italian)Polo Ginetta(in Italian); Argentina – Polo Solidaridad(in Italian))was really important. They have come up with the idea to organize together a sort of “Erasmus” exchange program addressed to the “entrepreneurial talents” around the world.

131018-20 Portogallo Edc 20 ridThe dialogue between the EoC Associations that are the civil expression of the project worldwide was another very interesting aspect of the meeting. A total of nine associations took part in the meeting: AIEC (International Association), ANPECOM (Brazil), AIPEC (Italy), AEDC (Spain), EOCASSOC (North America), AURORE (France), AEDC (Portugal), AECOM (Congo), AEAEC (Argentina). Each one brought its own specificity in accordance to the time in which their association had been founded, as well as to the particular needs of the EoC entrepreneurs in the different countries.

 There have been also moments of feast that further strengthened the communion among all participants: from the “FADO evening” in Lisbon to the celebration of a feastday before the Holy Mass conducted for us by Father Antonio Bacelar in a chapel in Fatima.

131018-20 Portogallo Edc 14 ridWe have left for our countries with the fervent desire to stay in touch and fulfill the commitments made together. With renewed strength, each one of us resolved to put  into action in his part of the world , the  fruits of the communion and the “Pentecost” light experienced in those days.

131018-20 Portogallo Edc 15 ridOur wish is that the fraternity we have experienced together might “infect” the environments in which each one of us operates. In this way, it would be possible to announce the EoC to the world while preserving the prophecy of its message addressed to everyone -  a message whose final goal is the realization of the universal brotherhood and united world dreamt of and envisioned by Chiara Lubich!







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